Just North of Something Important

Rachel: "People on the Internet can get angry about anything." About me (contact info and bio)
Academic / Professional site (including CV)

Sep 12

In proofing a manuscript that’s examining online engagement for a 2009 London protest, they mention that the Facebook event page (right) is still up and active, with all the comments visible and able to be analyzed, while the actual organization’s website (left) is dead, vanished into¬†an incomplete archive.org snapshot, with all its user-generated content gone as well. (The researchers saved their own copy of the website at the time.)

The idea that something posted online lives forever is massively wrong; in fact, its life depends on the type of content and where it’s posted, all of which determine how much interest other web actors will have in preserving it. (Not to mention how much accompanying contextual information they will be interested in preserving.) Ask anyone who’s tried to write a history of some part of the web more than 2 years old.


  1. katherinestasaph reblogged this from barthel and added:
    This is more or less right, except that the Facebook event page has a life expectancy best summed up as “until...
  2. jrichmanesq reblogged this from barthel and added:
    This is SO true. So so much of my online past, from mailing lists and BBS message sub posts to years worth of...
  3. barthel posted this