I archived my Twitter
Published by Jack Lo Russo on / 4 min read
I loved Twitter. I’m happy to admit it. I spent many years there, laughed a lot, learned a lot, met some great people, and just generally got far more personal and professional value out of it than any other social media platform.
Recently I logged in and was greeted with this:
It was bittersweet. The intrusion of the ‘X’ brand on the moment tainted any nostalgia I was feeling, although I had to note the opportunities for wordplay… Roman numeral for 10, my ex-community…
Sidenote: I’ve actually been on Twitter for more than 10 years. I created an account when I was 14 and used it to exclusively talk about rugby league and my beloved St George Illawarra Dragons for a year or two before I got really self-conscious and embarrassed about it and deleted it. I wish I kept it!
Twitter was a real micro-blog for me. A journal. Personal stories and photos (particularly ones that weren’t aesthetic enough for platforms like Instagram), musings on design and web development, a lot of celebrating and moaning about my sports teams. Plus a whole bunch of conversations and interactions with others that helped shape me.
What if I want to keep all of this online, or at least have a say about taking it offline?
You can’t rely on any social media platform to maintain your content and history in perpetuity — terms of service and even their very existence are inevitably subject to change. It has to be said that you especially can’t trust
Considering I will never tweet again (and wouldn’t be caught dead ‘x-ing’ or ‘posting an x’), who knows what Elon will do with my account? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s days are numbered.
I also really wouldn’t be surprised if they got rid of the ability to download your twitter archive, or made it a paid feature. I figured I’d act now before it’s too late.
Tweetback saves the day
Tweetback allows you to take ownership of your Twitter data and “get your tweets back”. It’s a project that takes your Twitter archive and builds an Eleventy site where every tweet has its own independent URL (with backwards/forwards threading too!)
I definitely recommend it, it was extremely easy to get my archive site up and running.
Read ‘Archive your tweets with Tweetback’ by Zach Leatherman to learn more!
Some fun stats from twitter.jacklorusso.com
- 7,580 tweets
- My tweets have been given about ♻️ 1,350 retweets and ❤️ 23,128 likes
- I’ve retweeted other tweets 1,193 times (15.7%)
- 56.6% of my tweets are replies (×4,288)
- I used 473 unique emoji on 2,601 tweets (40.7% of all tweets)
- Top 5 emoji in order: 😍 ☺️ 😂 🙌 ✨
- I used 429 hashtags on 428 tweets (6.7% of all tweets)
- Top 5 hashtags in order: #design, #ux, #productdesign, #RedV, #sydcss
Won’t you just cause this problem for yourself again?
Yes, I am still using social media. I’m even still micro-blogging — you can follow me on Bluesky if you like.
But I’m encouraged by the direction of social networks like Bluesky and Mastodon that are embracing protocols over platforms, decentralization and portability. I think we are at a real social media crossroads, and there are some paths that are better than others. Some of the pitfalls of putting years of content into a siloed platform like Twitter can be avoided. I have more thoughts on this topic that I’ll share another time.
More importantly though, I plan on using jacklorusso.com a whole lot more than in the past. Owning my content is more important to me now, and nothing beats posting on your own website.
I think it’s really cool that I’m in control of 10 years of my micro-blogging history and content again. If my archive ever goes offline, it will be my choice.