I got tired of checking my twitter settings to see if the link to download my archive was available. I gave up. After all I do have thinkup running. Then I saw martin Hawksey tweet that he got his

Woah, if Martin got his, where was mine? ha ha. I jogged to my twitter account settings, and lo and behold (what the heck does that mean? what a cliché ) and the link was there:

tweets for me

Like Martin, I got my email response quickly, and followed the link to download.

I was not sure what I would get. I big old spreadsheet? Giant machine readable XML file? Woah, no, it is actually a completely self contained miniature web site, that even runs locally from your desktop, and, from what I can see, all JavaScript driven.

tweet archive

Yup run locally, and you get it all:

twitter arrchive

34,700 some tweets. On my laptop.

You get graphs, monthly stats, even the search works! That’s right, you can do on your desktop what you cannot do on twitter.com and search your own tweets. It had all the tweets from that first one right up to the one right before I clicked the download button.

Even better, the time/date link take you back to the original tweet. I went all the way back in time, to January 2007:

first tweets

And sure enough, I cam see my very first (and second, and third, and three thousand forty third) tweet:

My next thought, why not just upload it to my server? It is after all, mine. The Twitter download email warns:

Your archive may contain sensitive content, so please keep that in mind before sharing it with anyone.

which seems weird since it has already seen the light of day. Who has secret tweets? I’m no wife cheating congressman. So I set up a subdomain, and now my tweets are at http://tweets.cogdogblog.com/.

Im interested to learn more how this is put together. It looks like all of the content is in monthly archives as both JSON and CSV files. It is after all, a snapshot. I am curious how it is updated- do I just add the new data files? Is there a master index somewhere? (I have not even looked). It would be nice if there was an incremental update as a download.

I’m smart, I will just wait for Martin to figure out an update scheme

I feel so reclaimish.

Update (24 hours later) Well there goes Martin, genius. He created a google script which is able to keep the archive updated, and mine is set in motion. Genius.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Obviously hitting up the power users first. 🙂 I’m at 11K+ tweets so haven’t gotten the magic button yet. Maybe if I leave a comment here with the plaintive request “please, Mr. Twitter, may I have some more?” I’ll get some Twitter love. Really glad to know they’ve put all this functionality in–looks great. Will be looking forward to hearing about how to do rolling updates. (I can’t believe they wouldn’t have recognized that Twitter being Twitter, we’ll want frequent archive updates.)

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