We all know that libraries have always archived data, even before there was a world wide web. Universities do the same. Today where almost all data is easily accessible online, web archiving services are an important part of collating data and storing it for universities and libraries in particular.
The fact is that web publications are often delicate in nature. It has to be stored successfully so we can access it at our leisure. In order to do this, people who run archiving services are able to capture content on websites so you will be able to have access to it whenever you want to, even if it is in five years time.
Published archives means that anyone can have access to them at any time. You can always browse through them or search for specific content and they also have constant links to the documents that are archived. This makes it very easy to find the documents you are looking for and to view the material and search its contents.
Gone are the days you had to go to a reference library and get permission to view certain documents which usually you could only do on the premises. Just think of all the time we save by using archiving services.
There are companies that specialize in web archiving services. Their job is to find specific websites and analyze them in order to put them in archive form so they can be easily accessed. The software tools they use make this an almost simple procedure.
Examples of such archives can be found everywhere there are archives of election recalls, politics, animal rights, civil rights in fact for possibly everything you can put a name to. This means if you are doing a paper or thesis on a particular subject, you can easily access almost all of the data you require as it has been archived online somewhere. While you still have to do all the work reading, collating, making notes and then writing your paper, accessing the information you need is now often just a few mouse clicks away.
Legal services use archived data every day. They can access web content that has been archived to use in litigation. Also financial department of companies can access audits and corporate records. The more content is archived, the more people and institutions will use it. While different archiving services offer different services, they usually have an automatic capture of data which, when stored they will make searchable and exportable. This can then save corporations, government departments, financial and legal professionals hours and hours of time.
Beforehand such institutions were happy to have secure backups of their data but nowadays they go a step further and now use web archiving to make sure their content is always available online, despite having backups. The thing is that keeping server backups is fine but sustaining accurate web records is difficult with that method. Nowadays we are always wanting more ways to access stored material.
Also, every industry has its own regulations and these website archiving services allows you to monitor communications with one easy application. You dont have to both the IT department, everyone will have easy access.
Another consideration is that nowadays websites and webpages are being updated faster than ever. This also means with each update, past data can be lost. The powerful software used for website archiving can easily maintain a corporate memory of websites as well as social media, etc.
Such software can easily capture whole websites as well as individual webpages either regularly or when necessary. It can capture, archive and track blogs, Twitter and Facebook, for example as well as entire websites. This is the way of the future.