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How Do You Use The Archivist?

Sep 28, 2010 In News By Karsten Januszewski

The Archivist—our lab focused on archiving, analyzing and exporting tweets—just had its 3-month birthday. Hurray!  The service has been humming along nicely, with over 150,000,000 tweets archived and over 20,000 unique visitors since June of 2010.

It’s always fascinating to find out all the ways in which the software we create gets used, many of which we never anticipated. Here’s a sampling of interesting uses of The Archivist we’ve seen since launch:

  • Mashable used The Archivist to do an analysis of the popularity of different Android phones based on their Tweet volume.
  • Chris Pirillo, well-known Internet celebrity, employed The Archivist to track tweets about the Gnomedex conference.
  • In concert with Dr. Boynton’s article on using The Archivist in Academia was a fascinating piece by Mark Sample from The Chronicle of Higher Education, called Practical Advice for Teaching with Twitter. Sample’s tact is a little different than Boynton’s, in that he tracks students’ tweets about a given class. To facilitate this, he suggests that professors explicitly create and advertise a hashtag (aka #PHIL101) for their courses and then track that hashtag as the course proceeds. By using a tool like The Archivist,professors can then see which students tweeted the most during the course,which words were most commonly used, when tweets were most frequent (right before the end of the semester?), etc.
  • Another fascinating example of Archivist usage came from Australian politics; you can read about it here and here. I’m not an expert on Australian politics so I can’t fully explicate what happened, but from what I can glean, a candidate in the election started tweeting controversial tweets that were ultimately tracked by The Archivist.

This is just a sample of how people are using The Archivist.  But we’re certain there are other examples out there, given the service’s number of active users. In fact, we’re hoping to write up a whole article with examples of how people use The Archivist.

To that end, we’d like to offer $10 Starbuck’s gift cards to the first 5 people who send mail to telling us how you use The Archivist. We’ll feature your submissions in our upcoming article. So don’t be shy – do tell! 

Oh, and if you have any suggestions or ideas on what archives we should feature on the homepage, let us know that as well.

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12 comments so far. You should leave one, too.

HydroMan said on Sep 28, 2010

So is Microsoft using this for any useful analysis?

Roger Jenning Roger Jenning said on Sep 28, 2010

How about increasing the allottment of archives for ordinary users from three to 10?



Karsten Januszewski Karsten Januszewski said on Sep 30, 2010

@HydroMan -- I''m currently trying to find that out myself!

@Roger Jenning -- We have to be pretty careful about archive allotment so we can scale the service to more users. This may change at some point.

Joshua Lay Joshua Lay said on Oct 3, 2010

I set up an archive to monitor my companies Twitter account.

It''s an easy way for our social media team to understand trends.

Plus a great way to get a KPI (key performance indicator) for the team. So collectively the team members should make up half the tweets. Since they should be responding to customers''.

Patrick Patrick said on Oct 25, 2010

Hi, thanks for this great tool. I''m using it to track tweets about a theme that has tweet volumes varying in time and it is wonderful.

The only problem I have is with the graph of most used words. All tweets I''m tracking are in Spanish and the most used words are mostly articles and prepositions. Does this happen with English tweets as well? Is there any solution (eliminating articles such as "los", "las", etc from the results)?

Karsten Januszewski Karsten Januszewski said on Oct 25, 2010

@Patrick -- Doh! Shame on me for not internationalizing the word visualization "excluded word" list. I exclude the top most used words in the English language when generating the graph, but I don''t do the same for other languages. I''ve added this to our product backlog for future versions.

Benito Benito said on Nov 20, 2010

We are very interested in Twitter visualizations and archiving. Thx for the great tool!

Muhammad mustapha said on Feb 5, 2011

Hi to all people i want register

Muhammad mustapha said on Feb 5, 2011

Hi to all people i want register

OE Solution-Optical Module said on Dec 12, 2011

Thanks for your great info.

sherbalkis said on May 10, 2012

I am prepparing a master in "the role of social medias in the uprisings" - I intend to carry on with this work in PHD. I need more than three allotments as key mords are more important in number. Is it possible ? I will be gratefull if you can help me and upgrade the allotment to 10.

Ken said on Jun 4, 2012

Whoops. I had this in OPC instead of here

I write a political blog and recently we went through an election. Your Archivist is the cleanest software that I've come across yet that I can use to write the blogs from what people have said on twitter. The one problem I have is that I'm not sure whether your program can be used for mining old tweets( 2 -3 months old). Is it possible are there setting that I can use to search back that far.
Thanks, Ken