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Archiving the ephemeral

LoadingPretty Loaded – a preloader museum curated by Big Spaceship.

A salute to Flash loading screens. Fellow blogger Tom Armitage, who spotted it, didn’t quite know what to say, but I strangely like it. It goes to show how much creativity can go into what was the online equivalent of standing on a platform waiting for a train to come – sometimes the train arrives immediately, sometimes you have ads to look at, sometimes the train never comes.

Yet, as Flash loading screens are so throw-away, they’re the sort of thing that can get lost over time. When archiologists delve back into what’s left of what we currently understand as the internet in years to come you know they’ll find chunks of Wikipedia, and remnants of blogs but Flash loading pages and microsites…?

The creators describe the site as “a tribute to a vanishing art form amid a constant changing digital world.” Let’s hope that the site itself doesn’t also vanish, as history shouldn’t always be made up of the things that didn’t wear out.

This ‘museum’ also reminds me of a fantastic project that friend Iain Simons is involved with, Save the Videogame. Together with the National Media Museum and Nottingham Trent University are building a National Videogame Archive and are raising awareness across the UK that videogames are disappearing. More below:

Up coming event: Seriously Social – How to Beat Google

Hatip: Steve Moore.

Seriously Social – How to Beat Google

Hosted by Techlightenment
6.30pm, 29th January 2009
The Hub, Kings Cross, London, UK

Google don’t have a monopoly on groundbreaking approaches to online advertising. Indeed new techniques being pioneered by London based social media agency techlightenment are trumping Google in terms of cost per click (CPC), conversion rates and early stage reach.

If you would like to find out more about this pioneering social networking advertising join us at Seriously Social – How to Beat Google on the 29th January from 6.30pm at London swankiest new chalet The Hub at Kings Cross.

Techlightenment founders Gi Fernando and Ankur Shah and will make short presentations and take questions and if you will have an opportunity to meet the full techlightenment team over drinks and food.

We really hope you can join us!

The techlightenment team

To register: http://beatinggoogle.eventbrite.com/

What should the government be doing about the internet?

Tom Steinberg, the director of mySociety, has posted an excellent set of priorities for all western governments of any persuasion regarding their approach to the internet.

Tom’s to-do list is very much in stark contrast to the comments made about the web by Andy Burnham, the Culture, Media and Sport secretary, in an interview given to the Daily Telegraph just after Christmas.

Burnham put forward the idea for rating websites, much like films and video games, and duly had techies across the land up in arms – most of them concerned with the minister’s lack of understanding of how the internet technically works. MP Tom Watson, much vaunted as one of the few people in parliament who not only ‘gets’ the web but actively participates in it, gave the opportunity to those concerned to have their voice heard by offering to take their comments to Andy Burham and Lord Carter personally using his blog.

This incident highlights a few of the points Tom makes:

Continue reading → What should the government be doing about the internet?