If you haven’t been following the TAGS story this is my long-standing project to make it easier for people to archive Twitter results to a Google Sheet. The brief history lesson is this project started in 2010 when you didn’t need any authentication, you could copy the template enter your search term and start collecting tweets. In 2012 Twitter announced changes to the way you could get access to the data requiring user authentication and so in 2013 TAGS v5.0 was born.
The way TAGS v5.0 implemented authentication was to get the user to register for a Twitter Developer account. There is no cost to doing this and to this day you can still sign up as a developer with Twitter. Setting up a developer account requires some form filling which is prone to users copy/pasting the wrong thing. Perhaps a bigger deal breaker for some is Twitter Developer accounts needs a validated mobile phone number. When I was developing TAGS v5.0 there was an opportunity to use a single developer account which would then only require the user to sign in with their Twitter account. At the time I chose not to go down that route as part of the philosophy behind the project was a guerrilla approach, you archive your own tweets with your access details if Twitter shut me down.
Three years on from TAGS v5.0 I’m still here. Having also recently given a workshop at University of Edinburgh’s Digital Day of Ideas I was reminded of the pain of setting up TAGS for the first time. With that in mind I’m beta testing TAGS v6.1. This removes the need to set up and Twitter Developer account, hopefully bring more people to the Twitter archiving party. There’s still an option to use your own Twitter Developer account. So now all you need to do is copy the template and sign in using a regular Twitter account.
Before I push this out more widely I’m looking for some volunteers to make sure it works. So if you’d like to join the party make a copy of TAGS using the link below and let me know when you get stuck:
*** Make a copy of TAGS v6.1 ***
Note: TAGS 6.1 runs separately from earlier versions of TAGS so your existing archives will keep collecting tweets using your existing authentication.