We are always on the lookout for stories of interest and trying to relate those back to the work we do at the State Archives of North Carolina. Last week, National Public Radio ran a story about the World Wide Web and the very first web page ever created and made available. (http://www.npr.org/2013/05/22/185788651/the-first-web-page-amazingly-is-lost)
According to the story, the page was lost never to be recovered. On May 24th, the News and Observer ran a story that the webpage does in fact still exist on a computer at UNC and is being preserved by Paul Jones (http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/24/2915835/hunt-for-worlds-oldest-www-page.html) Fascinating stuff but also very relevant to the work that the State Archvies and State Library of North Carolina are partnering together to accomplish. In 2005, the Archives and Library began a website archiving program for state agency web pages. The following year, the Website Archives incorporated previous versions of agency website as captured by the Internet Archive. The collection now hosts content/archived web pages dating back to 1999.
Which brings me to my point. Social media has made a huge impact in how content and information is delivered and how people interact with it. State agencies have embraced these tools to reach people and interact with them in new ways. In order to stay current and ensure this information/records are captured, the Archives and Library researched how to best capture this new interactive content. Although the website archiving tool that we use for state pages will capture some social media content, the social media content changes and is difficult to capture reliably each time. So, the staff decided to test a new tool that works directly with the API of these social media sites. We liked the results we got with it—captures posts, direct messages and comments and digitally time stamps them and it is searchable (http://nc.gov.archivesocial.com/ ) As a result, we are expanding the pilot and opening it up to other agencies. We will be contacting state agencies about their social media accounts to ensure that the content is captured and made accessible. For more information or to participate, please visit www.webarchives.ncdcr.gov