February 12, 2012 | By Peter Bihr |
According to my WordPress dashboard, this is blog post #1.500. For something I hadn’t expected to go very far, that seems a lot.
Somewhere along the way there was a name change and some technical issues with the import, so I can’t fully tell when the first posts went live – according to WordPress, in 1970. Also, there were other outlets before, although I don’t remember if I called that blogging at the time. One required manual FTP uploads per post, and my co-author and I had devised some
cunning pretty lame split screen design made up from HTML tables, with his writings on one side and mine on the other. Geocities, too, as well as a number of hosted blogs, all before I started using this WordPress-Domain Name-Combo as my digital home.
So, 1.500 posts in, and even though that’s spread out over just a few years already there’s a significant data rot at work. If anything, this mini anniverary serves as a reminder of how much backups matter, and beyond that, how we should ask ourselves which elements of the digital we want to preserve beyond the digital, and which we’re ok to treat as ephemeral, in other words, that we’re ok to lose later or sooner.
Just a few weeks ago I ordered a stack of photo copies on paper out of my Flickr account. I have most of these images somewhere, stored and in most cases backed up several times over. Yet, they’re ordered and labeled relatively poorly, practically untagged, and even though I’m good at deleting ruthlessly, there are still thousands upon thousands of them, aka Never Will I Revisit Them All Or Find The One I’m Looking For. So I ordered physical copies of about a hundred. Some ended up pinned on the wall, more in a few envelopes labeled ominously “Flickr, pre 2012”. Not good, but better than nothing as it helps provide at least a bare minimum of context.
Now if only Twitter/Snapfish also offered to print the photo metadata (title, tags, location, time, people tagged on the photo) on the back of these photos, we’d all be better off. (Flickr! Snapfish! Feature request!)
Anyway. Long story short, this is blog post #1500. It’s been a good time. See you at 2K.