From IndieWeb

A throwback is a current post of content from some time ago, typically at least days, often years.

There are two potential reasons for posting old content. One would be for the purpose of archiving older content in a newer form, the other would be to share that content with others, such as old photos.

IndieWeb Examples

gRegor Morrill

gRegor Morrill: I have manually posted some throwback photos. Typically these were photos that Facebook's on this day feature has brought up in my feed. I download the original photo from Facebook and post it on my site with a brief description, usually including the word "throwback". I link to the original photo post on Facebook and credit the person who took the photo. I've only done this with friend's photos who I know won't mind me reposting on my site.

David Shanske

David Shanske has been posting throwback photos for some time (since ????-??-??).

    • the name of the post and photo caption explicitly notes "1980s"
    • the content of the post notes "… dug into the archives for this polaroid", indicating both the creation some non-trivial time in the past, and in a different format (physical).

Jason L Gatewood (StarrWulfe)

Starrwulfe always did throwback photo posts on silos like Instagram and Twitter in the past but has started in earnest in using it to revive old posts on his blog regardless of media or text.

  • example:
  • Created a category called "throwback" at and a tag type "throwback" at
  • The post simply needs to contain a preamble for context about the attached post
    • This is either an anecdote or a few sentences about what he felt when posting at the time.
    • It could also include links to other materials, posts, etc, found after the initial posting if something resulted from the main post itself. (e.g. The post concerned a news item that was ongoing at the time, but now we know the aftereffects years later.)
  • Where possible, some notable comments are also included as it may have relevance.

add yourself!

  • ...



David Shanske asked the question of whether throwback posts, old photos in particular, should have any particular special visual design elements.

Past Dating

David Shanske asked the question of whether or not a post should be created past-dated to the original content, and a separate post be created highlighting this currently. This would be consistent with content that was already on your site, that you would highlight in the present, and might be a way to encourage further create of pre-web content.

The use case for David Shanske is pre-web content. The example was 1980s era pictures.

This would be a kind of cross-media backfill, from pre-web media to the web.

Compare also with features like on this day which are supported by silos like Timehop and in some sense are meant to encourage throw back type posts.

Other terms/phrases for this practice:

  • David Shanske retro posting
  • Tantek Çelik retropost, retpost (akin to retcon, thought on Twitter, "#retpost" seems to be mostly typos for 'repost'). Both inspired from David Shanske’s suggestion.
  • ...

Backdated post restrictions

Tantek Çelik thoughts: Create a backdated post (retropost) with only the content that was created as of the point in time of the backdate, no subsequent annotations etc. E.g.

  • content:
    • digital images in their original format
    • thumbnail of image auto-generated (if possible) from the original
    • digital text in its original format
    • UTF8 conversion of text if it’s not ASCII7 or some other Unicode compatible text format
  • information about the content:
    • when a photo was taken
    • when handwritten notes were written in a paper log

Things not to do or include in a strictly backdated post:

  • no "cleanup" of images
  • no fixing of typos or other errors in original text

The way to "fix" things in old static content is to write a new post with the corrected version and then link to the original backdated post.

See Also