Friday, October 30, 2009

How Obsessive Am I?

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a little place called GeoCities. Steve had a journal called "Living in the Bonus Round" there. When I decided to start writing a journal, I joined GeoCities.

When you joined GeoCities, you were shown a real "virtual neighborhood," a map of roads and houses. You picked the neighborhood you wanted to "live" in and then chose the design of the "house" you were going to fill. Seems all kind of silly now.

I don't remember what my neighborhood was, but it had something to do with theatre, I'm sure. I picked out my house and started to decorate it with journal entries.

It didn't take too long before all those "houses" were bought up and GeoCities dropped the graphical context. Now you just posted things to a web site called GeoCities.

Then Yahoo bought out GeoCities and things continued pretty much as they always had, but somewhere off in the distance, a death knell was sounding. You could still log into GeoCities, but if you wanted to set up a web site, you had to do it through Yahoo.

With GeoCities you had free web space, which was great, but it was limited. So I actually had three sites there. One for beverlysykes, one for bevsykes and one for bevasykes. About the time bevasykes was starting to fill up too, I decided to bite the bullet and get my own domain for Funny the World, which has been the address for many years now, still hosted by Yahoo.

Well, I knew it was coming. I heard rumors. And you can't say that Yahoo didn't give GeoCities members plenty of warning. Steve even wrote about it a couple of days ago. But two days ago, I was putting in the "Today in My History" section, and, as I frequently do, I was clicking through entries for the past ten years.

Imagine my shock when I clicked the entry for 2000 and was told that it didn't exist! All of my beverlysykes, bevsykes, and bevasykes entries were now gone.

As I said, it's not that it took me by surprise, but seeing it there on my screen gave me a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, as if a beloved friend had died.

Fortunately, though my life is an instruction book for how to live in chaos, there are parts of it which are organized, and, envisioning this possibility several years ago, I have been saving all of my journal entries for many years now. They all get saved to my hard drive and at the end of the year, the entire year is moved to a CD. The entries weren't gone, exactly--they all exist on disk, but they would all have to be reformatted to put on the Funny the World domain.

Did I really want to go through all that work? It took about 5 minutes for me to decide that...yes, I really did. It would be so much better if they were all in one place. I knew it was going to be a horribly time-consuming project, but I couldn't not do it.

I discovered that it takes about 3-4 hours to put one month worth of entries back, so I'm going to be doing one month a day, and at the same time putting in the current year 2000 entry while I am doing the current day's entry. (I.e, I've finished March and April, and also October 28, 29, and 30).

For some reason, when I saved the entries originally, not all of the photos saved with them. Some photos I've had to delete, some I've been able to find elsewhere on my hard drive, and some I just took again. If the photo is essential to the entry and I can't find the original photo, I've left a note explaining that the photo is gone. I'm sure lots of links are wrong, but I'm trying to upgrade them as best I can along the way.

Someone on Facebook introduced me to The Wayback Machine, which was brand new to me, a massive internet archive which has stored over 150 billion pages archived from 1996 on. You enter the old URL and it searches to see if it's still stored. While I have all of my entry pages on disk, I didn't have the table of contents for each month. I checked to see if I could find any through the Wayback Machine and they were all there. I just needed to edit them, not recreate them.

So this will be my activity for the next several weeks, along with all the other stuff. I anticipate that as I complete this project I'm going to find I've missed a lot, so I invite anybody who finds a mistake somewhere to let me know and I'll try to get it finished. (I should really take time to double check all those links to other sites and remove the ones that are dead, but I'm not going to do that at this point.)

I may never dust furniture in my house, but I really do like to have my journal / blog entries as correct as possible!

5 comments:

Governor Jen said...

Wow, I had no idea about the Wayback Machine. I'm going to waste a lot of time going through that!

Dan Ciruli said...

The saddest thing about the wayback machine is that it doesn't go back far enough to get the Lawsuit website. And I certainly was not as foresighted as you; I really, really wish I had saved a copy of it.

Bev Sykes said...

I thought the wayback machine went back to 1996, but maybe I mis-read that. I know there were some pages of mine that I tried to pick up that it didn't have, so, sadly, it's not perfect...but at least it's better than nothing!

jon said...

remember yahoo 360. another one bites the dust. I saved my stuff from there. I have actually used some of it on my blogs.

Bev Sykes said...

I never worked with Yahoo 360. We tend to think that stuff put on the internet is immortal (as The Wayback Machine will show), but apparently not necessarily!