Starting at the Beginning

Cross-posted on my Reclaim Your Domain blog.

For over four years I’ve been daydreaming about taking stock of all my digital work out there and starting to organize and archive it. Unfortunately that’s an increasingly bigger and more complex task four years later, and I’m still nowhere closer to starting. That said, this post is an attempt to correct that. I recently got a new computer for work, and that’s always a time when you consider doing just this kind of archiving project. I’ve actually backed up my old computer but moved little to nothing to the new one in hopes that I can start archiving all my files.

But beyond the physical computer comes the broader universe of my online life. My posts, photos, videos, links, bookmarks, etc. I’ve been in a mindset that I need to start getting all of this work organized so that I can have a clearer idea of what I have and what I’ve lost—and I know I’ve lost a lot. That’s not necessarily the end of the world, but I also want to make a strategy for moving forward with my digital work. It’s an exercise in preserving all the work Ive done over the last ten years, as well as an exercise in starting to reclaim parts of my online self that have gotten fragmented, distributed, or otherwise lost.

So, taking Kin Lane’s lead, I’m starting at the beginning. Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing an inventory of every site I’ve ever gotten an account on in an attempt to start collecting my various usernames, passwords, and ultimately data. I’ve already got 1Password setup, so this should be a laborious but extremely useful task.

In addition to this, I’ll also be doing a systematic inventory of broken links and embedded media on my personal blog to start cleaning up the kipple that accumulates from almost 9 years of blogging and more than 2500 posts. I’ll be using this space to update my reclaim process, which in many ways is simply the archival and organizational work we all promise ourselves we are going to do, but never get around to. Today that all changes 🙂

Image credit: Backup designed by Francesco Terzini from the Noun Project

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