Twitter time travel

Unlike some of my peers I never bothered making any kind of backup of my Twitter activity. I’ve treated it as something disposable for the most part – with anything with staying power surfacing elsewhere (usually here on this blog.)

That said curiosity got the better of me and when Twitter offered the chance to download my full archive I did it straightaway.

Firstly I have to say they have done a really nice job of it! I had an email confirming my archive was available for download within minutes of requesting it and it is a nice package. Offering JSON for the devs, CSV for the data wranglers and a really nice HTML interface for the lazy (i.e. me!)

I was pleased to see that my 4th ever Tweet kicked off a long running theme that continues to this day;

It was also interesting to see that my usage of Twitter has been rising steadily over the years – funnily enough my feeling was that my connection to Twitter peaked in 2010 but clearly this was wishful thinking as 10 of the 12 busiest months for me were all in 2012!


Skimming through my archive it is also clear that my usage spikes when I am struggling at work and need to vent or just escape. To be honest this has been a particularly tough year so maybe that explains the excessive use sometimes. My god I moan ALOT – how the hell do I still have any followers! A resolution for 2013 is to be a bit less of an ever present on Twitter but also to be a bit more bloody positive on there (I’ll save the moaning for Facebook!)

Its fun to see the service evolve as well through my own archive – the rise of the @message and #hashtag – early references to live-tweeting conferences and conversations with people who have long since quit using Twitter (plus a friend or two who have passed away..)

My Twitter community has shifted over time as well from a very Jisc centric one made up of more than a few digital savvy library types with a sprinkling of ‘internet personalities’ to something today that is pretty split between a very West Country section and then what I guess is best described as the #ukgovcamp crowd. There are still a few Jiscies in the mix but they are less and less prevalent.

Anyway it provided a fun little nostalgia trip and the impetus to shake up my usage a little bit but I’ll be back to treating it all as something disposable soon enough. I pretty much stand by this tweet in 2008 (apart from the term ‘micro-blogging’ urrggh!)

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