Twitter is a typical example of a cloud service. Unfortunately, having all your tweets in the cloud instead of on your hard drive has a large drawback: things can go wrong. A few days ago T-mobile subscribers lost all of their data because of a large server outage at Danger, a Microsoft subsidiary. Something like that could happen at Twitter too, meaning that all of your beloved pieces of 140-character poetry are gone.
Furthermore, Twitter has an artificial limit in place that limits you to viewing your last 3,200 tweets. I’m an avid user of Twitter myself, and seeing my number of tweets rapidly reaching to the 3,200 limit i set out to do something about it and backup my tweets.
There are several solutions for doing this. But many of these didn’t fit my needs. Most of them require you to enter your username/password, which isn’t a very cool thing or are a bit clunky in their user interface.
So, i wrote something myself called BackupTweets. It’s completely open source (GPL-licensed), so you can download the whole package and run it from your own web server. The only thing you need is a web server running PHP.
You simply enter your username/password and press ‘GO’. The application will fetch all of your tweets in their original format (straight from the API) and save them as a big JSON file (for archiving and later processing), but also as a handy HTML file.