An experiment with Twitter

I joined Twitter in late December, 2008 (see: Twitter / jimtill). Until now, I’ve seldom provided updates, and my page currently has only two “followers”. However, as an experiment, I plan to post more frequently. The posts will be brief updates about topics of personal interest, including ones relevant to the two blogs that I currently edit (this one, and Cancer Stem Cell News). The individual updates will involve no more than 140 characters (because that’s the maximum allowed by Twitter), but related updates can be posted sequentially. My initial goal: to increase the number of “followers” of my Twitter page (and especially, to add “followers” who find the updates to be a useful adjunct to one or the other of the two blogs that I edit). The RSS feed url of updates to my Twitter page is:



  1. Alexey said

    Jim, I’m happy to see you on Twitter,
    I spread the word about your twitter, hope we will get more people in our network and make it productive!

  2. Jim Till said

    Gunther Eysenbach has noted that “As twitter and microblogging is gaining momentum as a social phenomenon, a number of researchers start wondering how to cite tweets ….. A related issue is how to digitally preserve and archive tweets. For example, using twitter search, one can currently only search a few months back, older tweets are not retrievable.” See: How to cite twitter, how to cite tweets, how to archive tweets (April 5, 2009).

    He then describes how to archive tweets using WebCite®.

    I’ll not be archiving the links to tweets even though they may cease to be retrievable, unless they provide information that may be of continuing interest.

  3. Jim Till said

    Today (May 31, 2009) I’ve begun to archive tweets via FriendFeed links. See, for example, the FriendFeed link to the first tweet that I hashtagged #OpenAccess, on May 10: (This FriendFeed item has also been archived by WebCite® at ). Perhaps FriendFeed links will have more stability than the related Twitter links? (The Twitter link to the first tweet that I hashtagged #OpenAccess is:

  4. Jim Till said

    So far, I’ve not found a valid way to archive individual tweets. However, perhaps sets of tweets can be archived? This issue has been addressed by Brian Kelly, Tools For Preserving Twitter Posts, JISC-PoWR, July 14, 2009. The site What the Hashtag? (WTHashtag) is mentioned. If one searches for the hashtag #OpenAccess via WTHashtag, a list of recent tweets that include this hashtag is obtained. The “View Transcript” option can then be used to generate a webpage of tweets that have been posted over a specified time interval. The URL for the transcript obtained in this way can then be archived via WebCite®. The downside of this approach is that an entire set of tweets is archived. As pointed out in a comment by PeteJ, this raises a question of data ownership. What if the author of one of the tweets in the archived set would prefer that the tweet not be preserved?

    An example: a tweet of mine, OATP project RSS feed for Connotea tag plus feed for a Twitter search for the hashtag #OpenAccess [FriendFeed entry] is the second tweet on a WTHashtag transcript of tweets posted on July 6, 2009 [Archived at on July 27, 2009]. However, 16 other tweets are included in this transcript.

    Perhaps a better approach is to archive the FriendFeed link to an individual tweet? [Example: was archived at on July 27, 2009]. An attempt to archive the original tweet was unsuccessful. [See attempt to archive at].

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