After a friend’s tweet last week, I logged into ICQ and stayed logged in for a week. Not a single person came online.
Not surprising. More surprising? That I was still able to log in. That ICQ still exists. That my account hadn’t been purged due to inactivity. (I really just wanted to hear the uh-oh sound again.)
We’re already seeing the beginning of the ruins of the next great civilization: the internet.
Assuming everyone doesn’t die at the hand of Bruce Willis, the next 100 years’ll go like this: servers become so cheap, they’re be practically free. Apps are built with better technology so they need no human maintenance once they are running. There’s no longer any reason to shut down a service. Imagine facebook falls out of fashion. The company shuts down, but the site still exists. How? In a digital museums.
Museum-like organizations will crop up and use donations to pay the insanely minimal upkeep to keep these digital relics alive. (Like archive.org, but actually functional.) So in 200 years, when students are reading about the origins of connected computing and they hear about things like facebook and Twitter, they’ll actually be able to log in. Perhaps even using their ancestors’ IDs. Perhaps studying facebook will become an area of social research itself.
Or maybe facebook will never die. Doesn’t matter. I’ve just been thinking a lot about how the internet can be compared to an empire, the future archival possibilities, and how that will impact every area of life and study.
(via graveyardrain)Posted 11 months ago with 9 notes