“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build
and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
— Kurt Vonnegut
Today has driven home to me Kurt Vonnegut’s quote regarding maintenance. He is right. I’m guilty of that flaw too. Most of us are. We want to get on to the next new thing; maintaining what we’ve done previously doesn’t have the same energetic oomph.
I’ve been trying to get a web page removed that has misleading and downright wrong information.
From what I’ve been able to determine, the page was created in the mid 1990’s. It even refers to a fundraising event for 1996/97. Even more alarming, the corporate name hasn’t been valid since 2004 — it has a forfeit status.
The page also refers to a charitable tax number that isn’t a charitable tax number at all but a file number. And the charity lost tax status as a charity in 1999.
In trying to get the page removed, I found it was part of a larger community site, likely created in the mid-90’s. The page is dated April 1997. The community site it is on cannot be contacted — phones just ring (no voicemail) and emails go unanswered.
I tried contacting the domain host thinking they could help but found out very quickly (they responded immediately) that it was actually pointed to yet another host. I’ve now sent them an email in the hope of getting this page removed.
It all boils down to a maintenance problem and what I call the great digital landfill.
And I’m as guilty as the next person. A few months ago, on one of my sites, I took a lot of pages offline and have been slowly updating them and putting them back up. But as I sit here, I’m dreaming of a WordPress plugin that for all I know already exists. But here is my dreamed up plugin (or what it does):
- It applies to pages or posts or both (it is an option).
- It has a time frame you can set: one year, two years, three years etc.
- It alerts you (via email?) that a page is up for review.
- It gives you seven days to review and okay or update the page.
- There is an “Okay” button.
- If the “Okay” button isn’t clicked, the page goes to an offline status (Visibility = Private).
Well, it seems one way of making sure information is current. I guess the problem would be having every site in the world on WordPress — which I would not object to!