Tag Archives: OAuth

Create a Word Cloud From Your Twitter Feed

I love playing with data. My data makes it even more fun. Wordle has been around for a long time, and so has Twitter (in Internet years anyways). I have always been fascinated by word clouds and visualizing text patterns, etc.

I figured that hey, there has got to be some analyzer for your twitter stream, and I am sure there are a ton, but I didn’t stumble upon any with some easy Googling, so I did it the hard way.

First goal? Get your Twitter feed and/or data somehow. Multiple ways to do this, but I stumbled upon a pretty cool site. http://tweetbook.in that let’s you create an eBook from your Twitter feed and favorites. It let’s you publish out as a PDF or XML file, so I figured that would work. It is a busy site and you may have to wait to get in but once you do you just oAuth it up to Twitter and grab your data.

Now, once you have your data, you need to do something with it. The data would be in XML so you need to parse out the data you want, for instance, I wanted to analyze my “favorites” so I wanted to get the text out of the XML. Here is my first favorite on Twitter (by the way, it will only go back 3200, I think – I only have 2600 or so faves)

  A "Manager" class is like my grandmother's junk drawer.
  Fri Aug 08 14:23:56 +0000 2008

Well I just want to grab that <text> value, and without having to do any programming or powershell or C#, I fired up trusty old LINQPad (more on this tool in future posts for sure). I then just wrote a quick little query against the XML file like so:

var xml = XElement.Load (@"c:\fave.xml");

var query =
  from e in xml.Elements()
  select e.Element("text").ToString().Replace("","").Replace("","").Replace("RT ","");


As you can see, I am just loading up the xml file and doing some text cleanup (removing the xml text blocks and removing RT’s, the old syntax which muddies up the results). Note in LINQPad you need to change the query type to C# Statements instead of the default C# Expression.

Once I had my values in the results I wanted, I did a quick CTRL+A, CTRL+C (it still baffles me how many people don’t know CTRL+A is “Select All”) and then pasted it into notepad++, to view, and cleaned up some html characters there (quotes, etc) and then pasted it into Wordle. Here is what I got back:


You can see I really like to favor SQL Server, Microsoft, iPhone, Blogs, sqlpass, Google, SharePoint, Twitter, and pretty much everything geeky. Pretty dang cool. Why doesn’t Twitter offer something like this? I think it would be cool. What other cool things have you done with your “data” – what cool things would you like to see?


Fun with the Facebook Graph API

Lazy Sunday afternoon, so I decided to dig a bit into the Facebook Graph API. What is the FB Graph API? Well it allows you to create an application and use OAuth to connect and then get information about yourself and your friends and do things in Facebook using JSON objects and requests. Easy way to read/write from Facebook.

But, the kicker seems to be getting things started. To start, Facebook has documentation and links and wikis all over the place, so it is hard to get a handle on what you want or need to do.

First you need to create an application. Once you do that you need to set up some things so you can actually use Facebook data.

Once you have that done, you can see your apps here

You will want to take note of a few things and change some settings..First might be to put your app in “sandbox” mode:

Also, under “Authentication” you might want to change Authentication Callback URLs.. and then under “Connect” change your “Connect URL”, and you want it in form http://blah.com/

So to test your app and see what you can do, you need to know your


now, you can make unauthenticated calls to the Graph API, try it..


That’s me. You should be able to see public info on me (don’t try it in IE, it pukes.. Chrome it was working. You might need to be logged into FB)

Anyways, if you want your app to be able to get more than the “public” unauthorized view, you need to make some calls and get some access tokens..

First you need to get an “access code”


You can see in that URL, you have to supply your app id, and your redirect url. Keep it simple, your redirect url should be something like http://blah.com/ .. don’t have querystring params..

If you have things set up, facebook should authenticate you, and ask you to allow your app to have permissions to pretty much “EVERYTHING” on your profile and friends info. To see what “extended permissions” you can use, see here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/authentication/permissions

You *should* get redirect to your redirect_url with a param in the url called code=

Grab that code, you will need it.

Now to get the access_token


once you hit the above URL, with the code from step one you will get an access token

take that token, and then try


you can also get your friends ids


Once you get your friends list, you can use their id’s and get info back from the graph.

If you get errors or did something wrong, you might have screwed up your first requests. There are sites and forums saying to add type=client_cred – don’t do that, it doesn’t work. It will give you a shorter access token, which doesn’t work.

Once you have all that working *MANUALLY*, then check out Facebook’s officall C# sdk for the graph – http://github.com/facebook/csharp-sdk

Basically then you can replace the access token there with your token and test things.

Then just tie it all together in an app so you can do it programatically, but that is for another blog post :)