Dead Websites

A dead website is the great unspoken on the Web and among Web audiences. Registerting domain names, getting hosting, designing a site, building a site, developing a site, redirecting a site, scaling a site, integrating a site, redesigning a site: these are all fun, pretty, happy terms. But the truth of the matter is that websites are very temporary objects on the fluid Web and have half-lives just like every combustible thing.
They are born, they grow, they are loved by a few, they communicate a few things, and then they go on to die. The death of a website generally goes unmarked, unnoticed, and unrecognized. A dead website is no longer a valuable enterprise but a historical record, a fiercely marked arena of time. A website that has died gets no funeral, no sendoff, no eulogy, and often gets no final words. Websites seem to die a strange death – they are both very public and very private organisms, created by a living few for a living audience and when they pass, the act of viewing them or reflecting on them is inherently solitary. I’ve yet to see a blog about dead sites, but I’m sure there could be one.
No, this is not farewell.
But I’ve noticed quite a few (quite good) blogs that I once read, which are no longer alive, including Dean Allen’s Textism, Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Mark, and Charles Hartmans’ eponymous weblog.
I suppose there’s at least one other interesting thing about website death, though, that differs from that of humans: they can be resurrected.

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