A Twitter time capsule

Image for post
Image for post
@WeAreMarquette, tweeting again for the first time since 2009

Spring break on Marquette University’s campus is quiet. Too quiet.

The sudden departure of 11,000 students leaves me restless. I’m apt do things like re-launch a Twitter account that has been dormant for six years.

For some reason, I remembered out of the blue that a colleague in admissions had reserved the @WeAreMarquette handle in 2009, back when launching Twitter accounts was a thing. Since then @MUAdmissions has become its main handle, and @WeAreMarquette has gone quiet.

Looking back at its dusty timeline, I found a few tweets about open houses and a blurry, poorly-produced (by me) YouTube video. That video was my first “viral” hit on Twitter, with a whopping 858 views.


But it didn’t need too much maintenance to bring the account up to date.

I deleted a few outdated tweets, updated the bio, added a cover image and — viola!— I partied like it was 2009. I even kept the original profile photo.

I was surprised at how easy it was to breath new life into the dated account and make it look as good as new.


I intend to use the account to highlight our student stories from Tumblr and Medium. I think it could be a fun summer intern project.

But it also made me think about how many other accounts sit in digital purgatory. What would you find there?

What would happen if you logged into your Hotmail, your MySpace or your old abandoned Twitter accounts? Would it be like digging into a box in the attic? How would the flood of digital memories make you feel?

It seems like there’s a nostalgic opportunity. I can’t help but think of this as Friendfeed (that was still around??) shuts down and Twitter redefines “logged out users” in a bid to catch up to Facebook’s numbers.

Maybe the aging accounts that are now vying with Snapchat, YikYak, Kik, Vine, etc shouldn’t all try to compete for the same slice of the early adopter pie.

Maybe their new users are their old users.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store