Backup your Twitter friends
Edit: Twitter has ceased supporting basic authentication (using a username and password) for third-party apps. As a result, FriendBackup no longer works. I'm working on an updated version, stay tuned for updates.
The recent "Fail Whale" occurrence spawned several responses in the blogosphere. Some complained, some took it as a Spring cleaning of sorts, while others advocated a tactic to avoid the Twitter relationship silo and cross-pollinate your friends. I’m adding one more way of coping to the list, programmatic backup of friends.
Because I feel generally sketchy about giving out my Twitter password to a random website, I’ll rolling this as a client application. Your password is as secure as your machine is, nothing is coming back to me at all.
Yeah, it looks rough but it’s something I finished in an hour so deal with it. It grabs the real name, user name, and url for each of the folks you’re following1. The output is a csv file that can be read in Microsoft Excel, Access or OpenOffice. If there’s interest, I might extend it to other services.
You need Java 6 to run it.
Twitter does have a cap of 70 authenticated requests per hour. For most folks, the additional requests won’t make them max out. Those who are friends with enough people to populate a small town(greater than 6,900* friends) are going to have problems. You were duly warned.
1 additional info is available but there is a fine line between getting what’s useful and duplicating their db. If you need more, @ecspike me and we can sort something out.
* 100 friends/request * 70 reqs - 1 authenticating request = 6,900<