It wasn't until I started writing this post that I realised how long I was a user of Twitter. For 2 days shy of 13 years (from Nov 16, 2009 to Nov Nov 14, 2022) I posted random thoughts, experimented (with geotagging, OAuth and more), and watched it change the internet with the invention of hashtags, retweets (before it was "via"),
@tags (before—while watching Ze Frank's The Show, after—when my friends all had handles that were just their names).
I even used it during its SMS-powered phase, where the 140 charcter limit came from; a tweet starting with your username (as they did back then) allowed for 20 characters of username and 140 characters of thought was the 160 limit of SMS.
In late 2022 I became very worried about the (then new) management of Twitter, particularly the choices it was making in data security, so I decided to vote with my feet. I collected my data with their export functionality, checked it briefly, then put it on a backup drive and forgot about it. Until this weekend…
I threw together some (crappy) Go code that processes the data from a Twitter export
.zip file and creates Hugo compatible markdown files for this blog. You can see the code in this blog's repo (currently on Github).
This code also tries to rescue as much data from other silos as possible (like link shorteners and image hosters), but there's definitely plenty missing. If you find a
j.mp shortener link still in there, then the data has already succumbed to linkrot, and I've left the (now dead) URL there in the unlikely event that I can pull info from an archive somewhere.
I did manage to manually download my (few) audioboo recordings from what's now audioboom.com, and serve them up here. If you want a few, short, mostly grumble-based, recordings of my voice from 15 years ago, you've come to the right place.
It's probably my age, and my recent proximity to death, but I've really enjoyed travelling back into my past by reading through my early days of Twitter over-sharing. In fact, all the digital history work I've done around importing things into this blog has been thoroughly enjoyably nostalgic. I'd recommend it!
And on that note I'll leave you with a nostalgic track, the first I seem to have posted to Twitter, The Mistabishi Remix of The Temper Trap's Science Of Fear: