Published my first opinion piece on CNN.com today, in which I argue it’s a great thing that the Library of Congress is archiving billions of public tweets. Despite some parentheses trouble and unclickable URLs in the story (I’ve alerted my editor), I’m proud of how the piece came out, even though CNN.com commenters seem to think tweets are a waste of storage space. Thanks to @matty_g, @Jason_Pollock, @Swiftsfan, and @itwalkabout for the example tweets in the story. Who says tweets are trivial? [CNN.com]
A few months ago, I saw Connie Willis speak about her new novel, set in World War II. She mentioned a source she used for her research, though for the life of me I cannot remember the name. Apparently, some research project had been paying Londoners of all sorts to keep a detailed diary of their everyday activities, things they were thinking about, and all the various mundane things people like to say are dumb about Twitter. Well, then the war broke out, and the blitz started, and nobody thought to tell these people to stop writing. The result is a pretty invaluable insight into life in London during the blitz. I can’t help but think that things like Twitter archives will yield similar insights 60 years from now.