31 Oct 2009

Converting TweetDeck Groups Into Twitter Lists

Posted by khk

Getting your Groups out of TweetDeck… Again!

If you are a regular on Twitter, you’ve probably heard about the new feature that is currently getting rolled out to more and more users: Lists. On the surface, they look pretty much like the TweetDeck groups, but once you start digging a bit deeper, there are a number of things that you can do with lists that are not possible with groups.

Even though the TweetDeck folks have indicated that lists will be added to TweetDeck soon, I did not want to wait, to get my TweetDeck groups into Twitter lists.

I’ve written a number of posts before that explained how to extract group information from TweetDeck and other Twitter applications, we can use these techniques to extract the group members and use the Twitter API to create new list and fill these lists with users.

This time, I will do this using the Mac version of TweetDeck – mainly because every Mac comes with all the parts that are necessary to accomplish this task (Perl, sqlite3), but also because I needed it for the Mac, and just did not have time to look at a Windows based solution yet.

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Download this Perl script, copy it to your Mac and rename it to TD2TL.pl:

Then edit the file and provide your Twitter username and password – potentially you also need to modify the path to the TweetDeck database file. I’ve only tried this on a few TweetDeck installations, and it seems to work, but if things go wrong, find that file and modify that path as well.

The next step is easy: Just run the program from the command line by either making it executable, or by calling Perl with the program file on the command line:

chmod 755 ./TD2TL.pl

perl ./TD2TL.pl

While the script is running, it will report what it’s doing (e.g. creating a list, or adding users to a list). Once it’s done, you will have these groups available as Twitter lists – without the hassle to go through all your 1000 followed Tweeters and manually assign them to lists.

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5 Responses to “Converting TweetDeck Groups Into Twitter Lists”

  1. Karl Heinz:
    Thanks for posting and sharing this. Very technical and good. Here’s my question. I love using tweetdeck, is it really worth my time to convert my groups to lists on Twitter? Is it because it offers greater twitter search capability? Help me understand oh, wise guru!



  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Karl Heinz Kremer and Hannah Morgan, EdwinRitter. EdwinRitter said: RT @careersherpa via @khkremer:How to convert TweetDeck Groups to Twitter Lists http://bit.ly/4cvaHC #twitter #tweetdeck #MAC […]

  3. Hannah,
    there are a number of things you can do with Twitter lists that you cannot do with TweetDeck groups – a big one is sharing: You can actually publish a group, and others can subscribe to it. This way, you don’t have to create your own group of “Rochester Tweeps”, just use one that already looks complete (enough). From a vanity point of view, you can also see who added you to a list, and who your fellow-list-tweeps are…

    Having said that, I assume that TweetDeck will provide a straight forward interface to lists soon (see the link that I’ve posted). So, if you are not into trying to figure out new toys without a good user manual, I would just wait until TweetDeck gives you a nice user interface.

    Karl Heinz



  4. Karl, been looking for something just like this. Will it work on Win7?



  5. I did test the software with Win7. It worked for me, but my Win7 installation is bare bones. Give it a try and let me know.