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WSJ – In a Single Tweet, as Many Pieces of Metadata as There Are Characters

Elizabeth Dwoskin – “To understand big data, look no further than a single tweet. At 140 characters a tweet seems tiny, but it can yield a wealth of information. According to Elasticsearch, a startup that builds software to help companies mine data from social media, there are 150 separate points of so-called metadata in an individual tweet. Metadata loosely refers to information that can be gleaned about a piece of content. For example, in legal terms, the body of an email is considered content, while the time stamp, the sender and the receiver are considered metadata. For a tweet, metadata includes a unique numerical ID attached to each tweet,  as well as IDs for all the replies, favorites and retweets that it gets. It also includes a timestamp, a location stamp, the language, the date the account was created, the URL of the author if a website is referenced, the number of followers, and many other technical specifications that engineers can analyze. (A Twitter employee created a map of metadata with explanations in 2010 that you can look at here.)”

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