This week I shared my Project Life 2011 | Week 1 and talked a little about how to document in-depth for days gone past. When I started going through all of the ways I documented what was going on in January of 2011 in July 2012, I was honestly expecting to rely heavily on Twitter. I tweet at a frequency that my IRL friends think is psychotic. At the time of the writing of this post, I was at about 5,500 Tweets, but about 1,000 of them were in the last month. I know. I have a problem.
I started researching ways to search for my old tweets and found out a fact that was devastating for life-documenting-addict me: my tweets from January 2011 are no longer accesible. Through Twitter, you can only go back through a few days of your tweets. But even third-party apps don’t help: the Twitter API only allows apps to go back 3,200 tweets per user. Which will only take me to last summer (darn).
Here are 7 of my newly-researched favorite ways to save current tweets and search for old ones (within the last 3,200 Tweets, that is):
1. Tweet Backup
Tweet Backup is by far my favorite tweet archiving service. It backs up your archives back to the limit of 3,200 tweets, creates a list of those you follow on Twitter. Now I know that all of the tweets that can be accessed now will be saved, as well as all my tweets going forward. Win.
Evernote is a documentation site and note-taking application for much much more than tweets (we even wrote a Website Wednesday post on it). However, it does allow tweet documentation on top of all of the other cool things it does. Evernote allows you send your public Twitter messages and private DMs right into Evernote where they can be searched and stored permanently. You have to put “@myEN” into the tweet, which stinks, but it is good way to archive tweets selectively (those you intend to use later for memory keeping, for example).
Twime Machine allows you to search all of the tweets of a specific user. Search for yourself and you’ve got your archives! It’s the fastest site I’ve found to load all 3,200 of my available archives, which I can then scroll through in reverse chronological order. I also love that I can quickly switch from looking at my archives to Jake’s. You can also search for specific words, though I do find it a little annoying that search results are only highlighted in your archives instead of presented in a separate list.
4. Snap Bird
Snap Bird is very similar to Twime Machine. You find your archives or someone else’s by searching for a specific user name. Snap Bird is irritating in that it only searches 100 tweets at a time, while Twime Machine displays all available tweets in one shot. (Also annoying: Snap Bird says it searches 1,000 tweets at a time but only searches 100 at a time.) I do like that Snap Bird presents searched items in a list on their own, however, which is an improvement on Twime Machine’s highlighting in a user’s whole list.
Tweetake is fun because it allows you to document your favorites, followers tweets’, friends’ tweets, your tweets, your direct messages, or all of the above. Most sites only allow you to do some of these things or downloads a list of your friends instead of their tweets (don’t think I need my friends’ tweets, but it’s still nice to know).
I’m still messing with Tweetake and haven’t always been able to get it to work correctly. (The UTF-8 worked for me and the UTF-16 didn’t. Couldn’t tell you why.) It also isn’t ideal because it allows you to export your info in an Excel document, but doesn’t automatically back up as you go (so you’d end up with lots of Excel documents–ugh).
Topsy is a little more complicated to use, but with advanced search, you can search tweets in a particular time range and using keywords. This might be the most useful if you’re trying to remember, say, what you thought of a movie you went to go see last February.
I also used Topsy to find some tweets about me that I didn’t know were out there!
Last but not least, you can use Facebook to document your tweets. You can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that all of your tweets post to your Facebook wall or Facebook page (@replies and Direct Messages don’t post). Thankfully, Jake already did this. That’s how I ended up with cool tidbits from January 2011 in Project Life 2011 | Week 1. Thank goodness for timeline.
I’m not using this method, because I tweet too much. My Facebook friends would think I was taking over their feed. I’m instead using TweetDeck (which we talk about in-depth here). With TweetDeck, I can decide where a post is going: I can post once and choose if I want it to go to Twitter, Facebook, our Facebook Page, or any combination of those. I’m intending to send the tweets I want saved on over to Facebook, so that I won’t have to search through all of my daily tweets in my archives for the scrapbook-worthy tweets.
Special note: Laura of MacGirl’s Adventures and Jen of hclappy recommend the Momento App for the iphone. It records and archives from multiple social media sites! I can’t try it out, because Jake and I have Androids (the Momento App for Android doesn’t look to be the same thing), but it looks awesome and comes cheap.
Do you do anything to document your Tweets? Do you want them archived, or are you okay with them disappearing into nothingness?