I have been feeling this way ever since this course started — but now especially, after reading Fitzpatrick’s chapter on Preservation — I know absolutely nothing about how the internet works.

A month ago, I happily typed in www-dot, or http-colon, etc., without even thinking, noticing or appreciating that the combination of characters I was typing would in fact lead me not only to a website but to the website I sought.   Of course, I’ve run into websites that are no longer active, or that have had a “change of address” — but I’ve never reflected upon what that means exactly — both what it means for the consumer (moi) and what it means for the provider.  Link rot??  Now that I know the term, I’ll be sure to use it appropriately (but hopefully not too often).

And if an online journal encounters what Fitzpatrick calls a “trigger event”, and I no longer have access to needed information?  Fortunately, from what I could tell by poking around the Vanderbilt library website, it seems as if Vandy supports both LOCKSS and Portico — so at least I can rely on my university library to allow me continued access to the digital information (hopefully?).

As for e-books, and all the questions Clifford Lynch poses — I own a Kindle, but I have never purchased an e-book to read on it because I like to mark up and later share my books.  I use my Kindle for reading PDFs and other articles, as well as for public domain works.  My behavior (of not wanting to invest money in e-books), I now can explain, is motivated by my own confusion of ownership and durability; and I don’t know what needs to happen or what proof must exist in order for me to convert from paper books to e-books.

  • Annette

    You can mark up kindle books and even loan your book to someone else. You can even see popular highlights that others who’ve read the book make. I like this last feature when I read classic works .although you can turn this feature off if you find it distracting. Perhaps instead of thinking in terms of “converting” from paper to digital you might want to consider a complementary relationship? Like some academics who have multiple editions/copies of the same book for different reasons, I also have kindle and print versions of the same book. Also I think my kindle books are saved both on amazon’s server and in the cloud, so my chances of losing them are about the same as my bookshelf at home catching fire and all my books going up in flames? I may be wrong about this though…

    • Katie Gandy

      I guess I’m focusing more on convenience — I have the basic model of the Kindle, so to move around the text I have to click the buttons in different directions a lot of times instead of just sweeping my finger across the screen.  I have used note-taking and book-marking before — but nothing beats seeing a bright yellow highlighter mark or a hot pink post-it note to help me find the passage or page I’m looking for!

      Basically, you’re right — I just haven’t invested the time to learn how to maneuver my Kindle efficiently… (which is a better way of saying, “I’m lazy”).

  • Anonymous

     Katie, you might find this site to be interesting.  It’s called “the wayback machine.”


    Talk about preservation!