Raiders of the lost Web: WARCnet 💽World Wide Web 🌐 archiving discovery challenge 🏃‍♀️

As all web archivists 💾, scholars of the web 🔬 and all digital natives 👶 are aware, the World Wide Web 🌐 is full of old, rare, shocking and weird gems💎 waiting to be discovered 👩‍🔬🧑‍💻. Show us your skills as internet researchers 🔎, web archaeologists 🏺 and twenty-first century online Indiana Joneses 🔮 and uncover the most interesting 😍, thought-provoking 🤔 or downright tasteless treasures 🏴‍☠️ from the online mud. Let’s see if you 👈 can surprise us 🎁 with your finds and show us 🖥️ wonderful things!

You can join the WARCnet network’s challenge with text, image, video or code found on the live web, in a web archive or elsewhere (library, physical archive, computer museum, basement of a web collector).

Your web archiving discovery challenge entry must consist of three parts: 1. Your discovery (what have you found?), 2. Your method (how did you find it or discover it?), 3. Your story (why is your find so special?).

"Can you see anything?" "Yes, wonderful things!” Be smart and creative! Let us learn from how you have done it! Show us web archiving is more than web crawlers and WARC files! Have fun and make us laugh or shiver!

Need some ideas 💡 for your online treasure 👑 trove⚒️ — scroll down to find some!

Winners and nominees for 2020, 2021 and 2022 edition of the challenge can be found at the end of this page.

Theme of this WARCnet Challenge

The theme of this WARCnet challenge is ‘Web archaeology and history (trial version!) (Temple of ZOOM)’ — we’ll leave up to participants to interpret the theme…

How to participate in the WARCnet challenge?

You participate in the challenge by tweeting your reply using the hashtag #WarcnetChallenge. It is OK to post more than one tweet; please mark them ‘1 of 5’ for five tweets, etc. Deadline ⏳ for tweets is Friday 6 November 09:00 CEST!

How is the winner found?

A jury composed of Niels Brügger, Valérie Schäfer, Kees Teszelszky and Jane Winters will nominate 3-5 entries. Then, on Friday 6 November, the last day of the WARCnet meeting in Luxembourg, the members of the WARCnet network will vote for one of the nominees as the winner.

What will the winner get?

The winner will get a unique laptop sticker 🏆 and eternal fame on the wall of fame of the Raiders of the Lost Web on this web page. The winning entry will also be included in the Grand Finale at the closing WARCnet conference in October 2022, to potentially win the Great Raider of the Lost Web Award.

Will there be more WARCnet challenges?

Yes, indeed there will. The WARCnet challenge is a play in four parts, each with a specific theme:

Part 1: Web archaeology and history (trial version!) (Temple of ZOOM): WARCnet Autumn meeting in Luxembourg, November 4-6 2020.

Part 2: Web design and culture (Raiders of the lost WARC): WARCnet Spring meeting in Aarhus. Denmark, April 20-22 2021.

Part 3. Offline internet culture, digital born time travellers and internet culture in old analogue history. (Dr. Jones and the Wayback Machine): WARCnet Autumn meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, November 3-5 2021.

Part 4: Aliens in the Web Archive. WARCnet Spring meeting in London, UK, June 13-15 2022

Part 5: Back to the Future from the Digital Dark Age. Grand Finale and announcement of winner. The last WARCnet meeting and conference in Aarhus, October 17-18, 2022, Aarhus, Denmark.

Who to contact with questions?

Any questions, just email us at warcnet@cc.au.dk.

Some ideas 💡 for your online treasure 👑 trove⚒️

·        💾 Find the oldest website or homepage of your country top level domain, or the most antique home page or website which reflects your music taste, fashion icon, food brand or whatever else you like which is still online. How did you find it? How was it preserved? Why is it so special?

Dutch Stone-age computer with internet connection: https://oertijd.home.xs4all.nl/st-age/photo.htm

Amsterdam Museum of Erotic Art, One of the oldest erotic sites in web history, made by a Dutch artist (1996) https://web.archive.org/web/19970807121500/http://www.opkamer.nl/amea/index.shtml

·        💾 What is the most moving, interesting or weirdest source code message you have ever seen?

·        💾 Show us the best pixel art you have ever found on a site.

 

An example from hackyourfuture.nl: https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/72andsunny-behind-the-source-hack-your-future-digital-120220

 

·        💾 Find the ugliest website of your ccTLD or country which is still the most beautiful you have ever seen. Describe why it is beautiful in its ugliness from your point of view.

(just a random Dutch example 😉 )

 

·        💾 Nothing was or is for free on the web: seduce us with your most attractive online advertisement from the past.

·        💾 Show us your best, strangest, weirdest animated GIF you have ever stumbled upon.

 Animated GIF on website of Dutch urologist site (2002).

·        💾 Invention of traditions: show us some weird examples of your web culture or online traditions.

 

·        💾 Innovation: which modern Leonardo did not reach eternal fame? Show us some brilliant innovations which were never realised, where far ahead of their time or downright stupid or funny.

Oldest Dutch web archive which would have been published on floppy disk (1996), never realised:

https://web.archive.org/web/19970813145204/http://www.opkamer.nl/winkel/zip002.htm

Teleportation system to navigate in the Digital City of Amsterdam

 

·        💾 Spot the time traveller: show us the most accurate or most interesting description of the future you have found on an ancient web page.

(The web belongs to robots: description of the future of internet in 1998 by a Dutch student)

 

·        💾 Surprise us with the most interesting offline internet or web history spot, source or relic 🖥️. Some inspiration:

Offline archive of the oldest graphic Dutch web site Doorsofperception.com (1993)

 

Last working telex room in the Netherlands (2001) https://vdbrug58.home.xs4all.nl/telex/Einde%20Telex%20KPN/

 

·        💾 Find a work of art from the past which could be the archetype or predecessor of a now famous internet meme.

Distracted boyfriend meme: https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/did-charlie-chaplin-invent-the-distracted-boyfriend-mem-1826726244

16th century predecessor of the ‘This is Fine”-meme, invented by Pieter Breughel. https://twitter.com/Teszelszky/status/1300701218969399296

 Early modern predecessor of the Grumpy Cat meme. https://twitter.com/keesone/status/1312462964893474817

More inspiration: https://knowyourmeme.com/

Wall of Fame with

Nominees and Winners 2020-2022

WARCnet Twitter Challenge Part 4: Aliens in the Web Archive. WARCnet Spring meeting in London, UK, June 13-15 2022

Winner: Vladimir Tybin, BNF, France. https://twitter.com/vladimirtybin/status/1536699924510912514

Nominees:

Johan van der Knijff: https://twitter.com/bitsgalore/status/1536791819681419266

Beatrice Cannelli:

https://twitter.com/BCannelli/status/1536734695462936576 

Valérie Schäfer: https://twitter.com/valerie_schafer/status/1536679445372751873 

Michael Kurzmeier: https://twitter.com/mkrzmr/status/1536349816481095680

WARCnet Twitter Challenge Part 3: Offline internet culture, digital born time travellers and internet culture in old analogue history. (Dr. Jones and the Wayback Machine): WARCnet Autumn meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, November 3-5 2021.

Winner: Susan Aasman, University of Groningen.

https://twitter.com/aasmanna/status/1456189127142031362 

WARCnet Twitter Challenge Part 2: Web design and culture (Raiders of the lost WARC): WARCnet Spring meeting in Aarhus April 20-22 2021

Winner: Derren Wilson, Lecturer Manchester Metropolitan University.

https://twitter.com/wilsond/status/1385138612778541059

Nominees:

1.  Yves Maurer

https://twitter.com/yvesmaurer/status/1384521821542813701

2.  Frédéric Clavert

https://twitter.com/inactinique/status/1384484025897820164

3.  Johan van der Knijff

https://twitter.com/bitsgalore/status/1384505703914745860

4.  Derren Wilson

https://twitter.com/wilsond/status/1385138612778541059

WARCnet Twitter Challenge Part 1: Web archaeology and history (trial version!) (Temple of ZOOM): WARCnet Autumn meeting in Luxembourg, November 4-6 2020

Winner: Ben Els, Luxembourg

https://twitter.com/BenEls_/status/1322096256336932864

Nominees:

1. Webarchive, CZ

https://twitter.com/webarchiv_cz/status/1320337533289467909

2. Ben Els, Luxembourg

https://twitter.com/BenEls_/status/1322096256336932864

3. Nadezhda Povroznik

https://twitter.com/NadezhdaPovroz1/status/1322435413525626880

4. Anat Ben-David

https://twitter.com/anatbd/status/1323920801763069953

5. Susan Aasman

https://twitter.com/aasmanna/status/1323925730011582467