Ben Langhinrichs

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The skeletal web

Tue 30 Mar 2010, 10:18 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
The Parthenon is an object of beauty and wonder, but we seldom forget that it is a ruin.  While its mighty pillars stand tall, we can see the crumbling marble and the areas of decay and erosion.

The web is increasingly filled with ruins, remnants of a glorious past.  Often, their decay and erosion is less visible than at the Parthenon.  As time goes on, this will only become more true.

When individual companies run their own websites on their own servers, and the company "goes dark" so too do their websites.  With the increasing use of cloud resources and free or nearly free websites, this natural decay disappears.  If a website is hosted on Blogger or Facebook or a service like that, the owners can walk away, leaving the remnants.  As the web semantics change less rapidly and websites are built around templates, it is less "obvious" when a website is obsolete, a ruin.

This may not seem like a big deal, until you imagine the clutter if every temple from ancient Greece and ancient Rome and so on were still standing.  Websites need expiration dates, a virtual razing to tear down the rubble and leave room for the new, or we will increasingly find ourselves wandering in the rubble of dead companies, projects and blogs.

Copyright 2010 Genii Software Ltd.

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