The Perma team and the Library Innovation Lab has been following the story of Twitter just as closely as everyone else on the web. After conversations with friends of the lab and various colleagues working to document Twitter’s digital history, we have put together a small scale experiment to help preserve threads from the site in a safe and reliable way.
We welcome users to try out Social.Perma.cc!
What exactly is it?
It’s a website that lets you download signed PDFs of Twitter URLs. Here’s an example PDF we made from this tweet.You can download them onto your computer to save, share, and serve them as you’d like.
What do I need to do to use it?
Not much! As you create the .pdf we do ask for the “reason” you’re preserving something. We are asking to get a sense of whether the tool is being used and a gut check on if it’s helping users in the ways we think it is. It’s fine to use the same answer for each pdf!
But that’s all! Just visit social.perma.cc to get started. We do encourage you to give some thought to where you plan to store the pdf’s. Perma Social is a generator tool, not a storage tool, so you’ll need to keep these safe and accessible if you want to use them.
Why did we make it?
There are lots of screenshots of Twitter threads going around. Some are real, some are fake. You can’t tell who made them, or when they were made.
PDFs let us apply document signatures and timestamps so anyone can check, in the future, that a PDF you download with this site really came from the Harvard Library Innovation Lab and hasn’t been edited.
PDFs also let us bundle in additional media as attachments. Each signed PDF currently includes all images in the page (so you can see full size images that are cropped in the PDF view), the primary video on the page if any, as well as a list of all the t.co links on the thread and their actual destinations.
Plus, as with all of our experiments, social.perma.cc also has the meta goal of understanding the field we’re working in with more depth and pull learnings into our longer scope projects.
If you have any questions or suggestions please reach out!