Has everyone forgotten about Yahoo’s digital time capsule?
Weblog: It was set up as a snapshot of life in the noughties, but the site looks abandoned
Benito Taibo and Rafael Jimenez of Yahoo Mexico with the Yahoo ‘time capsule’ in Mexico City in October 2006. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images
This month, with schools around Ireland opening up time capsules from 1995, it got me to thinking about digital time capsules. Unlike the metal containers buried on the grounds of primary and secondary schools, the digital time capsule has to weather continuity of hosting services, server outages, back-ups, and the costs included in maintenance.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Yahoo’s effort lasted very long. Let me take you way back through the mists of time, all the way to 2006. Yahoo was relevant and collaborated with artist Jonathan Harris to capture a snapshot of life online by inviting internet users to contribute their thoughts and opinions on life in the mid-noughties.
According to Wikipedia, Yahoo received 170,857 submissions. This was to be opened on the company’s 25th anniversary on March 2nd, 2020, but the webpage looks abandoned; according to the webpage countdown there is still a decade left until the capsule opens.
And, not to point any fingers, Yahoo, but if you wanted a snapshot of life online in the noughties then you could have archived rather than wiped clean Yahoo Groups, where many of these conversations took place.