How much do you trust the internet long term?
Think about that. Can you imagine putting something on the internet and having it last for decades?
The media today talks about things staying on the internet. That once it’s on the internet there is no taking it back. Usually they’re referring to young people posting naughty pictures. But what about if it’s something that is actually important. Like something you want to pass on after you’ve passed on. Like a website or a film or a piece of art you’ve created that you want to stay online.
On one hand you can pay for web hosting, but if you or someone else isn’t around to pay for it, it goes offline. What about social media sites like facebook or any other service based site like this? Do you trust them to hold your data long term?
What solution is there for that?
In the real world, something actually exists in a physical form. It could be damaged or thrown out, but we at least have examples of things that are hundreds or even thousands of years old that are still around. Shorter term I have family films and photographs from 40+ years ago. Will Facebook or Google be around 40 years from now hosting my photos still? Will Youtube still have my videos?
A few months ago I was backing up a blog I had on Xanga to my own computer. I then transfer those entries to my personal website. It occured to me at that point that my personal website has been around now for 12 years. Longer than any social media account I’ve ever had. So even though i went through times of money shortages I still managed to pay the pittance to keep my website up. As a result I trust my own website more than anything else online at this point. But like I said, if I wasn’t around to pay the bill, what then?
Nobody I know even knows who my webhost is or my login details. It would probably be the last thing they think about. Even if I gave somebody this information, do I put that burdon on them to pay that bill every three months and that url registration every year?
So really, how permanent is everything online? For the little people like us that is. Is there anything we can do about it to make things more permanent?