Just as plenty of others have, I recoiled in horror when I heard that Delicious (née del.icio.us) was being "sunsetted". Regardless of the red flags that have been raised about its potentially imminent demise, I've still been using it on a daily basis. I've been an active user for over 6.5 years, which is longer than I can say for just about any other web platform or service. I deleted my Friendster and Myspace accounts quite a while ago; I've been on Flickr almost as long as Delicious, but the bookmarking wins out by a good four months or so. I started using Delicious in my final semester of library school, and it shows. I used it for procrastinating as well as a way to organize research materials before I had Zotero. The bulk of the bookmarks from that first day of use (February 24, 2004) were likely imports from my browser, but I quickly showed a facility for adding stuff that I saw as interesting, useful, etc.
Goodbye, Aus-Archivists: Listservs and the Commitment to Digital Preservation
[Update: Aus-Archivists might not be gone for good, as ASA intends to share the entire run of postings on its website. See this post for details.]
Despite my relative distaste for the A&A list, I have previously found it useful and argued for its retention when it was threatened in 2007. I still agree with most of what I wrote 3.5 years ago, although I might have toned things down in retrospect. In an effort to find other e-mail discussion lists on archives that engaged my interest, I joined Arcan-L (the Canadian archivists' listserv) and Aus-Archivists (the Australian archivists' listserv, maintained by the Australian Society of Archivists).
Surprisingly, Aus-Archivists had been idle since around the end of October. I noticed this tweet from the Australian Society of Archivists only in passing at the beginning of November:
The ASA Office would just like everyone to know that our List Serv is still currently unavailable, we apologize for any inconvenience...
I didn't hear anything else between then and earlier today. I should note that I'm not a member of ASA, and so I can't speak to any communication they had with their membership. However, today a message was sent out by Pat Jackson, the ASA President, to all Aus-Archivists subscribers, announcing that the listserv was lost entirely.
DataPortability.org and the Dream of a Web 2.0 Backup SystemI just discovered DataPortability.org through Peter Van Garderen's blog post about it. I was entirely surprised that I'd heard nary a peep about it. Some basic examination (running a WHOIS query on the domain) shows that it's still a fairly new project. I have to say, though, that I'm entirely impressed. Those involved have given a whole lot of thought to how they're going to be doing things, as evidenced by those who have signed up to be involved and the DataPortability Charter. To wit, the Charter's principles tend to speak for themselves: We want sovereignty over the profiles, relationships, content and media we create and maintain. We want open formats, protocols and policies for identity discovery, data import, export and sync. We want to protect user rights and privacy. And, of course, the thing that made me squeal with delight like a pig in mud: 4. DataPortability will not inventing any new standards. I mean, that's probably the best news that someone like me could get.
Web 2.0, Disaster, and ArchivesMany of Web 2.0's detractors argue about it's real value, but given the wildfires in Southern California, I was happy to see it really put to good use. KPBS, a San Diego radio station, has been using Flickr and, even more shocking (at least for some), Twitter as ways to disseminate information and news quickly. The use of Twitter is particularly interesting as it can send out SMS messages. You might recall a few years ago when protesters in the Philippines used SMS to organize political rallies and warn of police retaliation. The California State Library Blog also has provided information from the California State Archivist about archives affected by the fires. In addition, information about disaster recovery for libraries and archives is available both on a regional level by the San Diego/Imperial County Libraries Disaster Response Network and on the state level by the California Preservation Program. Please hold those affected by the fires in your thoughts, and if you can, contact SILDRN or the CPP to help.