Micro.blog

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

So will happen to this when you die?

By “this” I’m referring to your blog and any other digital artifacts you host on your own. Given that hosting is usually not free forever, has anyone given any thought to what will happen to your writing, photos, etc when you pass?

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@adiabatic true. I guess my thought is that when I go, all of this will eventually go as well unless someone can figure out how to keep it going. Mainly because no one ever knows when they’re time is up.

eli
eli

@kimonostereo I think about this all the time...weirdly enough. Part of me doesn't mind if my web presence sort of fades away, but I think there are some resources online that are worth preserving. I know that archive.org is a valuable asset for this, but it isn't perfect. There could be a lot done to help with this issue. I wonder, also, about using something like the dat:// protocol, or something similar, to leverage a more distributed system rather than merely centralized backups.

manton
manton

@kimonostereo Yes, it's a major unsolved problem for the web. I wrote a blog post about it 6 years ago.

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@eli my thought at this point in time is physical media may be the only way to preserve things, but maybe not in the future. Kinda like a photo album or keepsakes. I’m not anyone famous, so I’m not certain that my writings or thoughts will need to be preserved online specifically, but maybe someone else that cares would like to remember them.

ronguest
ronguest

@kimonostereo I do think about this. I use the 1Password family plan to make sure my family can gain access and control of my accounts and sites. I also have a “If I Die” document giving instructions for critical areas e.g. finances. All photos are hosted directly on equipment I own (copied up when posted some place like my Wordpress site). I still make physical prints of selected photos. But I don’t think I care what happens to me “online” in general (LinkedIn, Instagram or whatever). I think those accounts would stay up for awhile by default before decaying - which feels about right. I suppose if there was something I wanted to “live on” for a longer period of time I’d write that into my will.

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@manton hey! We’re on the same page! As a web comic co-creator, this is something that I thought hard about. When we could finally publish our books in print, it made me feel better, however we haven’t done a book in 5 years. I may do a few print on demand ones for archival purposes though.

I’d love to hear your updated thoughts on this topic.

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@vasta my wife has access to all the essential logins via 1Password but I need to work on a written plan like you have.

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@ronguest I’m just like you and have stuff in 1Password and I’ve been regularly printing photos I care about though a free monthly print service. I’ve been thinking more of doing an annual book of photos instead though. Like you, I don’t really care what happens to my digital identity at other services. Hopefully none of it lasts forever?

jack
jack

@kimonostereo @eli Personal archiving can be such a vexing problem. It's more than just the online stuff. It can apply to everything. I'm a believer in printing things, but at the very least, I try to have an offline copy in some reasonably stable format. As you said, many things don't have to be maintained online, but I would like them available somewhere! Library of Congress has some tips (not specifically about digital), such as Your Personal Archiving Project: Where Do You Start?

eli
eli

@jack oooh, very good link! I used to work for a place that speciallized in maintaining digital archival collections, so I love to nerd out about this. I like hearing that you make hard copies. I think that is wicked powerful. I use keepass to maintain all my passwords and what not, but often think I should make a paper copy, not for redundancy but so that other folks could more easily gain access to it if they needed to. Maybe store in a saftey deposit box, or something.

rnv
rnv

@kimonostereo This is a very good question.

I saw this very thing happen just this year. A lit/poetry blogger I had followed for years fell silent. There had been some entries obliquely referring to his health, but it was only after some sleuthing last year that I found an obit online. He had died of cancer in late 2016.

Then, a few months ago, some new posts showed up in my RSS feed. His domain had lapsed. Someone else had bought it and set up a blog talking about IoT in Japanese. His blog of 15+ years, all about mindfulness, Buddhism, poetry. Gone.

I suppose it’s possible to set up something like, I don't know, a small foundation through your estate that could continue to pay hosting fees; or you could will the domain to an heir, directing them to at least archive the contents of your site… So a related question is: who inherits your passwords?

We should all be putting some thought to this.

schuth
schuth

@kimonostereo Ideally, I would like to find a way for anything substantial I write online — blog posts, certainly, but perhaps/perhaps not microblog posts — to be easily anthologized in a PDF, then given to my immediate family. The bequeathing of photos, music, & other media is more difficult. Apple very explicitly states in its iCloud terms that Apple will not recognize any right of survivorship without a court order. That alone is enough to make me want to find a photo storage solution outside Apple’s services. Heck, I can’t even list my dad as deceased in Contacts; every year I get a reminder that it would be his birthday.

In reply to
kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@jack thanks so much for the link!

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@rnv stories like that are what make me think I should be creating some sort of annual archive book through print on demand or some other means. I’m already thinking about doing an annual book of photos to make sure I have a hard copy.

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@schuth I worry about PDFs and digital files. I have CDs from 2000 that are not able to be read today due to decay. I thought back then that media was forever, boy was I wrong! I guess apps like Day One make creating a PDF a little easier. They also have a way to create a physical copy in print.

eli
eli

@kimonostereo @schuth there is also a variant on the PDF format, PDF/A which is a more stable archival format. It'll, of course, depend on the medium it is written to, but worth exploring.

bradenslen
bradenslen

@schuth I have been pondering about something similar. I have wanted to write down my family memories, old family stories told to me by my grandparents, parents, plus my own memories. My thought was to do it online maybe a blog and if I have enough warning I can convert it to PDF and print on demand before I die. If. Still trying to figure it out.

jack
jack

@bradenslen One thing I did toward preservation was an audio interview with my parents. I asked them about things like first memories, favorite foods, favorite toys, best subjects in school, early friends, school history etc. It's priceless. They're both still with us so I may follow it up with a complimentary video interview.

frankm
frankm

@0xroy You guessed it, github mirroring. It's how I backup my mb site.

manton
manton

@0xroy Yep, already the case with the GitHub mirror. It is exactly the same files that Micro.blog uses.

adamprocter
adamprocter

@kimonostereo this maybe useful micro.whatevernevermind.com/2018/08/1... via @bradbarrish

bradbarrish
bradbarrish

@kimonostereo I have given WAY too much thought to this. I would say it's something I obsess over. I also have clear instructions in my will and really need to take some time to write everything up for public consumption. I've even thought of creating a consultancy or app.

grayareas
grayareas

@jack Thanks for that link. 👍

kimonostereo
kimonostereo

@adamprocter Thanks for the link. I actually follow the folks at the Sweet Setup!

bradenslen
bradenslen

@jack This all really came home when I was cleaning out my fathers house after he died. There were boxes of family photographs from my grandmother from the 1930's with nothing written on them. No way of identifiying the individuals.

I realized that with my dad's passing almost all his stories passed, along with stories told to him by his parents and grandparents. Except for the ones told to me. I feel I should write those down.

Three problems present themselves: 1. the medium to write them on. I'm thinking a blog would work since there is no way to recall and write all this in a linear format plus I could share it with certain relatives that might care, 2. a web hosting medium with some staying power. I'm thinking that a blog on Wordpress.com will last a few years even if abandoned should something happen to me. 3. a way to convert whatever I write to a printed paper format for archive.