The Nation’ top archival organization plans to save Tweets for posterity along with letters from the Civil War, famous photos from the Great Depression and presidential speeches.
The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that it wants to save Twitter messages for posterity.
Future researchers delving into the death of pop star Michael Jackson, Actress Sandra Bullock’s marital problems or the War in Iraq will be able to read tweeter’s – from politicians to celebrities to every day people – sentiments regarding events of the day by reading archived 140-character tweets.
“I’m no Ph.D,” said Library of Congress Blogger Matt Raymond in a Wired.com article. “but it boggles the mind to think what we might be able to learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of Data. And I’m certain we’ll learn things that none of us now can even possibly conceive.”
After the annoucment, the library has been flooded with visitors to their website causing it to go down, Wired.com reported.
Google is also archiving twitter messages and integrating them into search. The search engine giant is also turning on a feature that allows the user to pinpoint a time in history and replay the messages. Google isn’t just archiving Twitter messages. Facebook, Myspace and the micro-publishing service Buzz will also be archived.
Saved tweets go back as far as February 11, 2010 in the initial release to English-based sites. Google plans go back to the first Tweet on March 21, 2006.
“Tweets and other short form updates create a history of commentary that can provide valuable insights into what’s happened and how people have reacted,’ wrote Dylan Casey, Google’ product manager for real time search, Wired.com Reported. “Want to know hoe the news broke about health care legislation in Congress, what people were saying about Justice Paul Stevens’ retirement or what people were tweeting during your own marathon run? These are the kinds of things you can explore with the new updates.