This morning I spent several hours going through the blogroll of my other blog, Khanya, removing dead and broken links. It was sad to see how many blogs had been abandoned or closed.
I knew that some of them had not had new posts for a while, but had kept them in the hope that one day the owner might take up blogging again.
But saddest of all were the ones that had been deleted or made “private”.
The problem with that is that all sorts of people make links to blog posts they find interesting. Deleting the blog, or making it inaccessible, is a bit like going to a library and snipping out a whole lot of the footnotes and bibliographical references in a lot of books. It’s a kind of vandalism. It’s actually worse, because it in effect removes the footnote from every copy of that book in the whole world, and indeed from every other book in which that book has been cited.
So even if you abandon your blog, and no longer want to write any more, try not to delete it. Of course if it is a “hosted blog” (something self-styled blog fundis recommend, but is generally a bad idea) you might no longer want to go on paying for the hosting, or you may die and your heirs may not want to go on paying. And of course a free hosting site may go belly-up, like Yahoo abandoning Geocities. Fortunately some others came to the rescue for that, though of course lots of the original links were still broken.
One of the broken links I found offered me the domain name for $1575. Imagine paying that for a “premium” domain name like “orthodoxywithapurpose.com”! I wonder how much they paid for it originally before abandoning it?
But it’s all a form of Internet entropy, and makes me wonder what will happen when there are more broken links than working links on the Internet.