I first met Paul Ford when he improbably replied to a targeted job ad I'd placed on the Internet. Okay, it was on Reddit. I'm sorry. It was a different time. I had certainly heard of Paul Ford; he was the person who'd marched into Harper's and digitized their entire many-thousand-issue back catalogue with what he would later describe to me as "XSLT, Java, PHP, Perl, scotch tape, and glue." The project was a landmark achievement of near-permanence in the sinkhole-ridden clusterfuck of our still-young Internet. It's also worth mentioning that Paul is a foundational, myth-grade progenitor of quality online writing. Serious writing, hilarious writing, usually both, writing that is preternaturally conscious of the ever-forming digital biome where it lives. Paul has also got to be the first person in a darn sight to have written an entire issue of a magazine by himself. So on this, the occasion of the end of Wag's Revue, we met for breakfast and talked about archives. I set up a karaoke microphone in a spare water pitcher, and it picked up mostly air conditioning noise, but also a conversation between two relative Wag’s outsiders about how this scrappy collection of text, images, and typesetting can stay the most intact for the longest possible time. We came up with eighteen ways. Number five will SHOCK you. – Rob Dubbin
Rob Dubbin, Wag’s Revue: Check, check, check.
Paul Ford: All right, I’m going to talk into this. Hello, future transcriber. My name is Paul Ford; P-A-U-L F-O-R-D. Who’s this guy?
RD: Hi, I’m Rob Dubbin. I hired you, future transcriber, probably over the Internet. R-O-B D-U-B-B-I-N. Thank you, and I’m sorry about the persistent air conditioner noise.
PF: But, I’m sure you’ve experienced worse. Again, this is Paul. Rob is the interviewer. I am the interviewee.
RD: We’ll see how long that lasts.