ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

This is Fairly Big News —

Let’s just cut to the excellent, ass-kicking chase.

This month, I was offered and accepted a job.  The job’s title is “Archivist” and the office is here:

Internet Archive

That is in fact the main office of the Internet Archive, yes, that Internet Archive, and yes, this has really happened.

You’re either indifferent, delighted, or reeling, so let me fill in some details. I will continue to be primarily located in NY state, with occasional trips out to SF to work on projects or meet with people locally.  None of my current online projects, like textfiles.com or Archive Team, are going to disappear or become owned by the Internet Archive, although the opportunities for collaboration and mirroring just went up exponentially. It primarily means I can stop thinking about where my next meal is coming from or live in terror of getting sick and start thinking where the next cache of must-save data and computer history is. I am still going to make documentaries. I am going to continue to be GDC’s historian/archivist, helping them save a bunch of computer history. I’m just going to be doing what I’ve been doing, but do it more.

If I had to describe it in a one-liner, I’ve just gotten a powerful exoskeleton for the archive projects I’ve been up to for the last few years. I mean, seriously, look the fuck out.

I finally got to meet and talk with the folks from the Archive during my trip out to speak at the Personal Digital Archiving conference, which was hosted in their Sanctuary. Oh, you haven’t seen the Internet Archive Sanctuary?

Sanctuary at Internet Archive

See, these people have style. I am a fan of style, a huge fan of style. After touring the place, meeting the folks, and just finding out what was up… well, let me say, let me honestly say, I couldn’t find a single thing to complain about. This is me we’re talking about. Nothing! They do everything right! They approach it fantastically! The goals and mandates and awesomeness are so pervasive you start to wonder where the Oompa-Loompas are, and which room has the everlasting gobstoppers. It feels like home.

There are still details to work out, parameters to figure out, all the sort of things that collaboration brings.  I will not be speaking for the Archive – I am, as said, an archivist and I have my hands in a lot of projects that don’t necessarily overlap and the Archive has a whole bunch of projects that I am not necessarily involved in. That said, I hope a thousand wonderful things bloom from this, and when I ferret out and do fieldwork to bring in history, I will have some pretty ass-kicking tools and resources at my disposal.

So there you go, that’s about as big as it gets. I can’t wait to get started in earnest.

But before I do.

So in September of 2009, I decided I was done with having a job I tolerated to make it fund the stuff I loved. I decided my job would be something I loved. I was in no position to make that happen alone. I reached out, in a Kickstarter campaign, to raise funds to finish GET LAMP and keep me going while I got my life in order.

342 people (plus a dozen others through other means) stepped forward and made that goal a reality. It gave me the time to finish the movie, begin showing it, move, and begin my new life in earnest.  Because of all those people, I was able to accept work for the Game Developers Conference and do archive work for them.  And I am now about to turn to the Internet Archive on a dime and immediately accept an offer to work with them.  So let me be clear about that: those people changed my life. Permanently.

Other, more concrete details will arrive in time. Until then, well, let’s go with FUCK YEAH.

Get Lamp @ Alpha One


Categorised as: jason his own self

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58 Comments

  1. Thomas says:

    Congratulations! This sounds like the most awesome job you could have possibly scored – it will be interesting to see what great projects are going to come off this…. Good Luck and Well Done!

  2. James Sinks says:

    Jason, I know it’s been said before, but congratulations!

  3. Stiletto says:

    Completely missed this news. Congratulations, Jason!

  4. Palad says:

    Congratulations!

  5. Anne says:

    Congratulations, Jason. Just saw this on Mefi. Couldn’t happen to a better person — you are doing great work, keep it up!

  6. Drew Wallner says:

    Belated congrats on what sounds like an AMAZING opportunity dude. I saw this today and thought of you (guessing you already read it, but passing it along just in case).

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109835-Games-Now-Legally-Considered-an-Art-Form-in-the-USA

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