SiteSummary: Social Media Data

Posted on Sun Jun 22 2014

The 2.2 update of Simple Sharing Buttons Generator, a tool that lets you add sharing buttons to your website without loading tons of unnecessary code, introduced a nice little feature: After filling out the URL, clicking the “magic wand” icon would automatically fetch the basic information about the website – title, description, associated Twitter handle and image preview – if available.

This was handled by an internal service with an unfortunate name OpenGraphReader. The name came from how the service would at first attempt to read the Open Graph data from the website when determining the information about the site. If no Open Graph data was found, Twitter’s own markup would be used. If this was not found, the site would simply be scraped and the necessary tags would be extracted.

I’ve recently added an extra feature – fetching of the social data (shares, likes, tweets, comments, etc) from various social networks. I renamed the service to a more apt SiteSummary.

I put a little example of what you can do with the service on GitHub – a simple social media monitoring dashboard. You don’t need to know how to code at all, all it takes is just adding your URLs in a text file.

A demo is also available here.