Faded connections: links that break due to old age

A recent reader just brought to my attention a link contained in one of my previous posts that was broken and she was most certainly correct. What had caused the link to break, however, was a matter of age. The post was from 2007 and the link was to a government agency that’s part of the Department of the Interior. In 2007, that agency’s website was a section of the DoI’s main site. In 2013, however, they have their own domain. So the original link was to a site that has just faded away and moved elsewhere.

I’ve been blogging since 2001. My first post was on the night that President Bush announced the strikes against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The site I was using then has since gone the way of the dodo but when I moved the blog over to Blogger, I started keeping the posts. The first posts on this site are the transplanted original posts from November of 2003. I have every post I have ever made since on this blog. Having that kind of longevity, however, means that links to source material used are now just over 9 years old. The first post I have that I actually linked to something was on November 9, 2003. I was commenting on a story at CNN reporting that Miss Afghanistan had participated in a beauty pageant, walking the stage in a red bikini just like the other ladies. Senior Afghani officials were deciding whether to prosecute her.

If you click on that link I referenced, you’ll see that the story has long been removed to the CNN archive, wherever that is. The point is, the older a blog post gets, the more likely this sort of thing happens. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a fact of life on the Internet. It may never forget, but some things do get moved into offline storage. I’d expect more and more of this to happen as we move further into the information age.