Hi John,
I took a look at the streaming API but was slightly put off but the
"alpha" statement that it could be changed at any point and could be
done for extended periods - however, I'll take another look.

I think I get the gist of accessing streaming via PHP - it looks like
you run a script from the command line which constantly/periodically
processes the stream - thus keeping a single connection open which
seems like a killer point in the documentation. I'll try and find some
best practive PHP code for this.

How does rate limiting affect this then? If I have 20K requests per
hour would it be fair to extrapoloate that this method could handle 2K
users per hour on the basis that each has 10 tweets to parse? Is that
how the 20K would be "spent"?

thanks for your help with this

Joel

p.s. thanks Kyle for your response

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