Trump Dump Data & Playing with TAGS

Image from page 60 of “Children’s ballads from history and folklore” (1886) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Driven mad by curiousity after this Matthew Baldwin tweet, I built this little thing. It uses the amazing Martin Hawksey’s TAGS for gathering the Tweets in Google Sheets and then displays it with Vue.js (which I’m sort of learning). It led me to realize that I could extend TAGS without much effort. My first attempt was to write two custom functions to get favorites and retweets. Turns out that was pretty straight forward given all Martin’s work. The TAGS element (TAGS.get) links me into Martin’s library and that’s that. So very easy once you know and then you’re just navigating the Twitter API. Turns out I can do something similar to get the Twitter bio. Initially, I just stuck these in like you’d do normal functions … =getRT(A1) or whatever and it soon ate up all the processing time allowed for my Google Scripts. That caused other things to break. Lesson learned. I then opted to set the value in the script and write that value to the cell. This little script runs on the spreadsheet change trigger and checks to see if there are any blank cells in the Favorites column (column U) […]

Shifting out of IFTTT

Kin Lane mentioned that IFTTT, a service entirely built on APIs, doesn’t have an API. That bothered Kin and the more I thought about it it bothered me. So I figured I’d start disentangling myself from IFTTT. One of the things I did with IFTTT was to send out a Tweet any time I posted something new on my blog. Crazy to think I set that up in 2012. Granted, I could have replaced this with any number of plugins but I thought this would be fun and bit of API work but most interestingly it’d put me (mostly) in charge of how the tool worked. The following script is just cobbled together from something I found to get an RSS feed into a spreadsheet and a script I used a while back to send a tweet from a Google SS. Next steps will be to start playing with adding amusing variables to the message. The first message kicked through with a minor error but progress! Grabbing Flickr Photos was blogged & can be found at — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) March 20, 2016

YouTube View Count to Tweet

I was just messing around a bit more with mashing up the YouTube API post from earlier with the Twitter post from earlier today. This Google Script will get the view count of a particular video (Gangnam Style) and send out the total views and the time elapsed watching the video (assuming I did the math right). It has no real purpose (other than the scale of the number amuses me) but it’s one of those things with concepts that I’ll be able to apply more usefully in the future. That’s a gut feeling but I’m pretty confident. Don’t forget to add the Twitter library as directed here.1 1 in the Apps Script project, include the library MKvHYYdYA4G5JJHj7hxIcoh8V4oX7X1M_ with the identifier set to Twitter

Server Up? Notifications via Twitter/Google Script

flickr photo shared by Thomas Hawk under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license Reclaim Hosting has a great status page that alerts you when stuff is not working correctly. We had a brief outage this morning and I just thought it’d be nice to see if we could proactively send out a message based on that status page but only for things relevant to our server. I asked Tim (as you can see in the tweets below) and ended up with an API that happily spit out a JSON feed. @ReclaimHosting ha ha – LOVE IT — Tom Woodward (@twoodwar) February 24, 2016 Based on my recent experiments with JSON and Google Scripts I didn’t think it’d be too hard to write something to send out Tweets based on that feed. I found this snippet that dealt with the authorization portion for Twitter.1 Once I had the JSON parsed and assigned to variables, all I had to do was set it to check every 5 minutes. Now we can hook it up to the ALTLab account if we’d like, have it notify various people, etc. etc. Fun stuff . . . all done during lunch. The following script will check a JSON feed and send a Tweet out from my account letting @vcualtlab know we should check on […]

Red Dot It on Twitter

Given the level of despair and rage resulting from Twitter’s move to the like/heart option, I have decided to save the world. It seemed a worthwhile way to spend two minutes. This codepen was handy in figuring out how to make the arrow part of the tooltip the right color. The following chunk of CSS thrown into a plugin like Stylebot will now enable you to simply red1 dot something. It is simply a circle which could mean anything. Instead of the tooltip displaying the word “Like” you now have a blank canvas upon which you can think any word you want.2 [EDIT] Another option that’s probably simpler and more fun, although unlike Gizmodo, I didn’t copy him. Install Stylish for your browser, add this rule, and use any emoji you want. — Robert McNees (@mcnees) November 3, 2015 1 Change the color if red is offensive. 2 In reality replacing the text via javascript seemed a bit too much effort for this sort of nonsense. I can justify two minutes but not ten.

Hashtags of Inclusion

flickr photo shared by AndrewDallos under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license I’ve been thinking a bit about how hashtags function on Twitter when used in course in particular. These thoughts are shaped mainly by seeing how #vizpoem, #curiouscolab, and #thoughtvectors have played out vs some of the other hashtags we’ve used like #vcualtlab or #vcuglobalhealth. There’s not a right way or wrong way to do this but there are certain things that seem to happen when the structure of the hashtag is less tied to an institution. The VCU prefix pretty much means that only people within the VCU structure will use that hashtag. It is less likely it’ll become part of a larger structure for other people to use when thinking about/organizing the topic. #thoughtvectors is an example of a hashtag that has spread beyond the course in both time and people. While I believe Gardner coined?/hashed? the hashtag based on Doug Engelbart’s quote, its first use on Twitter was by Jon Becker (at least according to this site and this site). Since that time it was used extensively during the course (nearly 4000 times) but it’s still being used today long after the course officially ended. More and more it’s used by people who have no obvious relationship to the course and probably no knowledge of […]

My Twitter Evolution – Episode 1

I joined Twitter in November of 2007 which is roughly seven and half years ago. That’s a fairly long time and both my use and my thoughts about Twitter changed quite a bit over that time. Consider that Twitter only produced about 5,000 tweets a day back 1 then compared to 50 million a day now. I thought it’d be interesting to look back at my blog and see what I thought about Twitter in those early days.2 The first post I can find is from a few months after I joined and the post was titled My Secret Shame (best of twitter 1-30-08). The title alone lets you know I really was kind of embarrassed to be on Twitter. Clearly not too embarrassed to write about it in public but it still felt like it could be a waste of time. Back in those days you couldn’t embed the tweets like you can now so I hand-copied in the text and attributed them but I linked to the author’s blog instead of the tweet itself. That shows pretty clearly that I saw the Twitter element as much less important. Surely you’d want to go to the blog itself. Other than liking three specific tweets I had this to say- *I’m not advocating for twitter, I’m still debating it. Today […]

Catfish Literacy?

To play off a bit of David’s post on social justice MOOCs, there seems to be a base need for tools for helping identify evil people on the web. That’s not in a dox type of way but more like a way to guide people in determining if accounts have ill intentions.1 That’s probably a messy description but it was brought about by a post I saw on Facebook last night. Essentially,2 it was a conversation between two people I know- one black male (in Richmond) and one white male (in Baltimore). It was a passionate conversation. The white guy added a screenshot from a Twitter account (included below) into the mix that seemed to confirm all his greatest fears about what was happening in Baltimore.3 It’s a high emotion situation in lots of ways which never helps people critically evaluate items that confirm their fears but I felt like this account had to be fake. Then I wondered if I could prove that? I did a couple of things4 when I looked at this account which are second nature to me now but which could be built into a tool or made into some sort of guide. Step one– I looked to see when the account was created. This account, @brothertooturnt, was started on 3/27/15. Recent creation and total […]

Bike Race Fortunes Randomizer

Richmond is going to host this bike international bike race in a few months. The more interesting part, for me anyway, is going to be 25 one credit courses each using the energy and activity of the bike race to power a particular disciplinary/interdisciplinary exploration. In the meantime, we wanted to make a coming soon page and I thought it might be amusing to randomly generate some cycling-related fortunes that could be sent out via Twitter if the person was sufficiently amused. That’s not a difficult task but it might help someone to see it laid out. The twttr.widgets.load(); was something it took me a bit to realize. You can see it in the script without it the Twitter button didn’t look right. The javascript . . . Sources for various elements Emma made the background image for the page and the wheel. Dan and Enoch submitted fortunes. Twitter button fix


The Web is Plastic

Twitter really needs to seriously rethink the *mandatory* & unalterable displaying of images in one's timeline on — Digital Maverick (@digitalmaverick) July 20, 2014 I saw the post above this morning and thought to myself that this is a problem I can solve. You can still bend and shape it to your desires, even if it’s not technically yours. There are lots of ways to deal with this issue but I figured I would look at removing the image preview entirely using CSS. Turns out there is a Chrome Stylebot extension that lets you set custom CSS styles for particular sites and it is dead simple to use even if you don’t know CSS. Embedded below is an under one minute example of how to use Stylebot to deal with the image preview issue.