Web hits delete on magazine's 12-year archive
Server crashes and takes every article with it (so could your world be wiped out too?)
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Friday 06 July 2012
When avant-garde literary website 3:AM Magazine went down a week ago, staff hoped it would be up and running within the day.
But they now fear that 12 years of archived material – every article they have published – may be lost for ever after it emerged those responsible for the site’s servers have vanished.
Andrew Gallix, editor-in-chief, told The Independent said the events of the past week have been “traumatic” and highlighted the “the fragility of online content”.
He added: “I never expected those who were meant to host and back up our content to just switch us off without even telling us.”
Messages of support flooded in from Facebook and Twitter for one of the original book blogs. One reader wrote: “Twelve years of writing, vanished. Here’s hoping it’s able to continue somehow.”
Mr Gallix has run the site since 2000, with the literary webzine attracting acclaimed writers including Lee Rourke, Tony O’Neill and Booker Prize nominee Tom McCarthy.
Other companies have recently faced outages owing to server problems, and the disappearance of 3:AM’s archive highlights the dangers of assuming that work saved online will last for ever.
Increasing numbers of people use so-called “cloud services” such as Gmail, Facebook and Flickr to store personal information, rather than saving them on to their hard drives.
Martin Bryant, managing editor of technology blog The Next Web, said: “There are risks with storing everything on outside servers. We’ve been lucky that there have been no massive outage yet. We’re still waiting for the first cloud disaster. Fingers crossed it never happens, but must be prepared.”
He added: “People rely on the cloud far too much. It’s seen as this mythical space that exists in the ether where everything is safe. This is not the case.”
As for 3:AM, Mr Gallix is trying to track down the person responsible for the servers. After a few false leads, as well as a disconnected phone and emails bouncing back, he believes he has tracked him down.
“At this stage, we do not know if we’ll ever be able to speak to him and if he can switch his server back on long enough to allow us to move 12 years’ worth of content to another, more reliable host,” Mr Gallix said. “I should have backed it up somewhere else, but it never occurred to me.”
Life & Style blogs
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
Health warning over 88,000 foreign doctors working in the NHS
Childhood bullying 'can lead to depression and unemployment in adulthood'
Baby catches deadly meningitis infection from cat
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 3 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We provide business administration softw...