Answering my own questions since 2001

My first ten tweets were particularly idiotic

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

I always think of that verse when I look at the number of times I’ve tweeted. Really? Every idle word? Man.

I recently learned (thanks to Tom) that Twitter now enables you to download an archive of all your tweets. I did so–all 23,201 of them. They come in a tidy HTML archive, as well as a CSV files for every month of tweets. To my dismay, these were my first tweets–the earliest is at the bottom:

I can’t even remember what the project was. It was evidently a wise choice to shelve it.

We are always fascinated by data about ourselves (consider LinkedIn’s recent clever email campaign congratulating users on being in the top 1, 5 or 10% of most-viewed profiles). So, I concatenated all 72 CSV files into one big spreadsheet, and produced an old-school tag cloud. Click to embiggen:

What conclusions can I draw from this?

  • I’m pretty sure that 95% of the ‘likes’ have nothing to do with Facebook. Do I have the written voice of a teenage girl?
  • My writing is way more informal on Twitter–look at all those instances of ‘heh’, ‘ah’ and ‘oh’ (insert dirty joke here).
  • Why is ‘Google’ so prominent? I have no idea.
  • I’m pretty sure most of the instances of ‘Thanks’ are me citing a source.
  • It’s interesting to see who I’ve tweeted at most.

Those are all fairly banal, but I suppose our own data is like our own dreams–fascinating to us, and boring to everybody else.

It’s a small pity that Twitter doesn’t include any data for number of favourites and retweets. I’d be curious what my most retweeted tweet was.

6 Responses to “My first ten tweets were particularly idiotic”

  1. Tom Raftery

    Hey Darren,

    thanks for the h/t in the post and for posting the how-to – I’ll have to try this out now.

    I’ll let you know how I do!

  2. Tim

    Hey Darren

    Thanks for the reminder that this is possible. I just downloaded my archive. I hope it’s cringe-worthy.

  3. bobby

    Darren

    9 out of those 10 tweets contained the word ‘Project’ or a translation of it. Can you post the projects detail in due course, should you recollect it.

    bobby

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