Why startups and researchers should talk

I’m fresh back from San Francisco and the Internet Archive where I spent two days with many of the leaders in digital archives and preservation. Lots of great presentations and hallway conversations. I also presented my own take on design principles that should be considered when building archives to be used as memorials to the deceased.

I missed the lightning talks on Thursday evening, but I did see the conversation sparked between Jonathan Good and the 1000Memories team at Jason Scott from Archive Team. Archive Team recently saved some 900 GB of GeoCities data before Yahoo shut the service down. At Jason’s urging the 1000Memories team added export functionality to their product over night to overcome criticism regarding portable data.

Here’s a clip of the Twitter conversation:
1000Memories Twitter Conversation

My takeaway from all of this start ups should build upon the experience of researchers when designing their products. It’s always a good idea to avoid reinventing the wheel and researchers tend to have insight, design patterns, formats and standards in place that can be extremely helpful to a startup.

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