The Archivist has been around for a little while, but if you haven’t used it yet, then here’s a quick example of how it works. The Archivist is, essentially, a tool to provide rapid analysis of Twitter activity against a given search term. For example, against the hash tag #zombies.
It overcomes a little of the drawbacks of Twitter search in that it maintains an archive (naturally) of the search term beyond the 7-day-ish horizon of Twitter search.
Kicking it off is as simple as bashing in the search term to the box shown above and clicking start analysis. Then you sit back and wait for the analysis to occur. The service is ‘elastic’ which means it needs a fangled explanation of how it works, but essentially the service will begin building up an archive from this point on.
If you log in with Twitter credentials then you can save the archive and return to it later. Logging back in, you’ll probably see something like this.
Here we can see two different archives I kicked off in mid-July. I became slightly concerned after hearing Jer Thorp’s talk at Thinking Digital that he used an Arduino kit connected to Twitter to warn him about impending alien invasion that I thought I’d set up a similar intelligence system.
Oddly, there are a lot of people tweeting about Aliens and Zombies, though from the volumes it seems like a zombie attack is more likely. We can then drill into a given archive, which gives a lot of simple information such as: top words in the search term, top users, and top urls.
Which we can then further drill into. Here we can have a look at the top #zombies tweeters.
Where we could explore a little more if we wanted to.
Finally, you can download the archive as a Zip, or view in Excel so you can take the data away and perform your own analysis. You can also compare two different archives. Here we can see #aliens compared to #zombies and frankly that spike at the end of July is a bit of a worry.
So it’s a useful tool as a bit of fun, or more likely as a simple way to analyze and retain tweets for an event or ongoing hash tag meme. Just don’t forget to set up the archive BEFORE the event starts!