Sina Weibo data-grabbing tools for Linux

I’ve written some quick tools for grabbing basic data from Sina Weibo‘s API, clearly the most popular of the “Chinese Twitters”. You can get them here:

JMSCHKU Social on GitHub.com

Using these same tools, I managed to produce this mini-survey of Zhong Riqin’s followers across China in less than an hour.

In this version of the tools, you can get the latest statuses (limited to 200 by Sina), user info, friends and followers (both limited to the last 9999 ones — namely #0-5000 and 4999-9999).

For those who are not familiar with Sina Weibo, it’s quickly evolving past the stage of simply being a Twitter clone, providing novel interface innovations such as the ability to make blog-style comments. Another cool thing about Sina Weibo? Commitment to be open.

The API is almost similar to Twitter’s aside from Sina idiosyncrasies. Also, Sina Weibo still provides basic authentication, on top of OAuth. So, in plain language, it means that you can do data-pulling just with a simple username and password, rather than use tokens that need to be generated, etc. That’s why I can afford to have a sinagetter.sh, a Bash shell script.

The repository also has my Twitter-related code, but most of it hasn’t been updated for a while. I just made a new version of twitter.users.py, a script that grabs user info by unique Twitter ID.

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