Some major sites are closing down in the world of literature and blogging. Bookslut, and SFSignal were nothing alike, really. The former was a brainy and peripatetic deep dive into books and ideas from an eclectic and brilliant collective. The latter was an amalgamation of so many influences and topics it was like mainlining the signal of the SF/F/H genres, directly. They are not alone. Other sites are closing down, even as I type these words.
The great lie that is told in subscription services is that the digital purchases remain forever. They do not. The exciting adventures in massive multiplayer online RPGs are only as lasting as the ability of the game to generate revenue. The bloodstream of the web is the energy of the electrons and hosting services. That energy costs something. And, it takes energy to build good things, out here. It takes time and effort and consistent pushing to develop an idea into a meaningful set of things.
I imagine someday the internet will be an amazing resource for whatever researchers come along to study it. Jenn Brissett wrote something along these lines in her brilliant debut, Elysium. Aliens tap into the code around the broken world, to learn what happened down below. Someday the code will be tapped, and so much information will pore out from the magnets and floppy discs. Whole communities will be recreated and studied based on the data from their phones, like sifting the detritus behind the archaeoligical dig site, where ancient man cast off eaten bones and trash.
We pore our whole lives into these bins of light. We type and type and type. We stay connected, always, to the data signal that follows us in a cloud.
It can go away in moments. Facebook could close tomorrow. Google could go under in a shell of bad moonshots. Hosting sites could collapse in a bad storm, taking whole sites with them. This is a temporary place. Never forget that this is a temporary place.
It only feels like an eternity because it is so fast.