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Expert Blogs and Tweets: Are They Expert Publications?

By Antigone C. Peyton1

Nearly all of our business communications are now electronically created and most are electronically sent and received. In fact, the methods people use to share information have changed drastically over the last fifteen years as websites, blogs, listserves, tweets, text messages, and e-mail have replaced the telephone, fax, letter, in-person meeting, and paper publications. Due to this cultural shift, people are now creating vast quantities of electronic communications and other documents, most of which are being preserved indefinitely in e-mail and electronic file archives, on computer hard drives, and in other electronic storage. Sometimes by intent, but often by neglect, electronic information is not destroyed or thrown away like old and outdated papers.

The explosion of information disseminated on the Internet has furthered the persistence of electronic information, and as a society, we are building and preserving massive collections of electronic files. For instance, the Library of Congress will be archiving all public Twitter web messages (tweets) created since the beginning of Twitter-time.2 Thus, billions of 140-character-or-less snippets of information that many intended as fleeting conversations with others in the Twitter community will be saved, along with our Declaration of Independence and other important documents, for posterity. Th...

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