Ye olde Twitter archive

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Earlier in the year I started fiddling around with creating an archive of my tweets using Tweetback, an open source project by Eleventy creator Zach Leatherman.

I’m not 100% convinced that I’ll make it public. I’ve been active on Twitter since the spring of 2007, but honestly most of it’s just chit chat and blather. I’m not a Thought Leader or a Big Account. I didn’t share any meaningful insights. I had no viral shitposts, notable bangers or things generally worthy of a public archive for all eternity. However, in the spirit of IndieWeb, I may tack it on to this site with a subdomain.

In addition to being unsure if I even wanted to share it publicly, I was unsure of how much I’d be able to modify the layout…

I’ve fiddled around with some of the CSS and may restructure it a bit. […] Although I may not be brave enough to muck around with the layout as its using Javascript as the templating language. I could very easily mess that up! I may just stick to fiddling with the CSS, we’ll see.

A few weeks ago I randomly picked it back up again. I’m happy to report that I overcame my fear and was able to make almost all of the changes I wanted, even modifying a fair bit of JavaScript. And now I’ve unleashed it into the wild.

It felt pretty good to be able to make modifications that I thought were beyond my ability. I won’t be using JavaScript as a templating language in my own projects, but that’s one of the many great things about Eleventy, I don’t have to. We all can chose to work in the way that suits us.

Some changes include

  • Adding a skip link
  • Changing the top level navigation to include most recent and “popular”
  • Reworking <h1> to be page specific instead of the site title
  • Adding focus indication
  • Adding some open graph meta tags
  • Giving the search input border more contrast, wanted to remove, or give the Pagefind placeholder more contrast, but couldn’t figure out how to do it
  • Swapping out the Twitter icon with a local one, the original was calling it from Twitter
  • Removing the account avatar link at the tweet level

The search is a great addition. I had a lot of fun playing around with it, finding random missives and WTF worthy stuff.

A sampling, including links to relevant examples…

Search results for the term ugh showing several Tweets where all I said was ugh.



I stuck with my original idea of tacking it on here with a subdomain, which was very easy. One bonus that I didn’t think of when I decided on the approach was that there was no propagation time because the top-level was already propagated. And of course there’s always not paying for yet another domain.

I also noticed some love for subdomains recently. Gaston Rampersad mentioned being on the bandwagon when sharing a cool site he made for his dog. Chris Coyier also recently had a pro-subdomain post.

What’s next


And now that I have my subdomained Tweet Archive, I have to figure out how to link to it from here. I have a few ideas for reworking all the navigation. Until then I added it to my Links page at the Junk Drawer.

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