What Do Customers Want From Digital Preservation?
June 26, 2018 • 5 min read
We were recently invited to the first episode of the Digital Preservation Futures webinar by the DPC (Digital Preservation Coalition) to discuss:
- Our web archiving project for The National Archives (TNA),
- How this helped us improve our understanding of what customers are looking for from digital preservation,
- How MirrorWeb can meet these requirements.
What customers are looking for from digital preservation
The best way of answering is this is by looking at the four categories of C.A.P.S in the tender put together by The National Archives and what they were looking for from MirrorWeb to provide web and social media archiving:
Capture is the ability to collect digital information from the many varied sources of information on the internet. This includes websites, social media channels and other forms of digital content in one central portal.
Digital preservation enables you to capture more than a physical online document. It can help organisations capture a mood or sentiment for one specific moment in time.
For example, preserving social media as well as web pages can be useful for:
- local and national government
- brands seeking to store their digital legacy
- the finance industry
- educational institutions
- museums and libraries
Capturing public engagement with a social media post, campaign or hashtag can help organisations understand how the public perceived and reacted to a particular initiative or event, and inform future decision-making or brand positioning.
During events such as festivals, for example, councils can gather intelligence to understand how people travel into the area; what the pressure on the local transport network is; where people go to eat and drink.
That insight can aid resource planning and infrastructure in the future.
Access is the ability to replay digital information collected from the internet in a form that resembles the original format.
For social media changes this mean replaying the meta data and media in a form that resembles the original social media platform. For websites this is replaying the archived site so users can browse the content as it was original hosted.
Imagine the average company website - it won’t just be words on a page, it will include content such as:
- interactive quizzes and polls
- links to whitepapers
Preserve is ensuring that digital information of continuing value remains accessible and usable. The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time.
The average life of a webpage is 90 days. Not only does digital archiving mean it will always remain accessible and usable, but possessing a long-term record of your online history can also assist with compliance issues or legal disputes.
This element of protection may be more important for some sectors than others. For example, now that universities are subject to Advertising Standards Authority rules, they are increasingly talking to us about the importance of being able to prove what was said in a previous prospectus.
As an example, every year a course will change slightly and a webpage will be updated, and the exact version of a digital prospectus that existed for one cohort of students will be lost. Preserving the webpages allows universities to access them at any point in the future, and can act as proof of delivery of the promised course.
Search is the ability to create a full text index of digital content and then present this in a multi faceted search interface.
This Google-like search functionality allows for instant retrieval of data.
This function is particularly important for national archives, which hold vast amounts of data and provide public facing portals with search functionality. Indexing the data, and making it searchable means that relevant digital information can be identified quickly, and filtered to only show results between certain dates or within a specific website.
How do we meet customers’ digital preservation requirements?
Below are the key components of MirrorWeb’s web and social media archiving platform enabling organisations to overcome the challenges of digital preservation:
State-of-the-Art - offering support for web and social media data at scale, as well as indexing for search and big data initiatives.
Cloud-Native - we offer near-unlimited capacity and scalability with complete control over data storage.
ISO-Compliant - we are ISO9001 and ISO27001-certified and archive our data in the secure, date and time-stamped ISO28500 standard WARC file format.
UK-Based - we offer UK-based support 24/7/365 and store all archives in local territories to meet data protection, compliance and regulatory requirements.
User-Friendly - our best-in-class user portal puts users in control of their data, allowing them to control archiving frequency, search and replay content, and view reports and notifications.
Cost-Competitive - we give full, uncapped access to the MirrorWeb portal at all times, leveraging Cloud economies of scale with no hidden seat fee, no setup and maintenance fees.