Archiving state government's tweets

Posted December 4, 2012

Our colleague Rick Smith over at WRAL Techwire reports that Durham startup venture ArchiveSocial is helping North Carolina archive its tweets and other social media posts.

The beta version of the project was unveiled Tuesday and is available at nc.gov.archivesocial.com/.

"This is a very new thing," Anil Chawla, a former IBM executive who left the technology giant to launch ArchiveSocial, told WRAL Techwire. "Social media is a matter or public record. States and governments have to figure out how to archive it and make it available to the public."

@nccapitol tried out the tool to look for posts regarding the Dorothea Dix lease deal that was approved by the Council of State this morning and found a news release sent out by the governor's office, and a handful of tweets from park supporters. As search for the term "veto" brings up a number of discussions about controversial bills from the last two years. 

More from the Techwire piece: 

Kelly Eubank, head of the electronic records for the state archives, believes that social media belongs in the public record and had been an outspoken leader on that front long before the agreement with ArchiveSocial and the launching of the first site.

"For the first time ever, we can capture the full context of social media as it happens and make the records almost instantly available to the general public," said Eubank.

Chawla pointed out that ArchiveSocial scours sources for information then stores it in a complete and searchable form that "feels like a carbon copy of each social network."

The data base will help state agencies comply with free of information requirements and state public records laws, she added.


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