The Historical Record called Twitter

[tweetmeme source=”hannahsjohnson” only_single=false]

My first reaction to the news that the Library of Congress will save Tweets was, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” Do we really need to archive all the drivel that is pumped through Twitter each day?

Then some of my neurons fired and on second thought, archiving the Twitter stream could actually provide a very clear insight into public opinion and current events. Watching the trends over a timeline would be a fascinating way to find out how Twitter users are changing and what impact Tweets have on other forms of media.

Imagine having a vast written record of public opinion about monumental events in history like the stock market crash in 1929, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Civil Rights Act or even 9/11. Twitter is the ultimate observer (along with other social networks like Facebook) of society as seen by individuals, not just politicians, journalists and PR agencies. The historical record is now a lot bigger, and everyone can add their voice to it.