The Library of Congress, in a deal made with Twitter, will archive every public tweet ever sent. Why? "To find and analyse interesting trends" through the public's use of this social medium, according to the Daily Mail article below.
Tweets will be put under a magnifying glass.
image source: http://www.123rf.com
"There have been studies involved with what are the moods of the public at various times of day in reaction to certain kinds of news events," said Bill Lefurgy, of the Library of Congress. "There's all these interesting kinds of mixing and matching that can be done using tweets as a big set of data."
If everyone knew that their tweets would ultimately be housed underneath the same roof as the Declaration of Independence, perhaps a few would have communicated something more erudite than, "I spent the last hour molding a little man out of Starbursts and now I have to explain to him about death."*
* An actual tweet, from http://funtweets.com
Daily Mail (UK) * December 8, 2011
Library of Congress to Archive Every Tweet Ever Made
By Daily Mail Reporter
If you were thinking that tweet you just sent would soon disappear into the ether, you couldn't be more wrong.
It will soon be stored alongside Thomas Jefferson's draft of the American Declaration of Independence and a Gutenberg Bible.
That's because every public tweet sent since Twitter was launched five-and-a-half years ago is to be archived by America's national library.
Billions of tweets will be archived,
including the very first - sent by
Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey.
The Library of Congress announced the deal with Twitter last year, but yesterday its digital initiatives manager shone more light on the project.
'We have an agreement with Twitter where they have a bunch of servers with their historic archive of tweets, everything that was sent out and declared to be public,' said Bill Lefurgy when he appeared on Federal News Radio's Federal Drive show yesterday.
The archive will be available to Mr. Lefurgy's team of researchers, to find and analyse interesting trends.
'There have been studies involved with what are the moods of the public at various times of the day in reaction to certain kinds of news events.
'There’s all these interesting kinds of mixing and matching that can be done using the tweets as a big set of data.'
And with more than 140 million tweets processed by Twitter every single day, the social networking site has its work cut out with the Library project.
'They've had to do some pretty nifty experimentation and invention to develop the tools and a process to be able to move all of that data over to us,' Mr. Lefurgy said.
Innovative: The first-ever tweet was sent on March 21, 2006.
The archives won't contain tweets that users have protected, but every other message will be stored there - including the very first, sent by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
His tweet, sent on March 21, 2006, simply said: 'Just setting up my twttr.'
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.
It was built in 1800 and is housed in three buildings in the capital, Washington, D.C.
As well as a rough draft of the American Declaration of Independence and a Gutenberg Bible, the Library holds Thomas Jefferson's entire personal book collection.