Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Archiving Tweets

In today's digitally connected world of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, You Tube, and blogs two questions come to mind. Is any of this historically significant enough to archive for future generations and how do you archive what resides in the electronic cloud? There is historically significant material in all of these social networking sites. It demonstrates how we communicate with each other in the age of connectedness and what we think is important. Looking at Twitter as an example, you may wonder how something that is only 140 charters long may be important. The length of the message is no indication of the importance of the message. Some short messages that became historical quotes include John Paul Jones "I have not yet begun to fight"; Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!"; "Remember the Alamo"; or Neil Armstrong's "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind". Participants at events document the event by sending tweets to each other.

While your tweets never disappear from your stream, they do disappear from Twitter. Currently Twitter only holds tweets for 1.5 weeks. This means that if a tweet is more than a week and a half old a search of Twitter will not retrieve it. The solution is to archive tweets yourself. There are several ways to do this and the Read Write Web site has an article on archiving your tweets at: . Therefore, if you feel the need to archive tweets check out this excellent article.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Interesting are we going to archive, index, and retrieve all that data?!?