Sometimes, it’s interesting to learn what is being Tweeted (micro-blogged) about particular topics in real time along with who is posting which messages. NodeXL enables the extraction of individuals engaged in a particular hashtag-labeled microblogging conversation through Twitter’s application programming interface (API). This entry will provide an overview of how this is done.
A hashtag is a snippet of text prefaced with a # (hashtag or pound) sign which indicates that the message is focused on a particular theme or topic. In Twitter, the microblogging site, various Tweeted threads are collected around hashtags for coherent 140-character conversations from people from around the world.
A hashtag search of Twitter, then, involves the extraction of entities (Twitter accounts representing people, robots, and cyborgs) who have conversed around a particular topic. The application programming interface (API) used in NodeXL only extracts hashtag searches Tweeted in the prior week and a half.