Capturing all tweets for a hashtag, importing tweets from twitter search using an RSS

May 9, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Edited May 9, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Hi there,

I am looking to capture a small to medium sized collection of tweets that contain a particular hashtag, and use those to examine retweet trees and information cascades. Specifically I will be looking at identifying and characterising the influentials in a particular debate.

I have used the import function of NodeXL to import from the Twitter Search Network but realised that this only collects one tweet per person - their latest tweet - if that tweet includes the hashtag in question.

I would really like to collect ALL the tweets that include the hastag over a given time period. (I have access to a whitelisted account). Is there a way to do this within NodeXL that I haven't yet uncovered?

In my efforts to to do this myself I have subscribed to an RSS feed of the the twitter search on the hashtag in question with a view to importing the tweets I collect into a new NodeXL workbook. This may be sufficent for my purposes, but I'm very interested if anyone else has tackled this problem too.

Regards, Serena

Graduate Student, Social Research, Australian National University

May 9, 2011 at 11:06 PM


No, I'm afraid that NodeXL can't do what you need to do.  The Twitter Search Network works exactly as you pointed out -- it gets just one tweet per person.

I'm sure you're familiar with Twitter's advanced search feature, accessible at  Of course, you then have to get the returned tweets into a format that Excel understands.

If you are a programmer, Twitter's Search API ( can be used to get exactly what you need, in whatever format you want, in any programming language that can do an HTTP GET.  That's what NodeXL is using under the covers.

Perhaps someone else knows of another tool that will get you your information without requiring any programming.

-- Tony

May 17, 2011 at 6:13 AM

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your reply. I think I'll leave the programming to a larger scale project.

Its good to at least hear my understanding of what NodeXL returns is accurate. The RSS feed sort of worked - but only as long as i was logged in to the reader (Outlook was in fact the most effective, and potentially easier to import to NodeXL).



Nov 12, 2013 at 1:13 PM
Hi Serena,

Your post wadi on 2011 but i was looking for sort of similar information now and ran into it. are you still active here ? if yes, i would like to hear from you about the issue you encountered two years ago and if you are now having a way to deal with it (if it is still a subject of interest to you).
The RSS could also be helpful if you can pinpoint how you did it and if we can still get updates when we are not online !

Is google refine a help with this regard? NEtviz? etc. ..

thanks in advance