What To Do When Your Favorite Website Dies?

When The Website Is Abandoned?

There is very little you can do here, although sometimes encouraging the author/owner can revive the stagnation. Just knowing that one has a caring reader is often enough to spur on new efforts.

When The Website Is Down?

Before you send a nasty email to the owner about how important your fix is, perhaps you should make sure it’s not just you.

Is It Just You?

First and foremost, figure out if it’s just you with Down For Everyone Or Just Me?. If it’s just you, make sure your internet is working, refresh the page, restart your browser, try clearing cookies and caches. You can also do some tinkering like pinging, tracert, proxies, etc.

The Website Is Down!

Your options become limited. The most obvious is to contact the owner. The less obvious thing to do is figure out why. Check whois records to determine if the domain expired. Check network/site activity charts from third parties to determine how long the outage has lasted. If it’s an outage, chances are that the site will restore itself over time (the webhost is probably at fault here and they work behind the scenes to clear the problem).

There’s An Error That Makes The Website Useless

Your only option here is to try to find a workaround to accomplish what you are trying to do and tell the owner about it.

The Domain Expired

Most webhosts and domain registrars have policies in place never to share account details with anyone except the account holder – this also means that you cannot donate your own money directly to the hosting/domain company.

You can try to gather up any needed materials with The Internet Archive or even Google cached search results pages (click the ‘cached’ to view the cached page instead of visiting the dead website). If you can gather up enough old webpages, you may want to consider mirroring the dead site (creating a new website with the old website’s materials). For example, this is how Bonsai Kittens meme survives on the web, thanks to a generous fan.

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What If There Was No Google?

Seriously. What if there was no Google? What would you do? Would you loose all faith in humanity and resign your existence?

For all practical, non-extremist purposes, the answer is No.

I believe that we humans are fickle creatures and no matter how much we once loved something, the moment it becomes more of a hassle than our patience allows, we flutter off to something else. This is basically the foundation of capitalism. When we don’t like or don’t have something, we move on.

What if there was no google

A Meme...

Google Did Well

I think it’s important to analyze what it was exactly that Google did do. From the get-go, Google aimed to be a service for people, not a service for wallets. They had a clean and clutter-free interface which has always been a major attractor of surfers used to cluttered, ad-stuffed pages that crawled along slowly in the loading bar because of it all. Getting away from the standard “corporate” views have really made Google shine. Consider that Google does not buy expensive behemoth servers, it buys in the tiny, cheap, and abundant to create their server farms. Consider that Google doesn’t release their products half-tested with plenty of bugs intentionally as some other software giants do. Consider that Google is free. Consider the last time you saw a Google commercial?

When Google matured as a search engine, it started creating more applications. Google mail, analytics, shopping, chat, sketch-up, you name it. The selling points on these apps were branding: Google – simple, easy, clean, and seamlessly integrated. Very, very rarely was the selling point that the service didn’t exist elsewhere.

Google didn’t do anything unique

We live in a world of knock-offs. Everything we have has been made over and over on different platforms, mediums, and all with varying degrees of quality and price. While there may be a “best” or “standard”, such as Adobe Photoshop in the world of photo editing, it is never the only option. GIMP, Sumo Paint, Aviary Pheonix, Paint.Net, for example, are only a few titles among the hundreds of choices for the software genre.

And so to, the principle applies to Google and all of it’s products. There are alternatives to everything Google has – mail, chat, docs, even YouTube all have competitors. And, many of these competitors look to Google for design, functionality, and integration decisions.

If Google Didn’t Exist

We’d still function. Perhaps not as efficiently but certainly with the majority of functionality and capabilities as we did before. I don’t know of any website that offers everything collectively that Google does, but I know that there are thousands of separate websites and companies that each compete with pieces of what Google does. We may have more logins and bookmarks at the end of the day, but we’d still survive.

The Web 3.0 is Social

Twitter, StumbleUpon, CNN, and Google+ all have one thing in common: they are social – and they are our future.

Once upon a time, the internet revolved around gray webpages with Times New Roman text, and if you were lucky, bold, italic, underline, Heading1, and Heading2’s applied appropriately to differentiate the wall-o-text into something readable. Back then, the internet was a world of information, digitized encyclopedias with the primary advantage of paper-cut free reading and CTRL-F. Only the uberest of geeks had their own webpages. But the internet got bigger and artsy people got involved and we now have much prettier websites, digital eye candy, and blogs for each us, our pets, and our alter-egos.

The internet’s not done changing, and just as technology evolves so does our information staging platform. While the internet will always retain information as it’s backbone, it’s now becoming more and more about you. And your neighbor. And your sister’s half-aunt’s third-cousin-removed’s daughter who loves cats a little too much.

The Internet : Social

The Internet : Social

Fantasize your news appearing and dissapearing on your homepages with the same standards, interweavings, and intricacies of high school gossip. Imagine your congressman not appearing on the first page of google results because the world has decided it is now vegetarian and your congressman is not. Fathom not being able to find information on diet and excercise easily because liposuction is far cheaper and more popular. What if you now choose which how-to article you will read based on how many thumbs up or down you see from each of your friends.

The internet is becoming personal. And that personalization will affect everything you now do or see. With the release of Google+, the social activity on their Face-Book-Alike will influence the search rankings and results of your queries. We don’t know how much it will influence Google’s proprietary black-box algorithm, but we do know that it’s just the beginning. This isn’t an inkling of elaboration on a failed product like Google Buzz. It’s the general direction of the internet.

The internet as a social game of arbitrary kudos

CNN launched it’s user-generated content back in 2006. Just as it’s increasingly difficult to tell if the article you’re reading is by joe-blow or an accredited journalist, so too is it difficult to pull ourselves out of our medium of communication and look at it from an uninvolved third person point of view.

Everyone likes to read the news in the morning, but we’re starting to like reading only the news we care about more.  Twitter caters to exactly that, news and updates from only the places you want to see it, with the competitive ‘game’ intertwined on being popular. The better things you tweet, the more followers you get (usually), thus encouraging better user-generated content.

The UI for the internet 3.0 is a social mask and rating system with ingrained ‘kudos’ for the competitive and feel-good sensation, whether it be a follower numbers, slave count, an abitrary number representing cookies and cakes,  helpfulness, zombie computers owned, or popularity. And just as eHarmony love-Nazi’s filter out what you can and cannot see, there’s nothing to stop your friends from becoming your ear-muffs and filters on the world around you.

The internet 3.0 is social.

Google Code Stretches Around Earth 30,000 Times

Google Calculator ... ?

Not sure what happened here, but apparently Google measures data in meters.

Google reports having released 15 million lines of code. A character is 1 byte and average console width is 80 characters. That means Google’s code stretches 1,200,000,000 meters; they can wrap the earth’s equator 30,000 times! In contrast, every molecule laid end to end on your body will stretch the earth 2.5 times.

(Beta) Google Font Lab

Google has released their Google Font Lab, part of Google Code, in open beta.  They have a clean interface to test and preview fonts and styles and render the CSS portion.

The catch? These fonts don’t live on your machine, they live on Google. This is a really big deal. No longer are web designers restricted from using fancy obscure fonts simply because their audience isn’t going to have the particular font installed on their machine.  And no more creating text-graphics for the same reason.

Imagine a DaFont with fonts accessible for any website, for any computer,  simply by using a reference in your CSS code back to Google APIs.

Google Font Labs

New fonts via CSS linking to Google APIs