170 Billion Tweets and Rising – Let’s pin the tail on the donkey!
The Library of Congress has been archiving public tweets for years. The objective of this on-going exercise was to set-up a process to archive Tweets. They are now accumulating just under half-billion Tweets per day. Mission complete. The part lacking in the mission was the purpose of doing this and how interested parties would access the information to see if they could make heads or tails of it. It appears this part of the mission is not completed, in fact, it isn’t even started.
The archive is not available to researchers yet, nor does there appear to be any approach to assist researchers in understanding the data or extracting information they find useful. “The Library’s focus is now on confronting and working around the technology challenges to making the archive accessible to researchers and policymakers in a comprehensive and useful way….Even the private sector has not yet implemented cost-effective commercial solutions because of the complexity and resource requirements of such a task.” Update on the Twitter Archive At the Library of Congress.
Ok. A good example of Big Data gone awry. With all the hype in the marketplace on this hot new topic it appears that the Library of Congress has jumped on the bandwagon for no apparent purpose. I guess it reminds us all that like any other application, there needs to be a ‘reason’ and ‘results’ that can be used to achieve an organization’s objectives. Aggregating all Tweets ever tweeted doesn’t seem to make any ‘business’ sense. Well I guess it does for the Library of Congress, although that has not yet been revealed. We will just have to wait and see what they come up with.
Sort of like playing pin the tail on the donkey, we know the donkey is there but can’t figure out which end is the tail. Dare I say typical government?