Tag: wayback machine

Wayback Machine 2.0: AboutUs and Iterasi partner to give you a view of present and past

[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client and I’ve been working with AboutUs on a top-secret widget project.]

If you’ve ever been looking for dated information on the Web, you’ve likely come across the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive. No site provides such a detailed reference to the yester-Web, allowing us to reach back to forgotten history and grab snippets of the Web as it once was.

But for all the compliments I can pile on the Wayback Machine, it is not without its flaws.

The biggest gripe? The Wayback Machine only archives HTML. That means that any image files or CSS that is needed to render a page doesn’t get archived. Which means if that information gets deleted from the original server, then the Wayback Machine archives don’t render properly.

Needless to say, a bunch of pages render poorly.

My other complaint? The Wayback Machine wasn’t created in the Silicon Forest. But that’s just how I am.

Okay. That’s Wayback Machine 1.0. Hold that thought.

Now, when it comes to accessing current information about any Web site, few resources can compete with the simplicity and ease-of-use of Portland-based AboutUs. Even if AboutUs doesn’t have a current page about a site, they’ll render one in a matter of seconds. So, typing “http://aboutus.org/[whatever URL you want]” is about the easiest way to get information on any site—as it currently exists.

There’s just one problem: seeing how a site looked in the past isn’t always that simple. You can review the Wiki change tracking, but that’s not always the best way of assessing the changes to the site. And if you just added the site to AboutUs, you have no idea what the site looked like previously.

Now for that historical reference, Portland-based Iterasi is about the easiest way to see how a site looked in the past.

But Iterasi has its own flaw: the archive isn’t terribly broad. It’s deep for certain “Web 2.0 cool kid” sites, but it could use more breadth.

If only AboutUs could find a site that helped provide the historical reference they’re missing. If only Iterasi could find a site that could help extend the breadth of their Web archive.

Well welcome to a “You got your archive in my current information! You got your current information pointing to my archive!” moment as two great Portland tastes have found a way to taste great together.

That’s right. AboutUs and Iterasi are partnering. And the result could be what we’ve all been wanting the Wayback Machine to provide: current details and accurate historical renderings.

Welcome to the Wayback Machine 2.0.

AboutUs IterasiSure, the Iterasi link isn’t huge, but it is important.

Now, you can visit AboutUs to get the latest information about any given site. Looking for historical information? Iterasi is there to provide the archived pages that they have on file. Voila!

Iterasi describes the peanut butter of the AboutUs-Iterasi partnership this way:

So why is this cool? Well for a whole bunch of reasons. It gives the AboutUs user a very cool new feature (obviously…right!). AboutUs users can now search through the iterasi archive to research the evolution of the Website, search for information of historical significance, whatever. For iterasi, it should be a source of traffic to our site where we can hopefully turn them into happy users as well.

AboutUs describes the chocolate of the partnership this way:

Now, we’ve partnered with the smart folks at Iterasi to give their archive greater visibility and provide the people visiting AboutUs with an additional resource for information about websites and the organizations and people attached to them. Now at every AboutUs page, you’ll find a link to the Iterasi Archive of pages relating to that site.

And to think, it was all put together by Erik Benson of Voyager—a VC. As Pete Grillo of Iterasi recounts:

Recently I ran into Erik. I suspected he had something to do with putting iterasi and AboutUs together. The talk went something like this:

Pete: ‘Erik, are you behind this?’.

Erik: ‘Yes. It makes sense to me’.

Pete: ‘You know, if people find out you do nice things, it could be the beginning of the end for you as a VC’.

Erik: ‘Yes, it could appear that I am losing my edge’.

We both had a good laugh and went our separate ways.

Whatever the case, it’s a great move for a couple of outstanding Portland startups. And it’s really cool to see this kind of collaboration in our community.

Long story short, we all win. And now we have a much stronger information resource—right here in our Silicon Forest backyard.

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Iterasi unveils bookmarklet, glimpse into potential for Web archive

[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I was briefed on these features while they were in development and I was involved in on-going consulting as they came to fruition. I recommend you read this post with that grain of salt in mind.]

IterasiPortland-based Iterasi is on a mission to save the Web from extinction. Or at least the Web page at which you’re looking right at this moment. So they keep coming up with ways for you to save Web pages—in all of their functional HTML glory—as quickly and easily as possible.

First came the toolbar, then the Firefox add-in, and now there’s the Iterasi bookmarklet, which allows users to save pages without installing anything. To try it out, click on the link below and you’ll see how it works. (And if you want to take it with you, simply drag-and-drop it to your bookmarks bar.)

Archive to iterasi

In addition to the new bookmarklet, Iterasi has done more organizing to make their archive of Web pages for accessible and digestible. Tags are more prevalent and usable. And there’s a search function.

What’s more, one of their new views of the archive could prove to be pretty interesting. It’s akin to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Kind of a people-powered version of the Internet Archive’s version.

You save a page, make it public, and it winds up on the archive page for that site. Just the push of a button and you’ve made history. Or at least saved it for everyone to see. And while there’s not much there now, this has the potential to become a valuable resource for everyone. A sort of Wikipedia-esque archive of the Web.

For more on the new features, see Iterasi’s post. To test drive the products or search the archive, visit Iterasi.

 

 

Iterasi gets more social with RSS feeds, widgets, and public pages

[Editor: Full disclosure, Iterasi is a client of mine, but I was not involved in this announcement.]

http://www.iterasi.net/user/siliconflorist?format=widgetN1Vancouver-based Iterasi, the service that allows you to create your own personal Wayback Machine, took a huge step forward in making its network of users more social, today, when they announced three major additions to their offering: public pages, RSS feeds, and widgets.

Josh Lowensohn at Webware broke the news:

Web page archiving tool Iterasi is getting a small but important update Tuesday morning. Users can now share their stream of archived pages with others as an RSS feed, letting anyone view their saved items either directly in their browser or in a feed-capturing tool like Google Reader or desktop e-mail clients.

In my opinion, these seemingly innocuous changes actually mark a decided change in Iterasi’s stance. With these features, Iterasi moves from being an interesting personal service toward becoming a valuable social service. And by embracing features that allow me to distribute my saved pages to a much, much wider audience, they gain the benefit of more people encountering their service.

I have found a great deal of value in being able to save pages for myself. But now that I have the option of sharing pages with folks? It opens a whole new realm of use for me. Like a more typical social bookmarking service.

Fringe benefits abound. With RSS feeds and widgets, Iterasi just increased its exposure exponentially. I’ve added the widget to this post and I’ll likely add it to the blog (once the Mac version is out and I can use the service regularly.) And, I’m adding the RSS feed to my lifestreaming services, like FriendFeed and Strands.

What’s more, by launching public pages, Iterasi has the potential to rapidly increase its online footprint for search engines and the like—like any other public-facing social network service.

Now, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. As with any new feature on a BETA product, there are some rough spots and some nice-to-haves that didn’t make the cut. There are some areas over which I would like to have control, like skinning the widget and dealing with the publishing function.

But as I’ve mentioned, I see this release as less about “features” and more about “vision.” It’s clear to me that Iterasi is taking a much more social stance. And that’s a very good thing.

To test drive the product, visit Iterasi. To see the public page in action or to get the widget code, please visit the Silicon Florist page on Iterasi.

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