The Twitter API: WTF

Ok I’ll admit it—I’ve been twittering a bit lately, or I guess I should saw tweeting on twitter with the other twittering tweeters.  I’ve been using it with @LowLimitPoker to follow the WSOP and several professional poker players because I run a group of poker websites ( and would be the most popular of them).

In any event, I was noticing the way I was manually finding new poker players to add to my “Following” list and noticed that it was something that could be assisted programmatically and since I’m taking some time off from my day job as database front end consultant (read: lull in work) and wanted to get more familiar with Visual Studio 2008 I decided to write a simple Twitter tool or two to help me find the poker players and fans that I wanted to follow.

The basic algorithm I was considering was to go through my existing “following” list and for each user listed look at that user’s list of friends.  First if they have an extremely large number of friends (I was going to stuff 300 as this number initially but it’s something that could be tweaked depending on my results) I would consider them to be a mass follower or business and probably not pro poker player.  If they meet that criteria then I add them to a list (duplicates ok!) and proceed through the rest of my following list.  And the end I can sort the list and then build a unique list of Twitter users and a count of the number of times they appear in other people’s friends list.  My theory is that the top numbers will in fact be the more popular pro poker players.

One approach to implementing this would be to simply pull down regular Twitter pages and then parse them for friends, followers, etc. however Twitter provides an API and so I thought maybe there’s an easier and faster way to do this.

The problem right now is that there doesn’t seem to be a way through the API to request the friends or followers list of an arbitrary user (although you can definitely get your own friends and followers list if you authenticate with twitter).  Since you can get that information just by doing something like it should be reasonable to do it through the API as well.  I am still digging but as of this moment the result is… WTF.


One Response to “The Twitter API: WTF”

  1. Julio De Guzman

    Aug 25. 2011

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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