Ok, so I have a tweet that's getting kind of popular on birbsite and I want to share the essence here too:

A guy tweeted that MySpace had lost all the music uploaded to it from 2003-2015. " An entire archive just... gone, forever."

So... this is your periodic reminder that uploading stuff to a website isn't an archive.

Someone responded:

"As an artist that stores their art on twitter and a lot of art related sites. This troubles me deeply. Imagine if Twitter or even Youtube did this. Every video gone forever."

And just holy yikes, y'all. This gave me palpitations.

Please don't think of uploading/sharing stuff as "storing" it on any of these sites--twitter/tumblr/etc. There's no good retrieval process, you don't control compression, etc. It's nice to access stuff one's shared for resharing but not storage.

Do you have a contract to stop them from deleting that data? A retrieval mechanism to get you files at original quality? Some kind of data management or long-term plan?

It's not an archive, it's your content hitching a ride as long as it's useful for the site. As long as it's profitable. In whatever format it's profitable. Hence MySpace clearing server space.

If you DO have a Soundcloud, etc., consider checking out Preserve This Podcast and learning more about what you might do to preserve your own files.

Only for the embarrassing moments. Good moments are guaranteed to get lost.

Sorry, I don't make the rules :blobcoffee:

@platypus At least youtube lets downloads of files -- not the originals, compressed ones, but that's something.

This makes me things about all the videos I uploaded and realize that I don't know how to archive videos -- do I just save final file, or all the raw footage, work files and final file and then run out of storage.

@platypus Art: you keep the original files, without watermark or your URL, and NOT shrunk or compressed to save bandwidth for online viewing. Then you make backups. Multiple.
Keep one somewhere you don't live, in case your house burns down.

@platypus also, if it's digital art, don't flatten the layers in your archive files.

@Anke @platypus Yes, all of this. External hard drives are your friend.

@Anke @platypus
Traditional art: You keep the originals in a dry, mould-free, fire-safe, lockable, closed-off container that should also be cat-proof (I learned that last bit the hard way). But before you store them there, you scan them on a flatbed scanner, check color accuracy in case of color originals, at a minimum of 600 DPI (1200 is better if possible). Then you treat the scanned files as above.

@Anke @platypus (note: I don't follow all of these for all my originals, because there are simply too many of them and I no longer care about the ones from before the year 2000. But if they have value, those are the steps to protect them as much as possible)

@aldersprig @Reinderdijkhuis IIRC the original art for much of the Hepcats comic are gone because they were not stored in a rabbit proof place.

@Reinderdijkhuis @Anke @platypus cat proof and rat proof and silverfish proof. I learned a lot by storing my smoke damaged HS art portfolio in my parents' barn after their house burned. There's a lot of ways things will be destroyed if you don't pay attention and check on them!

@Reinderdijkhuis @Anke @platypus incidentally, if you are planning on your house catching fire, glass is great for protecting photos and art from smoke damage, but the heat can make inks smear and run. We have some family photos with some wonderful /awful horror movie effects from aforementioned fire.
Be warned, there's a good chance pictures will be stuck to the glass, but if you have several in the same frame, the ones in back will mostly be ok

@narF @Anke @aldersprig definitely. I consider a lot of things ephemeral. BUT in that case, they probably wouldn't talk about "storing" said art or call places they'd uploaded it an "archive."

@narF @Anke @platypus @aldersprig even ephemeral works are usually documented in some way, by photo/video. In which case you should treat the files like they were master copies of digital work as described above- largest file size you can stand, no watermarks, and backed up to at least one hard drives that does not live in your house.

@platypus People really think that way?! Eek. Unless you make the ephemerality part of the art... just seems like you're exhibiting napkin doodles and expecting them to be as durable as canvas.

@priryo Personally, I love the idea of ephemerality!

BUT I have a strong feeling most people don' tthink this way.

@platypus I'm not surprised. Many people out there are still relatively new to computers - there's barely a differentiation for many between storing things and sharing things.

And it's getting worse, too. How many songs, videos and images have now been edited on a phone or tablet without any physical backup at all? When that tablet dies, these people will lose EVERYTHING.

@platypus holy shit people actually use sites with shitty compression as storage? Oh dang.

I have a double local backup and an offsite backup of all my photos and I’m still worried I’ll lose them somehow.

@platypus @FutureLuddite seriously, we've already seen Tumblr go part of the way with the NSFW content ban - at any point they could decide to delete it completely rather than storing it hidden
(or for Verizon to decide to shut it down altogether)

Even a website that I control, I still upload resized files - and my hosting provider could decide they suddenly don't like me

@Dex @FutureLuddite yep absolutely. I once had a hosting provider lose my site and restore from a few-days-old backup. They never told me. BUT I had done a fuckton of coding work in those 2 days which was lost and I was like ... this is all gone? they had to come clean

@platypus yet another reason why the trained assumption that social media posts last forever is a Bad Idea

@InspectorCaracal @platypus If you want it to disappear, it lasts forever. If you want to keep it, it gets deleted.

Consider your private nudes that accidentally leaked vs. that one porn video you really liked 10 years ago as examples.

@platypus any of you that are currently "storing" your work on tumblr, use this tutorial to grab a backup of your posts:

Don't be intimidated by the command line stuff, it's very quick and you can copy/paste the examples given.
The process is identical for macs, just make sure you pick the Mac version of Python to download, and the command line program is called Terminal instead.

@platypus I wish more people understood this! i try to back up all the youtube channels i like, and i assume everything on twitter is temporary

@platypus I remember when I started trying to print out everything I had posted on my fiction blog - more than 10 years ago.

(of course, almost everything there is stored elsewhere as well).

@aldersprig ironically, the only emails I have from early convos with my husband are the ones I printed!

@platypus I still have the parts I printed! It’s just… OMG that was literally before I moved to Ithaca, so, uh… ‘07 at the latest? before I really started writing in earnest.


as a PSA: if ur a digital artist and thus far you've been relying on websites for 'storing' your art, please please get yourself a passport. you can get a TB of external memory for like 60 dollars, they come in fun colors, hyper portable, and if you run out of space in like 4 years you can just get a new one and start labeling them. my photography professor recommended them to me and I have appreciated it immensely.

@platypus some of this also maybe ties into the "well, who's the customer and who's the product"

users never get guarantees 'cause they're not the customers. not really, and iirc in at least one recent issue maybe not legally.

@platypus I didn't even know People thought it was a storage place

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