Emerging Tech Tuesdays Ep. 3 – The Wayback Machine


Hello and welcome to Emerging Tech Tuesdays! I’m Justin and I’m the Emerging Technologies librarian here at Hodges University. Each episode we’ll go over a new tool that may help you in your work here at Hodges whether you’re a student, faculty, or staff. Remember, the IT department or the library in general may not be able to provide you with technical support for any of the apps we go over. These are just to raise your interest and provide you with new tools to solve everyday problems. They’ll also serve as ways to understand how technology is changing and how that’s going to affect you as a student and as a practitioner. If you do have any questions or technology that you would like to see addressed please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at [email protected] So today we’re going to go over just a very simple add-on for a very impressive service. For those of you who may not be aware of it, the Internet Archive is a very large nonprofit that hosts the Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive has things beyond web pages but the Wayback Machine is the webpage archiving process that the Internet Archive runs. So if you actually just go to archive.org you can see that it’s a nonprofit library millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. You get the Wayback Machine up here and what the Wayback Machine is, is a essentially a cache of old websites as they were saved at one point in time. So 305 billion web pages on the internet, so let’s just look for a keyword… this might be fun. So you can see you can look through any kind of old MySpace related websites and you might even find your MySpace in here somewhere if you can remember your username. So remember that whenever you have a social media account, even if you delete that account it might be saved somewhere in the Wayback Machine. So do try and keep tabs on what you’ve been doing and where you’ve been, and what kind of trace you’re leaving on the Internet. That’s just a general safety precaution. So let’s go back to this announcement. So the Wayback Machine — Chrome — it’s also available on Firefox now, is now available so you can get this in the chrome store as it comes up they added to Chrome I already have it up here right next to Pocket and Todoist, and if you don’t know what those two are you can watch the other videos in this series, I’ve gone over both of those. So here’s how it works: in day-to-day life I’m reading an article on Techdirt and, okay, I want to read this article “tenured computer science professor explains why he resigned from his position to go work at Google.” Okay cool. Uh-oh it’s not there. Well I’ll go up here — it’ll try and save it to the Wayback Machine but I want to see the archived versions. There it is, and I can actually read this broken page. And you can see all it does is it takes the website HTTP://www.csu.nm… it’s right
there, and in front of it there’s the web archive information. You can also see there’s the website there with a little Internet Archive Wayback Machine logo next to it, and you can also go back and forth between older and newer versions. So this page has been saved several times, so you can see each of the different captures. And that’s very useful for instance if a person has changed something or made an edit and they don’t want to cop to it, sometimes if it’s been saved to the Internet Archive you can find it. Of course this is a very passive way of using it. So I want to make sure that when I want to use this page again in the future I want it to be there, I’ll do the exact same thing — we already saw this — click on it and archive this page. And I want to be archived right now as it is. I can even view it, how it’s been archived. So you can see here these are all of the versions that have been captured over the years. So the reason I bring up this technology is that it is pretty useful in day to day life whenever you come into a broken link, but it also has other uses. So for instance you’ll probably find blog posts about it, but there’s another tool for WordPress blogs, and if you have a WordPress blog or website there’s an add-on that is not just a link checker that will check if your link
is broken it will also automatically redirect the user who is using your site or redirect it on the back end for you to fix permanently to an archived version on the Wayback Machine. So it’s very useful if you want to make sure that your links are going to be there in your own writings, and this happens all the time. So for instance I can quite regularly find a brand new news story that within a few hours is broken, or has a broken link, or something happened. If I hadn’t manually saved it, it might not be there. I might get lucky someone else has. Which is the great thing about the Wayback Machine is it’s a collective thing everyone in the world can do this. So the more people who are archiving things the better the service is. If you are relying on a link to work in a PowerPoint, if you’re a lot relying on a link to work in a presentation, if you’re relying on a link to work on a website or on any project, this app is really useful for just having it making sure it’s been saved to the Wayback Machine don’t worry about them they’ve got it covered, and if worse comes to worse and the page goes down at least you can always link people to the Wayback Machine. So say you write something on someone else’s blog that you can’t control, save a copy to the Internet Archive and that way you’ll make sure that when you put it in your resume — this has happened to me for instance — you go to put it in your CV, you go to link to it, and it’s no longer there and there’s no way to find it. And so that writing might as well — it only exists now on your recollection of it. So that’s the Wayback Machine Chrome extension. Again, if you have any questions contact me at [email protected]

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