Do you ever think about that? Do you ever wonder who's going to come in and clean up the web after this whole guru phase?
My thoughts on this were actually inspired by a pretty deep post over at the Warrior Forum. Sharlene was talking about how difficult it has been for her to try to manage her husband's online business while he has been sick. She encouraged others to be sure that they had "a backup plan" - that someone knew enough about what they were doing to take over or help out in the case that it was necessary.
Part of my reply there was:
Still, if something were to happen to me, SOMEONE needs to know that there is money piling up in those paypal accounts. And how to transfer it to the bank. There would be checks to cash. Who knows how long those would keep rolling in. People to contact, sites to sell. Lots to do, even if just in managing a shut-down or redirect.
I would like to think that my son (who already has a web presence of his own) would be able to take over some of it. But at the very least I would want my children to have access to the income.
As I went on about my work, that was stuck in the back of my mind. There's a whole generation of us, for the most part creating one big unorganized mess as we go, figuring things out on the fly, and leaving a chaotic broken trail of details all over the place.
If you happen to be one of those super-organized people who has documented everything and has a disaster recovery plan in place... you are definitely in the minority. Yes, we should all do it. The truth is, most of us never will.
(Note: I think Patty Gale has a product that is the perfect solution for us here, so I will find her link and post it here -- because I truly think we all need to give this some serious thought)
Just imagine the web 70 years from now. Most of us will be long gone. Did we tidy things up before we passed on? Or did we get caught unaware - like get struck by lightning or a mack truck - and just leave everything hanging? Did we pass it all on or shut it all down? (and did we even remember all 387 passwords required to do that?)
Hopefully by the time we are done here, there will have been applications and products created to help us organize and track more efficiently. And hopefully we wont have been too busy to make good use of them.
Just imagine. Every day there is more junk on the web. More stuff. More spam. More everything. Sure, some of it will be purged after a time - when hosting accounts arent paid, or you become inactive on certain sites, etc.
But you'll probably still get email for Viagra 100 years from now.
Email will be floating around in cyberspace. Money will be piling up in forgotten paypal accounts. Amazon.com will be making direct deposits for affiliate commission to bank accounts that no longer exist. Sites will disappear and links will go bad. Blogs will be abandoned.
Sure much of it will take care of itself over time. But not all of it. And who will clean up what's left? Even now there are remnants of junk from the last decade. Inactive newsgroups that used to be buzzing with discussions. Old websites still lingering around places like tripod and geocities. They're still out there. Just sitting there. And every once in awhile someone happens upon them and realizes they are a "ghost town" and just clicks away.
You know, around here there are a lot of indian artificacts to be found, as the Trail of Tears runs through Tennessee. Particularly when we get a good hard rain or someone plows a field. Pieces resurface, and locals pick them up with curious interest. Scraps mostly, sometimes several full arrowheads, broken pieces of pottery even. Evidence of a time before us, and a very small glimpse into the life they must have lead.
Perhaps future generations will look back on us in much the same way. Will our "web junk" resurface here and there in future generations? Every once in awhile an Internet Marketing Artifact will resurface on the web, or be stumbled upon accidentally. I imagine it will all seem very primitive.... but maybe interesting. Who knows.
Will there be an info product that outlines the goldmine in "abandoned paypal accounts"? Will there be a group of guru-thugs that make a business of hijacking orphaned websites or redirecting recurring affiliate commissions? Will something you wrote, or something I wrote, become a hot "public domain" item?
Just a lot of random thoughts... but something to think about.
And on that note, I'm off to get some things organized.