TwimeMachine is still churning along.
As you might know. I started it in 2009 (then called oldtweets). It was a hack-job I once put online. Surprisingly, it kept getting traction. So I recoded it in PHP and moved it twimemachine.com (early 2010). Then I recoded it in Django and put it up on Heroku at the end of 2011. Then a few months ago, Twitter’s API changed and did a completely new version (also in Django), which is the version you see now.
Without any effort, people keep finding it and using to read/find their old tweets. I’ve added an opt-out checkbox to follow @twimemachine when you sign up at the beginning of the year. It now almost has 30 000 followers. I don’t store anything, so I don’t really know how many people have used. My only metric is Google’s unique visitors. There aren’t any other pages besides logging in and using it, so I use “unique visitors” * “bounce rate” as metric. 63% of people go through (average bounce rate of 37%), with 321k unique visits across the 2 years of growth. So my estimation is that about 202 000 people have used it!
When people follow TwimeMachine, I get separate notifications if people with large followings use it. I’ve had the privilege that accounts such as Paulo Coelho, ESPN, Parents Magazine, SEGA, CNBC, Adidas Originals, LA Times, Danny Zuker, Venturebeat, amongst others have used it.
It’s hosted on Heroku, for which I’m paying nothing (functions in the free zone). The only thing I pay for is for the image files on S3 (amounts to about $0.11 a month). The adsense on the other hand usually makes between $50 - $100 a month. Nice pocket money for future endeavours.
I’ve been thinking what to do with TwimeMachine. It’s intention was never to be big. I’m not trying to put too much effort into if Twitter is just going to do something similar. And I’m especially wary lately to rely too much when building something on another person’s platform. Most notably are all the changes to Twitter’s API, which doesn’t sit too well with me.
On the one side, I’ve been wanting to sell it, get some return on it. But on the other hand, it is still growing without any effort on my part. I can still do great things with an account of 30 000 followers. Been thinking of doing something charity/donation related, but want to find something that is relevant (not just something like charity:water).
So yeah. It’s quite rewarding where it’s been and where it is going. Never expected it to be this useful to so many people!