All these useful, and not so useful, chats on skype - will they be lost for posterity? No, there is a way around:
Luc offers a great solution in the skype forum. With his little software, you can easily export your skype chats, as text or html, in a "safe" document: see here.
Just stick to the explanations he offers, and you will have this set up and running in no time (you might need to log on to the skype forum to be able to download the .zip).
At this place, many thanks to Luc. I guess it is important that we have tools which help us preserve certain communication for posterity. When the internet and e-mail really took off in the 1990s, I asked myself which impact this would have on the conservation of sources - especially for later historical research. Certainly letter exchange has always been a valuable source for historians - edited collections of letters, and reference to them in academic work testify this. Paper is durable, and some of the letters have endured war, fire, or dust on the attic, and could ultimately be used as historical source. Would the same be possible for e-mails? What about short message system (sms) messages? Certainly very few people take care to note them on paper. With the phone lost, or memory exhausted, very often these get cancelled forever.
We will see what the future brings. Certainly, electronic devices are better interconnected now (e.g., possibility to transfer sms text on the computer easily). Once on the computer, files can be preserved on the current valid standard (CD, DVD, hard-drive).
In the end, and over time, it seems to me that the combination of chance, personal care and technical possibilities of storage will determine how much of todays electronic traffic will get handed down to future generations.
Ok, end now, thanks to Luc, and I am off to download my skype conversations, burn them on cd, and send them to three bomb- and high-water safe locations on three different continents (tao of back-up).