September 18, 2010 1

To Tweet is now to Twournal

By in Products, Technobabble

My Twournal

I don’t remember where I first heard about Twournal, but I instantly knew I wanted one: a chronological-order version of your Twitter stream, in book form?! Count me in! I’m extremely fascinated with how to get the digital aspects of our lives more tactile, so this concept was right up my alley. The service is in private beta, but after getting an invite code I ordered one, it promptly showed up at our door, and I’m really pleased with the result!


Twournal

Accurate System of Measurement Twournal - Covers

The specs: Measuring about 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches, the Twournal is printed by Lulu: perfect-bound, printed on pretty average white paper, and has a glossy, full-color cover on a thicker stock. You can choose which tweet to start and end with (although Twitter will only let you access your most recent 3200 tweets), whether to use a standard cover design or the image from your Twitter background, and, interestingly, whether to include replys to you that other people have made and photos you’ve posted (for an additional charge). Mine ended up a beefy 270 pages (!), or roughly a little smaller than a nickel or half the height of a small Toy Story alien.

Twournal

Pricing: How much your book will cost depends on how many tweets you have: at just over 1500 tweets, mine was $20 (having 3200 would be $30 and less than 800 would be $15). The ability to include pictures from twitpic, tweetphoto or yfrog was an extra $5 (in black & white; color adds between $30 and $105 depending on size!), and including (up to 3200) replys from friends to specific tweets was a piddly extra $2. With free shipping currently being offered, my Twournal ended up a very reasonable $27.

Twournal - Title, Dedication, First Page

How it works: You grant Twournal access to your Twitter account, choose a couple “include” options (where to start from, whether to include a dedication — I stuck in 2 quotes and a photo credit to Kevin G (@djphatkev) for my cover photo — and such), wait up to 24 hours for them to auto-flow in your content, and then you receive a full-color ebook version of your Twournal for free! You then can choose whether or not to order a printed version (their estimate is 5-15 days; mine showed up in 6) and whether or not to make it publicly viewable.

Twournal - Character Mistakes

Twournal - Spacing Twournal

Cons: For a very new company with a fun product, Twournal is doing a ton of things right. There are a couple of places where I’d love to see improvement, though. First and foremost is that, in mine at least, certain characters seem to have turned to gibberish: “<” and “>” in particular, leading to some creative deducing of the text. Secondly, since the book is put together fairly automatically, there are lots of weird spacing issues throughout: half-page white gaps due to photo sizes (which I expect is why the book is, thankfully, priced on tweets not on page-count), date-headers ending a page rather than starting the next page, and general “gaps” throughout. Again, since neither Twournal staff nor us users are tweaking each page individually, this is to be expected and makes the process go a heckuva lot faster, but it’s still worth mentioning. Lastly, I wish there was further photo-import support: most of my photos are on Flickr, and occasionally I also tweet JPGs through Bit.ly links. I realize bit.ly links could get outdated or a bit messy (but support for them would still be appreciated!), but Flickr links should definitely be supported, no question. Any of these fixes would help make an already great little service even better.

Pros: It’s wicked fun to hold your tweets in your hands! The book feels great, and it actually makes for a very fun read seeing how your tweets have progressed, or opening to a random page and seeing what you were up to that day. Since I don’t blog as much as I would like to, Twitter is a great way to keep a small record of what I’m up to. For me, being able to have a little over a year-and-a-half’s worth of life recorded in a book like this is kind of, well, amazing to me. There are so many quotes I’d forgotten, and it’s a fun record to read back through certain events: 2 trips to Comic-Con, Brian & Alana’s wedding, Best Of photo shoots, and more. Also, personally, I’m happy I took so many cell phone photos (primarily what my twitpic.com account is for) as it breaks up the space, peppering random odd photos throughout. Also, I have nothing but good things to say about the Twournal customer service: I wrote in with a question about the custom-cover image (I had a lot of trouble getting Twitter to accept the image — Twournal’s FAQ had dimensions, and Twitter has a KB size limit, but I couldn’t get them to place nice together) and got a very personal, prompt response from one of the company’s 3 founders, Avaz Mano, along with the offer to help further if I needed it.

Twournal

In the end: I’m really crazy-happy with my Twournal! I think it’s a great idea, it’s fun to look through, and reasonably priced. I hope they continue to expand it’s options and what other extras it supports, while still keeping it insanely simple (the perfectionist in me wants to tweak, but it’s actually really wonderful that it’s so simple and you just get what you get with very minimal effort). Anyone who’s happy with their Twitter account, I’d definitely recommend signing up with Twournal to join the beta so you can order one too! You too can relive all the films from ImageOut, Max’s penis telling us about Village Pillage offers, quotes from my roommates (Adam: “Oh no! Giant viking helmet took out the rest of the cast of True Blood!”; Rachel: “It had vagina flowers! I COULDN’T HELP IT!!”; Anna: “Beyonce’s a slut. But if *I* were a boy, all the things I would do involve peeing on things. Like my cell-mate’s face. In prison.”), and 30-some-odd food photos … that’s all in yours, too, right?

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “To Tweet is now to Twournal”

  1. […] Read my blog post about my printed Twitter Journal – a Twournal! […]

Leave a Reply