We do a fair amount of personal digital archiving outreach. Our main goal is to raise awareness that people who create and keep personal digital information need to take steps to ensure their data persists. We hit the point over and over that digital files are maddeningly apt to disappear due to a host of threats, including obsolescence, deletion, error, forgetfulness, accident and more.
We look for pictures to tell this story. This can be challenge because digital information is hard to graphically represent. How many hackneyed iterations of streaming “1’s and 0’s” can we get away with, after all?
Broken and Damaged
One alternative is to use distressing images of damaged hardware, which I like to think speaks to frailty on a couple of levels.
Way Out of Date
Obsolescence is a major concern with digital stewardship, and a good way to depict this is through images out of data equipment and media. Including cute, baffled kids in the shots helps.
Messages, Signs and Agitprop
The most direct way to promote digital preservation is to say that it is a good thing. Or, conversely, to say that overlooking it leads to unfortunate consequences.
Send Us Your Ideas
If you have some ideas for images that offer compelling support for digital preservation please let us know. Images should have Creative Commons or other licenses that permit sharing and use.