Backup and Search Your Friends’ Tweets with Google Reader [Twitter]

Thanks to a combination of RSS magic and Twitter API, it’s possible to search the tweets of everyone in your Twitter network with Google Reader. Here’s how to do it.

First, though, why would you want to do this? The native search tool provided by Twitter only tunnels back about a week and a half. Anything beyond that is lost in the ether. Thanks to a handy little tool created by Dave Winer, you can turn your follower list into an RSS feed and import that feed into Google Reader, which turns the data from the Twitter feeds into a search-friendly mountain of feed items. How do you do it? From ReadWriteWeb:

It couldn't be much simpler. Just put your Twitter username into this link, instead of mine, and load it up in your browser:

It may take just a minute, but the end result will be an OPML file. You can either go up to your browser’s File menu and select “save as” or you can View Source and copy and paste the source of the page into a text document. Save it with a memorable name and either .xml or .opml as the file type. It’s really quite easy.

Now if you want to put this puppy into Google Reader just log in, click on “manage subscriptions” and find the import/export button. Import that file into Google Reader and you’re ready to rock and roll!

In our test of the service, we were able to mine all sorts of things from the feed we created. How much did our band of followers talk about Texas? Quite a bit more than we expected. Check out the full article at the link below for additional information or use the technique quoted above to jump right in. Have a favorite Twitter-centric hack of your own? Share it in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *