Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twitterage

On Thursday and Friday, I was an extra (background performer) for episode 204 of Leverage, which is shooting their second season in Portland.* Since there's a lot of waiting around during each day, I thought it would be fun to Twitter a few interesting, spoiler-free remarks about my experience.

That worked out pretty well, and tonight I decided to reformat and post those tweets in a more permanent location and a more readable format. I discovered that no single application exists to do what I want, which is to export a specific subset of my status messages and conversations. (C'mon, Interwebs, this is the one time you don't anticipate my needs? We need to talk.)

Twitter's search interface only exports to a noisy XML feed, and what I really wanted was a simple, denormalized CSV data file which I could slice and dice manually. I found three web apps that claim to do this:
  1. TweetDumpr only exports status messages (without timestamps) to a flat text file.
  2. Twickie offers several formatting options, but the "Get CSV" link doesn't work.
  3. Tweetake is the one that actually worked, but it didn't provide many filtering options.
Of course, Twitter's own filtering abilities are pretty limited. What I really wanted was a custom timeline including all tweets which:
  • were posted by me and
  • were posted within a specific time window and
  • include the hashtag #Leverage and
  • include one of the hashtags #extra or #extras; or
  • are part of a conversation (replies, retweets, etc.) linked to any tweets matching the above criteria.
I guess I'll be digging into the Twitter API later.

For now, you can see the crappy Excel HTML dump of my tweets from two days of being a #Leverage 204 #extra. Note that all times are GMT; subtract seven hours to get local time in PDX.

And yes, I still refuse to use the unreadable abomination that is LoudTwitter.

~CKL

* You can be an extra too! Here's how.
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