You may have stumbled onto details of this on Twitter as this week at the Twitter Chirp event it was revealed that the entire archive of public Tweets posted to Twitter will be archived at the Library of Congress. Now, no doubt about 99% of these will be considered “junk”, however, the reasoning seems to be to preserve an archive of “important” tweets. Just a few examples of important tweets in the past few years include the first-ever tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (http://twitter.com/jack/status/20), President Obama’s tweet about winning the 2008 election (http://twitter.com/barackobama/status/992176676), and a set of two tweets from a photojournalist who was arrested in Egypt and then freed because of a series of events set into motion by his use of Twitter (http://twitter.com/jamesbuck/status/786571964) and (http://twitter.com/jamesbuck/status/787167620).
From the Library of Congress blog… How Tweet It Is! Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive… “Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions… Expect to see an emphasis on the scholarly and research implications of the acquisition.” If interested, here’s the official Tweet from the Library of Congress announcing this! Of interest, they (The Library of C) also operate the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program www.digitalpreservation.gov, which is pursuing a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations.