Ten thousand tweets

I knew I was spending a lot of time on Twitter, but my 10,000th tweet came up so fast that I didn’t realize I’d posted it until I noticed the five-digit number near the top of the page.

So while I thought I’d employ that 10,000 tweet to say thanks, I had already used it to comment on an interesting site called Transit Near Me that attempts to improve the interface of public transportation around D.C. That meant I had to save my planned rhetoric for my 10,001st tweet:

That last tweet was my 10,000th. Thanks to everyone who read it or any of the 9,999 before it – and then RTed, favorited or replied.

Then I did a little math. At a maximum length of 140 characters each, 10,000 tweets equals a theoretical upper limit of 1.4 million characters. At the usual average of six characters per word, that yields 233,333 words and change–good for either a pair of slightly prolix novels or almost 467 500-word blog posts.

Do we need to calculate the potential income that would represent at various per-word rates? No. This has been a fantastic resource for me to share my reporting in in real time, learn from the example of others, banter with readers and sources, break my own news, market myself and in general have fun with the English language.

I just wish I could see more of the things I’ve tweeted before. But although the addresses of individual tweets don’t expire, Twitter’s own search doesn’t seem to peer further back than several weeks ago. Third-party search tools may reach deeper into the past, and you can also keep scrolling down Twitter’s site (I got all the way back to April 6 as I paged through my earlier tweets, a slow and immensely distracting process). But you can’t just get a simple download of your history along the lines of what Facebook and Google offer.

My friend Alex Howard, a writer for O’Reilly Media, asked Twitter CEO Dick Costolo about that in October; he would only say that the company was working on it. I can only trust they’ll have that work done before I get to my 100,000th tweet.


3 thoughts on “Ten thousand tweets

  1. Pingback: Redefining “busy” | Rob Pegoraro

  2. Pingback: Report: Journalism not completely doomed | Rob Pegoraro

  3. Pingback: Follow you, follow me: Twitter and a scaleable attention span | Rob Pegoraro

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