From IndieWeb

Site death was a session at IndieWebCamp Brighton 2024.

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/brighton2024-site-death

IndieWebCamp Brighton 2024
Session: Site death
When: 2024-03-09 14:00



People used to leave memories, old pictures, etc. in a box. What will happen now that all those pictures are on the web?

- There are also physical things that need to be digitized to last... how does the digital version survives the people digitizing the data? (Liz, Terence work on memorial benches)

Jon has automated creating a physical version of the pictures and words he upload to his website.

Ana: what would you like to happen to your website after you die? - Disappear, fade into the Web Archive, remain as a memorial - Replication in multiple formats: e.g., video tapes to digital formats

Veronica: there is a concept of 'digital dark age', where artifact that only exist in a digital format might disappear

But what to archive? Everything? Who will be interested?

Newspaper Club, someone used it print blogs. Digital gardens feels more like archiving, while social streams feel more ephemeral.

The importance of a piece depends on who will use the archived information. It's difficult to know today what you will need. (Unless —Yousef suggest— we'll have digital twins trained on our data!)

Also, preserving content does not preserve its context, and its meaning, which someone might misconstrue.

What strategies would be people use to let people know / make your website reflect that you've passed? Dead-man switch based on a file timestamp?

Schedule blog posts in the future? (which you keep up to date if you are still around?)

Give envelopes with master password to family or friends? Or digital will?

Should dynamic websites convert themselves to static pages to survive more complex technology which can stop working? (E.g., WordPress may need maintenance)

Creating a static version feels like a longer term strategy. A more stable format. (Some technology fades rapidly — hello Java Applets)

Physical example "mass observation" where people are encouraged to write a diary, to keep a record of daily life.

See Also