Tweeting Archaeology

I don’t tweet.

However, like much else on the web, once the idea is out there, people have taken it and run with it. A round-up article from Wired discusses some of the interesting ways people have hacked the service, from a washing machine that tweets when its cycle is over, to house plants that tweet begging to be watered, to a fellow who can turn on his lights from his cell phone by tweeting his house.

An excavation/site/monument that tweeted if visited/disturbed after visiting hours? Hmm.

I also quite liked a related story where Vik Singh of Yahoo! created a mashup that searches tweets for breaking news:

TweetNews takes Yahoo’s news results and compares them to emerging topics on Twitter, in effect using what’s most popular on Twitter as an index for determining the importance of news stories.

In other words, TweetNews uses Twitter to rank stories that are so new they may not have enough inbound links for algorithm-based ranking systems to prioritize them.

The result is a search engine mashup that tracks breaking news stories ranked by Twitter search results, offering faster updates, better relevance and more in-depth coverage than either source by itself.

In a blog post explaining the ideas behind TweetNews, Singh outlines the frustration many felt when searching for news on the Mumbai attacks: “Twitter messages were providing incredible focus on the important subtopics that had yet to become popular in the traditional media… what I found most interesting… was that news articles did exist on these topics, but just weren’t valued highly enough yet.”

So, here’s the TweetNews on Archaeology; and for those who have trouble with dipthongs, the TweetNews on Archeology .  We have archaeological blog aggregators… should we be aggregating tweets too? Do you tweet? Why, and how can you extend it to something bigger/better?

The original post describing how the service works – and the source code!! – is here. Vingh concludes:

There’s something very interesting here … Twitter as a ranking signal for search freshness may prove to be very useful if constructed properly. Definitely deserves more exploration – hence this service, which took < 100 lines of code to represent all the search logic thanks to Yahoo! BOSS, Twitter’s API, and the BOSS Mashup Framework.

Results of my TweetNews search this morning:

  • At Nimrud, decay is accelerating for 3,000 years of history.
    2009/02/10 22:01:56
  • 1 Related Tweets
  • ChristineFarmer
    @NevadaSlim thanks :) No, I have a PhD in Ancient History and Archaeology.
  • LAist
    LAist couldn’t resist doing a little shopping at The House of Love and Luck on La Cienega just north of Largo at the Coronet. This gorgeous new vintage jewelry store opened six weeks ago. Walk inside to find a treasure trove of beautiful necklaces, rings, bracelets and more. Every item in the store …
    2009/02/10 19:15:00
  • The Wenatchee World
    OLYMPIA Gov. Chris Gregoire has unveiled her plan to streamline government programs, hoping to cut more expenses as the state faces an estimated $6 billion budget shortfall through 2011.
    2009/02/10 18:53:39
  • New Kerala
    London, Feb 10 : A historian has suggested a link between the Stonehenge and an ancient circle of standing stones known as Carahunge in Armenia, which predates the historic site in England.
    2009/02/11 04:59:46
  • The Deming Headlight
    Santa Fe New Mexico communities statewide are being asked to honor sacred places during Heritage Preservation Month, the annual nationwide celebration of historic preservation through community events and other activities held each May, the state Historic Preservation Division announced today.
    2009/02/11 07:14:40
  • New Kerala
    Dhaka, Feb 11 : A rare hand written letter by Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore has been found from a private collector in a Bangladesh village.
    2009/02/11 05:24:02
  • BBC News
    A rare ceramic face mask jug dating back to the 13th century has been uncovered at a building site in Rothesay.
    2009/02/11 12:27:01
  • San Francisco Chronicle
    Why Evolution Is True By Jerry A. Coyne (Viking; 304 pages; $27.95) Praise be the plucky Tiktaalik roseae, the “transitional form” that hauled itself out of the water 375 million years ago to bridge the span between fish and amphibians, whose descendants…
    2009/02/11 13:04:08
  • The Buffalo News
    The public will soon get its first chance to speak out on the proposed $325 million Canal Side project.
    2009/02/10 13:24:34
  • The Pulse-Journal
    A Deerfield Twp. mansion has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    2009/02/10 23:32:35
  • FOX 10 Phoenix
    ASU budget cuts force ASU to cap enrollment – Four Dozen Academic Programs to End
    2009/02/10 22:16:40
  • Straight Furrow
    AN AUSTRALIAN antiques dealer has been arrested in Egypt for allegedly trying to smuggle two 2300-year-old animal mummies and religious figurines out of the country.
    2009/02/11 07:57:53
  • Tiscali
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Archaeologists have found a mass grave in Mexico City with four dozen human skeletons laid out in neat lines that could reveal clues about the 16th century Spanish conquest that killed millions.
    2009/02/11 01:54:59
  • Rapid City Journal
    Ladies Salad Luncheon set for Tuesday RAPID CITY The Tuesday Ladies Salad Luncheon will be Feb. 10 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 402 Kansas City St. Special guests are the Rev. Kenneth Sortedahl, his wife and students of Peniel Christian School in Spring Valley, Wis. The event includes music at 11:45 a.m., lunch at noon and the program at 12:30 p.m.
    2009/02/11 07:58:13
  • Deseret Morning News
    Wanted: Volunteer docents for the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at Brigham Young University
    2009/02/11 07:31:08
  • PhotonicsOnline
    Future telescopes, with mirrors half the size of a football field, will need special components to deal with the light they collect. Astronomers are turning to photonic devices that guide and manipulate light inside specially-designed materials.
    2009/02/11 12:33:22
  • Otago Daily Times
    Consent applications for a wind farm in the heart of Southland, due to be filed this month, may not be lodged for at least another two months and maybe longer, as the company behind the project gets a swag of assessment reports reviewed.
    2009/02/10 16:42:53
  • Daily Local News
    Chocolate for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day?
    2009/02/11 11:30:57
  • KIRO 7 Seattle-Tacoma
    OLYMPIA, Wash. — In addition to shutting down 150 minor boards and commissions and closing 25 Department of Licensing offices, Gov. Chris Gregoire says the state could save money by merging some agencies.
    2009/02/10 19:01:48
  • MSNBC
    Egypt’s chief archaeologist has unveiled a completely preserved mummy inside a limestone sarcophagus sealed 2,600 years ago during pharaonic times.
    2009/02/11 15:11:15
  • Charlevoix Courier
    Years after having thought it had taken the steps necessary to lay claim on a ship it lost to rough seas in the 17th century, France formally asserted ownership last week in a Michigan U.S. District Court.
    2009/02/11 07:18:10
  • MSNBC
    Hairs that likely belonged to humans living 195,000 to 257,000 years ago in Africa have been identified in fossilized brown hyena dung, according to a new study that describes the first non-bony material in the early human fossil record.
    2009/02/10 18:41:25
  • The Daily World
    OLYMPIA The governors plan to streamline government programs would close Department of Licensing offices across the state, including one at South Bend, and eliminate dozens of state boards and commissions.
    2009/02/10 19:20:52
  • Casper Star-Tribune
    Natrona County Coroner Dr. James Thorpen will retire later this year, he said Tuesday.
    2009/02/11 10:51:22
  • The Bryan-College Station Eagle
    WASHINGTON — Chocolate for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day?Folks may be surprised to know how far back chocolate goes — perhaps 1,000 years in what is now the United States.Evidence of chocolate was been found in Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, …
    2009/02/11 02:40:23
  • Billings Gazette
    BUTTE – Butte-Silver Bow’s new historic preservation officer is leaving the position Friday.
    2009/02/11 08:38:51
  • The Village Voice
    Portraits in tenacity make for some of the strongest films in this year’s Documentary Fortnight film fest, again bundled within the supergroup of nonfiction attractions known as MOMA’s Doc Month. You might also group the filmmakers under the banner of the relentless, as they rustle up category-bl…
    2009/02/11 00:16:49
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    2 thoughts on “Tweeting Archaeology

    1. Pingback: links for 2009-02-22 « Sarah Hartley

    2. Ok, things change. I find twitter extremely useful, as I use it to follow various archaeologists, projects, museums, and digital humanities folks. You can find me @electricarchaeo.

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