NPR: Internet Historians Mourn Loss Of Cultural Record As Yahoo Prepares To Delete Groups. “Yahoo Groups was once a place where people turned to find out what was happening in their communities. Then Facebook, Tumblr and other sites came along, making Yahoo Groups obsolete. So earlier this fall, Verizon, which now owns Yahoo, announced it will delete the archives of every Yahoo Group. That was supposed to happen this coming Saturday, but Verizon just announced it will extend the deadline until next month. NPR’s Neda Ulaby reports Internet historians and activists are scrambling.” I can’t find any other mentions of the deadline being extended at the moment, but I’ll keep an eye out. And why am I banging on about this? Because it’s going to happen again. And again. And again. And somebody has to care.
Ars Technica: Verizon reportedly blocks archivists from Yahoo Groups days before deletion. “An ad-hoc group scrambling to archive as much content as possible from Yahoo Groups ahead of the site’s final demise next week is running into trouble as more than a hundred volunteer archivists say Yahoo’s parent company, Verizon, has banned their accounts.” This is a big steaming pile of you know.
British Library: What is left behind? Exploring the Olympic Games legacies through the UK Web Archive. “The Olympic Games happen every four years. This means that every four years a city has to be chosen as a host city. It is easy to think about the impact of hosting such a big event in your own country. Usually governments have to prepare everything for their guests and be aware that the local population is expecting something that will remain as a legacy after the event ends. But what are people actually expecting? What usually happens after the Olympics? Are people happy or unhappy with the legacy left behind with the end of the games? We can try to answer these questions by reading what was published on the internet before, during and after the games in these countries that have hosted the Olympics.”
Boing Boing: GIF site Gfycat announces mass deletions, threatens Archive Team with lawsuit. “Gfycat is a site that people upload GIFs to so they can share them with other people reliably. Used most conspicuously to host memes, clips from other media, and animated porn, it announced Wednesday that it was planning to permanently delete old, anonymously-posted images within days. Archive Team, a web preservation initiative coordinated by Jason Scott, set about archiving the site’s soon-to-vanish content. So Gfycat’s CEO, Dan McEleney, threatened it with a lawsuit, describing archival of the memes it hosts as a ‘denial of service attack’ and demanding compensation.”
Columbia Journalism Review: Preserving work in a time of vanishing archives. “‘NOTHING DISAPPEARS ON THE INTERNET,’ people like to say, but journalists know that’s not necessarily true. Articles frequently disappear when online publications shutter or restructure. The internet is more like an Etch-a-Sketch than a stone engraving—over time, some marks endure, but the rest are swept from the canvas.”
Digital Preservation Coalition: Starting with complexity: Archiving digital-born music compositions from Mac systems of the 80s/90s. “About ten years ago, a music archive took over the private archive of a composer who had already begun composing with digital techniques in the 1980s. The result is impressive: the composer transferred his work on not less than 700 data carriers to the archive, including 660 floppy discs, 26 SyQuest carriers and a few carriers from the families of Iomega Jaz, Iomega Zip, CD-ROM and Harddisk. The composer has used Apple systems and proprietary special software (music notation and sequencing software) in his work.”
Straits Times: Arts community unites to save Yahoo group. “Volunteers have been galvanised to save the Arts Community Yahoo Group after the Internet giant announced its intention to close down all Groups on Oct 21 and delete all content by next month. A Facebook page … has been set up as a placeholder, while grassroots efforts are underway to archive discussion threads and build a new online portal for the arts community.”