Twitter has made your archive of old tweets available.
For the fun (or embarrassment) of reviewing your first tweet and other early tweets or to find tweets from your early coverage of a story that’s back in the news, you should acquire and check out your Twitter archive.
Shea Bennett and Buffy Andrews give detailed instructions with illustrations, which I won’t repeat in detail here. Basically, you go to your Twitter settings, click the “request your archive” button and Twitter emails you a link to download the archive as a zip file. The zip file includes an html file where you can view the files and a csv file where you can get them in a spreadsheet.
Here’s my first tweet:
I’m signing up for twitter and trying to decide if it’s worth my time
— Steve Buttry (@stevebuttry) December 29, 2007
My decision five-plus years later:
— Steve Buttry (@stevebuttry) February 26, 2013
My Digital First colleague Ivan Lajara immediately started Storifying first tweets as we started confessing them. Hashtags sharing first tweets included #myfirsttweet and #firsttweets (did you notice or use any others?).
As Mandy Jenkins suggested in a Google Group discussion yesterday, this would make a good local engagement project, asking people in your community to share their first tweets and Storifying them. You could choose some finalists and have the community vote for best first tweet, most embarrassing first tweet, etc.
That’s fun, and if you’re doing something like that in your community, please share some links and descriptions here.
By the way, I beat Mandy onto Twitter (by three days), but she beat me at examining her archive to note some personal and professional milestones that she had tweeted. If you’ve blogged, Storified or otherwise curated your early tweets (or seen such a compilation from someone else), please share those links.
I’m going to explore my old tweets and will probably do a couple of self-indulgent memory-lane blog posts (travel tweets for sure) in the next few weeks. But here’s my question for you (I’ll try to think of my own answers): What are some uses you might make of the Twitter archive, other than nostalgia or fun?