The Internet Is Rotting. This is another one of those articles showing that the internet actually does forget. That this is something to worry about. Content drift and link rot are a thing. And this observation opens up opportunities.

Here is a first example from my idea list to give you some possibilities: A surprising amount of newspapers of all sizes treat their archives poorly. Finding the archive itself can be a pain, finding anything in it is another one. Why not offer a really good external hosting solution? This could be monetized in so many ways: charge for the hosting itself, find a way to sell access to old content or use the vast quantities of text to train a machine learning model and offer solutions on top of that.

Too big for an indie hacker? Then let's look at the creator economy. Back in issue 31, I wrote about the IndieWeb and services, tools, and products to help others build their brand. Or better: to keep their content. Can you think about any solutions to archive creator material, no matter if text, audio, or video?

It can be even simpler. Link rot is especially problematic if you put links in "long-term" content like a book. Arvid Kahl scratched his own itch and built PermanentLink, which is basically a redirect service on steroids. He uses the Wayback Machine in case the original link is broken. (Btw, the Internet Archive is incredibly awesome and deserves any support you can give.)

The Internet Archive brings me to another idea. Have you heard of ArchiveBox? This could be a cornerstone for many products. Even as simple ones as providing a hosted solution.

So this post is more like a quick idea storm. The whole archiving sector offers many niche opportunities for bootstrappers. And to quote from the initial article: "It is no coincidence that a single civic-minded citizen [...] was the one to step up, instead of our existing institutions."

This post originally appeared in Basic Problem issue #39.

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