Slashdot: Archiving Digital Data an Unsolved Problem

The headline on a front page post on Slashdot today reads:

"Archiving Digital Data an Unsolved Problem"

which links to this article in Popular Mechanics. For archivists, this headline states the obvious, but the words betray how the technology sector, at least stereotypically, views archives and backups as equivalent. Wading through the comments (and discarding the obligatory comical entries), we find a rather robust discussion on digital preservation, sans academic terminology. All the familiar preservation topics -- Migration, emulation, media and file formats, genres, the influence of intellectual property law -- are touched upon, if rather superficially. One commenter brought up the issue of compression in digital archives, but it seems that none have touched the DRM issue (I'll have to remedy that).

That said, however, it is encouraging to see this article highlighted on one of the premiere tech blogs as well as in Popular Mechanics. It's going to take quite a bit more exposure to digital preservation problems in the tech community to get the point across -- to impart the long view, as it were -- but this is a good start.