Twitter archiving using Twapper Keeper: technical and policy challenges
Twitter is widely used in a range of different contexts, ranging from informal social communications and marketing purposes through to supporting various professional activities in teaching and learning and research. The growth in Twitter use has led to a recognition of the need to ensure that Twitter posts ('tweets') can be accessed and reused by a variety of third party applications. This paper describes development work to the Twapper Keeper Twitter archiving service to support use of Twitter in education and research. The reasons for funding developments to an existing commercial service are described and the approaches for addressing the sustainability of such developments are provided. The paper reviews the challenges this work has addressed including the technical challenges in processing large volumes of traffic and the policy issues related, in particular, to ownership and copyright. The paper concludes by describing the experiences gained in using the service to archive tweets posted during the WWW 2010 conference and summarising plans for further use of the service.