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By Shamus
on Wednesday Jan 18, 2006
Filed under:
Nerd Culture


Chizumatic went down a few days ago when Steven Den Beste packed up and moved. Since the site was hosted on his home computer, it vanished when he unplugged it.

I hadn’t thought about this until recently. Most people have their stuff hosted by professionals. If my house is hit by a meteor, my site will continue to exist. (although eventually it would go down when I stopped paying the bill.) Nearly everyone has others host their site for them. In fact, most people don’t even administrate their own site: They sign up at MySpace or BlogSpot or some other place where hosting and administration are both taken care of, and the only thing they need to do is add content.

But what would the net be like if more people were self-hosters like Steven Den Beste? What if all bloggers just ran their own servers out of their own homes?

Linkrot would happen much faster. Old blogs on Blogspot live on, but a self-hosted site would vanish as soon as the owner stopped taking care of it. Sometimes blogs would vanish forever (or get wiped) when a hard drive failed. Bad storms would put little clusters of blogs out when the power went down. In fact, blogs would be winking on and off everywhere as people rebooted, lost power, or borrowed the hosting machine for a LAN party. When some nasty virus struck, it would take out a bunch of blogs and small-time sites as well.

Things would need to be structured differently: most of us can’t get that much upstream bandwidth from a residential location. At least, not in any affordable manner. This facinates me, since the net itself is designed to be bottom-up, and this is one case when top-down actually works a little better.

I don’t really have a point. It’s just interesting to me.

Comments (1)

  1. RussellEdrin says:

    Shamus, if your house was struck by a meteor I would continue to pay the bills for the site (as an act of grievance)

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