Years ago, 2004 to 2007, I had a website. It was mildly popular – I counted the number of readers and found I had eleven regulars. I called it “The Incredibly Stupid Diary of Bill”, although I added a few friends as writers and “of Bill” very soon became “of Bill et al”.
I occasionally posted long form pieces, but mostly it was quick-and-short stuff that these days I would post to Facebook or Twitter. I used Blogger before it was BlogSpot. Back then, it worked by connecting to my web server and uploading HTML files over FTP. I’d leave my password configured with Blogger so that in case anyone commented, they could update the page with the comment without having to wait for me to allow it.
Along the way, I started a weekly feature – Animated Short of the Week . Each Sunday, I’d pick a Flash-based animation and post a link to it. These would usually be my favourite from the back-catalogue on AlbinoBlackSheep but it was something I really enjoyed doing. It would also become an incentive to post *something* as I wouldn’t want to have two animation post next to each other. I made the decision to stop posting them after 100 posts. It was becoming more and more difficult to find good animations and it felt like the quality was on the decline so 100 selections seemed a good place to stop.
Time passed and I eventually stopped using writing. I had a new hobby, making old-school YouTube videos. This was the day when videos were limited to ten minutes and there was no such thing as a professional YouTuber. You can see the decline from the last handful of posts – 80% of them are just links to my videos.
When I finally made the decision to moth-ball the site, I wrote one last post and published it. A few more comments were written and the servers at Blogger dutifully updated my website via FTP, but that was it. One day, I changed my password on the web server but didn’t update it on Blogger. That last revision would be fixed as it was left, with a non-functioning comments form to boot.
For a while, my website became nothing more than a bunch of links to my social media websites, although my old posts were still there if you knew the addresses, ready to respond to searches. By now it was a folder full of static files, just as it was left when Blogger did that last FTP connection.
Now, I’ve been reminded about that old website and I wanted to give it a bit of a tidy-up. There were several files all with very similar HTML structures. I wrote a program to loop through each file, remove obsolete stuff like the comments form, added a navigation gadget and made it a nice website again.
A lot of external links have since gone, so I wrote some code to change those links to archive.org links, using the time-stamp of the original post. I made an exception for the AlbinoBlackSheep links as the archive,org copies were all of the original Adobe Flash which doesn’t work any more, whereas the current AlbinoBlackSheep website uses updated video files.
I hope you like it. There is an awful lot of rubbish there but a few gems too. I’ll be making a few new posts reacting to some of the crazy stuff I wrote. Good times.