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Friday, April 16, 2010

Social Networks: the big brothers of our age

The importance of social networks is less social and more Data collection than ever.

"The US Library of Congress announced this morning via its official Twitter account that it will be acquiring the entire archive of Twitter messages back through March, 2006. In addition to a massive printed collection, the Library already has an extensive collection of other digital assets. The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world.

The Library does extensive work with data format standards, the semantic web and other platforms for outside analysis. The addition of Twitter into the organization's offerings could foster an enormous amount of academic research.

These kinds of large data sets are poised to become one of the most important resources the Internet creates. As Kenneth Cukier wrote in the Economist's recent Special Report on Big Data, "Data are becoming the new raw material of business: an economic input almost on a par with capital and labour."

It's hard to imagine a more significant milepost in social media's early march toward becoming an essential component of our social experience."
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