LC Acquiring the Entire Twitter Archive

LC announced on 14 April 2010 that it will be acquiring the entire archive of Twitter messages back through March 2006.

By Marshall Kirkpatrick, Read Write Web, 14 April 2010.

When the Library of Congress was founded in the year 1800, publishing was very expensive and relatively few people did it. Today, thanks to blogs, YouTube, Facebook and certainly Twitter it’s a new world. Publishing is far faster, easier and more accessible today than at any point in human history. That might seem obvious, but on a day like today it’s worth thinking about some more.

For now there are more questions than answers with regards to this Library of Congress Twitter news. Will the archive include friend/follower connection data? Will it be usable for commercial purposes? Will there be a Web interface for searching it, and will that change the face of Twitter search for good? Is there any way that the much larger archive of Facebook data could be submitted to the same body for analysis of the same kind?

These kinds of large data sets are poised to become one of the most important resources the Internet creates. As Kenneth Cukier wrote in The Economist’s recent Special Report on Big Data, “Data are becoming the new raw material of business: an economic input almost on a par with capital and labour.”

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