Wednesday, August 29, 2007

LiveJournal 1907

"Guys." Out of the blue. "Seriously. Who's protecting the internet for future generations?"

I will say this, sometimes, and I'm usually not talking about the internet itself, but all the piles of information that we reveal on it—information that any historian would kill to have in the future. Or, let's put it this way. If I could browse through the Facebook profiles and sappy LiveJournals of teenagers during, say, 1907, I would probably die of happiness. Historians 100 years from now? They should have that opportunity. But even though all this information is available right now, I have a feeling that people generally don't frantically download the Facebook profiles of everyone they know to their hard drives, back up those hard drives incessantly, and plan to give them to their grandchildren someday. Digital information is awesome, and fast, and doesn't take up much physical space. But in a way, that makes it so much more fragile. And also, password protected.
So actually, I don't have a solution to this problem, and you can probably sense the history nerd in me getting unnecessarily nervous at this impasse. But! Guess what I found on LifeHacker? A collection of web archives to distract me from my worries! Featured here are classics like the Internet Archive and its Moving Picture Department. ("What to Do in a Zombie Attack" comes highly recommended.) And then there are some surprises, like the Archive of Folk Culture and a list of online newspaper archives.

Thank you, internet.

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