Many of my posts have mentioned a variety of Web services which are available in the Cloud. The importance of such services is now widely acknowledged but the issues about sustainability and engagement with the service providers are still as important as ever – though they are not the insurmountable barriers which they may have appeared to be in the past.

This is the context to JISC-funded development work to the Twapper Keeper Twitter archiving service which UKOLN is project-managing.  The Twapper Keeper service is reasonably well-known in the JISC development and e-learning communities: the service has been used, for example, to archive tweets from a number of high profile events including the ALT-C 2009 conference (see the archive of over 4,700 #altc2009 tweets), UKOLN’s Institutional Web Management Workshop (see the archive of over 1,600 #iwmw2009 tweets) and, most recently, the JISC’s 21010 conference (see the archive of over 1,900 #jisc10 tweets).

But how might the service be improved?  What enhancements could be made to the Web interface for users wishing to  archive groups of tweets or who wish to access existing archives of tweets?

As well as the user interface there are also questions about developments to the Twapper Keeper APIs so that developers can access the service and the data in order to reuse the data and avoid the data being trapped into a single application.

In addition to such development activities there will also be enhancements to the service environment to ensure that the service provides a reliable and resilient service.

It is also intended to provide an open source licence for the software components and provide documentation and additional supporting materials under an open content licence.

The development activities will be documented on the Twapper Keeper blog. An introduction to this development work was posted last week. Two subsequent posts have just been published which invite suggestions and comments on User Enhancements toTwapper Keeper and API Developments to Twapper Keeper. John O’Brien, Twapper Keeper developer and myself will use the blog to provide updates on developments.