Want to download a list of Klout scores for a list of Twitter users? There is an app for that

Posted on January 21, 2013

Update : The tool is not working. I suspect it has something to do with the new methods introduced by Klout where a call first needs to be made to get the KloutID from the Twitter name, then lookup on the Klout ID. Will keep you posted on any progress.

With the TopTwits listings I have been doing I thought it would be good to be able to get the Klout scores in there and see how that changes the rankings for the top users. I also would like to see if I take the #afcon2013 player list how their Klout scores come out. There is a lot of debate around the merits of Klout, I don’t really want to get into that, rather just interested in the correlations.

I had a look at the Klout API and was considering trying to write some excel code to get me the Klout scores so I can just pop it into my Access database. I googled around about to avoid duplicating effort when I found a Windows App which does exactly what I wanted.


You will need to go onto Klout and register for a developer key to get the app to work, but it is simple and does the job.  It was a pain to find the app as googling for it produces and awful lot of junk above the app. Somehow I (luckily) managed to stumble across it, this post is simply to share that fortune and possibly assist others in finding this useful tool.

Thanks Wiggert of ISIZ Labs for sharing.

Oh, and if you download the tool and find it useful, just leave a not of thanks on Wiggert’s blog, I am sure he would appreciate it.


Players in #Afcon2013 with the most followers (Top 20)

Posted on January 20, 2013

Below is a list as at 3pm on 20/1/2013 of the Afcon#2013 players with the most followers. It is interesting to note that as per my previous post, South Africa has the highest percentage of players with Twitter accounts, yet, this list shows that none of those South African players makes the Top 10. The top 10 list is dominated by Ivory Coast (4), Nigera (2), Ghana (2) and one each from Mali and Togo. The first South African is Bernard Parker in 11th place.

Only 8 of the top 20 have had their accounts verified by Twitter.

# Twitter User (Screen name) Country verified Followers Follows Posts
1 Victor Moses (@VictorMoses) Nigeria Yes 147499 57 177
2 King Emmanuel Eboue (@TheRealEboue) CÔTE D’IVOIRE No 143332 162 3196
3 ASAMOAH GYAN (@ASAMOAH_GYAN) Ghana No 141759 37 2579
4 Salomon Kalou (@Skalhuno) CÔTE D’IVOIRE Yes 104935 87 1676
5 Kwadwo Asamoah (@Asabob20) Ghana Yes 85391 22 995
6 Momo Sissoko (@sissokomomo) Mali Yes 76320 30 490
7 Drogba Foundation (@FondationDrogba) CÔTE D’IVOIRE Yes 67997 35 213
8 Emmaunel Adebayor (@E_Adebayor) Togo Yes 62351 0 2
9 Joseph Yobo (@JosephYobo3) Nigeria No 43369 39 188
10 Didier Zokora (@maestrozokora) CÔTE D’IVOIRE No 37111 7 208
11 Bernard Parker (@BernardParker) South Africa No 30793 144 445
12 Adlene GUEDIOURA (@AdleneGUEDIOURA) Algeria Yes 26750 284 2323
13 Derek Boateng (@BoatengDerek) Ghana No 22269 34 326
14 thulani serero (@sererothulani) South Africa Yes 19237 30 149
15 Kagisho Dikgacoi (@KGDikgacoi) South Africa No 15656 390 1633
16 Ikechukwu Uche (@ikeuche9) Nigeria No 14621 45 422
17 Itumeleng khune (@TherealItu) South Africa No 13056 27 262
18 Katlego Mphela (@KillerMphela) South Africa No 11066 3 51
19 Afcon2013 (@AFCON2013za) South Africa No 9671 247 600
20 Agyemang-Badu (@Badu_Agyemang) Ghana No 7299 26 527

Excel Tool to download Twitter Statistics

Posted on January 20, 2013

I have been interested in analysing various Twitter stats and producing lists of top twitter users (j-j.co.za/toptwits) for some time now and been using various tools to do so. This has been challenging and the results I have been producing have been limited as a result. The tool I have used most is NodeXL,which is more for mapping social networks but has the side effect of being able to download “extended statistics” for each of the Nodes (people) on the network. This however does not give me all of the information I wanted and also works on screen names rather than the Twitter ID’s, so if someone changes their name they fall off my list.

Searching on-line I found that Google Docs spreadsheet provides a function ImportXML which a number of people have been using to bring XML results into a spreadsheet. It appears to have some limits (50 calls per document) which at the time seemed problematic since I was wanting to work with much larger lists. I know better understand some of the Twitter API calls so that limit is less extreme than I first though. Nonetheless I wanted to work in Excel as I am more comfortable with it.

I found online that Excel can import an XML document, and that you can enter a URL there, which includes the ability to enter the Twitter API calls directly. Using the macro recorder I then figured out the calls and put some basic scripting around it to take a column of screen names, break it up into batches of 25 and then execute the XMLImport function for each batch and insert the results into the sheet.

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Following the #Afcon2013 players on Twitter (#CAN2013)

Posted on January 19, 2013

I spent some time today capturing the Afcon 2013 player list (23 players from each of the 16 teams) and then trying to locate their Twitter accounts. A somewhat arduous task and one that is less than accurate. None the less, it is complete and available for you to follow the players quite easily.

In all 85 players were added to the list : https://twitter.com/jjza/afcon2013 the majority of which are players, with some support accounts added. I have not added the official accounts of each of the team, although have collected some. Will consider adding when see what is coming up on the Tweet feed.  (This number will increase as I find more players, and I may not update the post, so don’t be surprised to find these don’t tally over time).

The position is summarised by country below. The top three by Rank are :

  1. South Africa
  2. Ivory Coast
  3. Algeria & Nigeria (tied)

Full list provided below.

Please click-through to the link. Mail me on afcon (at) j-j.co.za if you find additional players I have missed, or recommend any amendments  I have tried to ignore spoof accounts and fake accounts, but cannot be sure I have got it all right.

Enjoy the #Afcon2013. And best of luck to Bafana. May things improve after tonight’s rather dismal game.

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Afcon 2013 online resources

Posted on January 19, 2013

The African Cup of Nations (English #Afcon2013 French #CAN2013)

The tournament is being contested between 16 countries : Mozambique, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Togo, Malawi, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cape Verde, Algeria, Egypt or Central African Republic . Profiles of each of the teams can be found on LoriiPapa.com.

The tournament kicks off on 19 January 2013 and runs until the final on the 10th February.

The tournament is well represented online :

Various unofficial CAF 2013 twitter accounts abound include : @AFCON_SA

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App.net The future or just another twitter wannabe?

Posted on October 13, 2012

Back on 2nd September, after having heard about it on twitter and in tech circles, I finally got around to signing up for app.net. I had briefly checked it out before, but given the $50/year fee hadn’t bothered. Is time around I decided that I wanted my @jjza handle on app.net and that the $50 wasn’t that much of an investment to reserve the name. Since then the price has fallen to a more reasonable $36 and early adopters given an extension to their original subscription period.

App.net is still very much under development and after signing up I didn’t really use it much. Then along came Netbot, a rehashed twitter client specifically for app.net and iOS / iPad and its pretty darn slick. So now I have started using App.net a bit more.

There are still not a lot of users on board, although the numbers are increasing rapidly. At the time I signed up there were around 20 000, I’m not sure of the latest count. This low user base was even more apparent when I had Netbot search my twitter follower list and give me the option of following them on App.net. The results were disappointing but at the same time it was good to see a few familiar faces like Erik Hersman, Paul Jacobson and Steven Fry on there.

App.net is still evolving, new features are being added all the time, and Netbot is a really slick client, I like the 256 character limit rather than the 140 of twitter, though honestly can’t tell you if there are any real benefits. I guess that will be figured out as we to along and for now I will cross post stuff between App.net and twitter until a critical mass of followers emerges.

If you make it over that side, follow me : https://alpha.app.net/jjza

Please share your thoughts on the new platform.


Your twitter account has been hacked? How to fix this (and avoid it happening again)

Posted on July 01, 2012

My Twitter account was “hacked” a number of months back, and the accounts of a number of people I follow have been hacked on a fairly regular basis since. This is unfortunately a regular occurrence and spammers are increasing their efforts to get access to people’s accounts to spam their followers.

How do you know if someone you are following has been “hacked”? 

You will in all likelihood get a direct message from someone you follow which will be a generic message (but interesting or tempting one) which will have an embedded link to a site. Links these days are mostly shortened so you won’t immediately be able to see the final destination site. Clicking on it could be compromising your account and / or delivering up malware to your PC which your Antivirus software may or may not detect. So avoid clicking these.

Common messages that are coming up recently as direct messages include :

  • Twitter might start to charge in July, sign this petition to keep the service free! (link removed)
  • Hi, this user is saying really bad rumors about you … (link removed)
  • Hi some person is saying really bad things about you … (link removed)
  • Hi somebody is posting horrible rumors about you … (link removed)
  • Hey someone is saying nasty things about you… (link removed)
  • Various messages about weight loss or other obvious spam

How do you know if you have been “hacked”?

Your followers will send you messages pretty quickly to tell you, or they will be asking you why you are sending them strange messages (like the ones above). Don’t ignore these or react negatively, thank them for the warning and get on with fixing the problem before more of you followers are spammed and / or compromised.

What to do when you have been “hacked” ?

  1. Change your password.
    • Choose something decent, not a real language word, chuck in some numbers or special characters, and don’t think you are smart by using l33t sp3@k (leet speak).
    • Ra35!!me would be good, whereas P@ssw0rd would be bad.
  2.   Check to see what applications are “authorised” against your account. This can be used to keep sending SPAM even after you have changed your password.
    • Log in to your Twitter account on the web and open up your account settings.
    • Click on the Apps tab in the left-hand menu.
    • Read down through the list of applications to see that you know about them and trust them
    • If unsure of an application, revoke its access. You can always approve it again later.
  3. Check that if you associated your mobile number with your twitter account you have set up a PIN
    • Log in to your Twitter account on the web and open up your account settings.
    • Click on the Mobile tab in the left-hand menu.
    • Choose a PIN if you don’t have one (mix of 4 numbers and letters)
    • Go to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.
    • If your PIN is OK you will see a confirmation message.
  4. Apologise to your followers. Send them here if they have been “hacked”. Shortlink : http://j-j.co.za/twithack
  5. Be vigilant

 How did you get hacked?

You may have clicked on one of the direct message links as per the examples above, or you may have received an interesting tweet or link to :

  • Sign a petition to stop twitter becoming a pay service
  • Save the Rhino, the Dolphins or the World
  • Anything else that looked interesting

If you do inadvertently click on a link, in some cases the URL shortening service (eg. bit.ly) will pop up a warning where they have determined the link to be dangerous. Consider this your guardian angel, say thanks and close the window.

If unlucky, you will end up on the page the attackers want you to. The most recent two I investigated put me on a page on tvvitiler.com which was a copy of the twitter login page with a timeout message asking me to log in again. If you are unfortunate enough to do so, that’s you toast, proceed to the fix section below :) The sites hosting these fake login pages vary from post to post and are more often than not themselves hacked, with the unlucky owners unaware of what is happening.

Chances are therefore that some website or app somewhere conned you into giving your credentials to Twitter or the app/site so that it could post something on your behalf. It may well be something that you wanted posted, however, it then piggybacks off that to send a whole lot of unwanted stuff. Just be aware, and vigilant, and followup quickly when something happens.

With information security, knowing how to react and clean up is just as important as prevention. It is not a matter of if, but of when your account will be compromised.

Thanks to :

  • Mandy Wilson (@Mandywilson_SA)
  • Samantha (@MetroGalZN)

If you have further comments and insight please leave it in the comments here or tweet me (@jjza). Please share this information (http://j-j.co.za/twithack)

P.S. To those infosec folks reading this, apologies for my very liberal use of the word “hack”

Thoughts, insights and analysis of the May 2012 African Top Twits list

Posted on May 13, 2012

This post cover some thoughts, insights and analysis of the Top Twits list (May 2012 Africa’s Top Twits) I posted yesterday. Each of the headings provides an anchor for some tidbits and discussion around that bit. Browse through as you will. I would highly recommend you open either the PDF or Excel document when going through so you can let the information talk to you and come up with your own interpretations and insights.

Overall uptake of twitter

It is interesting to see the continued phenomenal growth of Twitter. While the top African twitter user (@pastorchrislive) hasn’t grown much there is massive growth in the top 10 below him. Previously second place had 243 861 followers, now that has grown to 615 332 and where previously (August 2011) 117 357 followers would have got you into 10th place, now just 8 months later that won’t even crack the top 50.

In the top 50 you would need to be more than doubling your following in the period just to hold onto your spot. And its not just those accounts that have small followings that are growing at these high rates (off a small base) but many in the top 10 have growth rates of 250% to 350%.


Bands 5/12/2012 8/31/2011 Growth Growth %
1   1,062,297   1,038,830     23,467 2%
2      615,332      243,861   371,471 152%
10      363,226      117,357   245,869 210%
50      120,941        59,003     61,938 105%
100        61,521        36,422     25,099 69%

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HTC and Drifta, a few tweeted tidbits

Posted on September 07, 2011

With DStv Mobile having released the Android app for some Samsung Galaxy devices it looks as though HTC are feeling rather left out and wanting to get their share of the action. Some interesting tweets today.

First up was @Regardt van der Berg, “I do PR, Communications, and Social Media for HTC and I’m a lazy photographer” from http://www.htcblog.co.za  commenting that support is coming to HTC soon and they are working with the Devs to get the app approved on HTC.

Nico @Zandberg picked up that the screenshots present on the Android App Store are actually taken from an HTC and not a Samsung.  Mybroadband picked up on the press release mailed out by DStv mobile and put up a story.

I contacted Regardt and put some questions to him, which were partially answered with a non-committal “We are working with Multichoice” but an offer to correspond further by email, which I took him up on and sent a mail asking a few questions.

Will feed back when I get a response. An interesting day for HTC users none-the-less.

NB : The tweets below were collated together using editor software, but can be validated back to Twitter.


Africa’s Top Twits August 2011 edition now out

Posted on September 03, 2011

The latest edition of Africa’s Top Twits is now out. Read it here : http://j-j.co.za/toptwits/

There are once again more twitter users included who had been overlooked previously, with particular focus on users in other parts of Africa. This has had a significant impact on the top 100.

This month I include a little more commentary on the top 10, include some growth statistics for this special group, as well as lay down the start of a comparison we can do over the next few months for our 13 Bokke who are on twitter. The 13 can be found here (http://twitter.com/jjza/WorldCupBokke2011)

Once again, suggestions, comments, corrections all welcome.






Follow our Springbok World Cup players on Twitter

Posted on August 30, 2011

I tried to find as many of our Springbok world cup 2011 players and coaching staff on Twitter as possible. So far 13 players, 2 coaching staff, SA Rugby and Springbok Supporters club.  If I have missed any please mail me or send me a message on Twitter. 

I added them to a list available here: http://twitter.com/#!/jjza/worldcupbokke2011

(South) Africa’s Top Twits – August interim edition

Posted on August 20, 2011

I have found a number of additional African twitter accounts which had previously not been included in the list. I have added these in and updated the follower numbers for all accounts present in the list. As always, please send through comments suggestions and amendments.  An updated version will be produced at the end of August as the “official” August list. This is to just correct known issues from the last 3 weeks since the last list.

Follow this link to find all the goodies : http://j-j.co.za/toptwits


Automating collection of Twitter user stats

Posted on July 30, 2011

Nasty little hack, but it works.

  1. Download Curl
  2. Download the OpenSLL DLL’s
  3. Create your text file with the list of Twitter accounts you want, one line per account (twits.txt)
  4. Create your batch file in the same folder as the above 3, just the following 2 lines needed (doit.bat)
    1. DEL out.xml
    2. FOR /F %%i IN (twits.txt) do (curl http://twitter.com/users/show.xml?screen_name=%%i >>out.xml & ping -n 2 -w 1>NUL)
  5. Run the batch file, it creates “out.xml”
  6. Load the XML file into notepad/wordpad
  7. Search and replace to remove the following <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
  8. Except for the first line which must remain
  9. Then add in <twits> as the second line in the file and </twits> as the last line of the file
  10. Now save the XML file
  11. Load it into Excel.
  12. All done, enjoy

(South) Africa’s Top Twits – July 2011 (final)

Posted on July 28, 2011

This is the third post in four days on the matter of the top twitter users in (South) Africa, ranked by number of followers.

You can read the previous posts here  explaining how this arose:

I have now created a static page (as opposed to a post) to house the information going forward, and I hope to be able to update it regularly. Initially perhaps monthly and then maybe to quarterly if that proves to be too onerous.
The page is “Top Twits” on the menu at the top of the site, or linked here. http://j-j.co.za/toptwits
The information is available as an Excel sheet or as a PDF as well as the Top 100 present in the body of the post.
Enjoy and please provide feedback.

The new improved (South) African Top Twits July 2011

Posted on July 26, 2011

See the final list here : j-j.co.za/toptwits

Yesterday’s post (here) attempted to list the Top Twits (by number of followers) in (South) Africa.  If you didn’t read the post yesterday, take a read to see where this all started.  It had some flaws. There were some big names missing. After some manual processing and prompting for various parties, here is the new improved (still very much draft) (South) African Top Twits.  The top 10 has changed a bit, and beyond that even more so. To make yesterday’s top 50 you needed 13 251 followers, today that has jumped to 22 613.

Once again, if there are some big names out there that have been missed please let me know.

Change log :

  • Removed duplicated @BusRep, @BibleThoughts now makes it in at number 50 (26/7/2011)
  • Added in some more users @Elbaradei, Jacob Zuma (SAPresident), Presidency, MetroFM (27/7/2011)
  • Expanded the list to top 60 (so that some didn’t drop out of yesterday’s list)
  • Included the date updated field
  • Checked the numbers of all the accounts listed against current twitter.com numbers as previous sources were unreliable. Checked the balance of the top 120 as well just in case any jumped up the list, some of which did.
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