November 03, 2015

Can a Website be timeless?


Websites are ephemeral in nature. In physical space, they occupy sequences of magnetic charges inside a metal box with blinking lights. Those sequences can easily lose their consistency (data loss) and the website ceases to exist. We believe that by duplicating these sequences, that we protect our content against danger. Is that true?

Works of art, carved in to stone, can be preserved for millenniums. Do we expect that Amazon’s data centers will survive the next 1000 years. Or perhaps, we’ll just keep duplicating and moving our data around, every which way… a strategy relies quite a bit on the effort of the next generation. They won’t care enough about our data to continue moving and duplicating it.

I started thinking about the transient nature of digital content after seeing screenshots from 2002. Its obviously that some of those folks spent much time tweaking their UI. Moving the bits around. Do you think those developers are sad that their UI is rotting on some computer hardware in the garage… only a decade or so later?

Do all UIs eventually succumb to neglect or obsolescence? Or will the Picasso or Shakespeare of Website content emerge?


Hi! My name is Matthew Halbe.

I'm a web developer working at Vistaprint in Silver Spring Maryland. I have four kids, August, Liesel, Levi and Clementine, and a wonderful wife, Dory.

I spent 6 years as an enlisted soldier in the Army before coming out to the DC area for school and work.

My main interests are web development, US-Iran Relations and documentary films.

email - github - linkedin - twitter