You’re probably familiar with the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine. It’s a great place to visit old versions of old web sites. In fact the Internet Archive is probably one of those rarest of rare things in this world: it’s an absolutely good thing. The Internet Archive saves old books, old movies, old music, old web pages and even old software.
A lot of this content would disappear if this nonprofit organization weren’t cataloging it. Think about how many different versions of web pages you’ve seen. News sites change by the hour, but more importantly they do complete site redesigns all the time. Every good site does.
If you’re not convinced of the absolute coolness of the Internet Archive, check it out now. I’ll wait.
Help keep the Internet Archive up to date
You can do your part by archiving pages as you find them. If you use Chrome, there’s a simple extension (available here) which lets you archive a page with two clicks. Of course I hope you’ll do it so you can upload images of Solid Signal Blog pages, but you could do it for any page really.
When I was moving this site over to its new platform in 2017, I used entries from the Internet Archive, along with our latest backups, to reconstruct very old content that had been lost in previous server failures. That’s one good way to use it. Making sure that every article you read is properly archived is an easy way to help with that effort.
Why support The Internet Archive?
The World Wide Web is coming on 30 years old. If it weren’t for sites like this, you wouldn’t be able to revel in the amazing plainness of Microsoft’s site in 1996, or the over the top craziness of Sony’s site in 2000. The Internet Archive shows us who we were and what was important to us at those moments in time. It preserves the things we don’t really want preserved as well as the things we think are important.
Think about it. At some point in your life you’ve moved something or gone up to the attic and found an old newspaper. Even though it might have been a very slow news day, there was a lot to learn for you. You saw the fashions of the day, the advertisers, even the way news was presented. Just looking at that artifact from the past helped you understand a lot. The Internet Archive is like that.
It’s also a great repository of old software that would have otherwise been unavailable. From the nostalgic to the necessary, it’s all preserved there. Until copyright laws get a makeover for the 21st century, there’s no guarantee this old code would be preserved otherwise.
So, do the world a favor and help save The Solid Signal Blog, and all the other sites you visit. You may not think they’re so special today, but imagine what will happen when a future generation discovers them for the first time.