Thursday, March 21, 2013

Society loses part of its history and culture when websites go off line

When websites go off line and their content is no longer available, our society loses part of its culture and history.
Occasionally I like to shine a spotlight on interesting websites. Inevitably some of those websites go off line and their weblinks no longer work. Many more go inactive, but at least their content stays up for all to see.
I recently reviewed the first 125 websites I listed as favorites of Tech-media-tainment. Of those, eight are now closed.
Mine is but a small sample of websites, but I’m certain this is a microcosm of a larger problem of websites and online information disappearing. If this information were in book form, a physical copy likely would remain. But when the information is stored digitally, it is easily erased.
The now-closed websites include Asian Poses, which documented the cute poses and hand signs Asian girls and young women do in snapshots. A blog dedicated to photos of students sleeping in libraries called Asians Sleeping in the Library also is no longer available. Same thing goes for a humorous art blog called CAPTCHArt.
A website called My Kid Is Gifted, which documented the funny things kids do, is gone, too. Listicles, a website devoted to top 10 lists, and AngryJournalist, a website for journalists to vent about their profession, are kaput. As is Copper Counter, a photo blog that chronicled miscellaneous items found in Coinstar machines.
The website for my favorite movie review program, “At the Movies” with film critics Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, went dark when the show was cancelled.

Photo: Preserved image from Asian Poses. 

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