I had occasion to remark yesterday about how cool I think Web archiving startup Iterasi is. My wife, owner of our small multimedia company, had discovered that one of the Websites she designed and built for a local sign company had been changed. There was apparently a spat between the owners about money and someone did not want to pay for any more Website changes or updates. They were happy with Robin’s work, they just thought they could save some money on Web maintenance. You know how that goes, right? Some secretary or intern has a Facebook page and maybe a cool blog and convinces the boss that they can update and maintain the company site for a lot less money. Anyway, the end result is that Robin can no longer use that site in her portfolio because it’s a mess now. Most people I bitched to about this problem told me to try Wayback Machine, an internet archive for researchers, historians, and scholars. The Wayback Machine is great, but there were no matches for this particular local small business site. It’s not really that big of deal, she has plenty of good Websites for her portfolio, but I feel kind of dumb for not archiving it myself. This whole mess could have been avoided if we had archived the entire site in Iterasi.
Some of you may be unfamiliar with Iterasi and what it does. I am not going to review it here for you now, but I will tell you it is one of my favorite internet apps ever. Rick Turoczy described it best when he called it “your own personal Wayback Machine”. Admittedly, I haven’t used it much lately, but that’s going to change. I mostly use it to archive my own writing for various outlets and other projects. You can check out my public archives here.
As fate would have it, call it some sort of cosmic synchronicity if you will, I was reading my favorite local Portland tech blog Silicon Florist today and the headline read: PositivePress: Iterasi uses Web Archiving Technology to Track Traditional and Social Media Coverage. Sweet!
Basically the company has “retooled” its technology, updated its site and added some functionality for tracking and archiving traditional and social media sites. The cool part is that it’s using good ‘ol RSS to feed its archiving engine. According to Iterasi CEO Pete Grillo:
We really didn’t have to look too far to find the best method to monitor and capture interesting stories on the Web. Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is both simple and ubiquitous. It is simple in that it exists on virtually every news source, blog, search engine and social media source. Most browsers identify RSS feeds automatically. RSS has emerged as the de-facto technology used throughout the Internet to pass information. Think of RSS as the silk that makes the Internet into a Web. From simple tools like browser-based readers to complex programming tools like Yahoo Pipes, RSS is the answer to subscribing to information flow in the Open Web.
To learn more about Iterasi and its exciting new changes, be sure to check out the Iterasi blog. While you’re at it, follow the company on Twitter @Iterasi and definitely go bug CEO @petegrillo for his latest omelette recipe. His own personal archived pages on Iterasi are pretty darn interesting also, you can pick your way through those here.