Amber: How TeleRead and other sites can now bring back dead Web links, Lazarus fashion

amberyoutubeDon’t you hate it when Web links vanish?

But what if a visitor to TeleRead or another blog could perform a Lazarus act and bring back the dead ones?

Wish no more. We’ve just added the Amber plugin for WordPress and Drupal, from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. Check out the related video.

From now on, if TeleRead links to an external site and the link no longer works, you can see the page just the same. The “hover” option to see the page will show up after two seconds.

At least that’s our hope. Let’s see if Amber gets along ok with our other plug-ins. The fall-back pages will be stored at the Internet Archive, although we could also have chosen our own server. We’re talking Web pages here. But what if copyright law allowed similar technology for preservation of books, especially networked ones?

Sorry, but this service is only “from now on.” It won’t work with already-vanished links. What’s more, Amber will not preserve pages from sites that opt out. And the preserved pages may not be the most recent versions.

Needless to say, I’m highly in favor of anything that mitigates “link rot.” TeleRead goes back to the 1990s and is the world’s oldest site devoted to general-interest news and views on e-books. We’ve outlasted many and perhaps most of the sites we’ve linked to.

We’re still working on these matters internally, by the way. If you do get our 404 page because you couldn’t find a post you were looking for, you’ll see a reminder to use the search box in the upper right. The desired page may still be on our site—just not at the same Web address.

The post Amber: How TeleRead and other sites can now bring back dead Web links, Lazarus fashion appeared first on TeleRead.

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