HARPOON: Own your tweets, back them up, search them, plain-text them...

sun12jul2009—28w193d52%— 20h47m00s—0utc

, from its UserScripts page. (You need to have the GreaseMonkey Firefox extension, version 0.8 or more, installed first.)

Enough is enough. As much as I love Twitter, they can’t seem to get their search act together. Try it right now, search in Twitter for something you tweeted about last week. Most likely outcome is you won’t find it, at all. It’s lost, buried, retrievable only through tiresome, trial-and-error paging. Google does scarcely a better job. How can this be?

The Husband: Isn’t that why people keep diaries? To be read by someone else? Otherwise why keep them? Nagiko: To know about themselves.

HARPOON is a simple script to give you back your tweets. Install it and navigate to your Twitter user page,\twitter.com/YOUR-USER-NAME (or, for that matter, to anyone’s user page). You’ll see a new item in your sidebar, Harpoon! →

Click it to start downloading ALL your tweets, which will be displayed as soon as they’re downloaded. Note that if you have thousands of tweets, the downloading will take a while.

Now that you have all your tweets on one BIG page, searching them is as simple as using Firefox’s find in page. Backing them up is just a matter of File > Save Page As, or you can use the nifty Scrapbook extension to save it and keep it handy.

Personally, I just copy-pasted the whole shebang to a plain text file, which is what the script is really optimized for. My idea was not to loose any information on the way to all text, so the “about 5 minutes ago” dates are fixed, and all important URLs (the tweet’s, the reply-to’s) are made visible

Hope it’s useful.

Inspired by the Format Amazon Wishlist script.

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