Exploring Digital Ruins in The Atlantic

atlanticarticlelauraehall

I recently published an article in The Atlantic about digital cities:

“People build these communities without really recognizing what they are, then they suddenly realize, we’re out of money, we’ve changed priorities, we’ve been acquired—they decide to jettison their material,” Scott said. “That’s when we step in. We grab a copy of it for posterity, just because the conversation stops when the data is gone. We take a backup so that somebody can make use of it down the line.”

One of the archives promises that, just because a page isn’t displayed, it doesn’t mean it’s gone forever: “It may simply mean that we haven’t gotten around to restoring it.”

“Your page isn’t gone,” Scott said, when I mentioned my search. “It’s just in a quantum state.”

I also did a follow-up list of articles that explore the same topic, via my newsletter.

Subscribe to my TinyLetter, start your own

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CC photo by Mi Mitrika

My friend Dan Hon has gotten me hooked on TinyLetter, which another friend of ours called “artisanal penpals”. Dan is using it as a near-daily writing exercise; I’m using it as a something between a blog post and a sort of longer, more themed Twitter. I’m doing it weekly, and I’m enjoying the pace.

Sign up for my newsletter here (and while you’re at it, sign up for Dan’s, too).

Have a favorite TinyLetter? Do you produce one of your own?* Let me know, in the comments.

*Maybe you should. Go on.

UPDATE 4/7/14: Dan and I were trying to figure out the best way to connect all these funny little letter things together, so we made a webring, 1997-style: The Internet of Newsletters. Join us, won’t you?

Solving the Black Letter Labs Puzzle in the Seattle Gigapixel ArtZoom

lettersWhen I received a strange email on February 3rd, I had never heard of the Gigapixel ArtZoom, “an interactive multi-billion-pixel panoramic image celebrating the arts in Seattle.”

The email told me there was a hidden puzzle in this “Where’s Waldo of Seattle” and asked for my help solving it; I didn’t know if it was a legitimate plea for help or a message from the game’s creators, but I couldn’t resist finding out more. Continue reading