A Tweet is Forever

Today, the US Library of Congress announced that it acquired the entire Twitter public archive going back to March 2006. At over 50,000 tweets per day, that accounts for billions of tweets.


The announcement creates a number of considerations. The first cements the concept that social media posts are forever. This is not new…is it? The Library of Congress is a one-way vault of collecting information amongst other things. As such, it may cause one to rethink their posts before hitting the return key.

The second thought is a change to the way information is organized. Today, many think in terms of centralizing data as much as possible. But with the increase in both sources and end points, the strategy is flawed. Rather than collecting information into a central source, we need a way to connect the different data sources. This does a couple of things. First, it eliminates the need to duplicate data to multiple locations. Second, it prevents the need to make assumptions on the organization of data. Put another way, data organization becomes more abstract and dynamic. Third, mobile devices are used more than ever to access data. The physical location and connectivity method of those devices varies from device-to-device and day-to-day.

In essence, a new architecture is needed to create dynamic organization of data. This also requires a more robust global network to bring data from different sources dynamically.

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