No hiding from the Wayback Machine

Look at these:

Yep, they’re part of IBM‘s home page in 1996 and now. I found them courtesy of Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Quite a difference eh? Life moves on for everyone but, …

By
19th August 2007 at 8:51 pm

Look at these:

IBM 1996 and now

Yep, they’re part of IBM‘s home page in 1996 and now. I found them courtesy of Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Quite a difference eh? Life moves on for everyone but, sometimes, we want to go back. For good business reasons as well as nostalgia.

IA has been capturing and archiving web pages since the public web started. What a great way to ego-surf your history (and shudder, probably). But also, what a great way to catch out dodgy people if you suspect them of altering their web pages for their own nefarious purposes. Or how about using it to check up on a web designer before hiring them or their company? “Whose sites have you done? When?” Grab the before and after and see what you think.

It even works with blogs although they should include their own wayback machine. You can, indeed, go right back but you will be presented the blog content in today’s livery. Using Wayback Machine, you see it as it was at the time of writing.

Our very own SmallBizPod has changed a bit since it started. Using the Wayback Machine, I see that the strapline used to be “the small business podcast”. Now it’s “inspiration for entrepreneurs”. Much better.

The rest of it’s changed too, but I won’t drone on. I think you get the point.

If you’re anything like me, your archive records die off pretty quickly. If your website’s performance has varied over the years, this offers a neat way to turn back the clock and see which particular baby got thrown out with which bathwater.

#646464

David Tebbutt is an award-winning columnist and feature writer who specialises on the subject of using software and technology to increase business productivity. He's an analyst with Freeform Dynamics but, in previous lives, wrote for Director magazine, Real Business and was also editor of Personal Computer World. http://freeformdynamics.com

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  1. daksh says:

    David, SmallBizPod has undergone a subtle transition from the blogspot days ,happened somewhere during June’06.

  2. Yes. I just took the oldest in Wayback (March 26 2005) and the current page for comparison. I’m sure there have been all sorts of intermediate meanderings but Alex’s messages have been unusually consistent.

    I dread to think what a similar comparison on one of my sites might produce. (http://www.brainstormsw.com/ is probably the least consistent if anyone wants to try.)

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