This morning, I woke to the news that Archive Team is working to save Upcoming. This is the Internet equivalent of hearing that Marsellus Wallace is sending The Wolf.
For those unfamiliar, Archive Team is a band of rogue archivists and programmers working to rescue dead and dying websites from destruction. To put it mildly, they are very good at what they do.
Led by computer historian/documentary filmmaker Jason Scott, they’ve saved massive sites like GeoCities, Friendster, MobileMe, Fortune City and many others from deletion, and collaborate with the Internet Archive to inject their backups into the Wayback Machine for permanent preservation.
The importance of their work can’t be overstated. While companies like Yahoo work to destroy as much Internet history as possible, Archive Team is the only group actively trying to save it.
To assist their efforts, they’ve developed ArchiveTeam Warrior, a virtual appliance that makes it easy for anyone to help archive dying websites and upload the backups to their server.
Want to help? Install Warrior right now.
It’s dead simple to get up and running, and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. And because it all runs in a virtual machine, it can’t possibly hurt your system. It will only use your bandwidth and disk space.
After it’s installed, you can choose the “Upcoming” project to start backing up Upcoming.org specifically, or pick “ArchiveTeam’s Choice” to let the team decide. Posterous and Formspring are also dying soon, and that will allow the team to prioritize your work.
I made a little video showing how easy it is to start saving Internet history.
You can track the status of the Upcoming archiving effort in real-time, currently at around 6% of the complete site.
And again, thanks to all the dedicated volunteers of Archive Team for their effort.
Update (April 23): Three days later, the Upcoming archive is complete. Every event, venue, group, and user page is currently being compressed and uploaded in batches to the Internet Archive. Truly amazing.
My next step: to parse the HTML and extract structured data, distributed that database, and build something off it to make the community-contributed material accessible after Yahoo shuts it down.