[Taxacom] Obscure web site

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 10:15:21 CDT 2012


The web is definitely and blessing and a curse. The long term viability of
the effort seems to remain unresolved, even the scratchpad option has only
limited operative potential. In a way I see my website as a sort of book
without going to the point of producing a book. A book may represent a
'final' product upon its completion but at least it remains accessible from
that point on whereas a web site may be continuously evolving, but from the
point that it is no longer supportable its content will effectively die and
it's value, even if the content continues to be accessible in some archive,
no longer has that currency that even a book may continue to generate.

They way I look at this is that as long as I am alive I may be able to
cover the cost and at least I am in control of the situation and not
subject to arbitrary institutional decisions (its certainly an irony that a
supposedly science institution did not appear to value the science of the
ant site). In my case I provided my web site information to a couple of
other individuals with the instruction that they could continue,
restructure, or disassemble the site as they see fit upon my future demise
or loss of functionality. I have decided not to worry overmuch about the
future of the site as I do not even really understand why I
bother maintaining a site anyway. I suppose its is a compulsion of some
sort to affect the present, but the real irony is that once we are no
longer of this earth everything falls into the hands of those to come.

John Grehan

On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 3:13 AM, Dr Brian Taylor <
dr.brian.taylor at ntlworld.com> wrote:

> Dear John,
> Your news raises, perhaps, the apparently neglected question of legacy and
> web sites. Whilst institutions devote resources, arguably inadequate, to
> the
> maintenance of libraries and so preserve the legacy of the printed word,
> there seems little evidence that electronic media are regarded as worthy of
> support let alone maintenance.
> At the beginning of this year and without any warning to me, the AMNH shut
> down my website on the ants of Africa.  Originally fortunately, as an
> earlier hosting group had closed due to retirement of the group leader and
> transfer of the group to another institution, my site had been hosted by
> the
> AMNH under the umbrella of Antbase.org for several years.  Due to supposed
> concern over copyright content the AMNH shut Antbase and so shut my
> website.
> No such concerns had been expressed over my site but an appeal to them to
> keep the site open with supporting evidence as to its wide useage fell on
> deaf ears.  Whilst I could do what you appear to have done and pay my
> personal ISP a monthly fee for storage space that does not answer the
> legacy
> factor, if and when I become unable to keep a personal space open.
> With foresight I had requested the UK Web Archive to include my sites (one
> on the Ants of Egypt remains unaffected) in its national archive.  Thus the
> pre-2012 contents remain preserved but I cannot update that content.
> The archived content can be accessed at
> http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20101217230047/http://antbase.o
> rg/ants/africa/ for those who wonder at the merit of my concern.
> Regards,
> Brian Taylor
> On 09/08/2012 05:07, "John Grehan" <calabar.john at gmail.com> wrote:
> > For those few that may be interested, my panbiogeography, human
> evolution,
> > and ghost moth web pages are now resurrected at http://johngrehan.net/
> >
> > Due to an unfortunate trend in the US (but not limited to, apparently) I
> > lost my institutional resources and had to reestablish my web site on
> these
> > topics. To date the panbiogeographic and human evolution pages are still
> > only cursory, but hopefully time will allow for their future expansion.
> > Since few care about the content I wonder why I bother. Must have
> something
> > to do with my ego. Or something.
> >
> > John Grehan
> > _______________________________________________
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