Automate Search Widget Creation


I’m building a network of sites and upon the provisioning of a new site, I’d like to have a Twitter Search widget displaying tweets from a hashtag search relevant to the site name shown in the sidebar.

For example, if a new network site is provisioned at, there would be a Search widget in the sidebar displaying tweets for #ilovetwitter.

What would be a good way to create to Twitter widgets automatically upon new site provisioning?

Here are some of the solutions I’m considering:

  1. Use a web test framework such as SimpleTest to automate the widget creation and widget id extraction via the Twitter website. Unfortunately this is fragile and Twitter imposes a limit of 100 widgets which is too low. I guess I could create multiple accounts but that will be messy to manage.
  2. Ingest searched tweets in a local DB and create a widget myself. I like this approach however the Twitter API rate limiting is a concern since I’ll be searching for tweets frequently and the number of sites will be > 10,000. Again, I could create a bunch of accounts but that seems messy as well.

Ideally, I’d prefer creating new widgets via an API call however that doesn’t seem to be possible. Ideas?


The Twitter embedded search timeline widget currently requires a widget ID and does not support a search query override. This setup means you will need a widget ID for each search query you would like to display on your site.