2019-03-28 Help archive Google+
Help archive Google+
Google+ is shutting down in just a few days (April 2nd), and Archive Team needs your help to archive it!
San Francisco, CA — Technology is business, and in business, money often takes priority over people. When a site or service fails to generate revenue, it is most effective to shut it down—and delete all of its users' data in the process. Even a company the size of Google is no exception. Google+, Alphabet's failed social media platform, is scheduled to shut down on April 2nd, and Archive Team is scrambling to finish archiving it.
Archive Team is a group of volunteers trying to archive websites that are at risk of shutting down. However, it is not likely that Archive Team will reach its goal to preserve all of Google+ in time. Currently, the archiving project is only roughly 60% complete. With less than 5 days remaining, it is estimated that only 85% of the indexed content will be archived.
Archiving Google+ is not simply a matter of keeping a backup of posts and content. It's about trying to preserve what online communities and users have created and produced over the past 8 years.
- "These websites are collections of memories that have been gathered up through people online."
- – Jason Scott, Free-Range Archivist & Software Curator at Internet Archive
If you've ever wondered what Yahoo's homepage looked like in 1996, the purpose of archiving Google+ answers a similar question. Check out the Wayback Machine to browse the internet of the past. You can read more about the ephemerality of online communities from Jason Scott's article on the Internet Archive blog.
What is Archive Team doing?
Archive Team has been hard at work archiving Google+ posts this past month. Archive Team intends on archiving roughly 1.53 PB (petabytes) of the Google+ content. Currently, members are archiving at a rate of approximately 7.5 Gbps (gigabits per second), which is around 3.4 TB/h (terabytes per hour). At this rate, only 85% of the indexed data can be archived, while the rest will be forever lost.
When a Website (1) is burning down, the Warrior (2) is tasked by the project Tracker (3) to rescue fragile data. The Warrior then transfers the item to Archive Team's Staging Servers (4) where items are processed and sent to the Internet Archive (5) and eventually integrated into the Wayback Machine.
About 700 Archive Team members are already archiving Google+. Many of these volunteers use Archive Team's Warrior, a downloadable virtual machine image that runs on the user's computer which grabs and uploads the content of websites in danger.
The data generated by Archive Team is sent directly to the Internet Archive, and eventually integrated into the Wayback Machine. However, Archive Team would not exist without the Internet Archive. Not only has the Internet Archive saved 45 PB (petabytes) of data, the organization has also built the Wayback Machine, Open Library, and Archive-It.
If you have found the Wayback Machine or any of the Internet Archive's other efforts useful, please consider donating to them, as doing so will also help Archive Team considerably.
Note that the Internet Archive is a US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donations are tax deductible to the full extent under the US federal law. For more information on how to donate to the Internet Archive, please visit https://archive.org/donate/.
You can still help Archive Team by volunteering to be a Warrior. For more information on how to get started, please visit the Warrior wiki page.
By being a Warrior, you can help speed up the archiving process. You can also watch this project's progress in real-time on https://tracker.archiveteam.org/googleplus/. Note that the tracker may freeze or break under heavy load.
About Archive Team
Archive Team is a loose collective of archivists, programmers, and writers, dedicated to saving our digital heritage. The team has been working hard over the years to archive websites in danger of shutting down through ArchiveBot and Warrior projects, saving many websites including GeoCities, Sears, and recently parts of Tumblr and Flickr. Note that Archive Team is not affiliated with the Internet Archive. For more information about Archive Team, please visit https://archiveteam.org/.
About the Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that is building a digital library of the Internet. The Internet Archive also makes web history available through its Wayback Machine. For more information about the Internet Archive, please visit https://archive.org/.