On the Archive

English: The Internet Archive in the Bibliothe...

The Internet Archive in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, mirror of the Internet Archive in San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I got to hangout with the #DMLCommons folks in the blog garage (complete with tools) to talk about our views on blogging.

In that conversation, we talked a little bit about control and how driving your own online space, and caring for your online presence is so important to your career (and life) pathway. I mentioned (a few times) how important it is to me that I create an archive of my thoughts, ideas, processes and Jim expanded with the fact that it isn’t just an archive, it’s an open, searchable, interactive archive.

Lee followed up with a point about how blogging doesn’t always need to be open. I internally agreed because I have another one, you know. Another archive. One that isn’t open, searchable or interactive. I have my personal pathways in a mess of journals, files, floppy disks (yes, truly), CDs and external hard drives. My closed archive is personal, but Lee’s point was that some topics can’t be explored in the open because it’s just not safe. Sad, isn’t it, that we haven’t come far enough as a species to truly transcend judgement and practice unconditional empathy?

Anyway, I was just thinking about this mess of me, and it makes me happy to know that someday I get to organize it. Then, I read this article about the Internet Archive, a brilliant, important non-profit organization that is working to archive human knowledge, and I became even more excited that I will be able to look back not only at my personal and professional pathways, but also the cultural pathways the web allows us to document.

Just another reason I love the web.

  1 comment for “On the Archive

  1. March 31, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks for contribution to the garage talk as well for the notion that we control what goes into the public space, that there is the part of us we maintain out of the reach of surveillance (well except for the hidden cameras in our light bulbs).

    The Internet Archive deserves some sort of Noble Prize of goodness. I have relied on it as a source of archival media for projects, but more regularly, the Wayback Machine as an essential tool for tracking the evolution of places on the webs. All of the work I did on my first web years (1992-2006) has been removed (well there were a lot of problematic perl scripts writing to open text files, but still, all of it?). I have my own archive, but the Wayback Machine makes it linkable; the same as all of the web sites that have bitten the dust (cough, Posterous).

    I totally recommend Brewster Kahle’s video on “Locking the Web Open, a Call for a Distributed Web” a vision worth hanging on to

    It’s a groovy thing….

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