Older blogging platforms bring together places where you could once post, but can no longer post. Curator Wesley Aptekar-Cassels published an accompanying essay, How Websites Die.
I think a lot about the life cycle of websites. I’m frustrated with so many short-term thoughts I see in the world today, and the way we think about websites is one of them: it’s “normal” for them to go up in smoke as soon as their authors stop be careful. People switch platforms and providers and break ties without a second thought. It pains me to see people building websites without feeling obligated to them – when you put something out into the world, it’s your responsibility to take care of it.
At the same time, I wonder if this obsession with permanence is misplaced. I recently started building a website that lives on wesleyac.com, and one of the things that kept me procrastinating for years to get it up and running was not knowing if I was ready to get started. engage in it. I solved this puzzle with a page describing my thoughts on its stability and permanence:
I have fragments of websites that I can no longer find any reference to online, that aren’t in the Wayback Machine, but that I felt were important and memorable. Some I remember, but can’t find any downloaded copies or screenshots, and couldn’t prove they existed in any meaningful way.