O lazyweb, I have a request. I would like a automated spider to check the outgoing links from my blog on some regular basis and when and if any go dark, to find the most recent archived link at the Internet Wayback Machine and substitute it (thanks).
Speaking of the Wayback Machine, they’re beta-testing a full-text search called Recall (hat tip to jwz), which does some groovy memewatch-type graphing of related search results over time.
A search for “crumlish” approximates pretty accurately my diminishing memeshare as the Web continues to broaded beyond the literate geeks who made a plaything of it back in the day.
Incidentally, all the peaks on my personal graphs correspond to publication dates of my mass-market Internet primers, demonstrating both the relevance of traditional (“old”) media and the limited power of pontificating about the mechanics of a new medium. Self-reflection and media criticism continue to make sense as – if nothing else – a corrective, but handbooks for the knobs, widgets, cruft, and crome lose their appeal pretty quickly (even for their authors – trust me). That’s why I envy/admire David Pogue. Writing a kewl-new-stuff column for the Circuits section of the New York Times (what, you want people to send me cutting-edge gizmos to play with so I can help ex-Wired readers figure out what netx toy to buy? what’s the catch?) smells like a lot more fun than Press F7 for Dummies.
One other thing about the Wayback Project: Remember how after Google acquired Deja News, they put out a call for people with private USENET archives and asked them to donate to the collection? Shouldn’t the Internet Archive put out a similar request for archived or cached web pages from before 1996? I know I’m biased but I think the Web was a pretty cool place in 1994 and 1995 and the earliest Web sites are from 1991, aren’t they? Maybe they’re mostly scientific papers but they’re still part of the story. In this digital age there’s no excuse for failing to document ourselves. Then again, if nothing ever got lost or buried, archaeologists would be out of a job.
Hey, I think I saw Brewster Kahle’s name on the roster for Seybold SF, where I am right now, so maybe I’ll buttonhole the poor sod and make my plea.