Monday, July 06, 2009

The Tweetest Memories of Her

Librarians are discussing the recent announcement on the Library of Congress's Twitter feed that all the tweets that reference Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will be collected for posterity, as part of their mission to record the Zeitgeist around her public confirmation hearing. The ABA Journal noted the necessary succinctness of the message, and The Hill's Twitter Room placed the LOC's decision in the context of the widespread adoption of Twitter by legislators in a remarkably short time.

Based on having interviewed archivists at the Library of Congress, I've expressed concern in the past about the scope of the web capture program, given that much social computing involves rich media files rather than plain text and services that make content much harder to scrape. As a text feed, Twitter raises far fewer technical problems, but these kinds of publicity events may also feed into the company's increasingly high-profile attempts to monetize their unsustainable business model through a quick sale to a software giant by getting free advertising for the service from the news media covering fast-breaking stories.

(Thanks to Sean Lawson for the link!)

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Anonymous Sean Lawson said...

Thanks for the shout-out Liz. I share your concerns and thought your analysis in "From the Crowd to the Cloud" was spot on.

6:13 PM  

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