Losing My Revolution: A year after the Egyptian Revolution, 10% of the social media documentation is gone.

From Old Dominion University’s Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group blog:

“The Egyptian revolution on the 25th of January 2011 was unlike any other revolution in history because of the role of social media. Several blogs, Storify entries, web pages, channels on YouTube where created to document the revolution. Several books were even published documenting the 18 days. All of these contributions were made by the public, not historians, utilizing the tools of web 2.0. As a result of all these contributions we have an enormous digital content including thousands of posts, tweets, images, videos and sound files narrating and documenting the revolution. Unfortunately, at the first anniversary of this revolution over 10% of this digital content is already gone.”

“As stated earlier, there are several resources that curate the Egyptian Revolution and we want to investigate as many of them as possible. At the same time we need to diversify our resources and the types of digital artifacts that are embedded in them. Tweets, videos, images, embedded links, entire web pages and books were included in our investigation. For the sake of consistency, we will limit our analysis to resources created within the same time frame. For this purpose we tried to use the period of 20th of January until the 1st of March was selected as our temporal filter. Finally, to remove the possibility of transient errors skewing the results, we repeated our experiment 3 times over a period of three weeks before declaring a resource missing.

Our test collection consisted of:

  • Three stories from Storify, which contributed a total of 222 resources (26 of which are videos, 179 are images and the remaining 17 are links).
  • IamJan25.com website, from which we investigated all the pages containing user-contributed images (1225 images on yfrog and 1703 images on twitpic making a total of 2928 unique image links) and videos (2387 unique video links on YouTube).
  • Tweets From Tahrir book having 1118 tweets, 23 of which have embedded images.
  • 1000Memories/egypt webpage and its associated resources.”

Experiment results and data available here.

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