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Last Updated on Monday, 07 January 2013 15:16
Over the Christmas holidays in 2010, the DPC compiled a list of 12 websites with a festive theme that represent different types of online content. The list was published in January 2011 as a benchmark to show through time, how different types of digital content degrades and to highlight the challenges faced by services that preserve web-based content. No claim is made about the historical importance of these pages - the test is simply illustrative of a year in the life of the Internet.
In January 2013, only 8 of the 12 links are still functioning as originally designed. Of the 4 problem pages, two have disappeared completely, one is available through a web archive and one has trouble rendering in recent browsers.
The so-called 'Twelve Tweets of Christmas' includes pages with obscure filetypes or content that one would assume break rules of long term preservation - including a site with embedded flash, a non-standard PDF file and a series of blogging and social media sites where content changes rapidly. But the evidence from the 'Twelve Tweets of Christmas in 2013' points in an unexpected direction. The pages that are missing include 2 relatively standard HTML documents and an HTML document render from a content management system in php. One of the broken links comes from a news publisher.
The Naughty List in 2013 includes
- a page from the US air defence station NORAD describing the history of their festive 'Santa-tracking' service (available through the Internet Archive)
- an article from The Guardian online describing the most popular toys in 2010
- the programme for the Hogmanay Party in George Square in Glasgow for 31st December 2010
- a blog reviewing the Dr Who Christmas Special from 2010
Of these, only the NORAD site is accessible through a web archive. The Guardian Article has disappeared entirely and reports an error, the programme for the Hogmanay Party redirects to a new page with none of the original content, and the blog has rendering problems in the popular modern browsers IE8 and Firefox 17 A fifth page - a text file containing data from the Braemar Weather Station - has been updated since the last check.
The full list including a description of why they were chosen is given below.
The list of resources is as follows:
O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Laurisden, as recorded by the Nordic Chamber Choir in around 2008. (A video from YouTube online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn5ken3RJBo&feature=youtu.be)
NORAD - the North American Air Defence's explanation of why they track Santa. presented as a confomant HTML5 web page http://www.noradsanta.org/en/whytrack.html) - now available via the WayBack Machine
The text of the Queen's Christmas Broadcast for 2010. (A non conformant XHTML1.0 page presented via Active Server Pages: http://www.royal.gov.uk/ImagesandBroadcasts/TheQueensChristmasBroadcasts/ChristmasBroadcasts/ChristmasBroadcast2010.aspx
A recipe for mince pies from the online forum of the Grow Your Own Magazine. (A non-conformant XHTML 1.0 page produced using a forum management tool called vBulletin http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/season-taste/no-added-sugar-lower-fat-mincemeat-recipe-ideal-diabetics_23211.html)
An article from the Guardian listing the most top ten most popular toys for Christmas 2010 (A non-conformant HTML 4.01 rendered through a mobile profile to a Blackberry: http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/s12ymWzGydp1_ev4Q2pP53Q/view.m?id=15&gid=/lifeandstyle/gallery/2010/jul/01/top-10-toys-christmas-2010&cat=lifeandstyle&image=1) - a brioken link and not evidently saved via the UK Web Archive or other web archive services.
A sample script for a performance of Sinbad the Sailor as a pantomime written by JS Beeteson in 2002 (A self extracting zip file containing a PDF version 1.2, originally created from Word using PDFfactory Pro: http://www.e-pantos.co.uk/sbd_sample_n6.exe - warning this is an executable file.)
A blog post reviewing the 2010 Dr Who Christmas special. (A non conformant XHTML1.0 which uses Disqus software to gather and publish comments from readers: http://tvovermind.zap2it.com/cable/bbc-america/doctor-who-tv-news/doctor-christmas-carol-review/42917 - post is still working but has rendering and layout problems in IE8 and FireFox 17 owing to how margins are controlled.
A photograph of Glasgow in the very cold December of 2010 showing the Doulton Fountain in the ice. (An image from FLICKR: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fordtotti/5226438387/)
The listing for the Hogmanay Party in George Square in Glasgow. (A non-conformant XHTML1.0 page with non-conformant syle sheets: http://glasgowloveschristmas.com/?page=hogmanay-acts) - page redirects to a generic home page with current information but without showing the original content which seems to be lost.
The New Years' Honours List 2011. (A PDF version 1.6 created using Acrobat Distiller 7: http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_193438.pdf)
Advice about when to take down your Christmas decorations. (From WikiAnswers - notice the answer directly at: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_should_you_take_down_your_Christmas_tree_and_decorations and the whole edit history at: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Changes&cv=question:When_should_you_take_down_your_Christmas_tree_and_decorations
Monthly readings from the Met Office's Braemar weather station. (Text file: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/braemardata.txt