My first ten tweets were particularly idiotic

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

I always think of that verse when I look at the number of times I’ve tweeted. Really? Every idle word? Man.

I recently learned (thanks to Tom) that Twitter now enables you to download an archive of all your tweets. I did so–all 23,201 of them. They come in a tidy HTML archive, as well as a CSV files for every month of tweets. To my dismay, these were my first tweets–the earliest is at the bottom:

I can’t even remember what the project was. It was evidently a wise choice to shelve it.

We are always fascinated by data about ourselves (consider LinkedIn’s recent clever email campaign congratulating users on being in the top 1, 5 or 10% of most-viewed profiles). So, I concatenated all 72 CSV files into one big spreadsheet, and produced an old-school tag cloud. Click to embiggen:

What conclusions can I draw from this?

  • I’m pretty sure that 95% of the ‘likes’ have nothing to do with Facebook. Do I have the written voice of a teenage girl?
  • My writing is way more informal on Twitter–look at all those instances of ‘heh’, ‘ah’ and ‘oh’ (insert dirty joke here).
  • Why is ‘Google’ so prominent? I have no idea.
  • I’m pretty sure most of the instances of ‘Thanks’ are me citing a source.
  • It’s interesting to see who I’ve tweeted at most.

Those are all fairly banal, but I suppose our own data is like our own dreams–fascinating to us, and boring to everybody else.

It’s a small pity that Twitter doesn’t include any data for number of favourites and retweets. I’d be curious what my most retweeted tweet was.


  1. Hey Darren

    Thanks for the reminder that this is possible. I just downloaded my archive. I hope it’s cringe-worthy.

  2. Darren

    9 out of those 10 tweets contained the word ‘Project’ or a translation of it. Can you post the projects detail in due course, should you recollect it.


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