Thanks to Neil Jefferies for a link to this article in The Register, which tells us that MS has begun two open source projects that will make it possible for developers to create tools to ‘browse, read and extract emails, calendar, contacts and events information’ which live in MS Outlook’s .pst file format. These tools are the PST Data Structure View Tool and the PST File Format SDK, and both are to be Apache-licensed.
We have yet to encounter a depositor who has a Facebook account, but it’s sure to happen at some stage. With that in mind, Victoria has been looking at how we could archive content in web 2.0 services like FB. I spoke with Mark Guttenbrunner (Tu Wien) about this at the Planets training day in London last month, and he told me that there was an ‘archive’ friend you could add through Facebook that would archive your profile (whatever that means 🙂 ). FB’s ‘archive friend’ seems to have gone to ground, but Mark did point me at this Firefox add-on which should achieve something similar. We’ll have to give it a go and see what happens. Anyone got any other ideas about how to archive Facebook profiles?
This is the stated mission of a Google engineering team called the ‘Data Liberation Front’:
Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google’s products. Our team’s goal is to make it easier to move data in and out
Yay! Loyalty is best achieved through great products, not data lock-in. As an individual who uses online data services this approach makes me very happy. As an archivist I’m ecstatic. Thanks guys.
More about how to get data in and out of Google’s many services at the DLF’s blog.
The first step in doing anything useful with a digital accession is to answer just that question. The next is generally “now that I know, what ‘stuff’ do I need to recover the data and how might I do that?”. With some items, it’s easy enough. With others it can be rather more challenging. Alex Eveleigh just pointed me at Mediapedia – a database being developed at The National Library of Australia to help folk identify media. Best of all, it sounds like it’s been designed to help people find things by easily determined characteristics (e.g. physical measurements) rather than relying on the user to know, more or less, what they are looking for. Super idea.