I installed the Broken Link Checker plugin on my site today, and spent probably too much time fixing broken links. Doing blog maintenance like this feels like productive work, but really isn’t. But it’s kind of fun, and lets me stroll down memory lane a bit, rediscovering stuff like Get Your War On, which I’d forgotten about.
A lot of dead links can be easily replaced with ones from the Wayback Machine, and the plugin helps with that. But some of the links on this blog seem to have completely disappeared from the internet, which makes me a little sad. Nothing lasts forever, I guess, even an interesting review of The Two Towers from a newspaper in Las Vegas that apparently only existed from 2003 to 2005. Oh well.
I’ve been linking to Wikipedia, the NY Times, and Amazon a lot lately. I think (and hope) that those sources will be around for a while, and that they won’t mess with their URL schemes in a way that breaks old links. (For the most part, they haven’t, at least recently.)
The plugin has found more than 600 broken links so far, and I’m not even sure if it’s done crawling the site yet. I need to be careful about getting too wrapped up in this, or I’ll be doing it all day. (Or maybe all week.) I’ve actually talked myself into deleting some old posts, where the links are dead, and I didn’t really say anything interesting about them. That’s always been hard for me to do, but I’ve got more than 2000 posts on this blog, so it makes sense to cull some useless ones out occasionally.