Do You Trust Information To Stay Online?

A folder on my desktop is named Resources. This folder is filled mostly with PDF print outs of websites. Whenever I find an interesting article, useful tutorial, or free resource, I make a PDF and save it. I don’t trust that the information will be on the website when I want to read it again, or that I’ll be able to find it.

When I read something in a book I want to remember, I highlight it. I have a physical copy. The actually book is sitting on my shelf, and my highlighter marking are in it. When I read something online I want to save, I have to save it to my computer. I don’t trust just bookmarking the site, or using some other cloud system to save the data.

Information and data on the Internet can and does change all the time. It could be updated. It could be removed. The site hosting it could have crashed or been taken down. The information could become illegal in my area and block my access. There are countless uncontrollable instances where the information I read today, is not what I’ll find tomorrow. So I make copies.

I’m not trying to print the internet. I have maybe a couple hundred files total, that have collected over years. I delete things that become irrelevant or outdated. A lot of coding tutorials I saved when I was just learning are no longer relevant, so I delete them.

Do you trust the information you need online to stay online? Not just for a few days or weeks, but for years. Remember that great article you read in college? Or that amazing short story? Do you think you could find it today?

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