Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Will Any Of Our Blogs Be Archived Or Are We All Just Puffs Of Smoke?

It’s a long way from 14th-century England to 21st-century Houston, Texas.  And it’s quite a distance between 14th century poets who still reside in the memory of at least some people and modern bloggers who, often, write very much for the moment.     

I’ve been reading Lives Of The Poets by Michael Schmidt. It is a history of English- language poetry told through biography of the poets and analysis of their work. It is a story that starts nearly 800 years ago in Middle Ages England. 

Near the beginning of the book the author writes, “Poems swim free of their age.” I’m not sure the same can be said of blog posts over who should serve as Speaker of the Texas House in 2007. 

I know the intent of political bloggers is to shape current debate. But I wonder if future political historians will be able to see what was written on blogs in order to tell the story of our times. Are any of the blogs we spend so much time on going to be archived in a way that will make them accessible years from now?

In any case, if you have a question about the 14th-century poem Piers Plowman by William Langland—Please do leave a comment. I might be able to help.  


January 24, 2007 - Posted by | Blogging, Books

1 Comment »

  1. Neil,

    As a Systems Administrator for a computer art program, I find myself frequently concerned over the archiving of digital material. It’s a big problem, especially when it comes to digital art: digital standards, software, storage media all change very rapidly over time. What if you get a piece on a floppy disc, for instance? The floppy used to be ubiquitous, but now — a mere five years later — it’s pretty hard to come by. How do you view that piece? Or worse, what if the piece relies on a piece of software or an operating system that is no longer produced? How do you view these works? How do you preserve them?

    Fortunately, text is a bit easier to preserve, but still problematic. The onus is on the author though. I usually write my blogs in a text editor and save in a format that is fairly universal, i.e. doesn’t rely on a particular piece of software to be read (formats such as txt, rtf, rtfd are good). This way, even if technology changes, there’s a good chance these documents will be readable, at least for a while, and/or can be converted to the latest, greatest format.

    Beyond whatever process you decide upon, though, it is VERY unlikely that blogs will be archived in any way shape or form by anyone other than their authors.

    Welcome to the digital age.

    Mike Barron

    Comment by systemsboy | January 25, 2007

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