NodeXL has new updates to its importers for Twitter users and lists.
We have released an updated version of NodeXL that simplifies and merges the previously separate User and List importers.
The new, streamlined importer treats an individual user as a list of one.
Lists can be defined by pointing to an existing Twitter List or simply entering a list of delimited user names into the text box.
The updated importer now collects many more tweets per person and parses these messages to generate reply and mention edges.
You can now define a group of Twitter users and find out how much they reply and mention one another.
You can even pull in the followers of each person, to see if they reply or mention people they also follow.
But ever since June 11, 2013, Twitter has made access to the “follows” edge data very difficult (its just very slow). Designed and implemented prior to the update that restricted access to the follower network, the original NodeXL Twitter list importers relied mostly on queries that are now impractically slow for all but the smallest lists of users who have small collections of followers.
The update to these User and List importer is partially an adaptation to these changes. The importer shifts away from the follower network to focus on the communication interaction data in the content of Tweets. Since Twitter offers more generous access to Tweets than to information about who follows who, we are obliged to make better use of what they do offer.
The results are insightful! Here is a map of the connections among the members of the United States Congress.