I was absorbed with thoughts of mortality the other day. Not my own, necessarily, more the idea of blog mortality. What happens to the blog when you die?
I started thinking about the subject when Aaron Swartz died. I believe that Dave Winer at Scripting News floated an idea of people getting together and making sure that Swartz's writings lived on in cyberspace for eternity. Not a bad idea.
My recent blog shutdown/go private/back to public opus made me aware of a couple things. One was that I have written a rather large if not occasionally significant body of work. 3926 blog posts to date, not counting the several hundred that I have jettisoned in a rare, clear moment of self preservation.
These were no longer accessible, or rather only accessible to those 99 other souls who had blog permission when the blog was private. That is a real hamstringing of my ability to share and communicate. I sealed off my writing for pretty much ever and I don't have hard copy. There's a few short stories that I might like to read again.
With so much online output that never tangibly makes it to paper, I predict a booming business in the not too distant future for a blog graveyard that will tend our little literary plots on some massive blade server cemetery in the cloud somewhere. You may croak but for a mere hundred dollars we can keep your blog alive for the next twenty years or something like that.
Occasionally I remember to create an xls file that supposedly saves the blog, but what the hell would it actually look like and could it actually be transferred to an alternate readable platform? Got me... Anyway it is only a matter of time before some smart cookie figures out a way to mothball and archive this stuff, so that vainglorious authors like yours truly could go to their final resting places assured that their words will live to illuminate and/or darken the cyberworld for perpetuity.