Twitter API DIY – How to Get Started with Twitter API and PHP!

Over the last whole week, I’ve been super busy developing my new Twitter app site, I think it will be HUGE and a very useful site for Twitters.

Along the way, my coding for Twitter API has improved and I wanted to share you all the details on the resources I used.  I wrote the “Complete HOWTO Guide to Twitter API and PHP/AJAX” over at my TweetHacking blog so check it out for those of you trying your debut at a new Twitter site.

First off, you will want to start learning how to use the Twitter API via curl.  Curl is basically a linux/PHP command that allows you to retrieve other web pages to the web server.  This would be way your web server actually communicates with Twitter API.

Simply put it, your web server ask for a webpage such as http://twitter.com/user/statuses and would get back some of of user statuses in the format of XML and JSON. (Btw, the webpage URL is just made up in this example.)

XML and JSON are simply how data are formatted so you can easily access it.  I have used both XML and JSON for receiving data and I would have to say to learn both but use JSON if you can as it’s faster.  (Plus Twitter team also recommends JSON over XML)

So the very first thing I want you to do (if you don’t know how already), is to learn how to use the Twitter API via Curl.  Try this guide on MoreThanSeven.Net.  It should only take you 15-30 minutes to try out the code and get somewhat familiar with how simply Twitter API is and how it works.

Of course, don’t forget, you need “Curl” installed on your web server. From linux command line, simply do “yum install curl” for Fedora/CentOS and probably “sudo apt-get install curl” on Ubuntu/Debian.

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