Destroying bits is so darn easy, that people do it too much. I don't delete emails (my spamfilter might delete, I don't). Once in a while it's nice to see what you were up to 5 years ago.
My personal homepage is still running. I haven't updated it in many many years, but it still there. Occasionally my friends and I check some photos from there that I posted almost 10 years ago. And I regret that I have deleted all previous version of my homepage.
And it was a sad day when GeoCities was taken offline.
Sure, if keeping your site up and running (even in read-only) costs too much, it's ok to shut it down. But please, try to save as much of the current Internet as you can so our children can see its history.
Is there a psychological cost associated with virtual hoarding like there is with physical? Or is it truly not hoarding?
I just moved a few months ago and everything I own fit in the back of a 87' Volvo wagon. And that includes my bed.
There sure is one -- and the minimalist trend has a little to do with that tendency, but it's something much rarer than hoarding.
A lot of people do the "anti-hoarding" thing with emotions, memories, friendships and relationships, though, just letting them slip through without affecting them.
Coping mechanisms, if I ever saw one...
Of course there is -- hoarding is the attitude towards preserving stuff (and fear of mortality / things changing / passing), not about whether it's physical or virtual stuff.
I'm very, very sympathetic to this issue, and agree that it hurts when any site goes down. However, Simple Desks was mostly a curated gallery of what already exists on the internet. A quick Google search for "Simple Desks" will turn up basically the same thing.
The other question to ask is whether permanence is a value worth holding for all things. Is it really worth holding onto all of that email? (This is a personal question, for everyone to answer, not for one person to dictate over others.)
My friend wrote a great piece on this recently (http://patrickrhone.com/2011/12/20/permanently-impermanent). It reflects on the freedom of not worrying about losing everything. He doesn't advocate being complacent, but simply acknowledging that no system is 100% sure to maintain our bits.
In the present case, hasn't this in fact been dictated?
Really? This is only the third time I've heard of it happening intentionally in at least as many years. (the other two being whytheluckystiff.net and diveintomark.org). It doesn't seem like it happens very often at all.
I let the hosting expire because I was tired of wondering if there was a new exploit in Wordpress and dealing with dozens of spam comments every day even with Recaptcha.
I wonder if there is a simple open-source tool that can convert WordPress blogs into static sites for archival. Like, just crawl the site, save everything as static HTML, and write some .htaccess rules to replicate WordPress's permalink structure. Everything will remain exactly where it was, except there won't be any vulnerabilities and you can't accept comments anymore.
But I suppose the author really is the kind of person who likes clean desks -- the kind of person who cannot stand the sight of no-longer-maintained things being scattered around his part of the Internet. (cf. SoftwareMaven's comment about virtual hoarding above.) If that's the case, I can understand, because I'm a bit like that, too.
The music from Hoarders come to my mind reading this...
Compared to tangible-stuff-hoarders it's all to easy to be a bit-hoarder. I've kept my share of bits over the years (tons of albums I never listen to, old emails and such).
There's this guy in New Zealand.
Also, don't you feel a bit selfish for removing something that other people obvious find value in from the Internet?
"Back, and better than ever January 20th, 2012. Many thanks to Pat Dryburgh for his excellent work over the years. Unfortunately, he has chosen to end this venture. We think that is a great shame, and we've decided to bring it back, but in a different form. When we relaunch on January 20th, Simple Desks will return with a more substantial aim: to provide food for thought on the subjects of productivity, minimalism and design and technology (along with some occasionally unrelated musings). We hope you'll join us. In the mean time, we suggest you read Pat's excellent blog post (patdryburgh.com) on his decision. We hope to avoid some of the issues he raises with the new incarnation of Simple Desks."
The idea of forcing change to revive something dead sucks, organic change (or evolution as one might call) it is great but taking a tried and tested idea that had popularity and changing it forcefully never works.
Why don't they stick with what it was? :|
It reminds me of the whole "_why" thing. It's totally your right to stop hosting content, but it's also a bit rude.
It looks like someone has taken over. I'm glad, because it's a shame to shut something down that people enjoy, but you shouldn't feel forced to work on a side project.
I wish you luck, and here's to hoping your future endeavors bring a bit more satisfaction.
To me, it's actually more of a moral issue: is keeping a site like Simple Desks online good, bad, or neutral to the world. I'm sure it's different for different people, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that in the end it was detrimental to people's time.
We have better things to do with our time, and much more beautiful works of art to get enjoyment from.
That leaves you little in the way of daily activities besides pure charitable work. Does your short film make the world a better place? I doubt it.
It sounds like it comes down to what you enjoy, and that's great. The best motivation. Simple Desks though seems like the kind of site that some might get great joy out of.
Tried replying to you through email, but the email bounced back. Used the email on your Hacker News profile.
That's a fallacy of consumption. The assumption that consuming media, whether it be art, movies, books, or anything that isn't the direct act of creating, is inherently wasteful.
> and much more beautiful works of art to get enjoyment from.
Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. The words and hours spent on the Mona Lisa are wasteful when you consider what it could have been spent on. Practical things.
Alone, consumption is as wasteful as creation. Creating something no one uses or views... does a tree alone in the woods make a sound. In a very real sense, one cannot create without consuming.
Do not belittle consumption, for it is the beginning of creation.
If people are coming to the site, then it has value. What is detrimental is what causes harm. What puts a smile on someone face, even if it is a simple desk, is probably more therapeutic than Prosac.
You just put Google Adsense ads on the Tumblr page?
"The real question is, who gives a fuck?"
And then there are always a few folks who chime in with “Sorry, can’t make it” and “Sorry, not interested.”
What we’ve discovered is that such messages do absolutely nothing to help the group with anything. Unless someone has already said they are interested, we discourage saying you’re not interested. It simply adds noise to an otherwise productive discussion.
That’s my anecdote in response to what appears to be a declaration that you are not interested in this post.