While the short form musings of a generation chronicled by Twitter might seem ephemeral, the Library of Congress wants to save them for posterity — and Google wants to let you search them like an archive! We’ve already seen the 140-character status updates on what people are doing turn into a global publishing phenomenon.
Now Twitter messages will be archived permanently by the Library of Congress.
The Twitter archive of all public tweets, starting from its inception in March 2006, will join such august collections such as letters from the Civil War and famous photographs from Great Depression-era works project.
For its part, Google thinks you shouldn’t have to wait to start doing sociological and anthropological research into the Twitter archive — so it’s turning on a feature that lets you choose a point in time and start to “replay” the short-form messages from that point on. Google’s search combines Twitter updates with those from MySpace, Facebook and its own fledgling micro-publishing service Buzz.
The point of all this?
We’re watching the making of digital history – again! You may still have a lot of people to explain Twitter to – now you have an additional reason to make them sit up and take notice.