Many people find their way here via The Seven Deadly Sins, a site I set up on a lark when the web still had that New Internet Smell. It had since undergone a few design revisions, but nothing meaningful in many years, and the content was the same stuff I found witty when I thought derisive snarkiness was the height of humor. It design had grown long in the tooth; it ignored most web design standards of the last ten years, and was aggressively unfriendly to mobile devices.
Despite its shortcomings, the site is still fairly popular, seeing at least 1000 visitors a day. A great many people out there, on any give day, are trying to remember all seven deadly sins. Owing in part to its longevity on the web, my site is one of the top places they go to answer the question.
So I recently did a complete redesign, with the goal of streamlining the site, perhaps making a few bucks off ad sales, and introducing more people to this site.
That meant deciding what stuff stayed and what got purged. I'd been blogging on the site as early as 1997, when posting a chronicle of your life online was considered either trendsetting or deeply narcissistic, and the archives where still intact, Reading through a few old entries, I was surprised at the inconsistency of my memories. Some of the events still felt terribly immediate, as if they had only just taken place, while others were like a poorly-told rendition of someone else's dream.
I downloaded the complete records, and cut the links. Nothing on the web is ever gone, but those old tales were now just the stuff of archives and trips on the Internet Wayback Machine.
Another section of the old site I severed was the Save the Guinea Worm Foundation. Guinea Worm, in case you're lucky enough to know nothing about it, is a ghastly parasitical infection spread by contaminated water. Worms can grow up to three feet long in human hosts, and must be extracted slowly and painfully over days and weeks. I'd set up a sub-site for a fictional organization that declared its opposition to international efforts to eradicate the disease.
[Stay tuned for part 2]