A question and answer site for digital preservation

Quattro Pro for DOS: an obsolete format at last?

Stack Exchange Q&A site proposal: Digital Preservation

The Digital Preservation world has sometimes been a little slow to pick up, exploit and re-use resources that are already out there (a common theme in my recent blog posts). The familar refrain is that digital preservation has it’s own set of (unspecified) specialist requirements so we therefore need to build everything from scratch. In many cases this simply isn’t true, but even when our community needs more than is currently available, the option of working with and building on top of existing facilities is usually a good one. So whether it’s preservation tools, web resources or approaches to managing and serving digital content, I’m always keen on collaborative approaches.

I’ve therefore been pleased to see Trevor Owen’s proposal for a Digital Preservation Stack Exchange be resurrected and start to really take off. There are plenty of question and answer sites on the web, but Stack Exchange has been particularly successful in developing a framework to ensure it’s sites are focused and well moderated. A nice example of Stack Exchange in action is the new Libraries and Information Science site, which is currently in beta. Here’s a question relevant to digital preservation that has only appeared today but already has some excellent answers from contributors. It’s easy to see how a site like this could develop into an invaluable resource that points those in need of help to existing sources of digital preservation information that are scattered across the web. Users are able to vote up useful questions and answers, refine existing answers in wiki fashion, and gradually build a subject based FAQ in a community fashion. Trevor provides an eloquent case for why a DP Stack Exchange site would be so useful in this blog post.

However, all this nice community stuff means that getting a new Stack Exchange site up and running is a none-trivial affair. Up front commitment from the community is necessary, so please start by giving your support by signing up here.

Unfortunately, simply signing up is not enough. The proposal currently needs 100 committers who already have a reputation score of 200 on another Stack Exchange site. At the time of writing this post, 45 of 263 committers have sufficient reputation. Getting 200 reputation is fortunately pretty straightforward. Simply choose a site that aligns with your interests, and start answering and asking questions. Trevor provides some further suggestions on this here.



  1. jrvanderhoeven
    July 4, 2012 @ 10:23 am CEST

    Great initiative! +1

  2. andy jackson
    June 7, 2012 @ 12:53 pm CEST

    This question on the Libraries and Information Science (beta) StackExchange provides a good example of how this works, and indeed is a question that really belongs on a dedicated Digital Preservation site.

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