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OPLIN 4Cast #261: Tweets, tweets, what are they good for?

Posted in 4cast

It’s difficult to grasp the amount of information people generate each day in the form of short little tweets. Many of these tweets (some people would say most of them) seem to be useless information, while some tweeters, teamed up with other tweeters, have been credited with bringing down governments this year. Some organizations think even seemingly useless tweets have value and are putting a lot of effort into collecting them – often for very different reasons, not all of them benign.

  • Library of Congress says Twitter archive will build “unique record of our time” (The Next Web/Jon Russell)  “The archives of tweets will be available to [program manager Bill] Lefurgy’s team for research, as it seeks to find and analyse ‘interesting data’ from the information[…] The number of tweets to be archived has grown rapidly from the 50 million a day that was recorded when Twitter and the library first linked up last year. According to Twitter’s latest figures, an average of 140 million tweets are sent across its service per day, that’s an awful lot of data to store and analyse.”
  • DataSift to offer access to historical tweets (TechCrunch/Erick Schonfeld)  “When the service is launched more broadly later next year, it will go back as far as two years. DataSift allows for all sorts of data analysis because it pours all the tweets into a structured database. So you can give it queries like: ‘Give me all the tweets that mention TechCrunch from people who do not follow @techcrunch’ or ‘All females in the UK who mention fashion.’”
  • Twitter partner Gnip raises $2M for social media monitoring data (All Things D/Liz Gannes)  “Gnip will offer social media monitoring companies the Halfhose (50 percent of Tweets at a cost of $30,000 per month), the Decahose (10 percent of Tweets for $5,000 per month) and the Mentionhose (all mentions of a user including @replies and re-Tweets for $20,000 per month), with the caveat that they can’t publicly display the data.”
  • CIA following Twitter, Facebook (Associated Press/Kimberly Dozier)  “The CIA facility was set up in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, with its first priority to focus on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. But its several hundred analysts — the actual number is classified — track a broad range, from Chinese Internet access to the mood on the street in Pakistan.”

Holiday bonus:
This is not related to Twitter, but… a former editor of the 4cast found a very interesting infographic about email habits. Cool!