the internets' borken links February 1, 2001 11:38 AM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago I relaunched a web site that had been dead for 11 months. Because, like so many blogs, the site revolves around finding interesting bits elsewhere (in this case extracts or quotes), the re-launch involved going back through the source links I had left over from the site's previous life... [more]
posted by Mo Nickels to General Weblog-Related at 11:38 AM (11 comments total)

There's no more!
posted by gluechunk at 11:43 AM on February 1, 2001

he's still writing! Hurry Mo, hurry!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:44 AM on February 1, 2001

I betcha he got a phone call.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:45 AM on February 1, 2001

I do a version of what we all do: I keep lists of links sorted into folders marked Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Rarely and Doubtful/dubious/dead, indicating with some accuracy the frequency at which I dip into those sources for material. There's more than 800 sites in those folders.

On any given day, I hit a good 110 sites over about three hours of searching, scanning headlines for perhaps 400 stories, reading 40 or 50 articles and turning all that work and effort into three to five posts per day. Some of those sites are headline collators: Moreover, of course, but also 1st Headlines and six custom saved keyword searches on Excite Newstracker with about 100 different variables in each, each saved search turning up about 100 headlines (with many duplicates across the searches). I exclude all tech or Internet publications and stories, preferring to mirror the off-line world and its peculiarities more than those of online.

Like a rat who keeps going back to the corn bin as long as there's still corn in it, I keep visiting those sites with good content, bumping their links further up the list so I'll hit them more often.

The problem is that out of the 432 source links I had saved from the previous version of World New York, from just a year ago, 38 are dead, 16 are 404ed, 5 point to dummy just-registered pages, and 85 have out-dated content, or at least what looks like out-dated content, sometimes with no dates or apparently stale matter. By dead I mean they're not what they once were: some of them are now banner farms, others are porn, some redirect to a corporate page, others still now have new owners and new purposes.

That's an attrition rate of 33 percent.

So I've spent the past three weeks going through the pages linked from Matt's randomized listing of Metafilter users and the web sites listed in their user profiles, through the Magazine category on Yahoo and through a few directories of blogs.

It's the same story, particularly for the blogs, no matter what directory I'm working from. An immeasurable number are undergoing structural changes, or site redesigns, with messages reading like those "closed for renovation" signs in your favorite restaurant window that don't come down for months until the place is renovated, all right, and turned into a Dollar General store. Others are just closed. A few seem to be mistakes.

So what's my point? Two things: First, I'm looking for rich, regular, rare content. After all these years of the Internet, it's still the odd black truffle deep in the woods. Your suggestions (we are, obviously, not talking about Salon and Slate: "rare" being the most operational word here) are welcome.

Second, I would like to offer a bit of general praise and thanks and encouragement. Many of the farewell letters on the sites read like the one I wrote a year ago, like they all read, undertones of underappreciation, desperate cries for more time and a life and quick grab for more chances to do and to be. And I'll encourage you by telling you this: I'm reading you. I'm reading you and liking you and your words. I'm rooting for you and your site and I'm laughing at your dumb jokes and I'm thinking, yeah, you're right, it sucks getting up in the morning and your sister really shouldn't marry that bum and though I don't know why or how you got fired from your job I'm over here feeling it, too. I'm on your side. You count.

Thanks, in any case.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:48 AM on February 1, 2001

Ten minutes. You people can't wait ten minutes?
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:49 AM on February 1, 2001

or you could have written it before-hand...
i'm just razzing ya! :)
posted by pnevares at 1:14 PM on February 1, 2001

Thank you Mo; I whole-heartedly second your praise and encouragement.

Reading all that I have on MeFi and the selected blogs and such for the last few months, I get a peek into what it has been like on the other side of the cathode-ray tube for those living amidst the technological tumult.

In art, much of what is created exists unseen by the masses. For every recognized genius who gets her mug in the paper and receives lauds, there are countless others who eke their existence drawing caricatures, or designing advertisements, or staying true to making their particular art but barely making ends meet. But for each one of these folks who create, there is passion within, and an urge to bring something new to this world in a way that will change the way that we all think, feel, and dream.

I see this same urge on the internet, especially amongst those who let others into their worlds. And reading the sentiments of those who are struggling, I cannot help but see the not only the art inherent in their creations, but the desire to keep creating.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: Ditto what Mo said.
posted by Avogadro at 1:20 PM on February 1, 2001

Yeah! Me too. Wait, what am I supposed to do, now?
What he said.

posted by norm at 1:23 PM on February 1, 2001

Ok, I swear I didn't see Avocadro's post when I hit mine.
posted by norm at 1:24 PM on February 1, 2001

Mo, here are 3 sites I like to check out when I feel the need for an intellectual kick in the ass.

lemonyellow - this woman is stunningly brilliant, imho

jimwich - unusual multimedia content

exquisite corpse - my favorite webzine

You've probably run accross these before, but just in case...

Your site is great, btw!
posted by gimli at 9:28 AM on February 2, 2001

lemonyellow was the first weblog I read. It's been semi-dead or worse for a long time, though. I keep hoping Heather Anne will get inspired again, but it sounds like she's busy having a life. Which is better.
posted by rodii at 9:45 AM on February 2, 2001

« Older New Sorting Methods for MeFi   |   Moving MeFi Serviers Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments