The shifting homepages of major media sites should be saved so they can be studied.
The shifting homepages of major media sites should be saved so they can be studied. Every hour, PastPages archives dozens of them from all around the world.
It's already online at http://www.pastpages.org, but I believe PastPages could grow to serve as a resource for scholars seeking to study coverage of news events, like the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Regularly collecting this data costs money. Right now I'm paying for it out of pocket. My back of the envelope math suggests it will cost at least $60 each month to keep alive, even at low traffic levels. I will not be able to afford that for long, especially if traffic levels increase and drive up costs.
I'd like to expand the site to archive a full HTML cache in addition to a flat image. I'd like to offer bulk downloads for scholars to analyze large quantities of media coverage. But I can't afford it without your help.
Archive.org is an amazing site. However, from what I can tell, it does not archive news sites with enough regularity to keep pace with fast moving news events.
For instance, on Oct. 15, 2009, CNN embarrassed itself by splashing the false story of "Balloon Boy" across its homepage for several hours.
A screenshot I took manually captured that moment.
But, from what I can tell, Wayback Machine archives did not.
Since PastPages has been running, you can see examples of how speed makes a difference. The morning after President Obama's speech to the White House Correspondents Dinner, Matt Drudge changed his headlines throughout the day to gradually dial up a negative portrayal of President Obama. You wouldn't catch it if you weren't looking every hour.
pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go
May 7, 2012 - Jul 6, 2012
Pledge $20 or more
If you give $20, a name and hyperlink of your choosing will be listed on pastpages.org as a supporter of the cause.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $250 or more
If you give $250, your site will be added to the PastPages database for archiving, if it is a legitimate news site.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
If you give $5,000 your name, logo and link will be posted on every PastPages.org page and identified as our sponsor.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012