If you want to secure your tweets against any issues that might happen to Twitter and its servers, consider backing up your Twitter shares. If you use Twitter as a bookmarking tool sharing the most interesting links you come across, you may want to create a searchable archive to be able to quickly find a link you remember sharing a few days or months ago.
Twitter search could be a good solution (there is also a handy from: operator that allows you to find all tweets from any user) but it is only able to work for recently shared links. Twitter search only stores tweets for up to 10 days. If you want to be able to search through older tweets, consider using one (or all) of these tools to create a searchable archive of your tweets or any other Twitter-powered databases.
1. Archive & Search Tweets Using Google Reader
The great thing about Twitter is that almost everything has an RSS feed. There is an RSS link for your own updates as well as for the updates from any user. There’s also an RSS link for any search results. Obviously, you can grab that RSS feed link to subscribe using Google Reader:
From now on, your Twitter archive will be stored within your Google Reader giving you flexibility to search using some Google advanced operators:
- Exclude Any Word From Your Search Results: use – key;
- Force Any Word In Your Search Results: use + key;
- Force An Exact Match: use quotes;
- Control The Proximity Of The Exact Match (wildcard search): use an asterisk to replace some words in your query.
Unlike general Google search (where one asterisk stands for one or more words), Google Reader search treats each asterisk as one word. This means that if you want two words in between your exact-match query, you will need to use two asterisks:
While this approach seems quite perfect, there are some issues reported about the number of updates archived via Google Reader. For some active hashtags, for example, Google Reader seems to pull only the most recent 30 results. This probably happens because Twitter limits the number of updates in its RSS. The possible workaround is the next tool.
2. Archive & Search Tweets Using TwapperKeeper
TwapperKeeper is a handy web-based tool that allows you to create Twitter archives from any #hashtag, keyword or @person. The archive is being constantly updated, can be exported to Excel and provides an RSS link for tracking:
You can use this RSS feed to archive and search Tweets in Google Reader or you can use the standalone tool and its inherent search options:
- Search by date;
- Search by Twitter user;
- Search by keyword;
- Filter out all RTs:
3. Archive & Search Tweets Using Trunk.ly
Trunk.ly is the most basic and sweetest tool of all listed in this article. All it does is store your Twitter, Facebook or any RSS feed updates and lets you search through it by keyword.
The sweet part is that:
- It has a very nice clutter-free interface which makes scanning through results quite fun;
- It displays a favicon for each source URL (for linked updates) which lets you easier identify the tweet;
- It aggregates your Twitter and Facebook shares.
Let’s Put it All Together!
|Google Reader||Twapper Keeper||Trunk.ly|
|Create archive for…||Any user, any search results (including advanced search results like near: and filter:links searches)||Any user, any hashtag, any keyword (no advanced search results here)||Your account (via auth) or any RSS feed|
|Search options||Exclude any word, force exact match, control the proximity||Set the date range, search by Twitter user, filter our RTs||None (search by keyword)|
Are you aware of any more ways to create a Twitter archive that would enable you to search for previously shared links and updates? Please let us know your thoughts!
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