I will dedicate today’s post to something slightly out of the ordinary, as I’m not going to discuss some coding, or other jQuery plugin I have tested lately, but instead spend a few of my un-precious minutes on something which may be very helpful to you.
If you’re (like me) a twitter addict and you like sharing loads of good stuff with the ever-growing webdesign community on the now-famous birdy application, then on one or two occasions, you MUST have found yourself looking for something YOU had tweeted about.
It’s on the tip of your tongue, you know it, you’ve posted it on twitter a few months ago, but still, it ain’t coming back to you. If this has happened to you, and since it’s only a matter of days before your tweets become untraceable, you must have thought: “I need to get a backup of my tweets one of those days”.
Well this is what i thought of doing only a few days ago, and when I saw a number of tools advertising the possibility to integrate a backup of tweets into Google Calendar, i thought my alcohol-hit memory problems were past.
Unfortunately, i quickly found out that tools such Twistory could do very little if Google were to change their settings and change the behaviour of their calendar utility. I did look for alternative solutions but wasn’t able to find a working one.
I then decided to do this the hard way, i.e. manually. It doesn’t take neither a genius nor an hour to do this so I thought I would share it with you, bearing in mind that something automatic (with the folks from Twistory or others) is likely to come out very soon, and help you get this done in a more smooth and lazy-do-it-for-me manner.
Any way, talking is over. Here’s how I did import a backup of more than 700 tweets into my google calendar, in order to make them time-stamped and easily searchable.
Backup your tweets
Get one of those Twitter backup solution to extract all your tweets in one go. Be careful to do this before reaching the limit of 3200 tweets. I used for this Tweetake, third-party app which lets you backup your tweets but also your DM’s, favorites and more. I don’t have any preference as far as those tools are concerned. I’m in no way affiliated or sponsored by this particular one. It’s just Tweetake is the first one I have tried, you log in using Twitter’s OAuth system and it works straight away. Extract your tweets into a csv file. You will get something like this:
Manipulate your CSV
Then it’s only a question of manipulating the CSV file to make it compliant to the Google Calendar importing tool. I can only encourage you to read the Help about CSV file, which you’ll find here. It states that the minimum requirements are a Subject AND a Start Date, but really you’d need more than that to make your backup a precise one. I replaced the ‘status text’ header by ‘Subject’, did some manipulating (text to columns) on the ‘status date’ to isolate date and time on the right format (as you can see below). And I copied and pasted a few columns to duplicate Start Date and Start Time to get End Date and End Time.
Import your data into Google Calendar
This all done, you can log into your Google calendar, go to the settings panel, anc click on Calendars. Click on the import link and browse to your CSV, and you’re done. A minute or so later, all your tweets will be saved as single and time-stamped events in your calendar, and you will be able to search through them using the google search through my calendars functionality.
As I stated it below, while waiting that one of those third party services gets it right and makes it all easy for us, we can find a minute to do this manually, a few times a year.
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