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Personal Content Management

October 26, 2010

By Gary Price from ResourceShelf

Lots of information is out there: how can we share it with others, how can we save it, and what do we do with it? We need to think about the persistence of data and information.

Personal Information Management
Everyone defines personal information management differently and everyone wants information wherever they want it, when they want it. Hard to talk about generalities when talking about mobile information because there are so many different devices/platforms.

Need to get a mobile website first! Don’t go for a specialized app just for iPhone! (Yay!)

Backup, backup, backup your data!

Shout-out for the WayBack Machine and Internet Archive. If all else fails (and you don’t have a backup), check out the Internet Archives.

Either pay now or pay now when it comes to backing up your data. It is better to pay for the external storage and online backup now before your hard drive crashes. Example: Mozy, Carbonite. Think about how easy it is to restore your data when considering which service to use.

Bibliographic Managers
If you do a lot of research, bibliographic managers are vital to save you research time. Two free options:
Zotero: Zotero everywhere initiative is going on and soon will be able to use Zotero on Chrome, IE, and mobile in addition to Firefox. (This is fabulous as it will greatly increase the usefulness of Zotero.)
Mendeley: another bibliographic manager option.

Social Media preservation
Preserving Tweets: check out Twapper Keeper. It permanently archives tweets–you can even search for archives via keywords and hashtags (you can see tweets from previous Internet Librarian conferences via this service). You can also download the information to a database or spreadsheet and it is free. Very cool, especially for creating thematic archives.

Dropbox: great way to backup small amounts of data (for free) or you can pay for more storage space. Also a great option for sharing large files.

Instapaper: will optimize a page for mobile web so you can read articles/pages later. For iPhone
Read it Later: Similar service for Android

Summary
Take the time to think about how you are preserving your data before your hard drive crashes! If you want to know about digital preservation and digital standards, I highly suggest taking a look at recent research and white papers in archival science. This is another area where the two allied professions overlap a lot and is a great opportunity for collaboration so we aren’t reinventing the wheel but instead can move forward together in the preservation and curation of digital data. One of the most interesting facts about digital preservation is that while pages, links, content on the web are ephemeral (everyone has experienced linkrot), it is almost impossible to delete all evidence of content when it is published online. The eternal conundrum of the digital archivist!

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