Backing up Twitter

I’ve wanted a way to get my entire stream of updates out of Twitter for a very long time. I’ve been using Backupify, which is ok. A friend just pointed me to The Exporter, which will email you an XML backup of your stream. It’s really nice, but not quite what I’m after.

Dave Winer has been working on his Scripting 2 system, which I think may have this capability, but I’m not sure.

I’m of two minds on the subject.

The Easy Version

I’d love to find a service that would allow me to specify an FTP, a backup strategy, an archive layout, and have it push HTML or XML to the my site. This way I could have something like fahrni.ws/twitter/archive/YYYY/MM/DD as the home of my Twitter stream. I’d have an index at the root of fahrni.ws/twitter that would have a week, or two, of tweets and a link at the bottom of the page that would allow me to navigate backward and forward through a week at a time. Sounds simple, but I’m sure it would take a bit of time to create it.

The Difficult Version

I say difficult because I think it would be awesome to define an open REST interface that could be used as a backup mechanism for anything. Once the interface is defined the tough work would begin. It would need to have implementations that are then hooked up to services that can communicate with them.

For instance, let’s say you implement this new REST interface on your server, who in the world is going to make calls to it? Someone else? Maybe. It could be you implement both sides of the equation.

Come to think of it this could be implemented using an RSS feed out of Twitter and some code on a server somewhere that knows how to pull the RSS from the server. That would be pretty slick.

It needs to be simple

In the end I want something so simple I can set it and let it go. I also REALLY want to capture every tweet I’ve ever posted. That, is the biggest deal to me. I want the entire stream.

The conversation that sparked this post

This post came out of a conversation started where? On Twitter, of course.

Twitter Backup Conversation.

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