Odyssey Online

Library of Congress Collects Twitters

April 18, 2010 · No Comments

…an interesting piece by Jared Keller on the Library of Congress’ plans to collect tweets. As he puts it, “Twitter is [now] forever; make your tweets count.”  The article raises all sorts of interesting implications (not the least of which is the forever business) but it causes me to wonder about whether, well, the Internet was ever meant to be collected.  Is the Internet discourse in the sense that text is discourse, or is it discourse in the sense that human interaction is discourse.  Years ago John Perry Barlow characterized the Internet (and I’m paraphrases with a pencil in each hand here) by encouraging people to think of all of the activity on the Internet, all of the web pages, blog posts, tweets, Youtube uploads, Facebooking et. al. as a Mississippi River of text/images that one dives into and swims in for a while. And then gets out.  No more than one might want one’s telephones conversation from a given day remembered, is the Internet something of the instant, or is it, as the LOC as apparently decided, a sufficient snap shot of the doings and wooings of human beings to be saved and studied? Is this little paused here at OO worth a call number?

Categories: Essay on Technology · Information Studies