Who are they?
Do you ever recall watching something on TV which was aired once and never again? Or perhaps playing an obscure video game, which no one else seems to know about? These are symptoms of Lost Media, media which is no longer available due to all known copies of it having been destroyed, damaged, rotting in storage or outright lost.
Lost Media Wiki is a community which specializes in documenting such lost media, and trying to recover or piece together any such media which they can get their hands on.
What do they do?
Well they run a Wiki, but of course! The Wiki generally avoids hosting any lost/found media directly, it’s mostly used for documenting information or linking externally to lost/found items.
There are a whole bunch of categories: lost ads, lost literature and even lost puppetry! If it’s lost, they’ll know.
With so many categories navigating the website can be quite a chore, even for active users on the wiki, so every few weeks they make an “update” post to summarize the latest changes.
Beyond their own Wiki, the information they collect is often passed on to Wikipedia or IMDb editors, or YouTubers who help spread the word on these lost items to larger audiences.
How do they do it?
Given a particular piece of media, the question arises as to whether it is indeed lost, or if it ever existed at all. Users can start pages where they report their understanding of the status on a given item.
Later other users who go over these pages can pitch in to verify the information or go hunting after the more elusive lost items. Hunting down lost media itself is perhaps a discussion for another time, but to give an idea of how one might go about this, someone who’s looking for a lost tv-commercial might try searching for VHS recordings which may have captured it.
This database doesn’t come cheap though, for funding Lost Media Wiki turns to Patreon. Neither does the hunt! In order to put pressure on property owners/organisations who might have access to the final copies of a particular media, members run a number of petitions.
How do I sign up?
Well it depends on how actively involved you’d like to be. If you just want to see what’s been lost to time for yourself you can simply browse https://www.lostmediawiki.com.
If you’re looking for people to talk about Lost Media, there’s the calmer forums and the chaotic Discord server.
Or if you think that you’d like to actively contribute, you could sign up for an account on the Wiki to make/edit pages yourself. So then what are you waiting for? Find lost things, today!