Our Records, Our Digital History
Interesting piece by TechDirt: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100909/20294910958.shtml
Can crowd-sourcing work as an historical tool? Properly, I guess, the term should be historiography. Anyway, thinking of these films, disbursing them across society would greatly increase the likelihood of any one of them making the transitions to new media. Once digitized, transferring from one format to another is simply waiting for the right enterprising computer scientist to turn their mind that direction.
The same holds true for photos. Many pieces have been written exposing the superiority of print. I remain unconvinced. If your entire collection is digitized, it's quite likely that someone, when a new format is developed, will craft a conversion tool.
Print's solid advantage: never going obsolete. However, one can make a very limited number of hard copies of any image. Copying them is a relatively expensive process. One that automating becomes extremely cost prohibitive. Besides, I expect that more hard copy photos have vanished from our collective record than have come through.
Backing up both digitized photos and film is a, relatively, simple process. And one that is automatable (now that's a word). By disseminating this record broadly, the likely hood of preservation increases. Due to digitization, our collective film and photo repository became massive. Now we must retain them. Our progeny will thank us.