Saturday, July 25, 2015

DS106 Assignment Bank: Way Back Time Machine

I found an interesting web assignment in the DS106 Assignment Bank for this week's assignment. There is a website called the Internet Archive Way Back Machine which keeps an archive of websites over time. It's really interesting. Go to the website and enter the url of a favorite website. You can see snapshots of the site from previous years and, therefore, see the evolution of the site over time. This DS106 assignment is exactly that.

My first thought was to look up my company's website to see the changes over time. But in keeping with my focal theme of corporate eLearning, I decided to look at a website that I've been visiting quite often since beginning my graduate education: Here are some snapshots:

June 2012

January 2013
July 2013

 December 2013
June 2014
December 2014

July 2015
The website,, started out as a blog in 2012. It's only 3 years old which is a bit of shortened timeframe. I'm sure if we were to look up some other companies that have been around a lot longer the contrast would be much more stark. However, what this does show me is how much the elearning industry (and this website being a representation of the industry) has evolved.
Content is not the only thing that changes. A website is not only a repository of information, it is also a map. Over time, the user experience will change in order to better orient the visitors to the information that is most applicable. As a blog, transformed from having a simple blog-like appearance to being more of a library of resources, of which blog posts are a major category.
One other factor that has changed over time is the inclusion of social media icons on the main page. As you can see, those did not appear until 2014. That gives us a clue of the industry is adapting to the demands of social media and creating a greater platform for collaboration. In 2012, which was only 3 years ago, I could submit a blog post.. Today, I can do that and so much more. I not only get to learn from the industry, I can also participate in it.
I now not only wonder what this website will look like 3 years from now, I wonder what the elearning industry will look like.


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