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save your posts? why not
March 16, 2005 2:15 AM   Subscribe

the simplest ideas are usually the best ones. Its easy to forget that the internet is a relatively new medium. Whats the bet that in the future that we will all be wishing that we still had all of our content that we contributed to "cyberspace" such as reviews, comments, posts... Who knows if 10 - 15 years from now, if the sites we post on will still be up, even stable sites such as MetaFilter may not exist in the future. sites have shut down before, taking everyones content with it. Its a simple idea, why not just store your content, be it on your desktop or a web application? So who wants to start a MeFi label over at bulletin board buddy.
posted by omega (30 comments total)

 
Why not expand that to anything in a digital format? Backup media isn't necessarily robust or long-lasting either. That's what I view as one of the primary faults of the digitized age, in so far as a lot of creating done today is done in a fashion that will not survive the ages.

Then again, even book printing today is not long-lasting.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:24 AM on March 16, 2005


sites have shut down before, taking everyones content with it.

... to a new home.

It's pretty funny that the bbBuddy FAQ doesn't answer this question: What do I do if BbBuddy goes offline?
posted by rcade at 4:39 AM on March 16, 2005


It's pretty funny that the bbBuddy FAQ doesn't answer this question: What do I do if BbBuddy goes offline?

Go on a murderous rampage, killing yourself in a blaze of glory?
posted by Witty at 4:49 AM on March 16, 2005


*launches DDOS on BbBuddy*
posted by quonsar at 5:28 AM on March 16, 2005


rcade: the FAQ says that you can download your posts... which is a solid prophylactic against any outage. They can only do so much to prevent the worst, and it speaks volumes that they give their users the tools to make the eventual (and inevitable) shutdown less painful.
posted by silusGROK at 5:51 AM on March 16, 2005


Don't you people know about The Internet Archive?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:10 AM on March 16, 2005


If there was some way to make everything I post to the internet disappear after six montrhs, I'd do it. There would be a few things worth making exceptions for, but not much. I'm already thinking this comment is pointless and stupid, even before I'm finished writing it. Why on earth would anyone want to archive it?
posted by sfenders at 6:15 AM on March 16, 2005


Pretty Generic: it's not the same... the IA archives the _internet_. BBbuddy allows you to archive your disparate contributions to said internet (which is handy for blogging, or for batch archiving smart things you've said).

Also, this cool service has prompted me to ask a question or two in MetaTalk.
posted by silusGROK at 6:21 AM on March 16, 2005


I'm with sfenders. I doubt most people want their contributions lingering forever.

Further, and to take MeFi as an example, what portion of this website really is worth archiving? Does it even amount to 1%?
posted by mischief at 6:38 AM on March 16, 2005


what portion of this website really is worth archiving? Does it even amount to 1%?

For the last 1,000 years of history, I'd be surprised if we have access today to as much as 1% of written words. Our understanding of history is probably incorrect and distorted in many areas because of that narrow window, and would be vastly improved if we had access to a bigger fraction of the record. Much of that 99% got tossed or neglected because somebody thought it was "not worth archiving." Save everything.
posted by beagle at 6:49 AM on March 16, 2005


For the most part, I have about as much interest in the posterity of my post history as I do of keeping a voice memo recording of all my daily conversations.
posted by sourwookie at 7:19 AM on March 16, 2005


I'm not so concerend about my own posts being preserved as I am about posts from others being preserved. I already know what I know however the ability to research for information put out there 10 years ago is invaluable.

Prime example: I'm working on a turbo minivan project. The first guy to run a 13 second quarter mile in a caravan died three years ago but his (excellent) pages are kept up by his family. A valuable resource that I would have missed out on if it has just gone poof when he died.
posted by Mitheral at 8:23 AM on March 16, 2005


I'm with sfenders. I doubt most people want their contributions lingering forever.
Further, and to take MeFi as an example, what portion of this website really is worth archiving? Does it even amount to 1%?
posted by mischief at 6:38 AM PST on March 16 [!]

i'm a communications major going into anthropology/ethnography...60 years from now, a full transcript of mefi and other well organized discussion groups with a wide user base could be invaluable...
one of the most important contributions of the internet (and it's not alone in this, of course) is going to be it's ability not just to give voice to regular people, but to record that vocie for posterity...i.e. the winners will no longer write the history books.
so, woot...i'm signing up...
posted by es_de_bah at 9:07 AM on March 16, 2005


"could be invaluable"
Could be invaluable. Keyword: Could.
"a full transcript of mefi and other well organized discussion groups"
MeFi is well-organized? And here I always thought MeFi's appeal was its chaotic infrastructure and lack of threading.

Anyway, go for it if you want; I must humbly state that I'm not that big an egotist. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:26 AM on March 16, 2005


or, what beagle said
posted by es_de_bah at 9:37 AM on March 16, 2005


Captaintripps: Then again, even book printing today is not long-lasting.

Do you have a link for this?
posted by nobody at 9:49 AM on March 16, 2005


I'm reminded of how a big chunk of what we know of some cultures comes from accounting records. Clay tablets were used to record accounting information because they were both cheap and readily available compared to papyrus or vellum and cheap compared to stone when permanent records were not required. When a building (or village/town) burned down the clay would be fired by the flames and then a new building would be constructed in the same spot right over top of the records. Organic material would be destroyed by the fire. Stone records were often recycled becasue the stone was valuable and are rarer in the first place becasue of the difficulting in working compared to scratching a piece of soft clay with a stick.
posted by Mitheral at 10:25 AM on March 16, 2005


nobody: No, just experience.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:28 AM on March 16, 2005


Captaintripps: Then again, even book printing today is not long-lasting.

nobody: Do you have a link for this?

Modern paper (that produced since about 1850) is both less durable and of high pH compared to that made earlier. The LoC has days worth of reading on the subject of preservation.
posted by Mitheral at 10:40 AM on March 16, 2005


I'm pretty sure I've read a number of articles disputing that claim, Mitheral, or at least disputing the dire significance of the higher pH levels. One source is Nick Baker's Double Fold.
posted by nobody at 11:30 AM on March 16, 2005


Everything decays
Forest tumbles down to make the soil
Planets fall apart
Just to feed the stars and stuff their larders

And what made me think we're any better
And what made me think we'd last forever
Was I so naive?
Of course it all unweaves

Everything decays
Pyramids and palaces to dust
Empires crumble in
Wedding cake begins to must and moulder

And what made me think we're any better
And what made me think we'd last forever
Was I so naive?
Failing to perceive

— Andy Partridge
posted by D.C. at 11:49 AM on March 16, 2005


Another good tactic to make sure you don't lose contributions (for Firefox users) is to use slogger. It basically keeps a time-stamped log (down to the millisecond) of just about everything you ever see in your browser, complete with embedded items, in xml format with xsl stylesheets and indexes, plus it's extremely customizable. Of course you can turn it off if you're, for instance, browsing your favorite "picture galleries" or anything else you don't want archived. I wish there were some decent bookmarking/search functions for it, though - it is somewhat painful to look through the large amounts of past entries. Having all that information stored will open you up to some security risks as well, depending on when you have it on, so encryption is probably a good idea. I browse pretty heavily and a month of use hasn't gone over the size of one CD yet, so I'm thinking of encrypting and storing the content offline.
posted by nTeleKy at 11:53 AM on March 16, 2005


I want an XML-RPC service in WP/MT to store posts from other sites and track them. Whenever I post on Metafilter, I want it to send a trackback to my blog. I can have the option of displaying publicly the trail of breadcrumbs that I leave across the Internet, or I can just archive it. Then I can have an RSS feed of threads to which I've commented, which I can subscribe to, and see which discussions are carrying on.

Also, a pony.
posted by waldo at 1:11 PM on March 16, 2005


I'm already thinking this comment is pointless and stupid, even before I'm finished writing it. Why on earth would anyone want to archive it?

To each his own. Sure we've all written comments that are pointless and we dont want to keep, but dont tell me you havent written anything that is not worth keeping. Surely there is something that you have added to a discussion that isnt trivial. LOL Its almost like your admitting your comments are trivial in nature.

iMuch of that 99% got tossed or neglected because somebody thought it was "not worth archiving." Save everything.

I agree 100%
Im looking at it in a big picture kind of way too. It gives me a snapshot of my internet life, and I get to control what I want to keep.
I wish i had access to all the content that I posted when I first started using the net back in '96. It would be great just for nostalgia sake.
Im going to practice what I preach and add this, Ironically before I leave the comment at metafilter. I started a couple of labels: "MeFi" and "MeFi comments"
posted by omega at 2:55 PM on March 16, 2005


I think everyone is missing the point of this little service... and if they are, then that's a hurdle for the folks who've launched it, as they're not explaining themselves well (or the lot of you aren't even bothering to click-through on link).

Here're the benefits, as I see them — least of which is some type of time capsule of one's comments for posterity... that really is more of a job for IA.

First and foremost (for me at least), is the ability it gives me — that slogger can't — to see where I've left comments, without much fuss. See, I'm online 12 hours a day. And while I work, I go through hundreds of pages, leaving comments at sites hither and yon. The next day, I like to see if there's been additional discussion in threads I've posted in... but I can rarely remember _all_ the places I've been. BBbuddy would solve that problem for me.

Secondly, if BBbuddy offers the necessary API, this would be a fun addition to someone's blog — imagine a list of things I've said elsewhere running down the side of my site. It would be interesting (to me at least), and would fill a niche that trackbacks can't.

Anyway, that's it.

Thanks again, omega for the link.
posted by silusGROK at 4:19 PM on March 16, 2005


my greatest hope is that one day my posts will disappear
posted by Satapher at 9:24 PM on March 16, 2005


ok, i just joined but i don't get it--i have to manually copy and paste every comment or post i make everywhere online? And that's it?
posted by amberglow at 9:31 PM on March 16, 2005


I use a similar service. It's called Notepad.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:42 PM on March 16, 2005


its sure gonna suck when bulletin board buddy goes under

yergeyser given me the creeps
posted by Satapher at 9:52 PM on March 16, 2005


Yeah, Amberglow... I thought it was automated, too... I thought the link we're asked to use would work some magic and call the mothership. So I joined, but it's not getting much attention until it get's its fu on. The concept is great, but the execution is a little weak.
posted by silusGROK at 7:38 AM on March 17, 2005


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