[Offtopic] Internet Data Preservation

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Apr 16 00:10:50 EST 2010

Here is a personal opinion email. That is, one opinion, simply based on
certainly brief observation. And as such one may be entirely wrong, but
it does seem an important issue and one which certainly needs attention.

I mean digital preservation. Particularly the 'safe-keeping' of net data.

But our national web-archive, Pandora, seems a brave but failing attempt.

Sure it is *difficult* to archive dynamic web-content, but one can argue
that our important data, worth preserving, is still probably web-mounted 
in a reasonably static manner. Eg, our research papers, the notable docs,
government determinations etc etc. Reasonably static, but not 'preserved'

And hence, Pandora. 

But, now we see that Pandora is archiving around 8 sites/day. One person?


And, here, we see last month Pandora appears 'uniquely' searched perhaps 
around 200 or so times, aside from double-ups, and nonsense search terms.

Again around 8 searches a day. Wonder if that excludes their own testing?

Yet, one notes that they are claiming 80861 visits last month. Hmm maybe.
Who would visit without searching? Those search-terms quickly degenerate.


Anyway, the latest dated 'news' on their news page seems to be September
2008. Seems a bit sad, really, like the whole service? Finally under the
Legal Deposit pages they note, "All of the State and Territory libraries
that contribute to PANDORA, except Western Australia, have Legal Deposit
legislation for print publications.  In some cases this has been revised
to include electronic publications. None of these libraries is fully
confident that the wording of the legislation covers online publications."


So my point? Either we do this properly or not at all. Either we preserve
important & significant net-based-data properly, with clear Legal Deposit 
laws for those reasonably static VIP pages, or, we don't pretend to do it.

To me, unfortunately Pandora just does not seem to be working. Am i wrong?


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