A quasi user friendly method of archiving tweets using the twitter search API.It's a set of python scripts that you can easily use to create an sqlite3 database of tweets via a cronjob. This is useful because you can't get back old tweets without some $$$. Therefore the easiest alternative is to archive them in real time. What if you don't want to program it all yourself? Well
TweetDB is here to help.
Start by cloning the repo to your local machine.
git clone https://github.com/emhart/tweetDB.git
First to access Twitter you'll need to get your App Key and App Secret. To keep these protected I store them in a separate text file. It's called credentials.txt. You'll first have to edit that file.
The workhorse of this function is
tweetDB.sh, a bash shell script that will create an SQLite3 database, and search for your twitter results. Usage is:
bash tweetDB.sh <databaseName> <searchString>
This will create a database with the given name, search for your search string and store all results in a table called 'tweets'
So if you want to search for tweets from the annual Ecological Society of America meeting simply use the following
bash tweetDB.sh ESA2014 "#ESA2014"
That will create a database called ESA2014, and store all results for the hashtag. Because hashtags use the '#' symbol, these searches need to be in quotes.
If you want to archive tweets over the course of a meeting or other specific time period this is easily done with a cron job. Simply edit your crontab file with
crontab -e. To archive tweets from the ESA2014 meeting I used the following script crontab.
00 07-20 * * * /home/NEON/thart/tweetDB/tweetDB.sh ESA2014 "#ESA2014"
This ran the search every hour between 7 am and 8 pm.
So now you can easily archive any meeting hashtag for your own analysis later on at your convenience.
Happy twitter archiving.