We belatedly announce a new service to retrieve all the comments or reposts of any given Sina Weibo post. The service will be very useful for researchers who want to study the contents of chatter surrounding any single post. We created a Google Form to submit posts to the system:
A Weibo ID is a 16-digit long numerical identifier. One way to find a post ID is to use one of our tools: WeiboScope and WeiboScope Search both expose the weibo ID). If you found your post via the Weibo.com website, once you are on the single post website (such as this one), go to the source code (press Ctrl-U if you are on Google Chrome) and do a Find (Ctrl-F) on “mid=”. The first digit starting with a 3 you find following “mid=” is your post ID (in the example we gave it’s “3433594570011824″).
Once you have your bunch of IDs, you can paste them, one per line, into the form and wait. The program running on our server will start to collect the posts using the Sina Weibo Open API and send you an e-mail that your job was queued. If the job is successful, you will get a second e-mail that tells you that all is ok, along a link to a zip file with your results in CSV format.
Try it and tell us if it works for you!
(I had the inspiration to write this service from the time when I was working in bioinformatics in the mid-2000s and where those sort of tasks, to find patterns in DNA or protein sequences, etc., normally took more time than a web user can wait for.)
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