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Episode Info: o that you ensure that people know what you’re trying to say to them upfront. Sarah Nguyen: So like in our most recent episode with Kaytlin Bailey, who does the Oldest Pro Podcast, she talks about, basically the oldest profession, which is sex work. And like for her to say, you know, specific words within her podcast, it can be misinterpreted completely by Google’s algorithm. Then her podcast could potentially be taken down just because through automatic flagging, they’ll misinterpret it as she’s trying to promote sex work. It strikes me that we are in the middle big shift from archiving tools of the past: now, that archiving is in control of an individual — you! — instead of being left to a third-party like a museum or library. That changes the valence of collections if everyone can take control over their own story. Whether any of this data are going to be useful or interesting to the future is beside the point. By reducing the role of chance, and eliminating the institutional gatekeeper who determines which data and stories are worth preserving, anyone and everyone’s data has a chance inform future history. Sarah Nguyen: We put this under the guise of a PDA, a personal digital archive. Right? So it is up to you if you want to and you feel the need and, and the just want to save your work for the future, it’s under your responsibility. I kind of, that’s kind of where we’re putting it at. It’s kind of like if you want to share your story, then you will go as far to preserve it, versus just handing it off to someone who might preserve it under the wrong context. So I think that it’s important to the point where you as a creator believe it’s important. And so if we can give you all the tools and a step by step guide to do as necessary, we would love for anyone to be able to do it. In the past, museums and libraries would control who got to be collected. The best way forward might not just be to force these institutions to open up, but also bypass them altogether by making the archiving tools accessible to all. Sarah Nguyen: In libraries and archives, there is this whole debate about the archives and libraries are not neutral. We’re not neutral because there is that idea that like, yes, we want to give you the options to have access to all different types of materials, even if it is racist or can be hurtful to someone. But, um, should we, because our, we actually neutral in that way. Like is it going to actually help or is it misinformation at that point? So we want to make sure that within your podcast, when you’re creating it, you’re able to control, uh, so that someone doesn’t misinterpret it in a way. Sarah Nguyen: That’s why we want to give the agency to the creator themselves, not to put it under the onus of someone else. And if this does take off, which we kind of hope it does that like someone will be able to fund an actual server or institution where people will be able to submit it for the long term versus in the generalized, internet archive. First steps are just kind of making it in an accessible way in a zine, a podcast, workshops where people can kind of dip into the waters and feel if it’s important to them and if they want to do it. And then if not, we’re totally fine with that too. Preserve This Podcast can be found wherever podcasts are available — for now. In the final episode, Nguyen and the other hosts acknowledge that accessing their podcast into the future depends on a 301 redirect and remembering to pay server bills. The project is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is hosted by the Metropolitan New York Library Council. Preserve This Podcast is also traveling to various workshops and conferences to take podcasters, producers, and audio archivists through their curriculum of archiving podcasts. You can find a full list of where they’re going at PreserveThisPodcast.org. .........
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