September 26, 2012, 11:16 AM —
Are you attached to your tweets? Do you consider them valuable pieces of content that you lovingly crafted or diary entries tracking your day-to-day - or minute-to-minute - activities since you first signed up with the little blue bird? Do you want to be able to relive what you had for lunch on February 24, 2010 (and whether you enjoyed it)?
If your answer to these questions is “No” then I salute you for having your priorities straight.
If, however, your answer - like mine - is “Hells, yes!” then some (potential) good news for you came out of last week’s Online News Association conference in San Francisco. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that by the end of this year users will be able to download their entire archive of tweets.
— Juana Summers (@jmsummers) September 21, 2012
I love Twitter and I love tweeting. I’ve been doing it for five years to the tune of 21,143 (and counting) tweets. As one who in the past has written jokes professionally for late night TV, I’ve always viewed tweeting as a comedy writing exercise. I’ve generally tried to make my tweets entertaining (mom enjoys them, at least).
Since I view my tweets as original content that I created, I’ve also been concerned about having access to - or just having in my possession - my entire archive of tweets. It’s always been annoying to not be able to easily access or search through my entire tweet history. Why can’t I just, say, search for my tweets from December 2009 if I want to?
Dave Winer has written that tweets are content, for which Twitter pays nothing but from which it benefits greatly. If that’s the case (and I agree that it is) at the very least we should be able to get to the content that we create, shouldn’t we? Whether certain tweeters should get paid for it, is another matter for another post.