I cast envious eyes towards of fans of the Grateful Dead, in spite of my utter indifference to the band’s music. They have a nearly inexhaustible supply of live material to listen to and are part of a passionate fanbase that seemingly lacks the toxicity and other negative aspects of some of today’s fandoms.
Much of the Dead’s archives are hosted at the Internet Archive, and that’s the focus of this piece:
Kahle, the Internet Archive’s founder, tells me that he wishes more of the web was shaped like the Dead Archive. “What you’re looking at,” he said, “is from an era of the Internet that I think is best typified by what Tim Berners-Lee called ‘pages.’” Today, he said, instead, what dominates is the “feed.” (“Horrible word,” he added.) Facebook and Twitter scroll by endlessly, unaccountably, and unpleasantly, but “it wasn’t always that way, and it was a choice.”
You don’t need to be a Deadhead to get something out of this article; it will also appeal to web nostalgists (the pros and cons of that viewpoint have been covered here previously) and anyone more generally interested in content archival and access.