7 new ways to integrate live twitter data into your website

There are plenty of ways to interact with twitter through your blog, you can integrate yours or anyone elses twitter updates and you can even integrate a twitter search into your site. Having a targetted twitter search updating live on your page is a tactic just starting to be picked up by news outlets and forward thinking businesses. You could demonstrate with a live twitter search that people are talking about your product, or that there is discussion around a specific topic or idea. If it’s at all advantageous to supply the thoughts of the twittersphere on a targeted subject live to your readers, then this is the method you need.

Integrating your tweets into your blog

It’s a great way to show your twitter presence on your blog; new readers will instantly see what you’re tweeting about and can decide there and then if they’d like to follow you. This method can be used to integrate anyones twitter updates into your site, not just your own, so get creative and use it however you like.

Widgetbox twitter widget

This is a nice simple widget for your blog. It displays your last tweet, has a customizable colour background and has a nice feature to scroll through tweets at the bottom. People won’t be able to follow you directly from the widget though…

widgetbox

Official twitter widget

Slightly more features but still a little cumbersome. You can choose to show a HTML widget or a flash based one. We found that the flash based widget sometimes has a little bit of difficulty rendering and you can’t easily change its size. Your blog readers should be able to follow you directly though the widget and there’s a decent scroll feature to read through your latest entries.

twitter-official

Twitt-Twoo

You can update your status right from the plugin itself – a very nice feature, something that the big burly offical plugin can’t do. It loads in AJAX which means it doesn’t need to refresh your browser to work. This one gets the thumbs up.

Some more resources on this topic:

http://www.twitip.com/181-twitter-buttons-badges-widget-and-counters-to-help-you-find-followers/

Integrating a twitter search feed into your site

We’ve not seen many examples of this technique being used just yet but it’s certainly one to watch out for, it opens the door for many new opportunities. Sky news used a similar method to this in their news article about the G20 protests. Strangely, their use of the twitter application seemed like an admission they were no longer relevant as a news gatherer since twitter is more efficient. Using TweetGrid you can integrate a live twitter search directly into your website which updates as often as you like in the same way that Sky did with the G20 protests.

What could you use this for?

If you’ve written a blog post about peoples reactions to the G20 protests you could make that post all the more relevant and current by including a widget showing all recent tweets with the terms “G20 Protests” in them. As I write this there is a revolution taking place in Moldova, you could include a widget that updates with what people are saying about it using this code:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
/* widget config */
var jtw_search                 = ‘moldova';  /* keywords or phrase to send to search.twitter.com and display */
var jtw_width = ‘auto';
</script>

For business

If you were trying to sell a service to someone that they could then sell onwards you could include in your page a twitter search term showing how much people are interested in your service. Let’s say you were wholesale selling iPhone accessories, you might include a widget with the following to show that people are really tuned into the product:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
/* widget config */
var jtw_search                 = ‘iPhone accessories';  /* keywords or phrase to send to search.twitter.com and display */
var jtw_width = ‘auto';
</script>

So how does it work?

TweetGrid is a javascript which you call into your page and change the appearance of using variables but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Depending on the permissions you have for posting  javascript directly into your blog this is a brilliantly simple solution; no installation and very little configuration is needed. Alter the keywords to what you’d like to search for then post the code snippet directly into your blog.

<script language="javascript">
	/* widget config */
	var jtw_search = 'keyword';  /* keywords or phrase to send to search.twitter.com and display */
        var jtw_width = 'auto';
</script>
<script src="http://tweetgrid.com/widget/widget.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

There are plenty of variables in the javascript to edit the appearance of the widget, you can get a good breakdown on what they do with examples here.

Monitter - Another Solution

Unlike TweetGrid you’ll have to upload some javascript onto your server to get it to work but the benefits are that you can style it with CSS and  it’s a little prettier. If you’re going to be using this method alot, Monitter is a better solution.

monitter

How else could you use this?

If you knew the bit.ly link being used to direct traffic to your blog, you could use that link as a search keyword and watch exactly what people are saying about the specific post.  Let us know how you got along with this method in a tweet including out bit.ly link, give your ideas for how you might use it. We should be able to show our readers your thoughts in this widget:


Two more interesting wordpress solutions

Twittar

If your readers are avid twitterers then this plugin should help. It will show your users twitter avatars in your comments instead of an empty picture. If your commenters aren’t on twitter then it will display a standard avatar.

Tweetbacks

Trackbacks show when someone links to your page with their blog, but tweetbacks can show when someone tweets about your article then display that information in a comment

That’s all

Let us know how you got on with these techniques and give our bit.ly link a tweet and test out our method for tracking conversations around a blog!

http://bit.ly/ig2cc

Phil Harper - Social Media Consultant
  • http://49DollarLogo.com L. Mohan Arun

    These are good, I had a client who wanted HTML output of the tweets made, so they can be indexed in search engines. Tweet grid gadget provides javascript generated output, which is not indexed. It is easy to build php twitter gadgets that output html

    Demo:
    http://www.coderidge.com/Twitter.php

    If anybody intersted in this code please contact me marun2 at gmail dot com, I charge little amount to cover cost of my time spent (5 hours), I can also customize it to your likings, and help install in your servers and existing CMS solution, you can use any search operator as allowed by twitter search api (like rugby or football)