gRegorLove little g big R

The Long Web Haul

I was recently reminded of a great presentation I watched, “All Our Yesterdays” by Jeremy Keith. In it, he talks about long-term challenges for preserving our cultural information online. The common perception is that once we post something on the Internet, it is there for good. Many times, this is not the case, though.

Because it seems to make intuitive sense to us to believe that the internet never forgets, then we neglect what we put there.

Jeremy Keith, All Our Yesterdays

There are some great third-party services that make it easy to create and interact online, but then you are at their mercy. Companies go out of business — or are bought and shut down — and the content disappears along with them. GeoCities was a prime example of this. It is a really interesting talk and I recommend watching it if you blog, tweet, or use the Internet in some fashion.

Jeremy Keith - All Our Yesterdays from Build on Vimeo.

What reminded me of this presentation was Indie Web Camp, which is a movement of web creators to own their content, publish on their own domains, and syndicate out to third-party services. These services offer great social features because so many people use them, so the idea is not to avoid using them altogether. The idea is to maintain a canonical copy of what you create, then distribute copies elsewhere. In its simplest form, this means blogging at your own domain and not being They are also working on some interesting projects for distributing status updates (à la Twitter) and blog comments. I hope to get more involved with some of these, myself.

When I first got this domain name, one of the appeals was that I could install a CMS and have more control over my blogging experience. (The other appeal was setting up the wife application.) I was not putting much thought into whether my posts would still be online ten years later. As time has passed, I have had a growing appreciation for owning my content and being able to control the URL where it is shown. I recommend it; the tools to do so are getting easier and easier.

Further Reading
Transcript of the presentation
Links to resources mentioned in the presentation
On Silos vs an Open Social Web [#indieweb]

View responses or leave your own response


Amandica MacLeanica Amandica MacLeanica
You got rid of the thing on your contact page where you can click on it and see if you're online...I was gonna click on it and see what happened but now it's gone!

Dan Cassidy Dan Cassidy

I so rarely look at my contact page and when I did, I noticed I still had my Indianapolis address on it, which has been closed for two years now. I also noticed that I had that chat link which, in the spirit of this post, was through a service that closed (meebo). So I removed it. I removed the Google Reader link, too, since they're closing in July. Wah wah.

Rachelskirts Rachelskirts
“The plural of anecdote is not data.” He so subtly worked that line in at the end of the video, and I very nearly swooned off my chair. Wonderful observation.

Also, wonderful video. Love this discussion. I have self-hosted all of the content at since its inception, but I still have years of content at Diaryland (and I am forever surprised that it hasn't been deleted) that isn't backed up anywhere. I try not to post anything to Tumblr that I wouldn't mind losing, but the same cannot be said for what I post to Twitter. I keep duplicates of everything I post at Flickr, Vimeo, and YouTube, so the only issue there is making sure I have enough storage and ensuring that it is properly backed up.

I think the biggest projects for me, then, will be finding a way to save my archives from Diaryland and to own what I tweet. The former shouldn't be too difficult, but the latter will require some brainstorming.

Thanks for the excellent video and for reminding me to get a jump on this stuff before it's too late. :)

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