We assume everything we publish online will be preserved. But websites that pay for writing are businesses. They get sold, forgotten and broken. Eventually, someone flips the switch and pulls it all down. Hosting charges are eliminated, and domain names slip quietly back into the pool. What’s left behind once the cache clears? As I found with that pitch at the end of 2014, my writing resume is now oddly incomplete and unverifiable. Ex-editors can provide references, but I have surprisingly few examples of published work to show beyond scanned print features from my early days, so I’ve started backing up my work.
For media companies deleting their sites, legacy doesn’t matter; the work carries no intrinsic value if there is no business remaining to capitalize on it. I asked if RCRD LBL still existed on a server somewhere. It apparently does; I was invited to purchase it for next to nothing. I could pay for the hosting, flip the switch on, and all my work would return. But I’d never really look at it. Then, eventually, I would stop paying the bills, too.
I hate to keep harping on this, but really, you can't even trust companies to archive their own website where they paid for their content!
It's also sad that Carter Maness didn't even feel it was worth the money to save his own work, which sadly, is another example of someone not caring to manage their own computer (in this case, a server with articles that prove he he was paid to write and thus, can include on his résumé).