The Future is an Archive
Filed under: archiving ideas
This post was written at 11:55 am on June 7th, 2013
Up until now, individuals have not had control of preserving digital information on the Internet ...
I recently spoke with fine artist and designer Shell Rummel – @shellartistree – about the closing of Posterous. Shell and I built a great community of relationships with artists and writers that used Posterous and Twitter in tandem to share creative work.
Capturing the Ephemeral
Like Shell, I wanted a record of my Posterous, but I knew "moving" it would lose the magic of that special time. Even though I could export my posts to another platform, that's not what I wanted to do. And if I did do all the work to recreate it, and move to another shared platform for the community, would the same thing happen again?
I wanted the links in those Posterous posts to live. Part of my recipe of blogbrevity.posterous.com was to have great links curated within simple posts. Short posts with big ideas were made rich by the carefully curated links full of resources for the reader. Just capturing a screenshot of my Posterous posts was not going to work either.
Was I trying to catch the emphemeral?
Permamarks is Born
Developer Matisse VerDuyn, who is also my son, spent the last year working on this problem – a way to preserve "live" pages of digital content, captured at specific points in time – by anyone. He happened to complete building the alpha version of Permamarks right as Posterous was closing. I was thrilled. I was able to save all my Posterous posts, including my most popular post on curating content, and becoming a "Thought Leader D.J." Here is the Permamarked post: http://pmrks.com/curationdj.
As you can see, my post looks just like it did on my Posterous, and the links within the post work. You can also read all the comments, see that it was viewed almost 47K times, and how often it was shared. The Permamarked post captures a digital history not possible with any other tool.
At the top of the Permamarks bar, you see the time and date that I captured this post. You also have a link to the current site which now shows Posterous is closed down.
Not Just Another Bookmarking or Shortening Tool
Even though Permamarks is a way to bookmark, you are bookmarking "permanently." It is not just another bookmarking tool. You are saving a live page, your own personal cache of a web page or object. It is interesting to see users who are trying to compare Permamarks to the bookmarking tools that it is disrupting. If you want to keep using your favorite bookmarking tools, go ahead, but use permamarked links!
Permamarks provides users "integrity of links." Even if a page you are linking to is edited or removed, you preserve the exact page for when you captured it. This means no more dead links, or 404 page errors.
Bloggers Keep Their Stories
I believe permamarked links will be a huge timesaver for bloggers. The integrity of blog posts will be preserved by the integrity of links. So you will no longer need to clean your site of dead links. More importantly, you will never lose the essence of the story. Your readers will always have the whole picture.
Bloggers who guest post on other people's blogs will now also be able to save guest posts. How many times have you written a post for another site, and the site is redesigned and posts are removed? You can capture a permamarked link, and add it to your own website.
The Art ... and Science of Permamarks
Sharing trusted resources is very important in healthcare. Capturing the exact content of a page when viewed is a huge benefit to doctors. One of our alpha users, Dr. Brian Stork, recently wrote about the problem Permamarks is solving for providers who want to share digital content with patients.
The Possibilities Are Endless
Sharing this idea has started lots of interesting conversations for this new and disruptive tool. The ability to archive digital content is the future of the Internet.
What possibilities can you see for never losing what you love, and having control of the content you share?
Join the #ideachat conversation on Twitter, Saturday, June 8th at 9 am ET, as we talk about "preserving ideas."
Thank you to Shell Rummel for the use of her photo and art for this blog post.