I worry about my website, SandraDodd.com, sometimes. I worry that I'll die and the geocities bill won't be paid and it will disappear. I've told my family to keep that paid, but what if they don't? What if we all die in a cataclysmic... cataclysm? It could happen. There's always WayBack Machine.
So I could write right here "If I die, anyone who wants to lift some of those unschooling pages and host them elsewhere is free to do so," it would be here in public for people to see and remember.
But Laura could pull the plug on this forum someday and then it wouldn't be here. (I don't expect her to; it's a cool forum! But I'm just saying that as group owner she does have access to the Big Off Switch.)
Is paper more permanent? I've had to throw some papers away lately. Some I didn't mind. I have a little stack of printouts of e-mails from 1995 on my desk right now, water damaged. How "important" are they? Some have good memories. Some remind me of things I would have totally forgotten, like the The Homeschool Cyber-News, an e-mail newsletter I used to do for the AOL homeschooling forum, and then one of the notes I saved was e-mail from Helen Hegener asking if I would do one for Home Education Magazine too, or instead. That was in the days when websites were very new, and not very useful. There were user groups, but nothing like automated yahoogroups quite yet. I mailed that newsletter in batches of 50, by keeping all the e-mail addresses in a Word file on my Mac, adding new addresses to the list in green, "unsubscribes" in red, then re-alphabetizing and going through by hand and deleting duplicates (a green where there was already a black? Delete one) and deleting both if one was red.
Yeah. I had forgotten that.
When I first started doing calligraphy, I was surprised by the concept of "permanence ratings" on ink and paint. I did a test set, where I wrote the date or something with every kind of ink I had. That was nearly 30 years ago. I see that paper sometimes, and sure enough, some of that faded.
Photocopies from the 70's kept in some kinds of 70's vinyl binders have stuck to the vinyl, stuck to each other, and become unuseable.
Some words are more important than others.
There were discussions here that are gone now. Just gone. So if you write anything you really like, try to save it in more than one way if it's important to you.
Holly can't read my husband's cursive. I was showing her a Valentine he made me once, on computer printout paper, a long poem (parody of a tune I would recognize from the way it scanned). She might not be able to read those letters when we're gone.
What kind of writing is important, and to whom, and what (if anything) should or can we do about it? Things are different now than they were ten or thirty or sixty years ago. Everything changes.