Preserving Email in a Time Capsule

As we covered in Web Watch back in November 2005, FORBES MAGAZINE CREATED AN EMAIL TIME CAPSULE PROJECT.

We here at Web Watch thought we’d revisit the FORBES TIME CAPSULE to see how it went.

For those of you who weren’t following Web Watch back then, Forbes took a month to collect over 140,000 messages and set up a system to deliver those messages up to 20 years later.

Here’s some information on how the project went initially:

  • Nearly a third (32%) of the messages submitted were scheduled to be delivered after just one year.
  • 15% of the messages were delivered within three years
  • 18% of the messages were to be delivered within 5 years
  • 16% of the messages are due to be sent in 2015
  • 19% of the messages will be sent in 2025

Their biggest hurdle is not whether the system would still be working as expected, but whether the destination email addresses that submitters used would still be valid 20 years from then (let alone even one or three years later).

If you’re interested in sending a future message yourself, but missed out on the Forbes project, you can use a website like FUTURE ME.