Kottke is re-publishing “timeless posts” from his archives during his sabbatical. I brought up a related challenge at yesterday’s Homebrew Website Club: what to do when you find a cool site that’s no longer updating.
My challenge is stumbling upon static indie websites or dead blogs that nevertheless have interesting articles. I can’t usually take the time to dig back through a site’s entire archives when I stumble upon their website — I’ll read three, four, five articles, but there’s only so much I can read at a stretch, especially if I’m trying to process the information too. With a new site that’s still updating, I’d add it to my RSS feed, but I don’t have a solution for retired websites.
There is value in older content, but we read what is put in front of us. A feed — whether email newsletters you subscribe to, RSS feeds, or a social media timeline — is not inherently a bad way to help decide what to read given the vast amount of content out there, but isn’t good or reliable at resurfacing older information, even if it might be higher quality or more valuable than “fresh” information. The feed rewards the opposite of SEO, where you (used to anyway, dunno about now) benefit from your content being older; on the silos, content is washed away downstream, irrelevant as soon as it’s off the feed.
So how can we get these older articles in front of us?
I recently saw a website that manually curates good old articles — useful for finding “classic” content to read. A podcast I was listening to re-aired a popular episode from a previous season. These are manual processes, and not easy for readers to replicate without doing the digging themselves.
What I would love is a way to subscribe to old, dead RSS feeds and have old content sent to my feed reader at a reasonable (weekly?) interval — similar to email courses that send you the subsequent emails at a predetermined span of time after your start point.
Another service I’d love is sending me my starred Pocket articles to read, because I never think to look back at what I’ve saved 😉
One reply on “Rediscovering “timeless” posts”
Marty McGuire liked this article on martymcgui.re.