Post 6: A Twitter Scrape

By Rebecca Tomas

As a way to further enhance my understanding and insight into the issue of housing affordability as a way to research more from an individuals point of view, we were advised to gather information and data through web scraping and more specifically scraping twitter. To me, twitter is a great way to find out information and an individuals opinion on a topic based on using hashtags and even a keyword as it is information that is concise (for the most part) using a 140 word limitation. By using twitter to scrape for data, I was able to find out some interesting insights into the issue by finding out ones personal opinion on the matter at hand and is it something I am familiar with as I do use twitter a lot compared to other social media platforms and one I am comfortable using.

One of the first processes I used was a plugin by Chrome using google spreads sheets called Twitter Archiver. I thought it was an extremely thorough and organised method of scraping twitter by categorising information by follows, retweets, location, favourites which shows how other individuals responded to the tweet. For this I used a few keywords and hashtags such as #RentersLife #GenerationRent #HousingAffordability and vice versa using keywords as well- I made sure to base my searches around in the Sydney area, however it would of also been interesting to look at Melbourne. Even though I did think this was a deep yet broad way to twitter scrape I was very overwhelmed by all the information given as there was so much to look and I did think the spreadsheet was very boring to filter through to try and find information and was not aesthetically pleasing at all.

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This brings me to my second method, which was more fun and more on the aesthetically pleasing side to filter through and twitter scrape. For my final method to twitter scrape I just used the Advanced twitter search engine which can be found just through Twitter itself. This was something I would have just used from the very beginning as I am more familiar with it and it is more engaging and easier to work with. Using this method I was able to find out what I was looking for easier and refine my searches more. Below are interesting and insightful tweets I found around the issue of housing affordability by searching ‘housing’ from various individuals in regards to the issue and also referring to some Australian Politicians and these individuals giving more of a personal and opinionated position on Housing Affordability.

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