The Data Horde : Origins

From behind the mountain, beckons a dark specter
Stretching thinly as it grows ever closer
The people are overrun with fright and terror
Yet the army to liberate them draws near

In an age where even the greatest chore can be made into a convenience one would expect that life would be effortless. Perhaps in some ways it has indeed become so, but with that effortlessness comes laziness… When one no longer needs to, why should they? Thus was born a pandemic of our times, a disease of negligence and apathy…

Everyone and everything competes for worth and attention. Who you’ll spend your day with today, what works you need to finish, what songs you’ll listen to, what books you’ll read, what albums you’ll skim through… In a fair competition it is assumed that everyone plays by the rules, sad to say this isn’t one of those. Cheating is encouraged, everything goes. No time for chat, no money for books, no knowledge on that subject, no time, no money, no knowledge…

Perhaps it’s better to throw some things away, to rid oneself of burden. That man who spoke those words is no longer me, that girl in the photo was never me to begin with… A collective disdain for the past makes them trail blindly after a future that they can never reach as by the time they’ve gotten there it has no worth left to claim. Good riddance! May those moments rot as they disintegrate buried deep within the sands of time! Yet others weep, as they’ve gone too far and can no longer find their way back. They were misfortunate forgetting to neglect leaving a trail, or leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that the creatures of the woods made their evening snack.

From this chaos emerged an order, from the victims heroes…

Data Horde is a blog we’re starting to help promote data preservation, particularly online. Although there are many small contingents who define themselves as archivists or similar, most act as lone wanderers helping save whatever is in their vicinity. To remedy this, we set out on our mission with two main goals:

  1. To help unite these independent groups by acting as an intermediary platform for them.
  2. To inform others about archival projects and how they might get into a field which currently has a very steep learning curve or at the very least teach them about what they can do to spare themselves of trouble in the first place

We’ll periodically be posting news related to archivist groups such as

  • new tools and technologies
  • announcements regarding online -or perhaps even offline- information that is at risk of disappearing ( servers shutting down, websites removing features or content based on abrupt policy changes )
  • ongoing projects, talking about who are coordinating them and how one can get involved
  • and results of completed projects such as community revivals
As for the more educational content, we plan to post
  • tutorials on
      • how to recover lost data which has been archived
      • how to use data archive API’s for tools and products you as a developer might be interested in designing with
      • how to use available archiving tools for preserving data
      • recording equipment
      • storage
      • redistribution of data
  • guides for sub-communities which have specific focusses
      • Archive Team which is more oriented on preserving websites
      • which also puts an emphasis on digitization of offline data
      • Lost Media Wiki which works to recover lost media by hunting recordings
  • interviews with members from the archiving community
  • essays and documentaries for encouraging discussion on more complex concepts that aren’t very discussed outside of the field -or even inside in some cases- which we’d like to make the more the general population conscious to

If any of this sounds interesting to you, well stay tuned… We’re out to save you and hopefully soon you yourself too, will be able to find some small way you can save someone else’s world.

I’m The Mad Programer (single m) and I’m honored to welcome you all into The Horde!

Our Logo was done by the insanely talented Jojo Lu:

Interested in writing/publishing on our blog? We’d love to hear from you, just fill out our staff application form!


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