John Bowers at Harvard: A Million Squandered: The “Million Dollar Homepage” as a Decaying Digital Artifact. “While most of the graphical elements on the Million Dollar Homepage are promotional in nature, it seems safe to say that the buying craze was motivated by a deeper fixation on the site’s perceived importance as a digital artifact. A banner at the top of the page reads ‘Own a Piece of Internet History,’ a fair claim given the coverage that it received in the blogosphere and in the popular press….But to what extent has this history been preserved? Does the Million Dollar Homepage represent a robust digital artifact 12 years after its creation, or has it fallen prey to the ephemerality common to internet content?” If you want an exhibit A to the problems of digital impermanence and linkrot, READ THIS.
Irish Times: Digital Irish content in danger of disappearing, specialist warns. “Ger Wilson, head of digital collections at the National Library of Ireland, said that with its research showing that as much as 50 per cent of website content can disappear within a year, it is ‘highly likely’ that some critical material has already disappeared. She was speaking following the issuing of a tender notice by the library to carry out an extensive crawl of Irish-registered domains later this year. This is part of an attempt to archive the Irish web so that historians of the future will be able to see what the Irish internet looked like in 2017.”
Forbes: Why We Need To Archive The Web In Order To Preserve Twitter. “As social media has become an ever-more central medium through which global society communicates, there has been considerable discussion about just how libraries and archives can work to preserve these walled gardens in the same way that web archives like the Internet Archive have worked to preserve the open web. Twitter in particular has been a keen focus of the social archiving community due to its streaming APIs and default public nature of most communications sent through the platform. Indeed, in 2010 the Library of Congress received a donation of the entire historical backfile of Twitter and continues to archive all public tweets through present day. Is this doomsday archive by itself truly sufficient to fully preserve Twitter for future generations?” Great article. Not particularly encouraging, but great.
Motherboard: A Team of Volunteers Is Archiving SoundCloud in Case it Dies. “Spurred by recent reports the German streaming music and audio company may be running out of cash, The Archive Team is racing to preserve sound files—at high cost.”
Open Source: LinkArchiver automatically submits links to the Internet Archive. “The internet is forever, except when it isn’t. “Link rot”—where once-valid links to websites become broken over time as pages move or sites go offline—is a real problem for people who try to do research online. The Internet Archive helps solve this problem by making submitted content available in the ‘Wayback Machine.’ The difficulty, of course, is getting people to remember to submit links for archival.”
The Register: Photobucket says photo-f**k-it, starts off-site image shakedown. “Photobucket is cracking down on people embedding on third-party websites images it hosts, until now, for free. The photo-slinging internet elder now says that anyone who wants to use its service to display photos it hosts on other pages – such as signature banners in forum posts – will now need to open up their wallets and plop down $399.99 a year for a subscription plan.”
HathiTrust: HathiTrust Libraries Propose to Retain More Than 16 Million Volumes in Shared Print Program. “Fifty HathiTrust member libraries have proposed to retain more than 16 million volumes for 25 years under the HathiTrust Shared Print Program. These volumes correspond to more than 4.8 million individual book titles held in the HathiTrust Digital Library (about 65% of all HathiTrust digital monographs). This is a significant step toward the primary goal of the program: to ensure that print copies of all HathiTrust digital holdings remain available to scholars for many years to come.”