Archiving and digital legacy [ought] to be in the air.

The bava has been at it; Jim has been cleaning up his pile pf past webs, like an abandoned Known and the OpenVA web site. He’s been writing about Archiving his Digital Past and the concept of an Archive of One’s Own.

I’ve been harping some on this too, in the wake of Storify’s going MIA I’m not taking it lying down. I made a tool I’m putting to use to yank those URLs from storify and embed them into a WordPress site; I have a start on the reclaimed ones going.

It’s in the air. Jim and I are plotting something on this in 2018. Cough.

I got a jog to do a quick self-archiving; the domain I put into play last year 30millionlike.me was coming up for renewal. I almost never let go of domains I have bought (call me a hoarder), but this project really went nowhere.

Call it my political action flap. Angered by the plans to gut the ACA and my own personal stake in it (as a self employed type 1 diabetic I am pretty screwed for health insurance) I put the TRU Writer SPLOT into play as a place to collect stories of people like me who relied on ObamaCare / ACA.

I was kind of proud of my domain choice – 30millionlike.me

I ended up with a whopping 13 stories. I did skip a basic step; there were at least 3 others well funded site doing the same thing.

I did my ¯\_(?)_/¯ and moved on. But I saw little reason to keep the domain, so I turned off auto renewal.

It’s time to pull out the trusty vacuum cleaner, the SiteSucker (Mac OSX only, sorry) (not). It takes an entire WordPress site, and turns it into a self contained HTML archive. This means you don’t need to keep updating WordPress for sites that will never change, and you can archive and delete a database (oops guess who forgot to do that latter step?).

I put it use before to close out, but not delete, a WordPress site no longer needed.

Having done that I had ahead of time some things to do before plugging in the Web Hoover.

  • I turned off comments on all posts and pages, so it would not keep the comment form.
  • I de-activated the page on the SPLOT that allowed people to write, now it is a static page with a note on it that submissions are no longer available.
  • I removed the search widget, as that will no longer function.

So here it is in archive form at http://bones.cogdogblog.com/30million/.

I wanted to do this early, so I could set up web redirects so maybe, maybe, that would get nabbed in the Internet Archive Wayback machine. That is something you can do IF you really manage your domain, meaning you have access to a cpanel (here is a lesson, a domain on WordPress.com is really just a domain name, an alias, it is not a true domain you manage things like DNS, subdomains, etc).

Setting up the web direct. Be sure to use the trailing slash on the “redirects to” address, and check the box for Wildcard redirects

Try the domain now http://30millionlike.me and see where you end up. Bossed!

You might notice I have a sudomain where I might put more. BECAUSE I CAN MAKE ANY SUBDOMAINS I LIKE.

I added some bone organizing I have done over a longer stretch of time, resurrecting my projects from the Maricopa Community Colleges once housed at www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu that were blown up after I left — these are now at http://mcli.cogdogblog.com/.

Unfortunately I cannot create web redirects at maricopa domains because the old web servers are out of my jurisdiction. And no one there gives a poop about my old web sites.

Again, the difference lies in what you can manage and control for yourself. As we see now in the sad case of the NMC, for the most part organizations and institutions don’t do nearly the job or archiving their digital past as individuals.

Long live the manic archivist. They are #4life and #legacy and #preservation.


Image Credit: Dog [Bone] Pile flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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