The Campaign Archivist
The campaign should appoint a reliable volunteer as the official archivist. Don't rely on a group of people to do this, since not only will they duplicate each other's work and waste valuable time, but if no one person is ultimately responsible for archiving, it is likely that important materials will not be archived. And it might be too time consuming for someone to gather everyone's privately saved records and compile a single archive.
How do you archive a campaign? For print material published by the campaign itself, and by newspapers and magazines, collect at least a single copy of each original (collect multiple originals of especially important and historic materials). Save the physical copies but also scan these and save them in your digital archive, which is actually just a computer folder (aka a directory) that you might name something like Colo 2010 Personhood Campaign Archive.
Saving URLs is not an effective way to document a personhood campaign with its press releases, news reports, media coverage, blogs, etc. Web addresses (URLs) often change and many websites allow their contents to expire.
Web Pages: The campaign archivist should create local copies of all important online and other developments. In advance it is difficult to know which report or event is historic and a potentially vital. The archivist should download into a PC directory (folder) related online activities.
Tech Note: Saving Multiple Web Pages: With a single click you can automatically archive the original appearance and content of one or multiple web pages. Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser allows you to do this for a single page only (File, Save As…, Save as type, Web Archive single file mht). Mozilla's Firefox browser allows you to save multiple web pages (but first you must install the Save Page WE add-on). Then, a day or so after a campaign event or issues of a press release, use Google and Google News to find and open, in various tabs, all media and blog reports generated by the release. Then using Firefox, highlight multiple tabs and then select the 'Save Selected Tabs' menu item. Or to save the appearance and content of just a single webpage, click File, Save page as... . (As of April 2010 Google's Chrome browser does not support MHT single-page archiving, but Chrome is especially helpful for searching lengthy individual web pages for relevant text.) Additionally, you can consider saving PDF versions of web pages. This can be done by installing a PDF Printer (CuteFTP, etc.) and then by pressing File, Print, and Name and selecting the PDF printer. However, pages saved as PDFs are not always satisfactory as they often do not appear as expected, so make sure to check the results. Web2PDF seems to work better than other converters, and can be used from its homepage or from within Firefox as an add-on.
Video and Audio Reports: As with all web content, do not save only the URL (universal resource locator) of TV and radio broadcasts of campaign events. Make a local copy of the actual video and audio files. U.S. copyright law, with the agreement of many broadcasters, typically permits consumers to record for private use (TiVo, DVR, VHS recorder, etc.) broadcast programming. Importantly, use a good digital video recorder (DVR) that can burn DVDs of TV news reports, etc., after you've recorded them. (ARTL's archivist uses Panasonic DMR-EH75V.)
Legal Note: There is no settled law or custom regarding embedding video, news headlines, and published online images, for example, into secondary web sites (like at Google Images, Google News, and AmericanRTL.org). And while the wild web is blazing new trails over uncharted territory, take two vital truths into account:
- respect of intellectual property (flows from God's enduring command: Thou shall not steal)
- the personhood movement is fighting to end the undeclared war of the murder of children.
Tech Note: Saving Online Video and Audio Content: Common video formats include .avi, .wmv, .mpeg, and .mov, respectively, audio video interleave, windows media format, moving pictures expert group, Apple QuickTime movie format. The names of digital files typically have a file extension to tell the computer what kind of data the file contains. The periods above "." preceding each format, .avi, .wmv, etc., indicate that these abbreviations are a file name extension so that your PC "knows" whether to open that file for example with a video player, audio player, word processor, or browser window (for text and graphics, etc. that are in HTML or some other web format). Common audio formats include .mp3 .wmv, and .wav. Respectively, .mp3 is the audio component of a .mpeg video file, .wmv is MS windows media audio, and .wav is a sound wave file of high quality but typically too large for use online (10 megabytes per minute of sound, which is ten million bytes, or 80 million bits of data storage plus overhead).
Easiest: Many web sites directly enable the user to download online audio (right click, Save target as…).
Harder: For sites that only offer streaming, non-downloadable audio, learn to use reliable audio recording software. (ARTL's archivist uses Applian's Replay Capture Suite for both audio and video recording, specifically, its Replay Media Catcher, and if ever that doesn't work, then he attempts to record with Replay Video Capture .)
Emails: The campaign archivist should use a web email service that archives all correspondence (such as gmail.com) and use a label or filing feature to tag all campaign emails accordingly. Create a local copy (saved on local hard disk storage, archived on DVD, etc.) of the most important and historic emails, making sure to retain the "header information" such as date and time stamps, from and to email IDs, CCs (carbon copied email IDs), etc. To capture that header information easily, first click "Forward" as though you were going to forward the email message to someone else. That will display all the header information in an easy to copy, plain text format. After copying the header information with the body of the email, simply "Discard" the forwarding and paste the results into a word processing or other program for archiving. Remember to save any needed attachments.
Google Alerts & Heads-Up: The campaign's media coordinator could carbon copy (cc) the archivist on emails regarding interviews, debates, published reports, etc. The campaign's spokesmen and spokeswomen also can pass along a heads-up regarding their appearances, published quotes, and so on. The archivist should also create Google alerts which are invaluable for keeping track of far-flung news, blog, and miscellaneous Internet coverage of your campaign.
Tech Note: Using Google Alerts: The archivist for the Missouri personhood effort (for example, as sponsored by Gregory Thompson[LINK TO INTERVIEW]) might create a Google alert for "Missouri personhood." One of ARTL's Google alerts looks like this:
"American Right To Life" or "American RTL" or AmericanRTL -site:AmericanRightToLife.org -site:ARTLaction.com -"every American's right to life"
Our archivist doesn't want email alerts about life in the American right wing conspiracy cluttering his inbox so he put double quotes around search phrases to avoid unrelated alerts. Also, note the minus sign "-" filters. The "-site:" prefix instructs Google to ignore posts on our own websites, and the minus sign preceding the final search term tells Google to not generate an alert every time that a web page mentions every American's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Backup the Archive: Sign up for an inexpensive online back service so that your archive is automatically backed up daily. (ARTL's archivist uses Carbonite.) Then, when the campaign is over, burn DVD "hard copy" backups of your entire campaign archive. Consider making a copy for the archivist, and a copy each for the primary sponsors, spokesmen, leaders, and the group(s) that ran the campaign. The group(s) that ran the campaign may want to also keep a copy of the archive on one of their organization's PCs to keep the information handy.
Publicly Archive the Official Website: The archivist may recommend to the campaign leaders that they create a permanent online archive of their official campaign website for historic and research purposes.
A Year Later: A year after the campaign ends, the archivist might add any postscript reports that have appeared since the campaign that may be relevant to a historic overview. He can also create and distribute updated campaign archive DVDs.
Labor of Love: Those who write the history control the future. If you don't know where you've been, you can't know where you're going. This is why the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible to be a book of history, unlike most of the "sacred" human writings in eastern mysticism, etc., which are far more abstract. Scripture is historical and constantly illustrative, rather than merely epistemological and abstract. Rather than presenting the mere concept that sin is hereditary, the Bible tells this story: After the fall, Adam and Eve's son Cain murdered his brother Abel. As the abstract is demonstrated in concrete human history, an evidence trail is left that enables investigation. Thus, the claims of Genesis lend themselves to corroborative investigation regarding the biblical claims that God recently made the heavens and the earth, that He specially created mankind in His image (not from apes), that He supernaturally designed human languages, and that He judged the world with a global flood. The truth or falsehood of the New Testament depends upon the paramount claim in human history, of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. These historical claims distinguish the Christian scriptures from the rest of the world's religions, because if Christ did not rise from the dead, the faith of 1.2 billion Christians is false (1 Cor. 15:14). For the sake of the Lord, for the Body of Christ, and for each child, American RTL wishes you well archiving your personhood campaign!
(Get a pdf download of The Campaign Archivist, which is online at AmericanRTL.org/archivist.)