Posts Tagged ‘eric meyer’

410, the Croatoan of the Internet

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
CSSquirrel #87: '410', the Croatoan of the Internet

Last night Twitter was home to a small, short storm of activity around the disappearance of Mark Pilgrim. Which was downgraded to the disappearance of Mark Pilgrim’s websites. Today’s comic (which features Eric Meyer and a random Internet jerk) is not meant to directly relate to Pilgrim’s situation. I’ve certainly poked at Mark before from this site, but I doubt whatever situation made him decide to 410 his online world is a laughing matter. For that matter, it’s also not any of my business.

I was impressed with the speed of online responses to the situation. Tweets led to emails, which led to people scouring contact records, which led to calling the police to get them to check on him. It was a fast, modern response to what could have been a crisis situation, and it helped restore a bit of my faith in people.

At which point, the trolls rolled in.

Meyer made a post about Mark’s online disappearance, pleading for assistance in confirming if he was ok. What followed in his comment section were mostly people hoping for the best or brainstorming ways to contact him.

Then there was a handful of thoughtless comments like this.

I completely agree with Jeremy Keith when he rails at companies like Yahoo for permanently destroying massive corners of the Internet. The thousands of people that made sites (hideous or otherwise) there weren’t the parties responsible for the destruction of the content. In some (admittedly few) cases there were even people still using the aging “first city” of the Web. But there’s also no doubt that many who had made sites there, such as online picture books of their family history, expected their efforts to last forever. Only to have some jerks bulldoze their memories, destroying a huge part of the early Web’s history in one foul swoop.

But when a creator decides they’re done with their own work, let’s not get on our high horses and deny them the right to terminate their own creative endeavors. Is Mark obliged to pay monthly fees for his own websites if he tires of them just because others find them useful? Does a webcomic artist have the obligation to keep his scrawls online forever just in case fans come back to look at them years hence? Does a teenager need to keep all of their embarrassing¬†Facebook posts about how they were crazy-in-love with some girl for 36 hours just so we can all gawk later?

God, I hope not.

Look, if others want to make archives of existing sites in case they go offline, then do so with my blessing. I think preserving our legacy of websites is far better than losing them. But to expect the creator of any work to preserve their own original copy of any piece seems a bit strange. To call them selfish for getting rid of it so is doubly absurd. Should I have preserved every crayon doodle I made in the first grade?

I’ve never seen the 410 status code before now. It’s a strange beast. “Site’s gone, not coming back, move along!” Despite the fact that the Internet’s many sites are so easily lost, we tend to think of them as cast in some sort of digital stone. The idea that a useful site would go away, permanently, on purpose even, is almost too much to accept. But they can go, whenever the authors want.

To me the idea of deliberately burning my own sites seems like it’d be a pity. I did put all the effort into them after all. But I think we all need to remember that there’s a big difference between Nero burning Rome and Mozart throwing away compositions he’s no longer pleased with.

Mark’s many contributions would be sorely missed if they were truly, completely gone. I understand the pain of losing a valued resource. But as others have said, we still have access to archives of them. As for his own sites, they’re his to burn.¬†Here’s hoping he’s going to be ok.

Comic Update: An Ovation Apart

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

An Event Apart: DC is running at this very moment. I am not there, sadly, but I am living the experience vicariously through A Feed Apart (which is awesome and you should check it out now) Via that very feed, I learned of applause, as unlikely as it sounds, that Dan Cederholm led the crowd in for IE9. Today’s comic memorializes that event, and also includes Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman, the two dudes without whom this awesome conference would not exist. (It turns out they’re also very awesome in person. Really. They don’t bite or anything.)

Seriously, if you ever can get to an AEA event, I implore you to go. It’s an awesome experience being surrounded by like-minded web geeks getting leading edge advice and techniques for that thing we do with making the web.

Look, let’s drop the issue of tribe for the moment: IE9 is a better browser than IE8, period. I won’t make it my steady gal, but it’s helping push the web in the right direction by getting Microsoft’s behemoth back on track with everyone else. I’m glad someone at AEA decided to lead the crowd in acknowledging that fact.

Comic Update: Dream and Nightmare

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Today’s comic continues my tradition of being a fansquirrel of An Event Apart, which is currently enjoying the second day of its Minneapolis 2010 event. It features Eric Meyer (who happens to have gorgeous eyes as you will all notice), the squirrel, and the sort of nightmare we all have involving a complete lack of trousers.

The photo comes from John Morrison‘s Eric Meyer Word Caption Contest, and the comic itself is my entry into that fun little affair. Some of you may ask: “Kyle, why does the squirrel care if he’s not wearing pants? He never wears pants!”

Why does Donald Duck cover his crotch, which is always exposed, only after he loses his shirt? There’s a subtle mystery to the whole affair of comic characters and pants that we should probably not try to dig too far into for the sake of our own sanity. It’s right up there with wondering what goes in your grandmother’s meatloaf.

I’m sure I could have made a nut joke, but I chose the high road.

If, like me, you’re not at An Event Apart, you can follow along with the wisdom, humor, and community at A Feed Apart. Which. Is. Awesome. I’m enjoying several of the new features that the feed supports, including Flickr appearing in the stream, session-based archives, etc. It’s all very sweet. Check it out if you’ve got the chance.

Comic Update: Ugly

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Today’s comic features the Internet in all its glory. It also guest stars Eric Meyer, and briefly addresses the topic of applesauce.

I’m tired of web-fed vitriol. I’m guessing that in the seventh century, people managed to find a lot of things to get really worked up over; but it seems that in the 21st century the Internet is providing an unparalleled opportunity for us to fight like wildcats over the most pointless of issues, like which of two different mega-rich corporations are the victim in a publicity battle.

I know for a fact that there’s a heaping dose of irony here, considering my own foray into the Apple vs. Adobe mega-battle that seems to have taken over my Twitter feed. But after some pretty reasonable tweets from some pretty reasonable people, the scales have fallen from my eyes.

Eric Meyer said it best a few days ago: I am, however, not very well equipped to hate a company nor the people who work for it. This will likely make me a bit of an outcast. Again.

This insight was followed up by the equally human insight from Jeff Croft: All one has to do is meet a few people who work for a company like Adobe or MS to realize how absurd it is to ‘hate’ them.

I disagree with certain actions on the part of either company in this “battle”, and in some cases, my opinion gets pretty strong. But I disagree even more with the increasingly acidic banter that this is fueling among developers, fanboys and media outlets. Everyone’s entitled to their two cents, but I’ve hit my fatigue point. I just don’t want to hear it anymore. Especially when it goes from reasoned discourse to saber-rattling antics.

So instead, let us meditate on the Internet’s true purpose: lolcats.