Your Tweets are History!

How Tweet it is – for eternity!

If you have ever sent a Tweet, your descendants will now have an even better picture of what you were like, your life, your interests.

For genealogists, this may be quite helpful to future generations who really want to know what their grandparent had for lunch.

Others do not feel quite the same.

Read on for the upside, and the down, of this recent development.

The Library of Congress, according to Matt Raymond’s blog post, has acquired the entire Twitter archive. Every 140-character-or-less tweet that you have ever sent since Twitter launched in March 2006 – in anger, in humor, in simple status updates – will now be available at the LOC.

How many are there? Twitter gets more than 50 million – Twitter says some 55 million – tweets a day, totalling billions of the darned little things.

It was announced to the Twitter community via the LOC’s own feed (@librarycongress); the LOC’s feed has more than 50,000 followers:

Twitter posted the information on its own blog.

Library to acquire ENTIRE Twitter archive — ALL public tweets, ever, since March 2006! Details to follow. (11:36 AM Apr 14th via web Retweeted by 100+ people)

That blog post also mentioned Google Replay.

“… It is our pleasure to donate access to the entire archive of public Tweets to the Library of Congress for preservation and research. It’s very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history. It should be noted that there are some specifics regarding this arrangement. Only after a six-month delay can the Tweets will be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation. …”

“… Today we are also excited to share the news that Google has created a wonderful new way to revisit tweets related to historic events. They call it Google Replay because it lets you relive a real time search from specific moments in time. …”

Read about Google Replay here. Although it currently only goes back a few months, it will include the very first Tweets ever created.

Raymond indicated that soon there will be a LOC press release with even more details, focusing on scholarly and research implications.

Other facts gleaned from these announcements: the LOC holds 167 terabytes of web-bsed information. That includes legal blos, national office candidates websites and Congressional members’ websites.

For positive and negative reactions to this development, see the LOC post comments at the link above. Remarks included: Awesome, who owns the copyright (Twitter or the re-Tweeter)?, what right does the government have to a private individual’s Tweets, is the 167 terabytes backed up?, tax dollars at work, waste of time and money, banal and narcissistic, no warning?, awful, access policies?, incredibly valuable resource, be careful what you Tweet online, what happens if a public Twitter account goes private?, can’t put the genie back in the bottle, who owns non-US-generated Tweets? and more.

As should always be the case, be careful as to what private information you post on any social media networking site, such as Facebook, Twitter or others.

Northern California: ‘Sharing, Preserving in Digital Era,’ April 19

Learn how to share and preserve family memories in a digital age with speaker Daniel Horowitz at the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society’s Peninsula branch in Los Altos, on Monday, April 19.

Doors open at 7pm, the program begins at 7.30pm at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Today researchers have many options for storing and sharing research material, including text, images, videos, documents and sound. Today’s tools range from “capturing” devices (such as audio/video recorders, cameras, mobile phones and scanners) to products for sharing (such as CDs, DVDs, portable disc, electronic photo frames) to the Internet itself.

For many, the Internet is the perfect place to share and preserve memories. Publish your material in a range of ways, from those that are completely private to completely public, everything between.

Ask for collaboration or confirmation or simply display the information; and you can control every aspect. Many easy-to-use tools and resources can facilitate the work of setting up websites, blogs, wikis or any other ways to publish the information.

Learn the different available options, establish your goals and decide the best way to publish your research and collected materials, and allow the younger generations to enjoy, help and collaborate in your project.

Born and raised in Caracas,Venezuela, Daniel Horowitz and his family have lived in Israel since 2005. He is translation and database manager at MyHeritage.com, a genealogical social networking site with many exciting features for connecting families around the world.

He’s a computer instructor and teacher/creator of the Searching for My Roots genealogy project for young people. A founder/lecturer for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Venezuela, he’s a member/webmaster of the Israel-based IGS/JFRA society and the Horowitz Family Association.

He’s a frequent lecturer at international Jewish and general genealogy conferences and is a board member/webmaster of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).

Fee: Attendance is free to all. For more information, contact the SFBAJGS vice president and branch chair Rosanne Leeson.

Hong Kong: ‘Asian Jewish Life,’ spring issue online

On my recent Hong Kong visit, I met with editor-in-chief Erica Lyons of “Asian Jewish Life: A Journal of Spirit, Society and Culture.”

The new AJL spring 2010 issue is now online with stories covering India, Shanghai, Cambodia, foodies, book reviews, film and more.

“Asian Jewish Life is a contemporary journal of Jewish diaspora life throughout Asia. As Jews in Asia we are but a tiny minority unified by tradition, a love for Israel, common contemporary concerns and shared values. While Asian Jewish Life is a common media forum designed to share regional Jewish thoughts, ideas and culture and promote unity, it also celebrates our individuality and our diverse backgrounds and customs.”

Here’s the table of contents (read each online or download the PDF at the link above):

— Inbox: Your letters
— Letter from the Editor
— India Journal- Life with the Bene Ephraim (Bonita Nathan Sussman and Gerald Sussman)
— Eating Kosher Dog Meat: Jewish in Guiyang (Susan Blumberg-Kason)
— Through the Eyes of ZAKA (Jana Daniels)
— Interview: Ambassador Yaron Mayer

— Replanting Roots in Shanghai: Architect Haim Dotan’s journey (Erica Lyons)
— A Palate Grows in Brooklyn: Birth of a foodie (Sandi Butchkiss)
— Poetry by Rachel DeWoskin
— The Death Penalty: What Asia can learn from Judaism (Michael H. Fox)
— Learning to Speak: A cross-cultural love story (Tracy Slater)
— Book Reviews (Susan Blumberg-Kason)
— Places I Love
— Expat Diary: Raising a Jewish Child in Cambodia (Craig Gerard)
— Film in Focus

Each article provides a diverse look into life in Asia, with a Jewish “hook.” Tracing the Tribe will always remember the line “tenderloin of my heart,” from Tracy Slater’s “Learning to Speak.”

Readers and writers with Jewish Asian experiences are invited to submit articles; click here for more information.

If you enjoyed this issue (the winter issue is also online), let Erica know, and tell her you learned about AJL at Tracing the Tribe. Feedback is always welcome.

A great issue, Erica!

Chicago: ‘My Uncle, The Hollywood Producer,’ April 25

Robin Seidenberg will present “My Uncle, The Hollywood Producer: A Fabulous Tale,” at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, on Sunday, April 25.
The program begins at 2pm at Temple Beth Israel, in Skokie.
Seidenberg, who will present this topic (with a slightly different title) at the upcoming JGSLA 2010, will demonstrate how she used online historical newspapers and other research tools to separate fact from fiction about her famous uncle.

Family whispers captured Robin’s curiosity about her uncle, the Hollywood producer. Having made millions in real estate and radio manufacturing, he was known as the zipper king when he arrived in Hollywood. Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Charles Laughton, Barbara Stanwyck, Angie Dickinson, Jane Powell and a future president of the United States starred in his productions.

Always amidst a bevy of beauties, he had several wives, including a Ziegfeld Follies star, a society heiress, and an actress called one of the most beautiful women in the world. Hear this fascinating story and learn how can research your family using online historical newspapers.
A former college French teacher, Seidenberg earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (University of Chicago) and completed most of her PhD requirements (University of Illinois). A member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Robin has been researching her family history since 1997. She is the JGSI’s executive vice president and Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts president.

The day begins at 12.30pm, so members can access the JGSI library, and receive help prior to the program.

For more information and directions, click here.