“How important are small written ephemera such as notes, especially now that we create an almost incalculable number of them on digital services such as Twitter? Some of the most critical collections of primary sources are ephemera that someone luckily saved for the future.” Dan Cohen The New Everyday, June 2010.”
“Mum, what did people think of social media in local government in 2012?”
A while ago, I attended #localgovcampNW. There was a lot of good stuff but I already can’t remember most of it. Now if you Google the hashtag you will find bits and pieces of what happened. A few videos 1, a blog or two, and even a cookie monster.
But it isn’t all of it. It’s the bits that are being remembered 2 and some of it will definitely already be forgotten.
I really think there is a need to save the memory of events and the artifacts generated by them. Even if they appear transitory and ephemeral now there’s nothing to say they wont ever be more than that.
I’m hoping someone will create an eventalyser – something that is a bit of a collation tool for info generated at events which communicate largely via new and social media. I’ve wanted to see something on this for ages and a recent post by Mark Braggins/Sasha Taylor tracking the highlights and lowlights of #lgovsm – really hit home with the mention of need to ‘save’ tweeted content (Unconferences: Good Bad or Ugly) . So It just needs to happen 3. I see two very obvious use cases for this: conferences and hashtag events and both. Here’s a badly drawn concept 4:
The ultimate aim is to capture all content tweeted, linked to or streamed into a single configurable event portal. Maybe using templates or a bit like the drag and drop style ‘widget’ interface that WordPress uses. Essentially so that the focus is on organisation than editing in the first place.
It would ideally do the majority of this without input using fairly smart content recognition. (Ever noticed how Pinterest links to source sites automatically and also recognises things like the creator or storefront on sites like Etsy – and automatically links to them?)
Following the design of the archive it would then allow some curation of the content e.g. removing spurious tweets or hashtagbombers.
It seems like if tools like Storify, Paper.li can do some of this already we’re surely only a short step away from doing all of it? I think it would make a great hackday/hackweekend project. Long term of course it would also archive the content before bitrot sets in.
“What does this mean for the archiving of digital ephemera such as status updates—those little, seemingly worthless online notes? It means we should continue to expend the majority of resources on those documents and people of most likely future interest, but not to the exclusion of objects and figures that currently seem unimportant 5.” – Dan Cohen The New Everyday, June 2010.