Updating old, dead FPP links? February 22, 2010 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Dead link updating pony?

What about setting up the ability for (anyone? poster's mutual contacts? backtagging team?) to add updated links for any dead links in old FPPs?

Sometimes, for example, when the link is dead and neither the post text nor the url nor the discussion describe the content of the link to a T, it's difficult or impossible to find information on what used to be there by googling.

If someone did happen to turn up an updated link though, and attached it to the post somehow, that would be a nice piece of errata for posterity. I don't think sending a team through just to do this for every post is anywhere near feasible, but if the option was there, maybe it would be used now and then, and enrich the archive of old posts a little.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to Feature Requests at 11:57 AM (41 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think this is going to be more trouble than it's worth. Unless the links are exact copies [i.e. something moved from bla.com to blah.com] you;re getting into dicey territory adding any updated links to older stuff. It's definitely something that backtaggers could do, but I think it's a lot of work for very little utility. Really all the backtaggers would be doing would be googling anyhow, so I'm not sure how this would even work, in your setup.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:03 PM on February 22, 2010


"I was a link-deborking superstar"?
posted by zarq at 12:03 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, to be a little clearer, I wasn't imagining link replacement, but just added errata with suggested new urls to check, if that's any less dicey.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:09 PM on February 22, 2010


Sometimes, for example, when the link is dead and neither the post text nor the url nor the discussion describe the content of the link to a T, it's difficult or impossible to find information on what used to be there by googling.

I like the idea, but this sentence is why it seems to be a very very difficult task, to me. as a for instance, when we had an fpp about pitchfork posting video of Jeff Mangum's cafe performance of the songs that would eventually be In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, the link went dead because pitchfork was only hosting it for a week. subsequent searches on my part to find alternate sources for the video turned up almost nothing, and the youtube clips I found didn't last long and weren't complete.

this is, of course, a very niche instance of what we're talking about, but I think we'll find that even the OP can't resurrect dead links in their post as easily as we'd like.
posted by shmegegge at 12:24 PM on February 22, 2010


with lack of preview:

but just added errata with suggested new urls to check, if that's any less dicey.

what would added errata look like? I'm confused.
posted by shmegegge at 12:25 PM on February 22, 2010


added errata with suggested new urls to check, if that's any less dicey.

Yeah that's a non-starter. It would basically be a mechanism not for link-replacement but for link-enhancement which turns into a potential for editorializing and/or problematic additions from the perspective of the OP. I get why you think it would be a good idea, but for me it falls into the "solves a teeny problem while creating a much larger one" arena.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:26 PM on February 22, 2010


Restricting the ability to the original poster would address most of these issues.
posted by enn at 12:37 PM on February 22, 2010


I get why you think it would be a good idea, but for me it falls into the "solves a teeny problem while creating a much larger one" arena.

Yeah, ditto. I like the idea of combatting linkrot but (a) it's a job that would never be done and (b) generally speaking it's a job that can be done just a well in an on-demand fashion by the person reading the archived post with the broken links, if that person is interested.

If we regularly, frequently, and explicitly re-featured old posts I think the maintenance involved would make more sense, but as it is old stuff just sees a tiny fraction of the traffic that current posts do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:39 PM on February 22, 2010


what would added errata look like? I'm confused.

Oh, like a small, dated and username-stamped note at the bottom of the page, like:


________________________________
This post has one or more borked links.

02.22.10
user Ambrosia Voyeur added: Video of Jeff Magnum performing in a cafe now hosted at Vimeo.


02.23.10
user cortexl added: it's up on YouTube now as well. Ambrosia Voyeur is a dum ho!!!


^ That would be how it could be bad, I suppose. And yeah, very niche utility, but at least in service of the site's main function for posterity, I thought. I'm all about permeable archives, myself.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:43 PM on February 22, 2010


that is what happens when I have a child with an axolotl
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:50 PM on February 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


*sigh*

I miss Jeff Magnum, too.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:50 PM on February 22, 2010


Who can tell me how "cotexl" is pronounced?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:01 PM on February 22, 2010


Coe-tay-chel, rhyming with Rachael.
posted by boo_radley at 1:11 PM on February 22, 2010




that is what happens when I have a child with an axolotl

(Walter screaming at Larry as he destroys the car, edited version for broadcast, aired only on the Discovery Channel.)

posted by Greg Nog at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You don't necessarily have to Google around for equivalent content. If the post is older than six months or so, there's a good chance the borked links will show up on Archive.org. It's an obscure enough resource that not everyone will think of using it when browsing old posts, so if the OP could revisit and update their posts themselves it would work nicely, I think.

The only other way I see this as being really useful is for replacing deleted YouTube videos. The Cartoon Network post I made back in 2008 already has multiple dead links, and it would be nice to replace them with working copies.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2010


Mangum.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2010


For getting archived versions of old web pages, I put the Wayback Machine Bookmarklet into my toolbar. It covers most web pages I've run across, though online audio & video is kind of volatile right now.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:47 PM on February 22, 2010


One thing that would help would be for post authors to be conscientious about adding details to their post. That way people could at least understand what the discussion was about. An SLYT post that simply said "Frogs!" will be meaningless if and when that video goes down. But if you describe, even with a sentence or two, what happens in the film in the "More Inside", then people can at least make sense of the comments.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:55 PM on February 22, 2010


Frogs! [more frogs inside]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:11 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


FROGS!
posted by shmegegge at 3:27 PM on February 22, 2010


OH HAI
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on February 22, 2010


FROGS!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:50 PM on February 22, 2010


Frogs!
posted by The Whelk at 3:55 PM on February 22, 2010


Frog.
posted by The Whelk at 3:57 PM on February 22, 2010




Frog train.

....everywhere ...frogs.
posted by The Whelk at 4:02 PM on February 22, 2010


Cat and Frog.

Frog And Toad.
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on February 22, 2010


Frog And Toad
posted by shmegegge at 4:18 PM on February 22, 2010


Frog Versus Toad.
posted by The Whelk at 4:22 PM on February 22, 2010


I read that as Dead Link Ambulating Pony and much as I like this idea, it just can't stand up to my brief mental fantasy of a dead link ambulating pony. Sorry.

Also, ambulacrum is my cool word of the day.
posted by klangklangston at 6:16 PM on February 22, 2010


The frog song
posted by CitoyenK at 8:13 PM on February 22, 2010


Oh my goodness. So glad I used "Frogs" as the example link title.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:13 PM on February 22, 2010


Well, if link updating isn't going to happen, can we still get a dead pony? Puuuhhhhhlllllllllllllllleeeeaseeeeeeeeee Mommy???
posted by carsonb at 8:54 PM on February 22, 2010


UNDEAD PONY WANTS OOOOOOOOAAAAAAATS
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 PM on February 22, 2010


surely Undead Pony wants GRAAAAIIIIIINNNNNSSSS.
posted by shmegegge at 10:26 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hey, I planned on those links dying, down to the second of expiration, to teach you all a valuable lesson.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:08 PM on February 22, 2010


You can't have a pony. You can have a bunch of slimy frogs, though. It's a man's world.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:08 PM on February 22, 2010


Can't sleep. Frog'll eat me.

And/or gestate me in it's mouth, skin or vocal sacs. srsly? WTF frogs?
posted by loquacious at 11:42 PM on February 22, 2010


How about a link to the archive.org version of the page (as of the posting date)?

http://www.metafilter.com/19

http://web.archive.org/web/19990429005821/http://www.cat-scan.com/index.html
posted by blue_beetle at 3:03 PM on February 23, 2010


blue_beetle: What about articles with multiple links?
posted by Pronoiac at 4:15 PM on February 23, 2010


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