Digital curation is a broad filed full of potentials. Before, I used to limit my thoughts within the digitization projects directed by archival institutions, as I summarized in the cases from the National Archives. But through the study in Digital Curation module and my self-research, gradually I realized that the definition of digital archives is much broader than I expected. In our daily life, the emails we sent, the tweets we posted, etc. can all be contained into digital archives. So I try to find out how the academics apply and manage those new-era archives.
When I did my work placement in SAGE Ocean Team, I helped my colleagues summarize the applications for archiving the data from social media including Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, etc. and learned some new cases about it by looking through academic papers and technical websites. Given that western readers may not know much about Weibo, I explain it detailedly in my third post. Hope it could be an inspiration for digital archivists!
In addition, some of the tools for archiving weibo are as follows.
A free software, providing both Windows and Mac versions. Developed by: A visualization analysis group from Peking University (Its official website in English: http://vis.pku.edu.cn/)
- Monitor the real-time data and grab raw data for deeper analysis.
- Data visualization: Each node represents a post of microblog, the connection represents the forwarding relationship, and the process of microblog propagation can be extracted. In the right dashboard, users can choose to filter the keywords contained in content posted before or display the selected data and create customized report.
A web-based tool, planning to launch an app on mobile phones in the near future. Developed by: A technology company, Zhiweidata. co. Ltd
- Archive analysis: based on the exposure, the user’s total rating (weighting average of indicators such as user activity and follower volume), emotional value (positive and negative emotions), and content analysis (propagation tracking).
- User profile: generate the data of users by gender, districts, active degree, etc.
Individual users can use the service of BDP for free but it will be limited in the permitted numbers of API and data storage (only 100M). For 1G storage space and linked with 8 API, it cost approximately £8 per month. More than 1000 business companies such as Nielsen, Alibaba, etc. reached partnership with BDP.
Developed by: Haizhi Network Technology Co. Ltd, a start-up founded in 2013.
- No need to write python code or SQL, just drag and drop through the dashboard then you can complete professional functions as a data expert.
- Multi-table association: Drag and drop to achieve multi-table association (join), which is simpler and more convenient than VLOOKUP.
- Append merge: multiple tables with the same structure, quickly integrated into a new table, eliminating the need for Ctrl + C / Ctrl + V.
These applications can allow researchers to archive targeted posts from the whole Weibo retrospectively, no matter when they start to use it.
Extracts raw data from the whole database of weibo, covering user information, hashtags, blog post/review/like information, etc.
An easy analytics dashboard for industry intelligence on Weibo. Developed by: KAWO Co.Ltd, a start-up founded in 2013. Designed for digital agencies, researchers and journalists to use WeiboStats for reports and insights on Chinese Social Media. Users can easily track the performance of multiple Weibo accounts for free.
For those who have no background of coding, these tools will be very helpful when there is a need to complete some digital curation tasks. Of course Twitter and Facebook have their own tools as well, some are paid service but lots of them are free to use.
Digital curation covers a wider range apart from collecting and analyzing digital archives on social media. It can be challenging if you haven’t studied heated-discussed languages such as python, but it should be aware that you can still be an archivist with the help of many other online applications. Also, as the cases shows, the functions of archiving may have fascinating effects in practical.