The internet continues on, but as the 20th anniversary of the web approaches, an effort is underway to help salvage the lost history of the era from a "digital graveyard".
As part of this week's Internet Week Europe held in London, a new exhibit called Digital Archaeology is being launched in Britain today. Anticipating the end of the internet as we know it, the company Story Worldwide initiated the project a few months ago and began restoring old websites. The exhibit celebrates the emergence of websites and lost digital technology since the the internet was first introduced to the public.
"Artistic, commercial and social history is being wiped from the face of earth. In five years time or so, I doubt websites will exist and I expect the vast majority of sites from the first twenty years of the web to be gone forever," said Jim Boulton of Story Worldwide.
The Digital Archaeology exhibit uses redundant servers and hard drives. According to the company's website, "The now redundant technologies and almost totally lost creative work will be on show".
"With every update or new site, the old version is effectively removed from the web, unable to be traced online from that point onwards and most often stored on disappearing hard drives and redundant servers belonging to the digital artisans who first created them, never to be seen again," said Boulton.
Story Worldwide's Digital Archaeology currently houses 15 websites and is looking for input from the public on site suggestions for future exhibits.
Vodafone, MTV2 and Ikea are among some of the companies showcasing earlier sites.
On display through Friday, the showcase also features interviews and video clips from those involved with earlier sites. Time capsules, CDs and other objects are also being used to accent the exhibit.