Social networking software

Twitter Tips: Four ways to revisit your Twitter 'firsts'

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from CIO.com. Visit CIO’s Macs in the Enterprise page.

Remember when you were a Twitter newbie and didn’t know your @ Mentions from your Direct Messages? Or, (cringe) when you chronicled for a week precisely what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner because that’s what you thought Twitter was all about?

Everyone enjoys a trip down memory lane, whether you joined Twitter six months ago or three years ago. And although Twitter announced a number of new upgrades in the last month, none of the new features let you drill down deeply into those first statistics—your first tweet, your first followers and more.

Take a look at these four free sites for nostalgics and sleuths.

First Five Followers

If you visit Twitter.com and click on Followers, you can scroll through the long list of people following you, which is displayed chronologically. If you’ve amassed hundreds or thousands of followers since you joined Twitter, clicking until you reach your first followers could take hours.

First Five Followers is a site that crawls the usernames of the people who are following you and generates a list of—you guessed it—the first five people that followed you. Visit the site, allow it access to your Twitter account and within seconds you’ll know your first five faithful followers, along with their stats such as how many followers and tweets they have and whether or not you’re following them.

My First Tweet

Much like discovering your first follower, clicking through all your tweets to reach your first one could be tedious. My First Tweet makes it easy.

Visit the site, enter your username and click Submit. The site will search your tweets and return your very first tweet. Another cool feature: Click the link at the top that says “earliest tweets.” Here you can browse the first tweets ever sent. (Jack Dorsey set his up 90 seconds before Cofounder Biz Stone.) Note that there is a warning on the homepage that says the site is working intermittently, but I didn’t see any glitches in any of the queries I did.

When Did You Join Twitter

You probably have a general idea of when you joined Twitter, but if you’re interested in exactly when your Twitter anniversary is, give this tool a try.

Visit When Did You Join Twitter and enter in your username. Click “Find out!” and the site will give you the date you joined Twitter and how many days ago that was. Another cool feature: This site gives you access to a bookmarklet that you can drag to your toolbar. Click the bookmarklet when you’re viewing someone’s profile, or select text with an @username and you can find out how long they’ve been using the service, too.

Google Replay to Search Tweets

Back in April, Google announced Replay, a searchable archive of every tweet. To access Replay, perform a Google search, choose “Show options…” This reveals a toolbar on the left; click “Updates.” A graph will appear denoting the popularity of that phrase or keyword at that point in time. By hovering over the graph, you can zoom in to a more specific time of day and read the tweets that were sent in that time period.

Type in your Twitter username and you can view your activity (along with @ replies) over the months. Searching for a specific tweet? You’re bound to find what you’re looking for—Replay is capable of narrowing searches down to a three-minute time period.

[Kristin Burnham covers Consumer Technology, SaaS, Social Networking and Web 2.0 for CIO.com.]

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