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Opening Up Our Data to the Public

In addition to the steps that the White House and NARA are taking to archive social media content, we want to open up the process to the American people. Specifically, by the end of the Obama Administration we're committed to publicly sharing our social media content in an easily accessible and comprehensive way (e.g. downloadable .zip files). In the interim, we're inviting the American public -- from students and data engineers, to artists and researchers -- to come up with interesting ways to archive this content and make it useful and available for years to come. From Twitter bots and art projects to printed books and simple query tools, we’re open to it all. The White House will make our social media data available early to folks who are interested in building something for the public.

Qualification criteria for early access to data:

  1. You must propose an innovative way to archive our social media account, and your proposal must be constructive in spirit.
  2. The products you develop must be free and accessible to the general public, and constructive in spirit.
  3. Projects must be completed by mid-December.

We're open to submissions of all types, yet here are few specific areas where we're looking for help to make the social media content and data more accessible to people around the world:

  1. With hundreds of thousands of social media posts across multiple platforms, what tools could you build to make White House content easily searchable? From basic keyword search so that you can pull up all "health care" posts on Twitter and Facebook, to using closed-captioned transcripts to make the White House YouTube archive easier to peruse, we're curious to see proposals for sorting and searching historical content.
  2. How can you preserve social media from the past eight years and present content from the archives in a way that is relevant and engaging?  From a Twitter bot that replays the big moments of the past eight years, to empowering people to make personal photo albums from the White House Instagram archive, we're interested in the best ways to capture all that we did together in President Obama's two terms.
  3. This content should be accessible to all. While we’ve made big strides in the last few years to make our photos, videos, and other types of social content more accessible for Americans with disabilities, we still have a long way to go to add metadata and descriptions that make older content enjoyable to all audiences. What tools or functionality could be developed to make this content accessible to all?

To submit an idea to receive early access, please complete this form:

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