Yahoo has finally decided to shutdown its long-neglected Upcoming.org, a social event calendar website. Under Yahoo’s leadership (or lack thereof) Upcoming.org went from a reasonably popular way to discover things to do — concerts, art shows, conferences and the like — to a ghost town of self-promotion and spam.
Upcoming.org’s creator, Andy Baio, posted his thoughts on the official demise of Upcoming.org, noting that he was most upset about the data being lost. “In Yahoo’s typical fuck-off-and-die style,” writes Baio, “they’re [shutting] it with 11 days notice, no on-site announcement, and no way to back up past events.”
The Archive Team has already saved data from the demise of huge sites like Geocities and Friendster, and the group is currently working to backup Posterous, Formspring and now Upcoming.org.
And you can help the Archive Team save all this disappearing data. All it takes is Virtualbox (or VMWare or the like, but Virtualbox is free) and the Archive Team’s ArchiveTeam Warrior, a virtual appliance all set up to scrap and save data.
ArchiveTeam Warrior is dead simple to use and it works on OS X, Windows and Linux. Just install the appliance, fire it up and pick a project you’d like to help archive. Alternately you can go with the (preferred) option to let the appliance decide, which helps the Archive Team prioritize projects. If you prefer it’s also possible to run Warrior on Heroku.
Baio has put together a little video showing exactly what you need to do to get Warrior running. The only real overhead on your end is disk space and bandwidth. So long as you’re using a recent version of Virtualbox, it’s pretty easy to limit a virtual machine’s bandwidth so you can help out with backup and make sure your web browsing doesn’t slow to a crawl. See the Warrior wiki page for details.