Friday, May 30, 2008

Web Archives to the rescue….

It does not happen often that you get stuck in something you really HAVE to get done and the first person you ask comes knows the perfect solution to your problem. But that’s exactly what happened the other day…

I needed some information that I knew had been posted on the internet in 2005 and had since been taken down. All I had with me was a now dysfunctional URL.

So, I sat there wiggling my thumbs thinking what to do when my friend comes along and I tell him my problem. He asked me for the URL and within seconds I had on my computer screen the web-page (with all the links, photographs etc) which had been removed from the internet 3 years ago!

And that’s how I came to know about web-archiving and I think it is totally cool. The basic idea is that computer programmers called web-crawlers traverse through the pages on WWW from time to time and archive them. People like me who want to refer to back dated information can access these old web-pages…

Issues like copy rights are taken care of by giving the publisher the right to remove his or her web-page from the archives. I think that it is essential that people who don’t intend to use the archives should still be aware that such things exist. It is essential that you make sure that you remove the content that you don’t want to be public in the future not only from your own web-page but also from public web archives.

Though I got my project done, that was of secondary importance now. After all, I had the last 10 or so years of Web-archives to check out!!