January 14, 2013
"There are as many different ways to use the Archive as there are users, but some basic ideas are as follows: Check to see the history of a site - has it always been owned by the same person/company, or has it changed hands over the years? Find out information about a company that’s not currently on their site - who was the CEO five years ago for example. Compare attitudes towards different subjects then and now. Has the position of a person or company materially changed over a period of time? Initial responses to events - what was the first statement that a person or organisation put out publically about some event? How webpage design has changed over the years/months. View world events, such as 9/11, or national elections. Check out early pioneers of the internet - who was doing what when. Compare previous versions of search engines and their functionality with what they can do today. Cite specific examples of webpages, even when they have changed. Content stored in the Archive has been used in legal cases. Find archives for a site that has changed URLs. Locate a manual for an obsolete piece of kit. View a site that has been suspended for whatever reason, or which you cannot reach. Compare old/new prices. Find old predictions and see how accurate or not they have turned out to be. That’s a quick 15 examples, but there are plenty more valuable ways of using it. The Wayback Machine should be a really useful weapon in any information professionals arsenal."

Phil Bradley’s weblog: Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

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