ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

The Archive Team Kickstarter Prize Round-Up —

So, Archive Team has become very good at downloading sites before they go down. Way good. Some might almost venture too good. Someone trying to make a point, like me.

Take, for example, Tabblo, a photo-sharing site that HP stabbed in the neck because it wasn’t getting the same internal love as Snapfish, which HP also owns. Instead of doing the reasonable thing and providing users of Tabblo with an upgrade/switch path to Snapfish, HP simply told people it was going down and thanked them for existing. Except, of course, HP sent it to out of date e-mail addresses, or it got caught in spam folders, or people didn’t check that folder for a month, because when Tabblo went down, people came out of the woodwork screaming, many of them finding out Tabblo was down when they tried to upload new photos of their kids to accompany the old ones. Nothing like finding out your entire child’s early life in photos is dead and gone for no obvious reason.

Enter Archive Team’s download of Tabblo. We got the news about Tabblo shutting down a bit late – about a week before the shutdown. We activated our machines, ran our awesome new clients, and 39 people downloaded all of Tabblo in 36 hours. Then, we did a quality check, found some hundreds of broken/timed-out downloads, and re-ran them, cleaning THOSE up in just a few hours more. If you had a photo up on public in Tabblo, Archive Team grabbed a copy, and we’ve been making them available back to people crying about their lost photos – and getting grateful responses.

Tabblo worked out to just about a terabyte and change of data. Not small, but not terrifying either – just a lot of individual pictures, which we tucked away on In fact, we tend to tuck a LOT of data on the Internet Archive’s servers, and they’ve been very generous.

But we crossed a line with the brand new MobileMe download. The Archive Team MobileMe download is over 275 terabytes. That’s over a quarter of a petabyte.

Even in today’s crazy storage amounts, this is significant. A lot of drives at the Internet Archive are storing MobileMe for future generations, and that was space allocated for a lot of other just as worthy projects and creations. Nobody’s said anything to me, but I feel this is going to strain the nice situation and relationship, just like staying at someone’s house and you park six cars out front. It’s just not the best thing to do.

So, I’d like to begin arranging a Kickstarter to donate money to the Internet Archive. And I’d like your help.

Yes, we could just keep printing the Internet Archive donation link, and people most certainly use that… but folks often like to contribute as part of an “event” or a goal. So that’s what I’ll be doing at some point soon – putting together a Kickstarter to have people contribute towards a goal, and then that money (minus fees) goes to the Internet Archive. I checked, and it appears your donation would be tax deductible, which is a nice bonus.

The way I’d like to get help is this.

Kickstarter works best when there’s prizes or rewards at various amounts. Donate $100, get a hat, donate $1000, get a dinner with someone famous, etc. I’d like to have some of those. I’m going to chat up people about this, see if I can get friends and old contacts to make themselves available, provide tutorials or dinners or items, and so on.

If you think you have some item, or action, or contribution that could be used as a prize, please contact me. I’m shooting to have this kickstarter begin in August, so we can bundle up some good prizes, get things going, shoot the video, and so on.

Help Archive Team be a slightly better houseguest, although we’ll never been able to explain off what we left in the fridge.


Categorised as: Archive Team

Comments are disabled on this post


  1. tom jones says:

    sorry, can’t contribute much in goods, but here’s an idea (hey, it’s free.. stop looking at me).

    make sure the event is clearly labeled “save data” or something to that effect (as opposed to “help internet archive”). that makes it feel more specific and tangible, and also publicly shames apple, as it should..

    if you were already intending to do that (which wasn’t clear) sorry, duh..

  2. Mike says:

    I don’t really have much to say other than I agree with Tom Jones and that I would support a kickstarter if there was one.

    As long as you guys had prizes you could probably pull in a lot of money. I have no idea what you could do as prizes though. Is there someway you could do a mini documentary series for the internet archive as a prize?

  3. Bruce says:

    A mini-video documentary capturing some of the Archive-team stuff you’ve presented at various talks would be great, but I don’t necessarily want to blithely suggest you get yet another documentary project on top of your four current ones. I would like to know more about the history of the internet archive project itself, though.

    Regardless, as long as you remember to advertise the kickstarter here when it goes up, I’ll be on it.

  4. I like Bruce’s idea of a mini-documentery for the Archive-Team and would like to further suggest having some of your own talks. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate that they’re on Youtube, but having a disc as a prize in this seems like a good idea dunnit?

  5. Peter Smith says:

    And if you make a mini-doc, you can always offer iMDB ‘producer’ and ‘executive producer’ credits for appropriate levels of contribution. 🙂

  6. Evert says:

    How about a dinner with Jason? Would that be worth something to someone? 🙂