1950 University Ave, Suite 200
Berkeley, California 94704

(Free and open to the public - and followed at 4pm with a Social Jam that includes refreshments - and beer. It would be helpful if you mark attending/watching above).

‘It’s like a fire. You just have to move on’: Toward adaptive services for personal archiving

Most of us engage in magical thinking when it comes to the long term fate of our personal digital stuff. This magical thinking may manifest itself in several ways: technological optimism ("I know there'll be a solution when I want to look at those files again"), radical ephemeralism ("It's like a fire: you just have to move on"), or simply a gap between principals and practice ("I should move my novel off of that zip disk, but I'm too busy right now"). At this point, benign neglect seems to be the best we can hope for.
For the last few years, we’ve tried to understand the current state of personal digital archiving in practice with the aim of designing services for the long-term storage, preservation, and access of digital belongings. Our studies have not only confirmed that experienced home computer users have accumulated a substantial amount of digital stuff that they care about, but also that they have already lost irreplaceable artifacts such as photos, creative efforts, and important records. Although informants report digital safekeeping strategies, they are neither able to implement them consistently, nor will these strategies address the real problems associated with archiving. I will discuss four central themes of personal digital archiving and some additional challenges introduced by home computing environments. I’ll also talk about how these themes relate to emerging institutional archiving technologies, best practices, and information policies.

This talk will reveal how far we’ve gotten on our quixotic mission and why we won’t give up, even in the face of adversity, table-pounding, and social ostracism.

Cathy Marshall is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Corporation. Her research on personal digital libraries lies in the disciplinary interstices of computer science, information science, and the humanities. She was a long-time member of the research staff at Xerox PARC and is an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries at Texas A&M University. She has delivered keynote addresses at the WWW and Hypertext Conferences as well as at CNI and other library and information science venues. She has served as Program Chair for the IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (twice) and for the ACM Hypertext Conference. Her homepage is http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/~marshall; there you will find her publications, her blog, her contact information, and how she is related to Elvis.

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Added by mor on January 19, 2007