Jason Scott, of Textfiles.com fame, has announced that he is currently archiving all of the podcasts that he can find, currently storing them in 75 GB of hard drive space. He figures hard drive space is cheap enough to make the prospect of continuing the project tenable.
I have no doubt that this project is worthwhile, and it’s all the better than the automated nature of podcast downloading makes Jason’s task an easy one.
Of course, putting all this on-line is another story, since bandwidth is much more expensive than drive space. But the time may yet come when that is feasible, too.
Big thanks have to go to Jason and other folks prescient enough to preserve documents, items and data that seem emphemeral now, but are likely to provide insight for the future. That includes such archives as zine libraries archive.org, and, yes, textfiles.com, to name just a few.
Indeed, many of the first libraries started out simply as personal collections of books and magazines. In fact, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was very common for a newspaper subscriber to bind his newspapers for preservation and future reference.
I interviewed Jason on the Feb. 4 edition of the radioshow (I hope he’s archived that podcast), where the topic was ostensibly his BBS documentary, which is another example of vital documentation of the recent past.