Internet Afterlives

Ahoy, friends, I’m doing most of my new writing on a new site at writing.gonze.com. This is a custom domain in front of listed.to, which uses Standard Notes for editing.

The WordPress editor necessary for posts on some.gonze.com gets in my way. I prefer the editing experience in Standard Notes:

  • I’m in Standard Notes all the time anyway, and have been for years
  • listed.to uses markdown, which I know well
  • The WordPress editor uses this “block” concept that I hate. Markdown is far better.

The downside of listed.to is that I can’t upload anything to it. It’s nothing but text. That’s not fatal – a text-centric approach is a good thing, and I can easily upload truly necessary images or audio to my shell account at Dreamhost.

I suspect that listed.to will not be maintained indefinitely. It’s a sideline feature for Standard Notes. That’s why I used a custom domain – so I can control the outcome when they are gone.

Of course, the converse is that listed.to may well outlive me and my Dreamhost account. But that’s a different threat. It used to be that we bought our own domains and hosted our own servers for longevity in the face of provider shutdowns. In practice, though, providers often outlive us. A domain starts around $20/year. A social network account starts at $0. A custom domain takes maintenance. A social network account can last nearly forever – even my ancient Myspace account still exists, albeit as a pale shadow of my blinged-out profile circa 2007.

When it comes to digital afterlife, there’s always archive.org. Whether it’s heaven or hell is a Good Place problem. The important thing is that on the Internet there is a definite afterlife, like it or not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.