I have been putting off posting this entry and restarting this project for months now, but it seems like a good time to pull it back to the surface. Five days ago, Discovery announced they were entering an agreement to acquire Revision3. The agreement is to be finalized June 1st, 24 days from now. As expected, they say nothing will be changing, but the true meaning of that isn’t exactly known right now. Who knows who will be making calls about what shows can stay around, and when ones have to stop production. Will someone be making decisions about reducing storage space or bandwidth?
I am publicly starting the Save Rev3 project to capture as much of their content as possible. Not just “in case” something happens, not for “when” something happens, but because someone should have done it a long time ago. Follow all the project updates at anarchivism.org and JOIN UP IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. There is only so much disk space, bandwidth, and energy a single person can have. Even another one or two people can make things go by faster. If you don’t know what to do, come chat with us and we will help you get going.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I have a long and tiresome relationship with the entity that is Revision3. While I could go on and on about personal politics and business tactics, I’ll try to throw everything into a nutshell for the sake of being tidy. When Revision3 first came into being years and years ago, I was a huge fan. I loved thebroken, I loved Systm, and I loved the idea that there could be a whole television network online that I could turn to when I had nothing else to keep me occupied. Let us examine this a little more. Online television network. Back in 2003 or so, this was a totally new idea. You didn’t have to turn to the corporate-controlled 80 channels you might get on standard cable, you could go find people making content that rested nicely in your collage of interests. Sure, we loved TechTV, but this was new territory. This was, for lack of a better metaphor, the wild west of television distribution. Like most things, Revision 3 started small with a few shows. Few enough that it actually had a time when it fizzled out through 2005 and most of 2006 before relaunching the site later in the year. With the relaunch I had a lot of optimism, but as the years went on I noticed a shift from the hobbyist spirited community to a pseudo-niche corporate-minded organization.
That said, I noticed something else. Little was done to preserve the shows that came and went as the years went by. Some of the earliest shows are completely erased from the Revision3 archives, while others are missing episodes.
Sometime last year, I started saving these shows. I got a a decent amount of files in XviD, but could only grab so many before exhausting my storage space. Later on last year, Revision3 changed the game up by announcing that they were discontinuing certain formats, once again changing my archiving habits. I want to go with high quality files, but not the types that are going to disappear halfway through a show’s run in favor of a competing format
So here is day 0. I am restarting my archiving effort, and looking for all those who want to join me on this long, strange trip. Why archive it? No bullshit: Revision3 does not do a good enough job themselves. They may think they do, but if you’ve browsed as many pages on their site as I have, you’d see just how crazy everything is set up over there. Why do I care? These videos are not just simple internet videos, but building blocks of a whole media revolution that may otherwise be lost. Sure compact discs are just dandy, but I for one want to know about the worlds of cassette tape, and 8-tracks, and vinyl records, and beeswax cylinders before I fully understand where we are today. Some people may just be able to dismiss the past up until the present and take everything at face value, but I’ve never been one to.
Help save a piece of internet history, one episode at a time.
Spread the word.