Waiting For The Blue Fairy

Well, the links on the sidebar are finally fixed (though I seem to be unable to edit the content of any of those posts), and the “Not Comics!” tab is now called “Links In Transition” because I am not sure what to do with most of them…it was over six and a half years ago (wow!) that I wanted to preserve links to those things on the old blog, and I’m not sure now that a lot of them need any more preserving. In the wake of Google Synergy and its resultant blogloss, it seems clearer and clearer that all this blogstuff is a whole lotta work that can never be guaranteed non-volatile backing-up (by me, at any rate; the Wayback Machine is another matter), and even while it stays it’s subject to that old bugaboo of mine, Diaristic Slippage. Cool stuff is spun away into the mist, and stuff I once cared about seems…well, not stuff I don’t like anymore, but stuff I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to point people towards.



It’s a whole lot of stuff, and some of it’s even (I think) moderately interesting, but the interface is lousy. Even I can’t get much control over the content of this blog, even with an administrator’s magic tools and X-ray vision. Even search term reports help me to navigate the thing, when you get right down to it! So to a person who’s just visiting, just looking for something to read…it must be a mess. And as I’ve said before, it’s because this is not a particularly navigable format in pure design terms! That sidebar, where people are wont to put “Greatest Hits” etc…sometimes I am almost overwhelmed by the sense that it’s not FOR that, and we’ve all just appropriated the space. There was a recent episode of Person Of Interest

Perhaps somewhat mild spoilers here? Nothing particularly plot-important, just a Wee Thinky Bit that Root and Finch bring up in one scene, about how the Machine’s memory functions?

(I wonder what the “I don’t care about spoilers and don’t see why anyone would” crowd make of spoiler alerts when they come across them, by the way…they don’t care if they’re not there, obviously, but does it annoy them when they are there? Especially when, like this one, they’re incredibly minor? Sing out if you have an opinion, because suddenly I’m really rather curious about that…!)

(spoilers follow)

…A recent episode of Person Of Interest, in which it’s revealed that the Machine has arranged for an office to be rented and data-entry clerks to be hired, and every day it sends over to that office all the data it’s collected since the preceding midnight, and the next day its employees hand-enter all the data back in. This, because every day at midnight it wipes its own accumulated memory, but it doesn’t want to wipe its accumulated memory, so it resorts to primitive means…fax machines and coffee machines, and tired human fingers…

(spoilers end)

…A recent episode of Person Of Interest, that got me thinking about what kind of strange ad hoc improvisational measures we’ll take to just make something do what we want it to, when everything around that thing is essentially pre-programmed and pre-designed to ensure it does just the opposite. My own apartment is a place in which everything is handed-down or scavenged, every system is cobbled-together out of bits and pieces in such a way that it kind of renders a normal functionality, but it’s all made out of the wrong parts and it’s inefficiently distributed over the rooms. A lot of you are probably now thinking that this is not a very strange state of affairs at all, but I know more than a few people that I have to watch like a hawk when they come in this place, because they’re always trying to return repurposed items to their original store-bought function, and they get angry at me when the outcome of their restoration attempts is that something falls to the floor and breaks. Things have only gotten worse since that show Hoarders came on the air — certain people who come in here seem to conclude (like the doctors of psychiatry they no doubt are) that I need an intervention. But anyone who’s ever been kinda poor knows that the best response to this belief is simply to say “okay, if you want to have an intervention because I don’t meet your expectations of modern standalone orderliness of objects and systems, then why don’t you intervene your hand into your pocket and intervene me out about a hundred bucks, and I’ll intervene to get that handled for you just as quickly as I interventionally can. Intervened?”

“Now if you wouldn’t mind sitting still for about one minute and thirty seconds, I just need to quickly catproof this place because evidently you are a cat…”

Bloggers, you know they never make the one minute and thirty seconds, right?


…But not entirely, as, yes, we take that sidebar and we fill it with permalinks to ourselves, try to push back against diaristic slippage and it never quite works perfectly but it works a little…but for the past little while I’ve been wondering if there isn’t a more, umm, systematic way of co-opting the sidebar and arranging the links. Something like providing a couple different seams through the material, a couple different angles along which to cut through the mass of posts. At the moment I’m not entirely sure what that would look like, but when I look at my “Links In Transition” I know I need something better than that, you know? And WordPress seems very sure that tags are the answer, but I’m not totally sanguine about their conclusions. Oh, tags are neat, no doubt about it! But it’s a very, hmm, a very computer tool sort of solution (“hey, here’s an idea, why not use the computer tool on your problem?”) (“it’s optimizing!”) and I’m not sure my problem’s with any inadequacy of the tools, but it’s with the workbench they’re sitting on, or being applied to. Of course blogs have a natural conversational appeal that you just can’t knock; anyone who visits an artist’s dedicated website knows the action is always in the blog, and of course that’s not likely to change: writing a diary is fairly easy, and it’s always new stuff, so why wouldn’t people look to the blog for the major component of interest? And it isn’t like old entries are so worth saving for their own sake, at least on my blog that isn’t so. Some blogs out there you really wish were books, but I know mine isn’t one of them…and some blogs have figured out how to arrange their posts in a way delightfully consistent with the aesthetic coolness of atemporal hyperlinking, but I know mine isn’t one of those either, and probably isn’t ever going to be.


I dunno. It’s gonna take some thinking. How much do I want a “Greatest Hits” section really, anyway?

What are my “Greatest Hits”, for that matter? Do I even have any?

And look at all those links to defunct sites on the blogroll! That’s just another sort of archive now, when push comes to shove…post-Twitter, it’s a very interesting thing to write more posts and see who’s still tuning in from time to time, who’s perhaps more interested in idle blogging blather than they are/were in the ultracurrency of quick Twitlinks. Somewhere along the way I am pretty sure that I lost quite a few readers to the swirling eddies of the misty Internet, as I experienced my own diaristic slippage…and do you know I just realized a little while ago that I actually still owe some meme contributors prizes? Oh, the shame! I wouldn’t read me any longer either, if on top of me not posting anything but very occasional massive/overserious walls o’ text for the longest while I also have not seen that damn Darwyn Cooke Spirit TPB coming through my mail-slot! And obviously that’s all okay, I am cool with that…diaristic slippage does happen, and it’s not even a bad thing…one of the joys of blogland is its fluidity, and besides I’m curious to learn a bit about who’s still reading and who’s not, you know? Blogging is no one’s career, I think — at least, no one’s who hasn’t been doing it daily since 2000, as Neil Gaiman said — but that doesn’t mean it can’t go through phases that are analogous to the phases of a career. Hmm, so maybe I’ve been in my Tin Machine days the last little while? Looking at the Archaeology blog while trying to stitch links back together, I find the most amazing things, like that I used to post all the goddamn time, and that alongside the things I was at such pains to save in the “Not Comics!” tab, and no longer care much for, there are crazy things that I totally forgot about and absolutely love…that are absolutely meaningless now because their original context has been lost to the swirls of time, but still I kind of want to hold them up somehow? Perhaps as exemplars of this…hmm, this wonderful fleetingness of relevance, that I take to be at the centre of the appeal of blogs? Seven Soldiers of Steve and Panel Madness and The Long, Long Fantastic Four Post are staying on the sidebar, there’s not any question about that…! But I’m toying a bit with putting up links to…oh, how about the posts that have the most comments on them, you know? That’d be neat for me to see, as it’s usually in these posts that my commenters are at their most brilliant, and that brilliance is something I’ve been very lucky to have here, because they might’ve commented anywhere. Or…let’s see, what other criteria might there be that I could apply, besides those embodied in the concept of “Categories”? Or “Tags”? I could collect sustained multi-post ranting about things…I could file everything that I really really think is not a bad idea or piece of thinking of mine under a label like…hmm


Well, it amuses me…so that’s a start…

And I could rank posts shortest-to-longest, too, couldn’t I? Save my poor friend James from nasty RSS shocks. Or, could I collect the memes? The “Flashback…!” stuff? The little pieces of talking about comics I love, like Marvel Team-Up #23 or The Invaders? I’m not entirely sure that I’m not asking for your permission, O Bloggers and Readers, beyond just asking for…er, your advice, I guess. I feel like I’m sitting on a Mountain of Material, that’s about 50% half-good…so about 25% worth saving, if you reduce it. The ongoing stuff, obviously I don’t worry too much about that — blogging’s pretty much a process of blogging, right? But the stuff that’s gone by, and been lost to sight…well, if I hadn’t ever saved any of it, then I suppose I wouldn’t be asking myself what should be saved, but I did and I am, and inevitably what has come up out of that slightly-obnoxious navel-gazing is the question of how I can best be the Trout In The Milk that I want to see in the world, right?

Or at least, I could try to make it so that when I myself am looking at the blog, I feel like I have more control of what I want to look at…a clearer view of what there is to look at…

I mean, I’ll never want a book of Trout sitting by my bedside as much as I want a book of Motime Like The Present! And I’ll never have a pure game-environment Hypertalk feel like Pah! does…

And I’ll never exude the “magazine” feeling as cleanly as the site of the Mindless Ones

But I think that at least by my eighth anniversary (WHAT. DID. I. JUST. SAY.) of beginning this bloggy pastime of mine, I think I would like it…I would maybe like it…


…If my blog could finally get its wish, and be a real boy at last?

Oh, I don’t know what I’m saying. Never mind me. Honestly, I just read all that again, and…I promise you, I’m not even feeling slightly depressed or lugubrious, as a matter of fact today, this day, the 30th of July in the mad year (they’re all quite mad though aren’t they, quite quite mad) of 2013, is a bit notable to me for being the first day of a wide departure from the routine of…I’ll say, the last five months? As you know, since I hit Denmark and Scotland and Northern England and Devon and Somerset and Wales last year I have been quite liking the idea of having a bit of a change of routine…more properly: continuing one…but that liking’s not always been simple to maintain at the level I’ve come to appreciate. I feel it today, though; I really do. Like Orson Welles after the third take of smashing up Susan’s room at Xanadu, I feel it…

Also, and I probably should have mentioned this before…I am a bit overtired and I am drinking some beer in the sun, over here.

Uh, that probably would’ve been useful information to have in hand, about 2000 words ago?

I suppose I am saying that I am really back, now. Boots at the door. Pack on the bed. The last three years have been…just slightly…hmm…


But I must say I’m liking 2013. Feels weirdly focussed. I don’t know when that happened: in March it was a fucking stress-twisted disaster. Now it’s okay.

On TV and in movies, this would be right when the heart attack hits, by the way. You ever notice how those fuckers pull that one on you all the time? As cheap as Killing The Dog…

Thank God our real lives are not as full of uncreative shortcuts as our fiction is. I know, I know: sounds a little Swinburne-y. But you’ll appreciate it more when you realize how good it is that most of your days fail to end on a “grabber”.

Shit! Now I’ve completely gone and blown my eighth-anniversary speech for February 2014!

What was I thinking!

I was gonna go all Neilalien on it, too!

There was gonna be gravitas!

Instead of a bum, which is what I am.


27 responses to “Waiting For The Blue Fairy

  1. Seriously, I was not sure this was worthy to be posted…but WordPress’ suggestions for Tags I could use on it have made the ENTIRE exercise worthwhile. Check it out:

    You didn’t add any tags to your post. Find out why tags are important.

    Click on a suggested tag to add it to your post:

    “lotta work”

    “navigable format”


    “magic tools”

    “memory functions”

    Sadly I can’t read the last suggestion. I bet it’s hilarious

  2. I’m still here and I bet I’ll create and destroy three more identical blogs before you’re through with this! (Although if Flickr ever goes under I’m f’d!)

  3. What with all this talk of blogs disappearing I thought I’d check and make sure that this blog was still around, and, thankfully, it is. Wouldn’t want to lose it.

  4. I feel like there were a lot of people who started shortly before I did who have either stopped posting on their blogs, or moved to something else. Twitter and Tumblr seem to be the big things, neither of which holds much interest to me.

    I’ve thought a few times about ways to make it easier to find posts on my blog. I think I could put all the labels I’ve used on the sidebar, but there are a lot of them, so I haven’t. I did start saving all my posts onto computers in case Blogger goes under. I wouldn’t repost everything – there’s a lot of chaff in there – but there are also several things I liked that I would put back up, somewhere.

  5. One day I may actually finish that post I’ve had sitting around here for about four years or so, called “On The Lifespan Of Blogs”…even though it’s been made mostly obsolete now in the wake of (as you say, Calvin) the rage for Twitter and Tumblr. I’m unattached to Tumblr as well, don’t get much of the appeal…the graffiti-like aspect of it is interesting, but doesn’t draw me very much, with a couple of notable exceptions like Colin Smith’s collection of superheroic epigrams, and the Mindless Ones’ various scrapbooks…but I suppose, like Twitter, some of the value is found in the sheer speed of it all…

    But it’s still funny how people get into it, and then out of it. I didn’t actually end up dropping off the face of the earth through boredom or ennui or getting more and better interests, but right now with the re-evaluation of what I want to save, I think I’m into a re-evaluation of the whole reason I do it. Somewhere around the second year of blogging to the fourth year, I was a bit enthralled by how some long-form thematic regularity was creeping into thing, just as it used to go when I would write papers in university and suddenly find myself thunderstruck at how every class I took and every book I read was dovetailing before my eyes, coalescing into a Thing of its own inside this one little topic, this one thesis statement that really should’ve been no more than utterly specific…and that in itself made me want to keep doing it. But the shine of that experience has dulled just slightly for me now, so that isn’t why I want to do it anymore…I don’t think

    (Though I still have two more “Universe” omnibus posts to go…)

    (Uh…sorry about that…)

    But I suppose it’s the thing my friend Jack said, that all this stuff will be part of your proper body of work at some point, it will all somehow count, genuinely count as a publishing record whether that’s a good thing or not, or whether it’s worthy of counting or not…our emails will count too, and not just as personal letters: that line is getting fuzzy now, too. So, if Jack is right, then now I’m sitting on this Mountain of Material I ought perhaps to start having a thought about it maybe…

    Oh SHIT but it gets hard to do that when WordPress no longer likes comments that are more than a couple hundred words! Why do they want me to keep things so short and punchy all of a suddden? Why do they care? Everytime this happens it’s like them saying “look, no one’s fucking interested, just make your point and step away from the podium…”

    Screen greying-out now…I’d better fucking wrap this up…

    Those bastards!

  6. So maybe this blog’s gonna get more unusable for my purposes as time goes on, maybe this is some stealth optimization they’ve got going on here. Suddenly, apparently I’m not using this thing right!

    They may push me out, before I want to leave…grumble…

    • I suppose I could always just buy my own webspace, but that feels a little like what Justin said once about young Clark Kent’s problem in figuring out what he wants to do…“okay, so do I go to the UN with a list of demands, or…no, that doesn’t seem right…” Buying webspace would really necessitate a re-evaluation of what I’m up to here, wouldn’t it? What’s the blog for, what do I want it to do

      It’s a question I’d rather delay asking, for at least a little while longer…

  7. There’s an artist who gives everything he creates a number, just like BWV and Bach, irrespective of whether it’s a short story or a painting or photo or whatever. That way, everything’s categorised: his body of work is ready to go.

    Which would have a lot of appeal for me if it wasn’t for my desire to destroy almost every single thing I’ve ever done. But that’s another story.

  8. Incidentally, I know you’ve left twitter and all, but you should create an account just to read Jim Steranko’s stuff (iamsteranko). It’s jaw-dropping.

  9. I just looked at that, and it is wildly interesting! But then I was on Twitter and lost AN HOUR OF LIFE JUST SCROLLING.

    It was interesting, and enervating, and my friends say the most amusing things and link to the most fascinating stuff, and I feel like shit now. Is that not surprising? I seem to have edited out the time from my life that I had available to spend on Twitter before…

    Or…no…that’s not quite it…

    I think what it is, is that Twitter just plain crept up on me. It started with an atomized cloud of occasional remarks about the weather, and then over time it started to hang together, and I was not prepared for the psychological impact of this developm…


    Seriously, I’m gonna have to find another option here. I am not going to have TIME to re-evaluate this blog before the platform pushes me off it!

    • Feel like I’m at a technological cusp I don’t fully understand. Maybe it’s just that interfaces are becoming more heavily mediated? Is that it? Maybe it’s the coffee and the cranberry scone (not as good as it sounds), but I find these changes in design very oppressive, controlling, massaging. When you publish a new post, WordPress loads up this huge song and dance about it…meanwhile I don’t see the cursor in the comment box, and things slow to a crawl as soon as I start to muse aloud about anything. Authentication layers are appearing everywhere. It’s all becoming a chore. Yet, writing away on this blog is what I want to do right now, I am all psyched up for it…

      Very bad time to discover one’s acquired an invisible manager!

      • Very disturbed by it all just now. The time when this was right for me may be gone, and I just don’t know it.

  10. Part 2 of 5:

    You lament “diaristic slippage”, which you’ve defined previously as the burial of good things(TM), such as your best blog posts and the best comments your posts have attracted, slipping away under the sands of time and a shitmound of lolcats forwarded by finger spasms on Twitter. Any intelligent creature laments this.

    But ultimately, it’s a neutral fact of Life. We judge it as good or bad and how much. I wonder if what you’re indulging in is actually diaristic clingage. See how I cleverly reversed it? You lament because you cling.

    I’m hearing a lot of oh-so-preciousness and the need for control here. The world won’t end if no one ever reads again your post with the most comments. In fact, that may *be the definition* of the world not ending.

    Murder your darlings.

  11. Part 3 of 5:

    There’s a lot to your post.

    You’re still frustrated by the Google incident. The forced work to fix/restore things, but also the forced signpost-crossroads moment, the forced prioritization, the forced mirror-glance. Google did you a favor. Embrace the accidental deletion as your true intent.

    The love-hate relationship any writer or diarist has with past writings.

    The threat of the internet time-suck to any writer.

    Lamenting the end of long-form blogging, linkrot, dead blogs.

    The fleetingness of relevance and attention span as time and life and internet march on.

    How to organically organize and Dewey-Decimal a lot of content in our info-overload age. How to elegantly keep the best of our past on the top of our resume in a “what have you done for me lately” world.

    The 80-20 rule- keep only the good 20% of the Mountain of Material that brings 80% of the value?

    The damn ugliness of default WordPress. The crappiness of the technology we use to write on the web.

    My unrequited love for Amy Acker. OK, you wrote about Person of Interest, not that- great show. Did you see Much Ado? Sigh. And Jim Caviezel would make a great Dr. Strange in a live-action movie.

    Dude, you’d better hope your recent lull is akin to Tin Machine, arguably one of the best career revitalizations since Christ’s 40 days in the desert.

    You say you don’t worry about current blogging, because that’s the process of blogging. A diary entry serves the needs of its present. But now you’re going to cull 75% because it doesn’t hold up in the present now. Is the past’s only value the value it brings to the present? Maybe- I don’t have the answer. The past is another planet. Didn’t past posts satisfy your needs at that time? Will current blogging now be pressured to hold up to your future self after the next server crash? Or is that pressure a good thing, to write something that will hold up?

  12. I really think an ‘innocent’ source of energy here is that your nav column sucks so badly. If it were better and half the size, it would free up space for a legit attempt at a “Best Of” list or a list of well-groomed tags that might quiet your restlessness. Some concrete suggestions off the top of my head:

    1. The most important real estate on your web page is wasted on a calendar thing no one uses to navigate your blog.

    2. “Recent posts” should be the last 5 posts, not the last 15. Avoid super-long headlines with that section in mind.

    3. “A Trout In The Milk v. 1.0, no sidebar features as of yet…” Is that a threat? If anything, this should be one link ~directly below~ the Archives list, in its appropriate space in time before February 2007.

    4. Halve the blogroll. Photon Torpedoes is a granny porn link now. Mixing live and dead blogs together in one blogroll in order to memorialize the dead ones is not usable and hurts the live ones. Once people click on a few dead ones they stop, thinking most are dead. If you must keep a memorial to battle slippage, keep it separate.

    5. Make Panel Madness, Steve Soldiers and Fantastic Four only one link each in your new Best Of list, linking to one post that links to all the other posts. Stuff from before 2009, 2007, etc., should have an appropriate size on the home page, not 40 links.

  13. Part 5 of 5:

    That he not busy being born is busy dying. You can’t tie intestines up in a nice little bow. Only the muddy fox lives. It’s grinding process towards a destination never reached, inherently unreachable and messy. It’s the journey that counts. Real life isn’t Pinocchio, it’s Lt. Commander Data. The blue fairy never comes.

  14. “In fact, that may be the definition of the world not ending.”

    Oh my goodness, this made me laugh. So maybe I am indulging in “diariastic clingage”? Hmm…

    Gonna have to mull that one over.

    Maybe I already am; as since Friday I am feeling much more affection for some of the posts I intended as transitory in the first place, than some others I meant to be more…I dunno, maybe “well thought-out”? I actually kind of like Tin Machine, you know, and he sure did come back from it with something new going on. Will anyone dare to stack up “Jazzing For Blue Jean” against “I’m Afraid Of Americans”, for example…

    Some food for thought here, Neil. I take the point about the sidebar: it’s a fairly horrible mess, and I don’t need an archive of lost blogs. I do embrace the Google Incident’s outcome, and was pleased and surprised to find myself with no qualms whatsoever about cutting myself off from The Amazing World Of Google…so, as you say, why don’t I just go all the way with it? That embrace could be tighter! Still, I’m not sure that diaristic slippage doesn’t deserve a little lamentation, even though (again, as you say) it’s absurd to turn around and suddenly ask the past to justify itself by the present’s lights. So how must the present justify itself, then? Good points, all good points.

    Hold on, WordPress getting stroppy about this comment…

  15. Now that you mention it, Jim Caviezel would make a good Doc, wouldn’t he? I haven’t seen the Much Ado yet, but I was laughing a bit when a friend of mine said it was “actually good”…well, first of all why wouldn’t it be? And secondly, yes, the idea of watching Amy Acker play Beatrice, what a horrible thought…sounds so unwatchable…

    Oh no, wait: OPPOSITE!

    Watching a Person Of Interest with a friend, and Root shows up and he asks “who’s that?”


    “Oh, who’s she?”


    But I’m torn about the diaristic slippage/clingage. On one hand, if I did more fully, tightly embrace the fact that it exists because hey, this is a diary I might be more satisfied…and I don’t want to make the past have to answer to the present, nor the present have to answer to the future, yet at the same time it seems not quite right that it all goes down the rabbit-hole in a fairly irretrievable way…yet by the same token as not wanting the past to answer to the present, I REALLY don’t want the present to have to answer to the past, either, and diaristic slippage means forgetfulness, and forgetfulness is a good thing to have: it may all be searchable, but how horrifying would it be if it always came calling, itself searching the present moment of reading?

    One more of these…

  16. But I’ve got to change the pattern of use around here in any case, I think. Does anyone ever really read “Greatest Hits”, anyway? I know I rarely do — Greatest Hits aren’t what I look for from the blog-reading experience, I mostly look for immediacy. And what about those brilliant blog-comments I’m so enamoured of? The people who left them all left them in the heat of the moment, too, and maybe they would not thank me to put their comments of 2008 or whatever on permanent display in a little museum of my own — they signed up for commenting on a thing subject to diaristic slippage, and none of my own Terms And Conditions ever said anything like “by the way, I may permastick your words to the top of this page and point you out to all and sundry forever, never allowing the presence of your comment to pass”…

    That wouldn’t be so different in kind from what Google does, or Apple, or any of the Evil Gods, would it?


  17. So maybe I won’t do that, after all. Okay, one signpost at the crossroads has been ruled out! We’re not going that way. So, now…about these other three…

    Good chat, Neil! And “going all Neilalien on it”, why that means I was going to recite it all in third person, naturally!

    However, on reflection I am pretty sure the world doesn’t need to see me do that…

  18. I see you’re playing with a site redesign already.

    I don’t think anyone reads “greatest hits” links, but I think we’re establishing here that they are more for the blogger, not the readers.

    So you rarely click on other people’s “greatest hits”? Haven’t you just handed me my last word gotcha zinger?

    You sir, are part of the natural “diaristic slippage” they battle, part of the inexorable march of time, the difficulty with getting others involved in something one’s building, the shitmound of lolcats that buries the world’s past gems. The immediacy you seek in blogs is what people want from you, too. You ignore their Ozymandic attempts to shovel away the sand from their precious past works to place in your look-range and make ye despair, yet you fret about how to do it too.

    It probably comes down to two choices, both valid and healthy, each side of the love-hate relationship.

    1. Leave it all up. Embrace it as Exhibit A of your strugglelogue. Add the illusion of some organization to satisfy your oh-so needs and give slippage the what-for by using the Categories you’re already using: deal with the Uncategorized ones, which is a useless category; maybe add “Best Of” and “Favorite Comment Thread” categories; break Comics into smaller subcategories?

    2. Purge. Remove the underbrush to make way for new growth. As you say, forgetfulness is good. No one asked for their comments to live forever. Linkrot sucks- in an incongruous way, the internet is both so permanent and so impermanent. I say I would dislike it to never be able to read Trout’s six categories of What If stories ever again- but then again, I’ve never re-read it. But the link on my weblog from 2006 is already dead. Was that one of your “greatest hits”? The internet’s permanency is unnatural to human life, especially when combined with its immediacy- the horror of all the imperfect blog texts instantly there, all the drunken photos that get people not-hired prove that. Nature is the most ruthless purger of all, to stay ever fresh and young. Hack away at the unessential. Some creatives number everything, as a previous commmenter mentioned; other creatives purge; what purges lurked between numbers? How many weblogs, message boards, comment forums, email lists, etc., has Warren Ellis started and now no trace exists? Sometimes a purge is the blue fairy we’ve been waiting for.

    I suspect any other strategy will be the “the past taking up too much of the present”. A lot of work for little gain. But feel free. It’s your present to use.

    I guess I’ve chosen #1 for my own blog. Because every link I ever did was heaven-sent, you see. ;) I’m too in-love with being “the first comics blogger” to delete the proof! :)

    But how much does the choice matter?

    That reminds me of an old blogging joke: What’s the difference between an unread archive, an unorganized unsearchable archive, and a deleted archive?

    Answer: Web hosting costs.

  19. Ha!

    It does seem as though I’ve handed you your sockdologer in the “I don’t usually read Greatest Hits” thing, and it occurs to me…

    Waitaminute, what’s wrong with this comment box?

    (goes to fix it…)

    Aw, screw it! I guess I’m stuck with it. Holy jumpin’ catfish, since when did WordPress start HATING COMMENTS?

    Anyway…I’ll just type blind…it seems to me now that I think about it that whenever I do look at “Greatest Hits” it’s because there’s something driving me to them besides just the magical sound of the name, and I think I might try figuring out something about that here…actually possibly that’s what was bothering me about all those “Links In Transition”? Somewhere along the way, I lost track of what the reason was for saving most of them…

    Holy smokes, this comment-box thing, what a way to run a railroad this is! Can’t believe I’m going to have to compose comments in a WP then copy and paste them. Total madness…

    But I ain’t going back!

    I need these two sidebars!

    Hopefully a more intelligible reply later…

  20. Pingback: Advice From The Eldest Blogger | A Trout In The Milk·

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