While checking some dead links in the Internet Archive, I decided to see what they had of the website for the Literary Guild at UCI. This was a creative writing club we were both involved in back in college. There’s an abbreviated history of the club still online.
I looked at the earliest archived copy I could find, and noticed down in the corner a badge for a long-forgotten website contest. Every quarter, the UCI Bookstore holds a literary contest, sometimes poetry, sometimes short stories. In spring 1996, they decided to make it a website contest. I had just built a website for the club, and submitted it. Our site was one of the three winners [archive.org].*
Just for kicks, I decided to see which of the sites were still around.
- Literary Guild at UCI – gone. The club disbanded after the 2000 school year, and the defunct website was removed 2 years later. I still keep an archive of one segment, the collaborative writing projects, but it used to have 10 times as much writing, meeting minutes, club info and news, etc.
- The Orchid Weblopedia – gone. It appears to have moved around a bit for several years, but the top search result for the title brings up its last web designer, and a note saying that “this page no longer exists.”
- Ishmael’s Companion – the study guide for the book, Ishmael is still around, but it’s now a tiny part of author Daniel Quinn’s site.
1 out of 3. And even that one’s at a different location.
And so the link rot continues…
* I was hoping to link to an independent announcement, but the UCI Bookstore website only lists the most recent winners (Spring 2007), and while the Anteater Weekly regularly announced the winners, their archives only go back to 1997. I did find the announcement in the May 30, 1996 Zotmail Archive, but it doesn’t return linkable results, so you’ll have to search for it.