Dave Winer, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, is on a mission to archive citizen journalism. Winer will be participating in a two-day meeting at the Library of Congress on the importance of backing up the underground rising voices of our country. Think about it, online media and blogging have captured our nation’s attention. However, what happens when someone passes away or gets tired of updating a blog and it drifts off into a sea of nothingness? Where does their content go? For years content deemed worth enough was printed into book form, bought and sold, set on a shelf, and stored. Does it seem fair that the current wave of thoughts and ideas expressed in non-conventional ways will be forgotten about if action is not taken now?
The Library of Congress has already attempted to embrace online media by archiving the collected works of Twitter. Seriously. All those ranting and raving tweets we feel the world needs to know will be archived. According to a New York Times piece, “users currently send a daily flood of 55 million messages…” Is this necessary? Do I want to read 50 Cent’s incoherent tweets 20 years from now? No. This could be an embarrassment for our country. Nevertheless, who is to say what content is worthy enough? For some reason the Library of Congress wants our tweets. Let’s hope Winer can convince them our rants over 140 characters are also worth archiving.
(Side note: How the eBook is taking over. This breaks my heart.)