Catherine C. Marshall
Most of us engage in magical thinking when it comes to the long term fate of our digital belongings. This magical thinking may manifest itself in several ways: technological optimism ("JPEG is so common; why would it stop working?"), radical ephemeralism ("It's like a fire: you just have to move on"), or simply a gap between principals and practice ("I don’t know why I never made a copy of those photos."). At this point, a strategy that hinges on benign neglect and lots of copies seems to be the best we can hope for.
For the last few years, with various collaborators, I have tried to understand the current state of personal digital archiving in practice with the aim of designing services for the long-term storage, preservation, and access of digital belongings. Our studies have not only confirmed that experienced computer users have accumulated a substantial amount of digital stuff that they care about, but also that they have already lost irreplaceable artifacts such as photos, creative efforts, research
In DLib Magazine
Publisher Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI)/ D-Lib Magazine
Copyright© 2008 Corporation for National Research Initiatives
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