Kin Lane

The Archiving Of Social Media For The Obama Administration

I'm thinking a lot about my bits lately, and the legacy of my work in a digital environment. As I'm working and writing on this topic, an email came through my inbox from the White House on the archive work they've done with the President's social media. I thought their approach was worth sharing as what I'd consider to be an archival and reclaim lesson when it comes to our digital bits and a positive approach to preserving the legacy of our digital work.

WhiteHouse.gov becomes ObamaWhiteHouse.gov
The Obama White House website – which includes press articles, blog posts, videos, and photos – will be available at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov, a site maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), beginning on January 20, 2017. If you are looking for a post or page on the Obama administration’s WhiteHouse.gov from 2009 through 2017, you can find it by changing the URL to ObamaWhiteHouse.gov. For example, after the transition, this blog post will be available at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov/obama-administration-digital-transition-moving-forward.

President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Biden

Archived content posted to these social media accounts during the Obama administration will be maintained by NARA at the following handles:

White House Social Media

Archived content posted to institutional White House social media accounts during the Obama administration will be maintained by NARA at the following handles:

Some other content you may be looking for can be found here: 

This is a static archive index of our 44th President that because each of the channels also has an API (except Medium), this index can act as an engine for research and storytelling on the 44th presidency, and possible a backdrop for current, and future presidencies. Using these platform APIs you can easily pull photos, quotes, video, and other valuable snippets from this period in time. This approach to archiving will play a significant role in how the history books are written (or rewritten).

I'm considering how I can create a new type of APIs.json index that can be used in this approach, providing a machine readable index to not just the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Instagram, and Youtube APIs, but also provide a reference to all of the accounts present in an archive. I'm looking to further quantify the dimensions of this approach to archiving, by having a machine-readable definition of the APIs, the accounts, as well as the data, and content contained within each archive. I want to be able to feed a single APIs.json file into a tool, and have it spit out a complete Github archive of everything represented by an archival index.