Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Bicycle Coalition's new website


The Bicycle Coalition has a new website that looks like the old site on steroids, with pumped up type size and lots of pictures. Most of all it's about selling itself and making it easy for members and potential members to give it money, which is what you expect a special interest group to do.

But the new format dumps the archives of the old site, years of press releases, position papers, and candidates' questionnaires.

I sent this inquiry to Kristin Smith, the SFBC's "Communications Director," but I got no communication in response:

Ms. Smith:

Your new website doesn't have any link to your archives---all the old press releases, candidates' questionnaires, back issues of the Tube Times, etc. Is all that material permanently lost, down the Orwellian memory hole?

Regards,
Rob Anderson

We can safely assume that this electronic trove of recent San Francisco history is gone. If you don't have hard copies of these documents, they effectively no longer exist. The Memory Hole has done its thing once again. This isn't a new problem, since the Examiner's archives are only sporadically helpful, and the Bay Guardian's issue archive only goes back to 2006. Fog City Journal's archives are easily accessible. I've posted about how San Francisco Magazine has apparently dumped its archives completely, thus erasing the few interesting stories they've published over the years. I guess the city's history is a "luxury" its readers can do without.

Every post to this blog going back to the first post in December, 2004, is listed next to the home page. Beyond Chron's archive system is similarly transparent and easily available.

A lot of local politicians will be happy that their sycophantic responses to the Bicycle Coalition's election year questionnaires are now no longer available. Jane Kim, Quentin Mecke, Ross Mirkarimi, and all the 2012 District 5 candidates for supervisor have had their ass-kissing responses disappear into cyber-limbo.

And the Bicycle Coalition's pages on issues---the Bay Bridge bike lane, Level of Service, and CEQA are gone, as are all but a few issues of Tube Times. That's no loss intellectually, but it means that a chunk of the city's history is gone.

Here are my responses to the 2008 Bicycle Coalition questionnaire, which may now be the only complete copy available. 

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4 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Bike week, bike month, bike to work day, hug a biker day, punch a motorist day, what's next from the SFBC, funded by the taxpayers? What a crock of special interest bullshit.

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Bob Gunderson said...

Don't worry we'll always have "Drive Your Fat Ass To Work Day!"

http://dearestdistrict5.blogspot.com/2013/05/haul-your-fat-ass-to-work-day.html

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Bob Gunderson said...

If you really need to get to those archives you can go to http://archive.org/web/

People made this because it's not uncommon for a site to shed archives because they are costly.

you're welcome

http://web.archive.org/web/20060213040635/http://www.sfbike.org/?ggb&PHPSESSID=5757ced14db64a56c8915753fc9b0aed

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Not at all clear that this is particularly helpful. I'll give it a try. I'm not convinced it's all that expensive for the Bicycle Coalition to maintain their archives, but you may be right. I think they're pleased to make them more or less inaccessible, since they contain so much silly shit I've linked over the last ten years.

 

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