Imagine a world without the Internet Archive
Have you searched for a blog post you read years ago, only to find out the site is gone? Do you have an old home page you never backed up but want to re-create? Hopefully its in the Internet Archive.
I am researching the community wireless movement and simultaneously learning the challenges of digital research. Mailing list archives, websites, blog postings that capture the events of the period are practically non-existent. Without the Internet Archive I don’t know where to begin. I can call some old friends, “Can I rummage through your old web server hard drives? Do you still have them?” I worry information a researcher needs 100 years from now might be gone for ever. Luckily the Internet Archive exists and captures much but not all of it.
Even with the Internet Archive researching is hard. For example, searching is rudimentary on the site, much of it’s data does not populate google search results. You need to know what you are looking for or have a breadcrumb trail to follow. That being said, its an amazing resource and the place of last resort for much of the data created over the past 24 years.