Twitter - Saving your Tweets

Posted by Fenil Desai | 1:20 AM | | View Comments

Follow me on Twitter In my ever ending search for a tool/technology to manage my inflow of information from the Web, I opened a Twitter account that could also act as a set of pseudo-bookmarks. My IE8 and Firefox bookmarks already stretch to the floor when expanded. Plus, I'm convinced that there must be some unknown aspect of HCI that dictates that once something is saved as a bookmark, it is never opened again. Bookmarks drop downs are about as user-friendly as crotch rot. I've looked at Evernote and OneNote, the latter being the most promising to date. I plan to take another look at the products from Microsoft Live Labs.
Recently, I passed the 700 tweet mark and decided to archive what I had. But how? I gleaned the following tidbits from "Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets" by Paul McFedries - founder and CEO of Mashable. You can save a local copy of your tweets by entering the following URL in your browser:
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/account.xml?count=n

where account = your account name, and
n = number of tweets

Tweets XML

This will open n number of your tweets to date in XML in your browser. From here, you can import your saved XML file into Excel 2007 as follows:
1) In Excel, click on the Data tab

2) Data -> From Other Data Sources - From XML Data Import

3) Click a cell where you want to import the data to

4) Save as, using the id of the last tweet
Save Tweets

Tweets URL

The reason I include the last Tweet id# is to make it easy to archive next time, starting where I left off and using the following syntax:
http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/account.xml?since_id=6839319097

If you look at the Excel sheet you will see that the last tweet had an ID of 6839319097. This will download an XML version of all my tweets since then. Now I have a proper archive of my tweets that I can search on :-)
From here, you might want to take a look at the TweetSharp API - a complete .NET library allowing you to build Twitter applications in C# and .NET 3.5. I've started reading a great book on the topic: "Professional Twitter Development with Examples in .NET 3.5" by Daniel Crenna.

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