Tag Archives: twitter

Twitter as History

The Library of Congress announced that it has acquired and will archive every public tweet since Twitter’s service started in 2006. That’s more than 50 million tweets per day. Twitter declared, “[it is] very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history.”

Notable tweets include:
Obama’s tweet when he won the 2008 election: http://tiny.cc/srs68 and the first tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey: http://tiny.cc/aa2nt.

The Twitter archive joins the Library’s Web capture project that already has stored 167 terabytes of digital material.

There are some limitations. Personal tweets will not be collected and the Twitter archive will be available only for scholarly and research purposes.

Google doesn’t think you should have to wait for the Library of Congress to make archival tweets available—it’s turning on a feature that lets you choose a date and “replay” the tweets from that point on. Google’s search combines Twitter updates with those from MySpace, Facebook and Buzz.

Academic uses for Twitter?

A lot of the technoscenti have become coverts to Twitter in the last six months. Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows you to post 140-character snippets (via text message, web or other media) and have them read at the site, fed into your Facebook status page, or delivered in a variety of other ways. I know an office that uses Twitter instead of an old-fashioned in/out board, and Twitter got a lot of press as a result of the “revolt” at the SXSW Keynote Address.

But is Twitter relevant to academic work? I didn’t think so until I read Lenore’s blog post about using Twitter at a blogger’s meetup, and her musings:

Despite the high quality of both the planned and unplanned sessions, the best part, by far, was meeting other Twitter users. It was a tremendous amount of fun observing and participating in conversations during the actual sessions while also tweeting about what the presenter was trying to convey. …

I was effectively live blogging or taking notes on what I considered to be the main points of each session and others who were attending the conference or following along from a remote location, could see them using twemes.com or hashtags.org.

And then I found a series of posts at AcademHack discussing using Twitter in the classroom. This is from the faculty perspective – but certainly a study group of students could work together to take collaborative notes in a lecture using hashtags. What do you think, faculty, and students?

Written by Phoebe Acheson