Following-up on yesterday’s about implementing a social media records management policy I wanted to look at some of the hurdles that are present, recommendations to tackle those hurdles and a real life implementation of a records management solution from the state of North Carolina.

One major example of Big Data from social media that needs to governed is Twitter. The Library of Congress (LOC) is currently taking on a project to archive all of Twitter, which accounts for over 133.2 terrabytes of data. Receiving and storing the tweets is not problem, but organizing the information so it is accessible is the biggest hurdle they face. Until the archiving and indexing practices are improved, it takes 24 hours to run a search on the Twitter archive. At this time the LOC does not have the resources to facilitate efficient access to the Twitter Archive. For more information you can read the LOC’s report,
“Update on the Twitter Archive At the Library of Congress”
and the article, “Building the Library of Twitter” from Datanami

Thankfully many records manager who have to manage social media do not have to deal archiving all of Twitter. Iron Mountain has given the following five steps to ensure a social media success story:

1. Identify vital information. Whether it’s email, blog posts or tweets, you need to get a handle on what forms of information a litigator or regulator most typically wants, and then give that top priority in your information management scheme.

2. Control your information. E-discoveries wait for no one. When you receive a subpoena, you must be able to quickly navigate all of your records—physical or digital, email or social media-based. This calls for smart indexing and identification processes, with your workflow built around those structures.

3. Develop a social media policy. Determine how your company should handle social media information, with provisions for archiving. Write it, refine it, and then distribute it throughout your firm.

4. Build retention and destruction schedules. Develop and implement a sensible and legally credible schedule for each type of record your business handles. It’s also essential to provide for the secure destruction, as required by law, of many legal, medical or financial documents. A well-laid plan accounts for all legal, regulatory, business and compliance obligations.

5. Ensure a secure chain of custody. In some legal cases, litigators may ask for proof that you’ve been preserving email and social media consistently.
You can read more from Iron Mountain at, Records Management: Creating a Social Media Success Story”

Those steps from Iron Mountain are consistent with research from The Collaboration and Transformation Shared Interest Group of the American Council for Technology and the Industry Advisory Council when they conducted a study of ten agencies regarding records management processes addressing the use of social media. You can read their report
Chris Hohman of IncontextMag does a good job of summarizing it in, “A Records and Information Management Guide To Social Media” where she states:

The key to managing social media records, privacy, and security is to establish an information governance framework that identifies the decision rights of those who own the information and accountability for this information. In that framework, clearly identify the policies and procedures for managing records and information, train your employees on those policies, and implement technology tools that will provide security and protect the integrity of the information. The policies and regulations created by the government for the use of social media tools are excellent examples on how an organization can create its own social media policies.

For an example of smaller scale of implementing records management for social media I would highly commend the work that the state of North Carolina is doing with their Social Media Archive It is was launched in late 2012 and is “the first to offer complete public access to archived social media data and metadata”

The Social Media Archive is in a beta version now and only displays Facebook and Twitter posts from or directed at a handful of agencies, including Gov. Bev Purdue’s office. Ultimately, the tool will be expanded to include more than 130 of the state’s social media sites, said Anil Chawla, founder of Archive Social, the company that developed the tool.

You can learn more about it at NextGov in an article by Joseph Marks entitled, “North Carolina Launches Social Media Records Management Platform.”