Tweetchive is a little hack I made to show various views of a user’s 3200 last tweets. The coolest thing is the map view, there are also buttons for text, pictures, and links. It’s not a complete product but I’m not sure if I’ll put more time into it and it’s useful enough to share. I was inspired to build this by All My Tweets.

I made this because I write a lot on Twitter and wasn’t satisfied with their archive presentation. It’s awkward to find old tweets by text content. And the geodata is mostly invisible, there’s nothing like my map. So I used the API and built my own archive view!

I launched this now because I fear this kind of hack will soon be harder to do. Twitter has signaled heavily for over a year that they’re uncomfortable with products that use the Twitter API to build competing clients. That stance makes some business sense but I worry they will make non-threatening projects like mine difficult. If Twitter puts more restrictions on the API I hope they do something else to make a person’s own tweets easily accessible to them (including old tweets). Twitter is the steward of our content, they owe us archival access.

The implementation is a client-heavy Javascript app. My server just sends static HTML and Javascript. The browser does unauthenticated API fetches via JSONP and uses localStorage to cache data for repeat visits. The Javascript source is pretty readable if you’re curious. It’s remarkably fast despite being bloated and unoptimized. The key thing is none of the traffic goes through my server, keeping everything very lightweight for me.

Update July 24: the Twitter CEO has gone on record saying "We're working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets".
Disclosure: I have a financial interest in Twitter
  2012-07-24 23:24 Z