Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
- You participated in a Twitter discussion or event, using a hashtag
- Because there was so much great content in the discussion, you planned to go back to it later to use it as a basis for your next blog.
- You go to search.twitter.com, put in the hashtag and the search comes up blank.
If this rings true to you, here some simple steps to archive your Tweets and quickly create blogs with them.
1. Why are all your Tweets gone?
“Did you know that your tweets have an expiration date on them? While they never really disappear from your own Twitter stream, they become unsearchable in only a matter of days. At first, Twitter held onto your tweets for around a month, but as the service grew more popular, this “date limit” has dramatically shortened. According to Twitter’s search documentation, the current date limit on the search index is “around 1.5 weeks but is dynamic and subject to shrink as the number of tweets per day continues to grow.”
2. Is there anything I can do?
Yes, there are many tools on the market that can help you archive your Tweets yourself. One that Sara also mentions in her blog has already found favor with me and my social media colleagues here at SAP, as it also gives you nice statistics on your Twitter activity:
- The Archivist: This tool comes as a download as well as a hosted version. Simply create a search and then save for later.
- I personally like Twapper Keeper a lot, as you set up once and come back when you need to. The archive provides no statistics and simply lists the Tweets on one page.
3. Is there an easier way to use Tweets for blogging than to cut and paste?
Make sure to give yourself some time for your Twitter archive to load (at least a few hours). Then you can create a blog right in the tool by pulling Tweets from a Twitter stream on the page.
4. And one last tip: apart from the Library of Congress, Google also keeps your Tweets archived. While you can always search for a Tweet, my colleague Brian Rice showed me this trick today that gives you the archive (full disclosure, this search did not pull up all the Tweets, only the ones Google had crawled, which seemed like a small subset to me):
Example: if you want to find all Tweets on the hashtag #SAPWorldTourIT, you can use this search string: Intext:#SAPWorldTourIT site:Twitter.com