I may attract the trademark police for this, but so be it.
It seemed like an innocent enough question at the time, but when Steve Dembo (teach42) posted a tweet last week looking for a way to import a list of Twitter names to follow I decided to run with it. It seemed like a straightforward programming challenge, and after a little twittering back and forth with Dave Briccetti I had it pretty much worked out in my head.
Twitterator, then, is a really simple web application that takes a list of twitter usernames and allows you to follow them in one fell swoop. Take a look and see what you think. I have to warn you though. This is a pretty basic CGI script, and it’s not going to be particularly fast. It depends on Twitter.com’s servers being available which can be a bit of a crapshoot. Using Twitterator may cause dizziness, shortness of breath, locusts, giant meteors, and (wait for it) sexual dysfunction. Tell you doctor if you’re using Twitterator. Don’t taunt Twitterator!
I think this could be pretty useful for training sessions. For example, you could keep a list of twitter usernames in a file on the Internet somewhere and use that URL to follow those people. You could keep lists organized by academic subject or whatever else works for you. Once the file exists at a certain URL, a bunch of people could start following those people within minutes of creating their Twitter accounts. You can also paste in a bunch of usernames manually from a blog post, wiki page, or some other source. I tried to make it as bulletproof as reasonably possible, but you’ll have to ensure that the usernames are listed one per line.
Feel free to leave suggestions for improvements or creative uses in the comments. I hope everyone finds Twitterator useful. It’s fun to exercise my programming chops once in a while, and if this brings Dembo one step closer to world domination then it’s all been worth it.
Update: All Twitterator links have been updated to point to the new URL.