How many times have I written about this change or that to my site? Not enough, it seems.
I’m in the process of using that wonderful, magnificent site The Wayback Machine to recover posts from all my various incarnations of weblogs and whatnot sites. Yes, I do have backups from recent sites, but not the ones from 1998, or 2003, or 2015, and so on. And certainly not all the posts for all variations of weblogs I’ve had.
I estimate now that I’ve had a weblog, split or singular, on 83 domains and subdomains. Does anyone remember Thank the NRA? Bad Kitty? Missouri Green? Practical RDF? BB Gun? Script Teaser?
I split my weblog and combined it dozens of times, utilizing 23 different domains, and probably twice that many subdomains.
Even my main site, my weblog, this thing here…it’s been accessed as http://weblog.burningbird.net, http://yasd.com, http://burningbird.net/weblog, and http://just.shelleypowers.com, in addition to the burningbird.net location.
To make things even more interesting, sometimes the article URIs would be listed as ‘fires’, other times as ‘nodes’, sometimes as the full date, and finally, just the post title.
I was on Blogger, and on Graymatter, on Movable Type and Drupal, on Radio, and now on WordPress. I began with manually coded static web pages, back before weblogs and weblogging software were things. I even tried my hand at creating my own weblogging software: Wordform, a fork of the early WordPress software.
And not since the very earliest days have I had all of my writings in one single site.
So, I’m recovering each writing/post/article, one at a time, either from my own backups, or mostly from the Wayback Machine. I’ve already recovered over 1300 posts, but I estimate I have about 4000 or so to go.
I think it was Tim Bray who spoke out, decades ago, about the wrongness of missing webpages—the 404s we have come to know and dislike. That’s the beauty of The Wayback Machine: web pages aren’t gone for good, they’re just finding a comfortable niche to settle into for a good sleep.
Thanks to Internet Archive for providing The Wayback Machine, I’ll be able to restore most of my writing. However, I shouldn’t use the word ‘restore’ to describe what I’m doing. After all, ‘restoring’ sounds somewhat noble—as if I’m taking a fine old web site and returning it to its glory.
I’m really not restoring my web sites: I’m doing penance for not being able to sit still for 26 years.