Twitter hack – Shoutbox on WordPress

mrbrown and me was discussing what we can do with twitter last week. We thought it would be cool to have a shoutbox on seewhatshow linked to twitter so anyone can instantly feedback how good or bad the show they are watching via their mobile phone.

I went to do some research and find a pretty nice AJAX shoutbox for WordPress. I was also pretty excited to learn Twitter is expanding their API but was very disappointed it is not available yet. Stuck, I am not one to give up so easily, I spend the whole today doing a hack.

The hack is actually quite obvious: Since Twitter send all private message to you via SMS or IM, the solution is to link your twitter to an Jabber account (e.g. GoogleTalk) and then write a Jabber client that will monitor the private message and process it.


Add yourself to then send a private message (“d sws your message”) and see it appears on the shoutbox. You can also do a semi-private message in the format of “@sws your message”.

(The problem is we need to add you to SWS’s friend before you can send private message. I suppose we an do another hack but how I wish there is an auto-add function in Twitter…)

Steve Poland talks about doing weather info service “d weather 14202”. I think there are many other interesting stuff you can do with this hack, more interesting then a shoutbox or weather service.

So I decided to release the source code to the blackbox. Go do some interesting stuff with it :-)

Update: doh, less than 24hour of doing this, twitter released a new set of APIs. It is probably more efficient to do this via the new API :P

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