Monday, October 27, 2008

ASIS&T 2008 - 3 Digital archiving myths

Cathy Marshall
Microsoft Research

Three digital archiving myths - keep everything, kids will know what to do, it is all a matter of repositories and access control.

Storage is cheap. We should keep everything.
Digital items are very small, so more material can be stored. Storage is cheap, but human attention is not and it is not legally, emotionally or intellectually viable to keep everything. It is easier to keep than to cull, but it is also easier to lose items.
Flicker has 3 billion photos, Facebook 5 billion photos - this is overwhelming.
Much of what we keep today, does not have much value - benign neglect has its virtues in how it automatically culls our stuff.

Today's kids are all-digital, they will know what to do.
Kids are fearless.
Kids are still likely to rely on a family to handle archiving.
They are better at creating, but they are no better at keeping stuff around.

Digital stuff is not just distributed over multiple stores, it is also distributed over time and over people - and system design has to allow for this.

She ran out of time before completing her exploration of all 3 myths.

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