When Websites Dissapear

Over the last 12 months many websites have ceased to exist, GeoCities served it’s last Under Construction gifas yahoo shut the service down. Back in high school I submitted an assignment as a website using this service, now long gone. And the web erupted in a sad chorus to the loss, with some nice tributes.

404 on wall

Then Jeff Atwood lost all of his website to catastrophic data loss. It makes me ponder the feebleness of the web and how it all falls down when a link disappears.

There are many internet spiders archiving the content of the web but that’s largely just text, not images. If you look way back your web browser you will wait for most websites as the now offline images timeout.

I recently took the decision to remove the gallery from my rarely visited part of the web. Mainly because of the maintenance overhead of running two separate web applications, wordpress and gallery, but also for the fact that wordpress now has built in gallery functionality and I rarely have images I want to share. Come to think of it I rarely take photos anyway.

In the end if you want control of you own online identity, ie. your own website, not Facebook, wordpress.com or blogger. Then I guess there will be content that disappears all the time, this dns record would quickly walk away if I didn’t pay the fee or even worse the website would be deactivated by the host if I don’t log into the forums.

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