If You Love Something,
Set It Free Back It Up!
People like to say "the internet doesn't forget", but you and I know that's bogus. The internet forgets huge swaths of information every single day. Every single hour.
Entire communities disappear off the face of the web because one person pulls the plug. Worse: companies crunch numbers and realize they can save fractions of a percent on their books if they shut down older, "less commercially viable" websites. Everything is gone.
Look, if you're the kind of person that reads Neocities pages on the reg, I know you know this. Chances are you're the victim of a corporation tearing down your favorite online hangout. But in case you need a reminder, here it is:
Your Twitter data? Back it up. That fanfic with 100+ chapters you've been reading? Back it up. The pictures in your favorites gallery on DeviantArt? Back it up. The work of your favorite Youtuber? Back it up! That long-running podcast where you've listened to every episode at least twice now? Back it up!!
Don't get what I'm saying twisted, you shouldn't take other people's work and then repost it online somewhere else. Do not harm the little guy. The small creator is out there plugging away on a daily basis making things they love. Love their work! Pay for their work! Tell others about their work! But never take that work and put it somewhere else if doing so will risk diverting eyes or money to the small creator.
But by all means you should have a local copy, because nothing on the internet lasts forever even if you think it will.
Big companies aren't immune to this. Heck, big companies LOVE deleting old content. There's a reason people marvel at the 1996 Space Jam website still being available.
Don't just think to yourself "oh, well, this company has all the money in the world, they're not gonna go under anytime soon, my favorite content will stay online forever". All it takes is a CEO change or a merger/buyout, and suddenly everything is gone.
What do I hope to achieve from writing this? I don't know. Awareness, I guess.
Is this my manifesto of sorts? Sure.
Am I writing this because it's late but I cannot seem to get to sleep? Absolutely.
Just, take care of yourself and take care of the things out there that make you happy. They can disappear immediately.
Tools that might help
JDownloader is an amazing tool for downloading large swaths of anything. I mostly use it for image galleries, but you can also quickly download pdfs, audio, anything you might come across with its LinkCrawler function.
Remember that most modern day browsers will let you save websites to PDF by selecting Print and changing the printer or destination to Save as PDF. Obviously this isn't ideal for a video-heavy webpage, but this method may come in handy for any webpage you want to save that is predominantly text.
TumblThree is a program that will back up a Tumblr blog (or Twitter account) in its entirety. I cannot personally vouch for this as I haven't gotten around to using it yet, but I'm glad something like this exists.
The era of Flash is over and all Flash functionality has been taken from us, but there's a chance your favorite flash games and movies have been saved from the abyss. BlueMaxima's Flashpoint is a community-run attempt to preserve Flash games and video.