Tag Archives: bit.ly

Bit.ly offers a very simple API for creating short URLs. The service can also provide you with some basic click statistics. Unfortunately there are a few missing pieces to the API. To get around that you’ll have to keep a list of bit.ly links you want to track. Depending on your situation you may need to keep some of the information updated regularly and stored locally to do a deeper analysis of your links.

There are a couple of advanced tricks you can use to get more out of your tracking.

  1. Add GET arguments to the end of the URL to split test
  2. – If you want to track clicks from different sources that land at the same page you need use different links. The easiest way to create two links to the same page is to append a GET argument. So if you wanted to promote my site http://halotis.com and wanted to compare Twitter to AdWords then you could create bit.ly links to http://halotis.com?from=twitter and http://halotis.com?from=adwords. You can add more information with more arguments such as http://halotis.com/?from=adwords&adgroup=group1. If you control the landing page, then you will see those arguments in Google Analytics and will have even more information about who clicked your links.

  3. Look at stats for any bit.ly link including referring sites, real-time click time-lines, and locations by adding a + to the end of it: http://bit.ly/10HYCo+
  4. Find out which other bit.ly users have shortened a link using the API – google.com bitly info
  5. Use the javascript library to grab stats and embed them into a webpage — see code below

Get click count stats inserted with this Javascript example code. Just update the login & ApiKey and put this in the head section of your webpage:

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://bit.ly/javascript-api.js?version=latest&login=YOURBITLYLOGIN&apiKey=YOURAPIKEYGOESHERE"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">
	BitlyCB.myStatsCallback = function(data) {
		var results = data.results;
 
		var links = document.getElementsByTagName('a');
		for (var i=0; i < links.length; i++) {
			var a = links[i];
			if (a.href && a.href.match(/^http\:\/\/bit\.ly/)) {
				var hash = BitlyClient.extractBitlyHash(a.href);
				if (results.hash == hash || results.userHash == hash) {
					if (results.userClicks) {
						var uc = results.userClicks + " clicks on this bit.ly URL. ";
					} else {
						var uc = "";
					}
 
					if (results.clicks) {
						var c = results.clicks;
					} else {
						var c = "0";
					}
					c += " clicks on all shortened URLS for this source. ";
 
					var sp = BitlyClient.createElement('span', {'text': " [ " + uc + c + " ] "});
					a.parentNode.insertBefore(sp, a.nextSibling);
				}
			}
 
		};
 
	}
 
	// wait until page is loaded to call API
	BitlyClient.addPageLoadEvent(function(){
		var links = document.getElementsByTagName('a');
		var fetched = {};
		var hashes = [];
		for (var i=0; i < links.length; i++) {
			var a = links[i];
			if (a.href && a.href.match(/^http\:\/\/bit\.ly/)) {
				if (!fetched[a.href]) {
					BitlyClient.stats(BitlyClient.extractBitlyHash(a.href), 'BitlyCB.myStatsCallback');
					fetched[a.href] = true;
				}
			}
		};
 
	});
	</script>

If you want to have a small command line script that can fetch this data from bit.ly and print it then check out this Python script that uses the bitly library which makes it very easy:

import bitly       #http://code.google.com/p/python-bitly/
BITLY_LOGIN = "YOUR_BITLY_LOGIN"
BITLY_API_KEY = "YOUR_BITLY_API_KEY"
 
short_url='http://bit.ly/31IqMl'
 
b = bitly.Api(login=BITLY_LOGIN,apikey=BITLY_API_KEY)
stats = b.stats(short_url)
print "%s - User clicks %s, total clicks: %s" % (short_url, stats.user_clicks, stats.total_clicks)

I was a little bored today and decided to write up a simple script that pushes RSS feed information out to Twitter and manages to keep track of the history so that tweets are not sent out more than once.

It was actually a very trivial little script to write but it could actually be useful for something that I’m working on in the future.

The script makes use of an Sqlite database to store history and bit.ly for shortening URLs. I’ve made heavy use of some really nice open source libraries to make for a very short and sweet little script.

Grab the necessary python libraries:
python-twitter
python-bitly
feedparser

You’ll need to sign up for free accounts at Twitter and Bit.ly to use this script.

Hopefully someone out there can take this code example to do something really cool with Twitter and Python.

Update: I’ve added some bit.ly link tracking output to this script. After it twitters the RSS feed it will print out the click count information for every bit.ly link.

from time import strftime
import sqlite3
 
import twitter     #http://code.google.com/p/python-twitter/
import bitly       #http://code.google.com/p/python-bitly/
import feedparser  #available at feedparser.org
 
 
DATABASE = "tweets.sqlite"
 
BITLY_LOGIN = "bitlyUsername"
BITLY_API_KEY = "api key"
 
TWITTER_USER = "username"
TWITTER_PASSWORD = "password"
 
def print_stats():
	conn = sqlite3.connect(DATABASE)
	conn.row_factory = sqlite3.Row
	c = conn.cursor()
 
	b = bitly.Api(login=BITLY_LOGIN,apikey=BITLY_API_KEY)
 
	c.execute('SELECT title, url, short_url from RSSContent')
	all_links = c.fetchall()
 
	for row in all_links:
 
		short_url = row['short_url']
 
		if short_url is None:
			short_url = b.shorten(row['url'])
			c.execute('UPDATE RSSContent SET `short_url`=? WHERE `url`=?',(short_url,row['url']))
 
 
		stats = b.stats(short_url)
		print "%s - User clicks %s, total clicks: %s" % (row['title'], stats.user_clicks,stats.total_clicks)
 
	conn.commit()
 
def tweet_rss(url):
 
	conn = sqlite3.connect(DATABASE)
	conn.row_factory = sqlite3.Row
	c = conn.cursor()
 
	#create the table if it doesn't exist
	c.execute('CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS RSSContent (`url`, `title`, `dateAdded`, `content`, `short_url`)')
 
	api = twitter.Api(username=TWITTER_USER, password=TWITTER_PASSWORD)
	b = bitly.Api(login=BITLY_LOGIN,apikey=BITLY_API_KEY)
 
	d = feedparser.parse(url)
 
	for entry in d.entries:
 
		#check for duplicates
		c.execute('select * from RSSContent where url=?', (entry.link,))
		if not c.fetchall():
 
			tweet_text = "%s - %s" % (entry.title, entry.summary)
 
			shortened_link = b.shorten(entry.link)
 
			t = (entry.link, entry.title, strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S", entry.updated_parsed), entry.summary, shortened_link)
			c.execute('insert into RSSContent (`url`, `title`,`dateAdded`, `content`, `short_url`) values (?,?,?,?,?)', t)
			print "%s.. %s" % (tweet_text[:115], shortened_link)
 
			api.PostUpdate("%s.. %s" % (tweet_text[:115], shortened_link))
 
	conn.commit()
 
if __name__ == '__main__':
  tweet_rss('http://www.halotis.com/feed/')
  print_stats()