Web archiving

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Web archiving is the attempt of and process used in order to collect and preserve digital content that is already available on the internet and / or the 'world wide web' (WWW).

Unlike paper documents, or digital media on physical carriers like CD or DVD, information presented on websites are not only easily accessible via the internet; they are also easy to change, and prone to erosion of many kinds: from hacker attacks, to any possible reason why a server may be damaged, or a project may fail. In order to counteract those chances for loss of information once available, there have been numerous attempts to build archives to preserve content in digital form, and make said archived content available via internet and other channels.

Since WikiIndex is not only meant to act as a kind of 'yellow pages' for all available wikis on the internet, but also for collecting information about the 'wikisphere' in general and its history, we do keep article pages about wikis that succumbed to failure, and if possible, document how their rise and fall has happened. This kind of wiki history shall hopefully help wiki people to build better wikis in more stable projects in the immediate future.

Regarding any wiki sites that we do already have an article page about – we do not delete said wiki article of a failed wiki. We keep their article here on WikiIndex after they became unavailable. However, we do not simply (and only) move them into category:Dead. If possible, we add to our wiki article page URLs and / or interwiki links to an archiving project for the said dead wiki site; where at least meaningful parts of that wiki have been preserved. We at WikiIndex then go on to re-categorise that wiki article from category:Active (or similar) to, hopefully, category:Archived. Naturally, this requires, that someone had previously done something to add actual information about said wiki site to any of those archiving services whilst the wiki site was still live and publicly available on the internet; and crucially, some or all of the actual content of wiki site is archived (rather than just its wiki main page and similar 'headline' pages). Accordingly, it is therefore good practice to make sure that at least one archive project is 'informed' about that wiki site, ideally, whenever you create a new article page here on WikiIndex about another wiki site.

Further information

List of web and/or wiki archiving services

  • Archive.org — also known as the Internet Archive WaybackMachine; the service we use most
  • archive.is — also known as archive.today, formerly known as Webpage archive; a similar site, with slightly differing and lesser features than Archive.org
  • wp:WebCite — science oriented archiving service
  • Archive Team — helps creating and storing full backups of wikis