I remember...

iBrian

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So in one of the Judaism threads someone pointed to a site covering similar issues.

Take a look at this page:
http://groups.msn.com/JudaismFAQs/judaicaessays.msnw

Every single one of those essays is lost.

Unless Robert Kaiser still has digital copies then those essays could be lost forever.

That horrifies me - it's like watching a still of book burning - you can see the form, but never the substance.

And it kicks me into remembrance of one of the core ideals behind starting CR in the first place - PRESERVATION OF KNOWLEDGE.

Oh, its hard to destroy main books - what is the likelihood of the KJV disappearing any time soon? Not much.

But what about all those essays people put online - interesting, knowledgable, detailed - and subject to the utter impermanence of websites, technical problems, hacking, deletions, and hard drive failures - not to mention simple abandonment - to name a few.

I want to preserve that knowledge. I want CR to become a repository of internet publishing that might otherwise be easily lost - a place where online FAQs and detailed descriptions of issues of faith can be provided with a more stable and reliable home.

I've seen websites disappear, articles deleted, and people destroy forums filled with thousands of faith-centric points of view. It's terrible!!!

So now that I was on the cusp of reinvigorating this site, I finally remember what it is supposed to do.

Yes, I want to be able to cover major works of faith - after all, they are often essential reference points at the very least.

But I also want the lesser commentaries, the essays, the detailed thoughts - even archive abandoned forums on this site somewhere somehow.

I'm about to implement a number of changes - mostly a case of adding to the site functionality.

Now I know where I want to direct the next stage of CR, though.

I'll keep you all informed of how you can help as I develop the project further. For the moment I simply wanted to share how I see this site moving onwards now.

There are still future issues to address - this site will probably become too large for a shared server soon, and will ultimately require it's own dedicated server. That's a lot of cost. Also, it will probably become necessary to turn it into a communal organisation at some point - a registered charity, even - at some stage. And then there is also the question of finding ways to syndicate content and distribute it to prevent loss of that information if something catastrophic were to happen to CR itself.

All in good time.

For the time being, I remember...
 
that is awful. half of the stuff is not even there. but we have to remember that is MSN and Y, for the most part freebies and not a real good place to store stuff except for temporary relocation. it looked like all the links were to MSNgroup locations too.

the web is just that way. i have never put my trust in the web like people are doing today. you need about 10 backups in 10 different parts of the world. I have lost all kinds of things exactly this way, so it is good to print them if you really like something and back them up in many places which becomes a daily task especially for forums and business. Also have a backup of the material you like that is not online.

impermanence of websites, technical problems, hacking, deletions, and hard drive failures - not to mention simple abandonment
yep.
 
Indeed, I really dislike the idea of "knowledge" being "lost" on anything. The internet can bring a lot of interesting knowledge, commentary, and general information to the world - but it is just so easily lost or destroyed. That really grates on me.

I think this is the area where CR can really develop an important online presence, and serve a very worthwhile cause - become an electronic archive not simply of main published texts, but also of digitial commentaries that only exist in digital form.

More later. :)
 
are you suggesting something 'like' pdf files? or when you say digital, more along the lines of text in picture format. Kind of the same way banks take pics of checks and store them that way, then toss out the paper. So each page of text would be like a literal page in a book.

it is very easy to corrupt text the way it is online right now, but i think if we are thinking the same in digital, that is a better way. Time will tell on how well that works online. We wont know for sure though how long a digital file is good for until years down the road.
Music and pics seem to be holding up on digital, but not on CD.
 
Well...even HTML pages are electronic/digital copies, but obviously it is important to ensure the content is easily accessible, so that there's no single source. If there are a number of copies of the same file, and one or two are corrupted, then in reference terms hopefully the majority will win over. :)
 
You could try and find archived copies of the missing essays through the Internet Archive project: http://www.archive.org/

They might have what you're looking for, but they might not. I've had some success with them in trying to find things that have disappeared from the web.
 
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