When a site like Hi.co closes down, the number one question is: what happens to all that data?! Hi.co is scheduled to close in September but they did not leave the data they had untended; on the contrary – they did something quite spectacular. They saved all their data on a disc that is said to last for 10,000 years! This was, in their words, “a befitting ending to their project” – which in my opinion is pretty true.
Considering the fact that we’re talking of about 2 million words(roughly) and about 14,000 photos, storing all that will be pretty challenging and with their claims that it could last 10 kiloyears, well, there’s one logical way to store this and it’s etching them on nickel plates. This is how it works:
The data is etched microscopically on series of nickel plates and can be read my an optical microscope. Quite similar to 5D discs. It also has the added advantage of being fire resistant and salt water immune. They plan to distribute it to 5 major archives (stewards in their words) around the world including the library of congress. These nickel plates cost about $30,000 which they plan to take care of with the sale of the domain; though they promised that they would still be taking new users till the 1st of September and current users can download their stories.
With this, the age long desire to never be forgotten could be realized; that is, if in a few centuries our current language is not referred to as ancient. Although this thing can be read with an optical microscope, who is to say that those who find it under the rubble of the library of congress will know this?
On a somewhat climatic note, the new archive is going to be called hitotoki which is more or less a literal/direct translation of the Chinese words Hito – One and Toki – Moment. Of course all that data is more than one moments worth but considering this:
You give us your stories about place,
We’ll give you a place to put your stories
This obviously is meant to capture that one moment you hold dear and preserve it forever