Alan, this concern is indeed very right. Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that every day, thousands of individual websites disappear because the domain expired, because they got hacked, because the owner did not pay the hosting bills or because whoever owned it just lost interest.
The Posterous-es of the web are only the visible tip of the iceberg…
Yet, how do you think we can mitigate this? How can bigger/larger networks can help preserve the data they host?
Some answers might be from having great export tools available at all times, having tools to syndicate/federate so that there is no single point of failure and the data gets distributed as it’s created. We can also think about writing everything to some kind of blockchain which should stay up as long as enough 3rd party nodes kept the network alive?
This is a really tough technical problem…
But even more importantly it is also a philosophical problem. We are the very first generations which have the technical ability to record, preserve and “remember” everything that is ever said and done. Is this really a world we want to live in? a world we can live in? I do not have good answers, but I think that this is the kind of societal challenges that’s going to affect us and how we think of ourselves and our peers in ways that are already hard to even comprehend. And these considerations are dwarfing the technical challenges.
I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this.