It’s a fantastic essay by Matthew Ogle on the recent building of the real-time web, and the opportunities ahead to add meaning to the myriad personal histories now floating in the network.
By providing us with new ways to share what we’re doing right now, the real-time web also captures something we might not have created otherwise: a permanent record of the event. We’ve all been so distracted by The Now that we’ve hardly noticed the beautiful comet tails of personal history trailing in our wake. We’ve all become accidental archivists; our burgeoning digital archives open out of the future.
What were you thinking about on November 23rd, 2009? You probably have no idea, but Twitter might. What was your personal soundtrack to the summer of ’07? Ask Last.fm. Hit up Dopplr to find out how many miles you travelled last year, Foursquare for the Berlin bar that people you know check in to more than any other, or Facebook to see the photos of the last time you hung out with your best friend on the other side of the world.
Without deliberate planning, we have created amazing new tools for remembering. The real-time web might just be the most elaborate and widely-adopted architecture for self-archival ever created.
– Matthew Ogle, “Archive Fever: A love letter to the post real-time web”
* From the archives, the day I figured out how to use del.icio.us