Archiving .gov and .mil websites is going on now, with lots of help—but what if we could archive full government web services? This would mean keeping interactive sites that include databases and forms, available for future use even if the original website changes or is removed.
We like this idea because we would preserve how websites worked, not just what they looked like. As websites become more database driven and interactive, this would be a bigger help than the already helpful Wayback Machine.
We believe this is possible now given the increased use of virtual machines and cloud services. Webmasters are adjusting to having their systems work in an isolated environment and one that can be snapshot’d.
What we need are some webmasters who would like to try this. We think that government websites would be perfect because they tend to change as administrations change and the datasets are often public data.
If you run a website and would like to participate in this experiment or would like to help on the receiving end, please send a note to email@example.com or reply to this post.
Archiving web services could usher in a completely new age in archiving of Internet resources.