Library of Congress Tracks Your Tweets

Library of Congress Tracks Your Tweets


Does this news presage a deepening government interest in your personal affairs or has the Library of Congress simply realized that tweeting is of some value beyond Twitter? I’ll let you be the judge of that!

Categorized Tweets

TwitterLast week, Twitter announced on their blog that the U.S. Library of Congress has added tweets to their collection of books, pamphlets, music, maps and other stuff registered in United States. As the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress takes periodical categorization to a level not seen anywhere else. Now, they’re interested in the 55 million plus tweets shared across Twitter on any given day.

The tweets collected by the Library of Congress are those not protected, representing the vast majority of daily tweets. As noted by Twitter, tweets have played an important role in helping announce and track news, often mere moments after an important event or incident takes place.

Recalling Events

You may recall back in January that news of the Haitian earthquake surfaced on Twitter with on the ground tweets informing the world what was going on in Haiti. Those tweets told us that people were in need of help with Twitter users donating millions of dollars to charities over the following weeks.

Twitter has donated its entire archive of public tweets to the Library of Congress, noting that “only after a six-month delay can the Tweets be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.” This means your tweets are not being resold, but they are being studied for posterity’s sake.

Accessing Tweets

What if you want to review the tweet archives? Must you travel to Washington, DC to have access to same? Thanks to Google, older tweets are available and soon will include the very first tweets ever made. Called Google Replay, you can step back in time to see what people were tweeting about on last Christmas Day, while you were on vacation in the Bahamas or interviewing for that big job in New York.

Yes, you can relive a particular event as it unfolded, learning what people were saying at any given moment. Get a glimpse of the original conversation in order to get a sense of the action at a particular time and place.

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Categories: Social Media

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".