Posts from the iTweet category

iTweet and OAuth

A good change for most! Inconvenient for others.

This morning marked the official deprecation of Twitter's basic authentication system. I had been working toward the changeover, and at about 8 am I switched over to OAuth-based authentication. Things went pretty smoothly, I hope. Most people seem to have been able to refresh, authenticate with Twitter, and start tweeting again right away. Even aside from the improved security, the nicest immediate benefit is the API rate limit of 350 calls per hour instead of the 150/hour available through basic authentication. This will allow me to do some fun stuff that wasn't possible before. The people who were most affected by this change were those who use iTweet because is blocked due to a company firewall/filter or censorship. These folks are not able to sign in via OAuth, just due to the nature of what OAuth is. I'm bummed that this is the case, but don't immediately see a way around it - however I am open to ideas from any direction. For the time being I've put a basic-authentication version of iTweet up at: - and you can use it at that address for the next two weeks. However, please note that Twitter is going to be cutting down the number of available API requests by 10% every business day until August 31, when basic authentication will be switched off entirely. You can read about this in the twitter-development Google group. If you're one of the folks who use iTweet to get around a filter, this is a bummer. So by the end of the month people needing a proxy for will be out of luck. I'm open to suggestions as to how this inconvenience could be avoided, as this change will happen for all apps, not just - feel free to post ideas in the comments.

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Google Reader "Send to iTweet" Button

A handy way to share links from your feed reader.

I'm a big fan of Google Reader.  Recently iTweet user @leavingearth requested a "Send to iTweet" feature for Google Reader, and I thought this was a fantastic idea so here it is.

In Reader, select "Reader Settings" from the Settings menu in the top right corner of the page.  Then choose the "Send To" tab, and click "Create a custom link" at the bottom of this page.  A short form will be shown - enter the following items into the fields.

  1. iTweet


Icon URL:

Then click "Save" and you're done!  Go back to Google Reader and in your "Send To" menu you'll have a new iTweet option.  Clicking it will open with the post's title and shortened URL pre-filled in the post field.  Have fun sharing your links - if you have any feedback on this new feature please let me know in the comments.

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iTweet and 140 Proof

Setting up this application for future growth.

My pet project has been a great success for me.  It gets plenty of traffic, enjoys a steadily growing community of users, and is a lot of fun to work on.  The list of things I'd like to explore with this project grows every week, and with all the new additions to the Twitter API of late - OAuth, RTs, Lists, Geolocation etc - there is much more to be done in order to keep up.

The steady increase in traffic means that we've had to spend extra time and money on iTweet's server in order to keep up with all the users.  Hosting has graciously been sponsored by The Illusion Factory, but the monthly demand keeps increasing and it's clear that something needs to change.  The growing nature of both the to-do list and the server cost has led me to think of ways in which iTweet can become self-sustaining.  This app needs to start earning its keep, peoples!  One thing that I've decided to try is the insertion of sponsored tweets by 140 Proof.

This company has a very unique system of advertising delivery, promising very targeted content in an unobtrusive format.  How does that work?  140 Proof's system scans your (publicly available) tweets and delivers you an ad tailored to your location and/or favorite topics.   This means that you'll see content that is interesting and relevant to you.  And the ads come in tweet format so they fit right in with the flow of the app.  Most of them are real tweets, from a real Twitter account, and behave pretty much like the other tweets in your stream - you can reply, favorite or retweet them too.  (I'm giving these sponsored tweets a slightly different style so you can tell them from regular tweets.)

Since a lot of people have asked me what my plans for future development are, here's a nutshell version: has no database behind it.  It doesn't store any of your information, and only uses data from the Twitter (and TwitPic,, etc) APIs.  In order to do some more "interesting" stuff, such as multiple accounts, decent Lists and follower management, autocompleter, etc, I need to put a database behind the front end and rewrite a whole bunch of stuff.  This will let me do a lot more *interesting* things with the app, as it currently operates within the exact constraints of the API.

My immediate goals for iTweet are this:
  1. Switch to OAuth - this will eliminate API limit hassles
  2. Database-driven back end
  3. Support for new APIs - RT, geolocation etc.
  4. Support for multiple accounts, other oft-requested features
  5. Support for internationalization (multiple languages)
Once these major issues are tackled, I'll be looking at expanding iTweet's feature set into a new app, something larger that I have been imagining for some time now.  My hope is that by exploring monetization routes for the app, I'll be able to fund part of this development.

Cheers, and thanks for helping to make my little project take off.  As always the user community will directly influence the direction of future development.  Please let me know your thoughts below or by contacting me directly - I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.

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WebMapSocial ... and Me

Presenting at Google's Mountain View campus Nov. 17.

I'm going to be giving a presentation at the WebMapSocial meetup on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Want to come?  Find out all the info right here.  It's at the Google campus in Mountain View - I'm excited for an excuse to go visit!

I think I'll be talking about and the upcoming Local Trends API that Twitter is going to be releasing soon.  I also may be talking about the SaaS product I've been building,  It's only kinda-sorta map-related, but it IS shiny and new, so I'm excited to show it off.

Thanks to my friend Catherine Burton, host of this group, for the invite. She is an avid mapster and innovator - check out her unique company Endpoint Environmental.

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I Can't Tweet That Is Down

Ongoing DoS attacks are affecting both my Twitter client AND my tweets.

Ahh, it reminds of olden days when Twitter was down more than it was up.  ;-P has been down since yesterday morning (with a few short reprieves) due to the DoS attacks that are happening.  I'm keeping an eye on it and will update this post when service is restored.

Adding to the confusion, I am not able to post any tweets from or even via SMS, so I am unable to respond to those of you who have asked me what is happening.  Sorry! I hope you've subscribed to my blog's RSS feed.

Twitter has confirmed that the downtime is only affecting some clients, also that SMS is unavailable for some users, and that they are working on the issue.  I guess I'm just lucky enough to fall into both categories!

Update: is back online, after some changes from Twitter and some refactoring on my end to accommodate those changes. Yippeee!
(August 7 2009, 4:30pm PST)

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