Where does the data go when the host dies? Yahoo is coming apart at the seams, and they’re taking the social bookmarking site Delicious with them. I use this service to generate the linkstream in my sidebar here. Thankfully, I’ve had WordPress importing all that content weekly for a long time, so I’m not in danger of losing any information. I just have to deal with the pain in the ass of figuring out a new way to implement this functionality. If you care about information you must be constantly vigilant against entropy. Ideotrope photo archives with full metadata are now available by the way…
Movage or Digital Dark Age
This post on the Long Now blog, in combination with the recent discussions on the Cernio mailing lists regarding the Co-op’s financial disorganization have me thinking about the future of my (and our) data. Data curation. I have a responsibility to make it all portable, both for you, and for me. A responsibility Blogger and Facebook and Apple do not sign up to, I might add. But not all of the semantics are transferrable to other formats and systems. So there will be loss. Augh. And learning. Slow learning. There are some times when going off on your own isn’t a good idea, and data management is one of them. Unless it’s going to be your primary vocation, if the semantics you want don’t exist in a standardized way, you cannot build them. You cannot impose them. You have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up with your desires.
Since I started doing what would one day be called “blogging” in the mid-90s, and since Ideotrope came into existence in 2001, a lot has changed on the web. There are powerful and extensible open source content management systems available today that do most, but not all, of what I always wanted to do on the web. The software underlying Ideotrope has fallen into disrepute and disrepair, and other software has charged ahead, and garnered many thousands of users and developers. I believe it’s time for a change.