Where does the data go when the host dies?

Posted on Friday, December 17th, 02010 by Heather Ryan
link Categories: Digital Dark Age   chat 0 Comments

yahoo is de-rezzing.

In the wake of the crumbling Yahoo! behemoth and the clamor of mass Delicious data dumps, it’s worthwhile to stop and ask ourselves just how “archived” is the data that we create and share in these free hosting sites? What kind of promises do these sites make to preserve our information and to care about the hundreds of hours we spend uploading, tagging, and arranging it? In the case of Yahoo! and all of its affiliate sites, none whatsoever.

The funny thing is, we were warned about this over two years ago. In January 2009, the Archive Team said in no uncertain terms, “Please do not use Yahoo or Yahoo-owned sites for any non-retrievable personal data.” You may have heard of the Archive Team when they made their herculean effort to download the Geocities sites before Yahoo! closed them down in October of 2009. And it looks like the Archive Team is on the case again. According to their organizer, Jason Scott’s tweets yesterday, they are looking at ways to archive Delicious. Let’s hope they can.

In the meantime, read their article, “Why Back Up?

And learn about how you can help.  The Archive Team have some excellent projects going to help mitigate some of the nastier effects of the Digital Dark Age, well worth taking a look at them…

  • Jokermatt999

    There’s reocities.com for a more interactive backup.

    Delicious allows person bookmarking data to be dumped, but I’ve heard nothing about the full set. As for alternatives, http://historio.us/ actually markets itself as one.

    Still, the message about data “in the cloud” not being safe stands.

  • Sam

    This is timely. I just found out today that a games project I worked on professionally for 2 years is to suffer the same fate in January.

  • I used to work for a business newspaper during the dot.com boom and bust. The paper went broke and four years of news and history disappeared when the creditors sold all the servers and backups as scrap. Amazingly, the photographer had CD copies of all his photos and was allowed to keep them for his portfolio. A big part of the history of Silicon Valley is now just photos without context or captions.

  • Jeff Ubois

    The Internet Archive is hosting a discussion about this in February: see http://www.personalarchiving.c…/.

  • Thank you

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