All digital information is stored on physical carriers. Given the variations in carrier types, the quantity produced and in circulation, along with the potential importance of the content being stored on them, not taking any steps to document and preserve the characteristics of different carrier types will make it much more difficult, and eventually impossible, to extract content even in the short-term.
The Mediapedia is intended to provide a sustainable way of facilitating carrier type identification as well as documenting their technical requirements and general preservation information. By enabling a community of specialist individuals and organizations to collaborate in the documentation of these carriers it will hopefully create a sustainable body of knowledge which can be centrally and persistently accessed via the web. From a preservation and risk management perspective, we can either approach this problem as a community or ignore it at our individual peril.