Friday, June 17, 2016

The Web’s Past is Not Evenly Distributed

The Web’s Past is Not Evenly Distributed. Ed Summers. Maryland Institute for Technology. May 27, 2016.
     This post discusses ways to structure the content "with the grain of the Web so that it can last (a bit) longer."The web was created so that there was not a central authority to sure all the links work, and permission is not needed to link to a site. It does result in a web where about 5% of links break per year, according to one site.

"The Web dwells in a never-ending present. It is—elementally—ethereal, ephemeral, unstable, and unreliable. Sometimes when you try to visit a Web page what you see is an error message: Page Not Found. This is known as link rot, and it’s a drag, but it’s better than the alternative. Jill Lepore." If we didn’t have a partially broken Web, where content constantly change and links break, it’s quite possible we wouldn’t have a Web at all.  Some things to take note of:
  • problems with naming things
  • redirects
  • proxies
  • web archives
  • static sites
  • data export
"Being able to export your content from one site to the next is extremely important for the long term access to your data. In many ways the central challenge we face in the preservation of Web content, and digital content generally, is the recognition that each system functions as a relay in a chain of systems that make the content accessible."

"Our knowledge of the past has always been mediated by the collective care of those who care to preserve it, and the Web is no different."

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