Monthly Archives: October 2009

Setting the stage or tone for your book – dont

I sat down one weekend and wrote out a first cut for chap3 (Key Issues to Consider when Developing Twitter Apps)  I then closed it, gave it some time, came back and wrote more.  It’s around 1200 words or so, but how much you write is not the important part, its setting the tone for how ‘you think’ you are going to write the rest of the book.  This could be just me, but I very rarely like anything that I write unless I think its great at the very first pass.  When I wrote my Masters Thesis, I had 1/2 of it written in one week and finished it in month.  My Dissertation, that was quite different.  I think I spend 6 months off and on writing it. The main point is the style, approach, order kept changing and that made writing less enjoyable and in my opinion a less then optimal document, where I still look back at my Masters and very little change stylistically from that first week.

So what does that mean for what we doing here?

Well, like I said, I finished my first pass on chap 3 and I do not like it.  So instead of banging my head trying to make it better (like I did with the Dissertation), I’m going to leave it and write something else.  Chap 1 in this case. I also purposely tried writing in a different style, using more humor and ’email like’.  I already like it much even though I know its not proper for a book.  And that’s ok.  There are three people writing this book and I KNOW we will have have different styles.  So once we have 90% of the content created, we will have to go back and edit and unify the style. So my observation here is to do whatever style of writing you need to get your your content out. Even if its just a bunch of stand alone sentences.

Excerpt from Chap3

Consumers, publishers: The type of users you are targeting will have a large impact on how you approach your twitter application.  If your application is focused on people who mostly read content (including search) then you find yourself with …   Twitter users who do a lot of writing will want functions that are outside of the current Twitter API set.  Adding pictures, maps, sounds, etc.. 
High frequency Low frequency: The current rules of the API system only allows 100 calls per hour.. This may seem like a lot, but based on what features you are providing to your users, this can go very quickly.  This is especially true with search.  Its not unlikely that you could have 5 API calls per user action.  If they are a high frequency user, they may find themselves approaching the 100 calls limit pretty quickly. Although there are calls the do not require credentials, you could still run up against this limit because Twitter does count the number of calls from an IP. As such, be sure you monitor the number of calls the user has left and deal with it accordingly.

Excerpt from Chap 1

What is Twitter?  Well, this is a twitter book right, so one would expect that the very first thing I would is spend a chapter explaining what twitter is.  However, there are PLENTY of books explaining what twitter is.  This, however, is an API book more targeted to the developer, so we are going to assume you know what twitter is.  The better question is; Why is Twitter?  Ah, that is a more interesting question.  To expand a bit, what is it that makes twitter so popular, and as a developer, what do I need to know to improve the odds my application can take advantage of that popularity?

First, why is twitter so popular?  Ask 100 people and you will get 100 answers, but there are some basic tenets that are generally agree upon.

Its simple, open API, can be used by almost any device, and does not require a great deal of training to use.

Most of the successful twitter application tend to follow the idea of simple and straight forward. Notice there is not an Uber/kitchen sink/does it all application out there.