Everything is temporary, even the uni(/multi)verse. 😉 😛
This article is about how files are temporary even though the people who uploaded the files probably thought they’re not.
Example 1: Flash. It’s being used everywhere, so I don’t think anybody thought it would get replaced by anything. Bunnyhero Labs is a good example (especially since the person in charge of the site has moved on to other projects that he has made a different site for; luckily the site is still up as of 2019). I’ve seen many old sites with Java apps too, like Microprizes (in the links section). Firefox, Chrome, Safari and other browsers are phasing Flash out (like, today (Jan 1, 2017, for those from the future 😉 ), Firefox made Flash ask to activate by default). Newgrounds uses Flash. Many game sites (like jayisgames and didigames) use Flash. (And as of March 12, 2017, Firefox phased Java out fully. 😦 Thankfully there are older Firefox versions available! 😉 ).
Example 2: Screenmates. I download some when I was younger. One of them was a wind-up bird screenmate and another was a rockhopper penguin’s head in a window that would follow your cursor across the screen. Now, I don’t have them anymore and they’re not on the internet (no matter how hard I try to find them, all the links are broken (or behind viruses/adware)). This is usually because either the servers go down (sometimes they’re even from Geocities! 😉 ) or the owner of the site abandons it and possibly deletes most of the files. Sometimes the person forgets about the site and thus doesn’t pay for hosting the site (or doesn’t have money to do so), thus it goes down.
Example 3: Revamps. Sometimes, people revamp(ire 😛 ) their site. Most of the time, this is a horrible mistake because they usually remove access to the old files in one way or another (even if the files are still on the server). They could also move servers/webhosts. A site called rubaduck.com (about rubber ducks; not NSFW 😛 ) went down, claiming to be ‘redecorating’. The next time I went there, the domain was for sale. 😉 Another site, coolnerds.com, (contained XP tricks and tutorials among other computer-related stuff) went down and the webmaster made a different site, called alansimpson.me. It didn’t have any of the previous one’s content. (Unlike the next one after the next one. 😉 ). Download.com used to be a good site, believe it or not. Then it was taken over by C|Net… 😉 But, a good way to revamp can be found here (Action Cat, a site used to make e-cards). Yes, the site owner revamped it, but the older version of the site can still be found on the site itself; just a link away! Hooray! 😀 (The link is ‘Legacy Index’, at the top right corner.)
Example 4: Videos. Videos can also be taken down, as people who upload copyrighted YouTube Poops can attest. 😉 For the following shows, I could find full episodes a long time ago but not now: (keep in mind this list is only for YouTube, since I can find most of these shows for free in full in other places 😉 )
- Tiny Toon Adventures (I can only find episodes 1-8)
- Baby Looney Tunes
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
The following shows I can find (again, this list is only for YouTube), but either incomplete or in bad quality:
(and yes I understand why there are frames over videos, to prevent copyright strike [flystrike], but)
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (zoomed in; but complete at least! 😉 )
- The Magic Adventures of Mumfie (incomplete)
- Magic School Bus (in most videos, the Producer Says segment is gone)
- The Land Before Time films (low quality; but the TV series is fully on YouTube, phew!)
- Martha Speaks (this one has a bit of history behind it… first, all of the episodes [or at least, the majority of the episodes] were uploaded on the YouTube channel Martha Speaks; then, they uploaded more and more Martha episodes [including the episode The Martha Show]; next, while I was watching episodes, suddenly all of the full-quality videos with proper titles got taken down [after two years too, since they were uploaded in 2017]; finally, I found a bunch of Martha episodes [not all of them, but including a re-upload of The Martha Show, phew! I downloaded the re-upload 😉 Although it’s a lower quality than the original, 😦 oh well 🙂 ] as re-uploads on YouTube; but everyone else still should download the full Martha Speaks channel and create torrents of it since I don’t have enough space right now, because it still has a lot of episodes [complete with original ads and introduction videos!], but now all of the videos’ titles are the same [and they are of varying quality, so try to find better-quality videos if possible], so just download them all! 😀 😉 )
- Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends (every episode is on YouTube, but not all in English! 😉 The Season 3 episodes missing from YouTube in English are: 2A&B: Pitch and Itch & Bounce Back, 3A: Lost and Sound, 4A: Lulla-Bug, 5B: Flower Power, 6A: A Party For Pops, 7B: Moon Music and Sun Songs, 8A&B: Giddy-Up Bugs & A Plushy Parable, 9B: Odd Bug Fellows, 11A: Eclipse, 13A: Bringing Up Shrubby, and 14A: Bug Talk; in fact, Treehouse Direct uploaded some episodes with the wrong name; for example, Lulla-Bug on YouTube is actually The Most Perfect Parent! Pitch and Itch on YT is actually Ground Bound, Moon Music and Sun Songs on YT is actually Frog on the Moon, A Party For Pops on YT is actually Snake Charmer, and Flower Power on YT is actually Dam the Puddle. I found 7B and 8A&B in a huge video on Archive.org though 😀 Treehouse Direct’s German channel actually uploaded all of the Season 3 episodes, including the missing English ones! 😀 But they’re all in German. If you don’t know German, turn on subtitles and then, in Settings, click Translate > Auto-translate > English. The translation is OK; it’s understandable enough, I guess. I wish they were in English, [rhyme] of course.)
- Rainbow Fish (only 30 episodes available; since they’re all uploaded in 2017, back them up now! 😉 Martha Speaks was uploaded in 2017 and got taken down this year, so that’s why backing them up is necessary!)
- Sea Princess (again, only all episodes from Season 1 and some from Season 2 are available)
Example 5: Websites. Uh oh no… 😦
Example 6: Games.
See my Piracy article for that.
Solution to the problems:
For files: Simply host the files in multiple places (don’t put your eggs in one basket). That would solve everything mentioned above. Also, be very careful with revamping. If you have enough server space, keep the original site up while you work on the revamp (and preferably also after the revamp is finished). If you don’t have enough server space, check if an archiving site (such as the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine) has all (or almost all) the pages on your site before you start the revamp.
Places to host files: (from most important to least but still pretty important)
- Your own site: Most important because you’ll have the responsibility to take care of your own files, e.g. if everybody links to one place that is not their own, when that site goes down, all their links are dead (like the Jogames and ClockDomain examples in the Piracy article linked above). Don’t rely too much on one site to host the files (even your own!). If you’re short on bandwidth, you can try limiting the number of files visitors can download from you site per day, but if you don’t want to (or cannot host them on your own site because you use free WordPress, like me)…
- Many other sites: Your affiliates, your sites you link to, even other sites of your own can host the files if needed (like your Wix site? 😉 although I haven’t tested that out yet).
- File hosting services: Many file hosting services are free or cheap. I recommend MEGA, Dropbox, and Google Drive (for documents) right now (they have a lot of free space). I use MEGA to host all the files on this website. There’s a risk your files will get deleted (by accident or on purpose) or the service shuts down though.
- Internet Archive: If you’re hosting old games or videos for example, you’re probably better off uploading the files to the Internet Archive; but there’s no reason you can’t just host the files on everything mentioned here! 🙂
Don’t forget to back ’em up using your 3-2-1 backup system so you can re-upload the files if needed! (You should be backing up anyway, so this should be redundant 😉 ).
For YouTube videos of episodes: Use any non-animated, non-distracting frame (ideally of a small width) if necessary. You can also use obscure video names along with regular ones, even though people might not find them unless they know what to search for (eg. for Magic Adventures of Mumfie, MMOMS1E1; a real example is the new episodes of the Mr. Bean animated series on Dailymotion, although now they’re on YouTube 😀 ). Oh and don’t use misleading titles! (That move is no good even if it’s to prevent copyright strikes! It simply makes the best episodes harder to find! 😉 Mumfie is an example again. Do I see a trend? 😉 )
For pages: You shouldn’t delete any page on your site (unless it’s a mistake, then put it back up soon). EVER. (If it’s found in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, or another archiving site, then link to the archive of the page instead.) Maybe if there’s an actual reason, when you remove the page, put a different page stating why, and give a replacement for it (even if it’s on another site! 😉 ). Also, customize your 404 page, with a link to the main page, a search box and your e-mail address. (Some of this advice applies to sites; also, before taking your site down, make sure every page (or at least, most of the pages) is on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and/or another archiving site.)
Well, see ya! 🙂 😀
P.S. (Postscript) About screenmates, Laura’s Celebrations (visit it through the links page on my site) has a bunch of them, which I downloaded. But, I also downloaded a bunch of other screenmates from other places, and will put them into a zip file on my MEGA account. Watch the main page (and probably this space?)… 😉
Edit: Here is the screenmate collection (Part 1)! 😀 This is the collection mentioned in the above paragraph; there will be more parts as I get time and hard drive space to do them. 😉
Dec 10, 2017: Changed the P.S. from talking about the ’90s to screenmates.
June 5, 2018: Edited this page, and forgot to make a zip file. 😛
Oct 8, 2018: Edited this page, and forgot again to make a zip file! OoO Removed Dragon Tales since I think I can find all the episodes, but it might be re-added… Fixed some typos that I can’t believe slipped through (like nessecary to necessary)…
Nov 6, 2018: Edited this page a lot, and forgot to create the zip file! O_O Again!
Mar 8, 2019: A lot more edits, and finally added a link to the zip file! 😀 The first of many zipped-up screenmate collections though… 😉
Mar 26, 2019: Removed the following:
- Martha Speaks (eg. The Martha Show; as of March 12, 2017, an account is uploading episodes of it each week, but only up to Season 1 😦 )
Reason why: As of today (actually as of Oct 6, 2017), the episode The Martha Show is finally on YouTube (from the same account too)! 😀 I’ll be downloading it and re-uploading it somewhere if the channel or the video gets taken down. Everyone else should download the full channel and create torrents of it since I don’t have enough space right now.
Apr 13, 2019: Re-added Martha Speaks (to the second list) because… you’ll see if you check out the second list. 😉 Also made the important notice from the previous edit bold and italicized it for the same reasons. 😉 Here’s a working link to the episode The Martha Show (the previous edit’s link doesn’t work anymore).
May 26, 2019: Made some other important stuff bold and italicized, and added another show to the incomplete shows list! 😉
June 8, 2019: Due to intermittent internet, it took me a lot longer than intended to update… 😦 Updated the incomplete shows list with more info about which Miss Spider episodes are missing from YouTube, as well as a link to some of the missing episodes! 😀
July 15, 2019: Added Chimpoo, Shidonni, and Froggyville to the examples of lost websites; misc. edits.
August 4, 2019: Expanded more on Chimpoo and Shidonni, and added more info about Miss Spider and Froggyville.
Sat, Nov 2, 2019: Added Rainbow Fish and Sea Princess, and a few edits to Busytown Mysteries’s description and Sunny Patch’s description. (Sunny Patch = Miss Spider.)