First archaeological dig of the web.

 
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"The Death Of The Website Is Fast Approaching" -web pioneer Jim Boulton calls for urgent industry wide initiative to save web's bygone era before it's too late.

This year, the web turns 20. Over the last two decades, our lives have been transformed. We now do, see, hear, share, copy, sell, buy, interact and participate in society and life differently. But despite such a radical shift in the way we lived, many of the websites mat defined this era are being lost, discarded on redundant hardware never to be seen again. Until now ...

In November the first ever archaeological dig of the internet was unveiled in London. A collection of the digital industry's leading figures, led by web pioneer Jim Boulton of digital content agency Story Worldwide (www.storyworldwide.com), opened the unique exhibition, entitled Digital Archaeology, in London, to kick start Britain's inaugural web archive.

Since the internet's invention in the early 1990s, organisations of all shapes and sizes have updated their websites, sometimes numerous times each year, or launched completely new versions to market. Be it a corporate giant or local retailer, keeping website information and design fresh has been important. But with every update or new site, the old version is effectively removed from the web, unable to be traced online from that point onwards, and most often stored on disappearing hard drives and redundant servers belonging to the digital artisans who first created them, never to be seen again.

"In five years time or so, I doubt websites will exist and I expect the vast majority of sites from the first twenty years of the web to be gone forever," said Jim Boulton, the curator of Digital Archaeology. "Today, when almost a quarter of the earth's population is online, this artistic, commercial and social history is being wiped from the...

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