Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sneaky Twitter Tweeting

Ok, so I was bored. And then I saw the challenge -

It came, ironically enough via Twitter.

It is a Twitter client that looks like Excel. If you boss walks past then he doesn't spot you wasting time.

Nice idea but lets see if we can take it further.

Twitter inside Excel. No tricks, no fake screens. Just the real deal. Create one sheet for work and one for play.

Ok, so how?

Step 1
Open Excel

Step 2
Click "data" then "xml" then "import" and put in the following URL:[userid].rss

UserId is your userID which you can get by logging into twitter, going to and hovering your mouse over the RSS logo on the right.

Step 3
It will ask you for your twitter username and password (unless you are logged in) and pull the information into excel. As a bonus you can right click, select XML and refresh the information.

Step 4
Different versions of Excel will work slightly differently.

Note that the information doesn't just magically appear in Excel, it is loaded via your browser (running in the background with no window) so if your employer has a proxy server (they should) with logging on (it should be) and they have suspicions about you (I hope not) they can still see your twitter browsing even if your boss can't see it by glancing over your shoulder.

Thank you Dominic for the challenge.

PS. using the Twitter API, it should be possible to post to twitter and see DMs and @ messages and your own status etc etc but I didn't feel like playing with it that much. Maybe I will. At the moment, you only get your personal stream, unsorted. In Excel.