Impressions on the Social Age

The Wayback Machine

Posted in Uncategorized by Trace on July 25, 2010

As a kid, I watched Peabody and Sherman go back in time and check out twisted history, it was always entertaining, and while silly, the idea of twisted history similar to how we look at the Internet.

In the Internet sea there are few rocks. Have you ever been exploring the Internet in search of a page that you absolutely know exists and you just can’t seem to find it?

The internet is constantly changing. It’s in the Internet’s DNA. Everything is updating and re-evaluating, deleting and adding. Google or Bing are really amazing resources to show you what the internet has now, but what about what the internet had back then? Do you even know how to look back in to Interwebs’ past?

This week, I was auditing Bloom Grocery’s social media and website, however, near the end of the week-long project, Bloom updated their outreach. This update, aside from adding exactly what I was recommending, changed their website. What does one do? How do we go back? This is where Archive.org’s Wayback Machine is useful.

Archive.org is the Internet Archive project offers permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the public to historical collections that exist in digital format. To put it more simply, they archive the whole internet (or a lot of it) and save it for access later.

To use the system is simple, access Archive.org and use the Wayback Machine right in the middle of the page, type your favorite website, like Facebook.com or Apple.com and look back into the past.

Left: 2010 Apple.com || Right: 1997 Apple.com

Researchers can use the Wayback Machine to see how the internet has evolved, and even how some websites and user experiences have changed. While this is not specifically social media, it does show us how things have gone. Imaging trying to study the United States only looking at how it is right NOW, with now not identifying a specific time, but simply the present. It would be terrible! The Archive.org project is helpful (fun) and interesting. I highly suggest you check it out.

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