July 21st, 2009


In our country, goodbye looks just like hello


I bought into a lie - we are always told that the internet is this huge repository, that a blog entry is stored forever in Google, and a hastily-chosen sentence come back to haunt you for years to come (right "wise Latina" Sonia Sotomayor?). A digital camera at the wrong party can take a picture of you laying in a sling covered in goo, and all of a sudden your future political career is over. Everything electronic is permanent, everything is searchable, and in cyberspace nobody knows you're not the same person you were when you opened that account years ago.

But this idea isn't true. In fact, I don't know of anything that can disappear faster than a website. A power surge, a mistyped DSN entry, a single press of a delete key, and entire novels of words can be gone. And I'm saying this is doubly true for social community websites - places where people congregate online. Those meeting places seem to be extremely ephemeral. Here is a list of websites that meant a lot to me at one time, and now they're gone:

greasetank.com (hot, HOT transgressive art and fiction)
yahoo groups (still there, but a shell of what they once were)
Armpits website (can't remember this one, but it was extremely good)
Google groups (again, these died when they started removing gay content)
nastybids.com (used to auction *anything* {grin})
suck.com (just gone)
raremusic.com (again, MIA)
In Passing (a better version of "Overhead In...")
360.yahoo.com (really kinky gay personal ads)
AOL Hometown webpages (hope you didn't invest much time or effort into creating a homepage here, 'cause it's gone now)
Tabula Rasa (a great sci-fi MMORPG by Richard Garriott)

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