Twitter doesn’t promise to backup and keep accessible or searchable your tweets. You should know that about twitter. The library of congress is doing it, but not twitter. That limits the value of twitter for an archivist which is my basic use for the service.
Since I moved from a self-hosted wordpress.org account to the wordpress.com account I haven’t had a reliable way of archiving my twitter feed. I used to use the nice widget available for the wordpress.org software which gave a daily record of my tweets on my blog. That gave nice searchable, storage for all my tweets which I use as a personal library for links I find on the web so that I can go back and easily search and find articles that I thought I might like to use at some point for something. When I switched to wordpress.com I knew I had lost that way of archiving my tweets but since I have my google reader account also following my tweets I figured I could use that. Unfortunately trying some searches in my google reader revealed that it wasn’t a very reliable way of permanently archiving my tweets in a searchable fashion. I tried searching for keywords that I knew I had in my archive and Google Reader search didn’t find them.
Buzz came out under Gmail in a dramatically inconsiderate way a while ago and played with it for a while but decided that Twitter seemed to continue to meet my needs better than Buzz so I pretty much abandoned it. I did figure out, however, the Google does archive those “Buzzes” (guess that’s what you call them) and they were searchable so now I’m going to send my tweets into Buzz and that will be a way to archive them and be able to search them. Google also has their “data liberation front” initiative that is designed to make all your Google data portable. That’s a very comforting commitment so that if for some reason Buzz fails to work out in the future I can at least take my archive out of it and keep it in some other way.
Tweets no longer appear on the blog which is a mixed blessing. On one hand they don’t clutter up the stream, on the other hand I have my stuff now in multiple places so unless I figure out some funky command line for Google doing a quick search for a past thought or article will take two searches. For now, however, buzz seems the way to go. pvk