Time flies when you don’t know what you’re doing….

April 15, 2008

It has been a very long time since I posted here. In fact, as I sit here uploading Google videos (got to love this one done in honor of Stephen Colbert  I absolutely marvel at the amount of technology that we literally have at our fingertips. A really cool freeware tool called VLC converts all formats to play in my new Creative Zen. A few steps are involved but isn’t that part of the fun of technology?

YouTube continues to impress me with the wide-ranging influence it appears to have. Looking at it from an archives perspective, the issue of permanence is always the main issue. The issue of collecting and harvesting these materials. And thus the discussion comes to NARA‘s announcement (noted in several blogs and I found on ArchivesNext) the decision not to harvest a “snapshot” of the current administration. In a very naive way, I assumed that these government agency websites had a standard set in place–a schedule–to grab snapshots on a regular basis. There are ways of recovering some parts and possibly most parts of these sites, the Internet Archive and I am sure others, but not on a regularly scheduled basis. The kind of consistent basis that is dear to records managers and archivists hearts. The ephemeral nature of these sites–the important information that can be lost forever–the methods of how we conducted our history, how we presented it, what we thought relevant to place on a site, what we left out even, all of this will be of importance to the scholars of the future.

I leave my current job and begin a new one with one of the branches of governement in the nation’s capital next month. I look forward to learning more of how those who are working with vital documents of research are treating them and how the plans that are in process to preserve.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to download my saved YouTube videos in .flv format and convert them for my video player. Perhaps these will be preserved in the various formats I’ve saved them in (.flv, divX and the reliable .wmv) on my external hard drive. Handy for riding the Metro during rush hour.

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