(a)

Cross-posted to my per­sonal blog.


For a while now, I’ve been us­ing “(a)” no­ta­tion to de­note archived ver­sions of linked pages. This is a small effort to­wards cre­at­ing Long Con­tent (a) – con­tent that has a lifes­pan of decades or cen­turies, rather than months or years.

I think ba­si­cally any­one whose writ­ing in­cludes links to other work should in­clude archived links alongside the origi­nal hy­per­links, if the writ­ing is in­tended to be long-lived. (And if you’re not try­ing to write long-lived con­tent, what are you do­ing, even?)

I was happy to see Zuck (a) & Guzey (a) us­ing “(a)” no­ta­tion in some of their re­cent work. Per­haps “(a)” will catch on!

Prac­ti­cally, archive.fo is my first choice for cre­at­ing archives of web­pages. It’s free to use, and it’s hard for con­tent to be re­moved from the archive. (Folks can’t just email in re­quest­ing that ar­bi­trary con­tent be re­moved.)

But archive.fo can be slow to save new pages, and its library is fairly small.

archive.org is my sec­ond choice. It’s run by the In­ter­net Archive (fun aside (a)), is free to use, has a mas­sive library, and is quick to add new pages. Un­for­tu­nately, folks can re­move ar­bi­trary con­tent by emailing in, so I ex­pect archive.org to be less durable than archive.fo in the long run.

perma.cc also seems promis­ing. I don’t use it be­cause it’s ex­pen­sive if you don’t have an aca­demic af­fili­a­tion.

And maybe one day Quora will come around (a) to Long Con­tent be­ing good...