Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 2 February 2013

How to share your Twitter archive via your public Dropbox

This is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, and it worked instantly. I'm still investigating the 'ethics' side of sharing all four plus years of my tweets publicly - not that I've said anything terribly exciting but I might need to think about the people I've intereacted with*. So I'm not sharing the link to my tweets quite yet.

You will need
1. Think about tweets you've sent and whether there's anything in there that might embarrass your friends, let alone yourself. Just because you can now share your past tweet history it doesn't mean that you should.

Download
2. If you've not downloaded your Twitter archive you'll need to do that first. Go to your Settings page or if you're logged in just click https://twitter.com/settings/account, scroll down the page until you see the 'Request your archive' link, click that and wait for an email to arrive. Once it arrives click on the link to download a zipped file of your tweets and accessory information (making them look nice on screen and searchable). Unzip the file.

Further details on downloading and playing with your Twitter archive can be found here.

2.5. Double click on index.html and your offline Twitter archive will open. You can search your old tweets and see what's there, or browse by clicking on the month in the panel on the right. Each tweet gives you the option to view the 'live' version on Twitter - where you can delete it if you wish, or copy its URL / embed it into blog posts or Storify etc.

Make available to others
3. Move the 'tweets' folder into your Public folder in Dropbox.
Might as well move all of the folder contents but I may work out which are the minimum essential files to move - to be honest the readme.txt file doesn't really participate in accessing your tweets

4. [Optional] You can rename the tweets folder if you want, not really essential. You can also rename the index.html file - again not essential but if lots of people are sharing their Twitter archives in this way then it doesn't hurt to stick your Twitter name in the address.

Share public link so others can see and search your tweets
6. Right-click / or Ctrl+Click for Mac (not cmd click) on whatever you've now called your index.html to bring up the menu, click on the Dropbox menu option and then 'Copy Public Link' which is now copied to your clipboard and can be pasted in a tweet or blog post or wherever you want to put it.

It will look a bit like: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/12345678/tweets_folder_name/your_name.html#

Once you've shared the link don't change the name of the file on Dropbox - or if you do you'll need to reshare the new link.

*A tweet is not an island. When you click on it to expand or 'view conversation' you can see the discussions that have gone on around it. Of course all these conversations probably happened in the public sphere (given that any tweet sent from a not-locked account is public) but I think it is a little different when you suddenly make the pointers to tweets that are several months or years old more easily available again. That's not to say historic tweets have been particularly well hidden - topsy.com can find all sorts of old stuff.

I don't know if tweets sent four years ago by someone who's since made their account private will now inherit their new privacy status (or vice versa) but I want to find out a little more about it before unleashing all my tweets, and manual RTs of other people's tweets (which will persist even if they've deleted the original) etc.

It would be interesting if I knew how to make this password protected, then could share just with mates and researchers. Don't think that option is available at the level of Dropbox but I'm sure there's a way around it.

Random observations
I wonder if people will have their Twitter archives subpoenaed - it's suddenly become possible for everyone with an account to gain access to all of their previous tweets (including the option to find and delete tweets from much further back than the default 3,200 that you can scroll back through). Presumably far easier to get them from an individual than from Twitter, though I am not a lawyer.

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