anyone have suggestions for storify type tool that can handle tweets older than 1 week please?
— The Unit List (@theunitlist) August 29, 2012
This post is about freely available tools - there may well be paid-for tools that will do this job even better, please feel free to share in comments. Epilogger is a free tool which I've not yet had cause to use but it might be worth investigating for this - I think it can do more than other tools.
There are two things to think about here. The first is finding old tweets, the second is capturing them. These are separate but related.
Storify (and Chirpstory which is a similar tool) can often find tweets that are more than a week old although this will also depend on the number of related tweets. If a popular event has had thousands of hashtagged tweets then these tools will only be able to find tweets from one or two days back.
Topsy.com is a great free tool that can find tweets going back much further in time, however it doesn't let you find them in a nicely ordered way - it's a bit random.
If you know who was participating in a conversation you can scroll through their individual timelines to collect tweets (remember each tweet has its own web page / address / URL that can be added to a Storify story). You can also collect tweets from people's favourites, you might find them embedded in other Storify stories or on people's blogs.
Normally, when an event is happening the 'finding and capturing'is more or less the same - you can type in your hashtag and a whole bunch of tweets appear in the results window which you can then add to your story.
You can use all sorts of tools to do different versions of this: Twilert will send you emailed alerts of the results of a Twitter search, GrabChat and SearchHash will pretty much automate the finding and capturing of a bunch of tweets (they do need a little bit of babysitting, in terms of collecting the older tweets before they disappear) and there are a whole load of other free / paid-for tools available.
It helps to be aware that Twitter has changed quite dramatically since 2011 to the point that it seems to be (deliberately) that much harder to find older tweets (we used to have Google Realtime which made things very straightforward for scrolling back 18 months or so).
If you can find the URL of a tweet - on Twitter.com look for the 'details' link which appears when you click on a tweet to expand it, on other services look for the twitter bird icon - the URL's probably hidden within it (basically hover over anything until something twitter URLish appears eg https://twitter.com/theunitlist/status/240755916344020992) then you can add it manually to Storify using the link option. That's the little grey button with a small linked chain on it, to the right of the other buttons in the picture here.
Basically after one week you can find tweets with one tool and capture them with another, but the closer you are to when the tweets were posted the easier it is to use one tool for everything.
Further reading - all cited in the post above though.
Monday, 30 May 2011
A list of tools for finding or capturing tweets - this is a long, detailed post looking at a range of tools (some no longer available but I have been a bit 'completist' about the whole thing) for finding, trapping, displaying (eg on a screen behind a speaker, or in a foyer at an event).
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Storify has added an 'add all tweets' button - hooray - a very short post with a picture to show where to find this useful (to me) newly added improvement.
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Using free tools to capture a handful of tweets or a larger bunch - medium-length post highlighting some of my favourite tools and how I use them. I've not added Epilogger yet but it should really go here I think.