Burning Down the Bridges

Nuketown has been online since June 1996. That’s 8 years folks — eight long, fun, content filled years. But as I work my way through Nuketown’s redesign, I’ve reluctantly come to terms with the fact that it’s time to burn a few of the ol’thermonuclear burg’s bridges.

There are pages on Nuketown that haven’t been touched since 1996, and while I haven’t looked at them in close to a decade, I think it’s safe to say that their infested with bitrot and all the broken images and faulty links that go along with it. Going through and fixing everything would take years, and in some cases (like Nuketown‘s feature on the special editions of the original Star Wars movies being released) is pointless. Worse yet, there are certain bandwidth thieves out there — who shall remain nameless — who have been using the old images that are still working for their own purposes (mostly avatars on bulletin boards). It will give me great pleasure to

Now this content won’t be lost for all time — I intend to back it all up and burn it to CD for prosperity’s sake. I do enjoy strolling through my history from time to time, and this CD will be stored with pride along side my high school yearbooks and copies of my college newspaper. And some of the better stuff — like book reviews — will probably be updated and recycled onto the site, as well some of the now-ancient features on subjects like The Chronicles of Amber, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.

The biggest drawback to slash-and-burning the pre-2001 content is that Nuketown‘ll lose much of its fiction content, since most of the stories we published (at least the ones when we weren’t paying people) ran in the 1996-2000 era. One solution would be to dedicate an upcoming feature to those old fiction stories, and re-post some of the best ones as part of it, but that’s a project for another day.

Another drawback is the eventual loss of traffic to the site as all of the off-site links to that content become broken, but which is worse, a broken link on someone else’s site, or crappy, out-dated material on Nuketown? For particularly popular documents I’ll probably set-up an auto-forward to send people to the new page, but the rest will need to be handled by one of those nefarious 404 “Page Not Found” pages.

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