Category Archives: Twitter

Word Cloud of all my Tweets to-date

Word cloud of my 42,051 tweets to-date Word cloud of my 42,051 tweets to-date

Twitter announced last December that they were going to make it possible for any Twitter user to download a full archive of all their tweets.

Since then I have been occasionally checking my Settings in Twitter to see if the Your Twitter archive option had yet appeared, and today it did. Wohoo! The option when clicked, creates your archive, and then emails you a link to download it in zipped form.

I downloaded the archive and was delighted to find all my Tweets there (right back to my less than profound first Tweet!). *cringe*

Even more useful is that the archive is searchable and it contains links to the original tweets on Twitter.

I mentioned this on Facebook where Darren Barefoot spotted it and commented that he’d created a word cloud from his archive. Nice idea I thought.

He wrote a blog post on how to do this which boils down to:

  1. Concatenate the csv files in the data->csv folder into a single file (you can do this on a Mac by issuing “cat *.csv > outputfile” in Terminal)
  2. Sort and delete the surplus headings from your concatenated file and
  3. Copy the text of your tweets into the Create field in Wordle*

I was interested to see in the word cloud which emerged just how much I use the old style RT.

Other nice take-aways for me from this are that my Twitter stream seems to use mostly positive words (Thanks, good and great are some of the most used words in my stream), and that I seem to talk to @dahowlett, and @monkchips most of all (and for some reason I seem to talk to myself (@tomraftery) a lot too – first sign of madness?

Ok, now I have my archive down, I may need to do some more slicing and dicing on the Tweets – anyone have any suggestions for interesting things to look for?

Also, I need to check if the archive download link which Twitter emailed me is a perpetually updating archive, or if it was a point in time link. Hopefully the former.

*You will need to have Java turned on for this to work

My Twitter ‘Magic Number” is 16, what’s yours?

Twitter post

Twitter is a superb medium for getting a message out.

And it’s RT (ReTweet) convention means that tweets can go viral very quickly. However, if you want to be ReTweeted, you need to make it easy or people won’t do it.

What do I mean?

Well, if you have a tendency to fill up your 140 character allowance in your tweets, the chances are that you won’t be ReTweeted much – why? Because people wanting to ReTweet you will have to do work (edit the post) to get it to fit within their own 140 character limit! Reduce that workload by ensuring that your Tweet will fit within their 140 characters effortlessly and you will be ReTweeted more often.

Hence the Twitter “Magic Number”. What is the Twitter “Magic Number”? It is the number of unused characters you need to leave at the end of your tweet so people don’t have to edit your post if they want to ReTweet it.

My Twitter ‘magic number’ is 16 – I always try to write my tweets leaving at least 16 characters free at the end. this allows people to do a “RT @tomraftery: ” – so they can easily RT my tweets without having to edit the content to get it to fit in 140. Of course, leaving more than 16 spaces at the end of my tweets allows people to add a comment or bit of context to their RT which is even better.

How do you calculate your Twitter ‘Magic Number”? It is the number of characters in your username (11 for @tomraftery) + 5 (for the RT, the : and the requisite spaces).

Now might be a good time to take another look at your Twitter username and see if you can find a shorter one that works – obviously the smaller your ‘Magic Number’ the more you can fit in your own Tweet, while still facilitating easy RT’ing!

You should follow me on Twitter here.