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Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Digital Preservation


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Slides for a talk on "Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Digital Preservation" given at a workshop held on behalf MLA London on 14 July 2008.

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Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Digital Preservation

  1. 1. Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Digital Preservation Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK Email [email_address] UKOLN is supported by: About This Talk A recap of Web preservation challenges and approaches to the preservation of Web content. But will use of Web 2.0 services lead to new preservation concerns? How much of a concern is this? And what steps can be taken to minimise the risks of data loss? This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 licence (but note caveat) Resources bookmarked using ' mla-london-2008-07 ' tag
  2. 2. Contents <ul><ul><li>What’s the Problem? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disappearing domains </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disappearing data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Broken services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation and Web 1.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Toolkit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation and Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Third party services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communications rather than resources </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Is Web Site Preservation An Issue? <ul><li>Digital Resources Don't Rot </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital resources (images, video, software, Web sites, …) don't degrade due to environmental factors. This is a key difference with physical resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web sites are made from various digital resources: HTML pages, GIF, JPEG, etc. image files, PDF resources, software (scripts, JavaScript, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These won't degrade so why is Web site preservation an issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isn't the fact that old Web sites won't disappear and may be embarrassing more of a challenge? </li></ul></ul>The Problem
  4. 4. Digital Resources Do Rot! <ul><li>In fact digital resource do 'rot': </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating systems are upgraded and existing applications case to work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security holes are identified and there is a need to install patches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources may be dependent on external resources (e.g. links, news feeds, …) which may disappear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources may be hosted by external services and there is a need for ongoing funding for the hosting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>The Problem
  5. 5. Preservation In A Web 1.0 World <ul><li>The Web 1.0 environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Static content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managed by organisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Mothballing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal issues (not covered!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Web 1.0
  6. 6. The Nightmare Scenario <ul><li>To be avoided: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The funding finishes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project staff leave, partnership dissolves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosting agency upgrades operating system, resulting in scripts to access resources from backend database are broken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User finds page with invitation to project launch and travels to meeting. Unfortunately the event took place in 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invoice for domain name is not paid, as administrator has left </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web site domain taken over by porn company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prime Minister picks up pen containing project URL and visits pornographic Web site </li></ul></ul>Web 1.0
  7. 7. It Has Happened <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software company which hosted early HTML validation service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1998/99 confusion over payment of domain name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>March 1999 company receives many messages saying validation service is now a porn site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 30,000 links to Web site! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sept 1999 porn company agrees to sell domain name back to Webtech </li></ul>Web 1.0
  8. 8. Technical Issues <ul><li>Standards And Formats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has the Web site been designed using open standards, which should help future-proofing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have proprietary formats been used (for which backwards compatibility may not be considered) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Architecture & Implementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has the technical architecture of the Web site been documented? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I continue to use technical systems after funding has finished </li></ul></ul>Web 1.0 Note that in reality content owners may have little control over the formats used and the technical architecture.
  9. 9. Content Issues <ul><li>Accuracy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the content of my Web site accurate today – and tomorrow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could the content of my Web site be misleading </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are links working today – and tomorrow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is my Web site legal today (accessibility; copyright; defamation; IPR; …)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will my Web site be legal tomorrow, if new legislation is enacted? </li></ul></ul>Web 1.0 Note that in reality rather than necessarily taking a safe position over, say, legal issues, a risk assessment approach may be taken
  10. 10. Mothballing Your Web Site (1) <ul><li>Before funding finishes you should take steps for the mothballing of your Web site: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Run a link check across the Web site. Fix broken internal links and as many external links as is reasonable. Document the link report. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run HTML (and CSS) validation checks across the Web site. Fix as many invalid pages as is reasonable. Document the findings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run an accessibility check across the Web site. Fix as many inaccessible pages as is reasonable. Document the findings. </li></ul></ul>This should not be an onerous task if you have following best practices. Note that errors found later occurred after your funding finished. Web 1.0
  11. 11. Mothballing Your Web Site (2) <ul><li>You should also address technical areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove any backend scripts which are no longer needed (e.g. online booking forms for old events). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that scripts, etc. are liable to go wrong. Ensure that applications are configured to break gracefully and provide meaningful errors: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The config.ssi is missing. This should be reported to the systems administrator (email or ring +44 020 123 123. Please provide the URL of the broken page and the project name) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Apache error 6963 </li></ul></ul></ul>Web 1.0
  12. 12. Mothballing Your Web Site (3) <ul><li>You should also address the content of your Web site: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify the status of the Web site on the home page. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure the tense of the content reflects the position i.e. don't say &quot; This project will … &quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure that contact details will remain valid i.e. provide generic email addresses not an individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that many users will arrive deep in your Web site (e.g. using Google). If necessary use CSS to flag all pages with a watermark </li></ul></ul>This Web site is no longer maintained. See home page for details See < documents/briefings/briefing-04/> Web 1.0
  13. 13. Case Study 1 - Exploit Interactive <ul><li>Exploit Interactive : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU-funded ejournal available at < > </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded from Jan 1999 – Dec 2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web site is still hosted locally </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should we continue hosting domain after 3 years? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the cost of this (domain name registration, disk storage, system maintenance)? </li></ul></ul>Web 1.0
  14. 14. Case Study - Exploit Interactive <ul><li>Findings : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disk storage is 4Gb (large proportion is log files) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A 30 Gb disk drive costs ~ £40 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It was decide to run an annual link check of the Web site. Although there were broken links to external sites, the internal links all worked. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It was estimated that it would take about 30 minutes / year to run a link check and document findings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A policy for the ongoing provision of the Web site was agreed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See < documents/case-studies/case-study-17/ > </li></ul></ul>Web 1.0
  15. 15. Is Web 2.0 Different? <ul><li>How does Web site preservation differ for Web 2.0: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of 3 rd party services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on collaboration and communication, rather than access to resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More complex IPR issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Richer diversity of services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Let’s look at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study 1 - wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study 2 – blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study 3 – reusing data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study 4 – comms tools (disposable data) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study 5 – recording events </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  16. 16. Case Study 1: A Public Wiki <ul><li>WetPaint wiki used to support UKOLN workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Approaches taken: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open access to all prior to & during event (to minimise barriers to creating content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access restricted to WetPaint users after event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access later restricted to event organisers </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0 Many aspects of Web site curation are to do with implementing such best practices, rather than implementing technical solutions
  17. 17. Case Study 1: A Public Wiki <ul><li>WetPaint provides an option for backing up data. </li></ul><ul><li>A zipped file of the pages can be saved for storing on a locally managed service. </li></ul>Web 2.0 There are limitations in this particular service (poor quality HTML, internal links don’t work, …) But this does illustrate an approach which can be taken.
  18. 18. Case Study 2: Blog Migration <ul><li>How might you migrate the contents of a blog (e.g. you’re leaving college)? </li></ul><ul><li>This question was raised by Casey Leaver, shortly before leaving Warwick University </li></ul>Web 2.0
  19. 19. Case Study 2: Blog Migration <ul><li>She migrated her blog from blogs at Warwick Univ to Wordpress </li></ul>Web 2.0 Note, though, that not all data was transferred (e.g. title, but not contents) so there’s a need to check transfer mechanisms
  20. 20. Case Study 2: Blog Migration <ul><li>A backup of UK Web Focus blog is available on Vox: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Manual migration of new posts every few weeks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only migrates text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t migrate images, embedded videos, internal links, comments, … </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0 Migration of blogs, wikis, etc. is not currently an easy task 
  21. 21. Case Study 3: Reusing Data <ul><li>Blog post in Facebook. Possible concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s not sustainable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ve given ownership to Facebook </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0 <ul><li>Response: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The post is managed in WordPress; Fb displays copy (to new audience) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fb don’t claim ownership – they claim rights to make money (e.g. through ads) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Case Study 4: Disposable Data <ul><li>Twitter – example of a micro-blogging application </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook status messages is another related example </li></ul>Web 2.0 <ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the Twitter service will sustainable over a long period? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will happen to the data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What about the IPR for ‘tweets’? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Case Study 4: Disposable Data <ul><li>Many twitterers regard their tweets as disposal </li></ul><ul><li>I tend to use Twitter as a ‘virtual water cooler’ – sharing gossip, jokes and occasional work-related information with (mainly) people I know </li></ul>Web 2.0 You could make use of clients which manage your tweets (e.g. treat like email) But you should develop your policies first, prior to exploring technologies
  24. 24. Case Study 4: Disposable Data <ul><li>Skype (or your preferred VoIP application) are growing in popularity </li></ul>Web 2.0 <ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the digital data (the call) preserved? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What about the video and the IM chats? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible responses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I bovvered? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I didn’t bother with analogue phones, why should I worry now? </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Case Study 5: Digitized Talks <ul><li>Seminar on Open Science given at UKOLN in Feb 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Video clip of opening 10 mins taken & uploaded to YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long term access </li></ul></ul>Benefits identified – now how do we seek to deploy recordings of seminars, conferences, etc. on a more systematic basis? This is work in progress – but see IWMW 2007 videos
  26. 26. Role Of The Internet Archive <ul><li>Can we leave everything to the Internet Archive? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has role to play in Web 1.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seems to archive some public blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May not access images or other embedded content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still has limitations (cf. UCE/BCU) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can’t (currently) access Facebook pages, for example </li></ul>Web 2.0
  27. 27. Role Of The Internet Archive <ul><li>The Open University has a presence in Facebook. </li></ul><ul><li>In Feb 2008: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5,411 fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>705 wall posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>31 discussion topics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is anyone: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recording the history? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curating the data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing possible risks? </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  28. 28. The Research Challenges <ul><li>Some thoughts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation of Web sites in known to be difficult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional difficulties in a Web 2.0 world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexities include technical challenges and business issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is avoiding Web 2.0 a realistic answer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There may be some simple processes which may help </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  29. 29. Questions