Few (if any) efforts have been made to collect, measure, and study these developing writing communities on social media. There is, however, an increasing urgency for such studies to be undertaken, not least of which is because of the ephemerality of social media data. In fact, in December 2017, the Library of Congress, which began archiving Twitter in 2010, announced that it would no longer collect all Tweets; instead, Tweets produced after December 2017 would only be collected on a selective basis. This situation threatens to produce a gap in the literary-historical record, and it is necessary that literary scholars step in to archive, preserve, and study this burgeoning community.
Project TwitLit seeks to address this gap by analyzing the amateur writing community on Twitter, an increasingly popular global social media platform that privileges short, pithy forms of writing. Project TwitLit has four pimary goals:
Project TwitLit has received several grants, including a Prototyping Fellowship from the University of Virginia Scholars' Lab and a Mellon Confounding Problem Grant from Bucknell University.