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Monday, November 1, 2010

Archiving twitter -- good idea or not?

As many of you know, the Library of Congress acquired (was given) the Twitter archive beginning with 2006 (read more about that here). I think this is interesting but at the same time, it seems to go against the nature of twitter. Twitter has always been real time and if you are so inclined, you can sit and just watch the updates happen.

Searching in twitter (even your own tweets) has never been particularly easy, Given the 140 character limit, many tweeters use url shorteners, some of which do not maintain/archive the original link for long. Others have used url shortening services or referred to links which no longer exists.

Throw in all of the conversational element of twitter (is the archive threaded?), the private accounts (which are not archived), the spam, and the fleeting nature of twitterverse attention span, and well... I wonder how useful the archive will be. In terms of sifting through trending topics or as a window into pop culture, maybe...

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