As we reported last week, the Library of Congress is planning on collecting every 140-character rant, musing and drunken Twitpic ever fumbled into cyberspace in its new Tweet Archive. We don’t know what such a thing will look like, but we imagine it’s not exactly the 2-D equivalent of the photo to the right—after all, the social networking site is less Wordsworthian daffodil poetry and more Kardashian menstrual overshares. But with our tweets being preserved for posterity, it’s inevitable that they will eventually be anthologized, or at least uploaded into Norton Anthology iBooks. Here then, are the Silicon Valley site’s most important and historical real-time updates so far, the tweets that freshman will have to read, memorize and recite—and then promptly forget—in 100 years time.
1. The 2009 Iranian Elections
When discontent surfaced over Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection in June of last year, the nation’s government essentially banned journalists from covering the protests and riots. That’s when the country’s tweeters stepped up, broadcasting things like: “Students & people fighting back a large group of police & Basij right now at university of physics! I’m going to join them. #iranelection” (From Newsweek). Though Ahmadinejad remains Iran’s president, it’s likely that a flood of tweets with the hashtag #cnnfail got the news source to increase its coverage of the heated event.
2. Obama’s 2008 Election
When Obama (BarackObama) won over John McCain (SenJohnMcCain) in 2008, he announced the results over Twitter as well as through traditional media, highlighting his web savvy, social-media heavy campaign.
3. Obama calls Kanye West a Jackass
After Kanye West butted in on Taylor Swift’s (taylorswift13) acceptance speech at last year’s VMA’s, the president voiced his colorful opinion of Yeezy’s antics in an off-the-record portion of a CNBC interview. ABC’s Terry Moran (TerryMoran) then tweeted the following: “Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.” He soon deleted his post, but not before the private op-ed had been blasted all over the internet.
4. Twinterviews (Interviews over Twitter)
Though George Stephanopoulos’ (GStephanopoulos) 2009 interview with McCain was dismissed by many as a gimmick, it started a trend of real-time interviews picked up by Chris Weingarten (1000TimesYes) and Andrew WK (AndrewWK) later that year.
5. The Ashton Effect
One of the most prolific tweeters out there with more than 4 million followers, Kutcher (aplusk) was among the first celebrities to connect with his fans online, offering confessional peaks into his home life (and revealing peaks of his wife’s rear). He’s his own media source, and his success encouraged other celebrities to get on the ol’ tweet-wagon, though Tracy Morgan’s (RealTracyMorgan) announcement that his junk was shaped “liked a darth vadar helmet” didn’t entice quite as many followers. And John Mayer (johncmayer) and Tila Tequila (TilaOMG) have proved quite nicely that you don’t need a mean journalist to publish a takedown.