Internet Graveyard

Web base, software system, 2021

To visit the graveyard

Follow the grave digging bot on Twitter (It has stopped being active on Twitter due to the new policy Elon Musk brought to Twitter, but it is still making graves. It might move to Mastodon in the future.)

The Internet, as one of the essential systems or things in human society today, is incredibly young. The first website that everyone can saw was created in 1991, which’s creation also marked the birth of the Internet we are so used to nowadays.

So, this year, this dear friend of ours turns 30. In Chinese culture, entering one’s 30s is called 而立, which means one has entered the golden age of their life and has obtained knowledge and skills for him/her/them to create his/her/their own values.

The Internet grew much faster than us human, as of now (17 May 2021, 6:31 pm UTC +8). There has been 491,720,368 registered domain, and this number keep going up every millisecond. 

Internet Graveyard is a project to try to define and keep “memory” of the Internet. Only 251,223,483 domains out of the 491,720,368 ones are active, which means about 50% of the domains, and the websites on them, are gone. 

In 2010, Ulf Schleth create a website for people to bury their files call /death/null. This is the direct inspiration for me to create this project. Schleth wrote on the about page of /death/null: “it’s for digital romanticists, it’s about living and dead ideas and everything in between.” The idea behind Internet Graveyard is similar, but not the same: Internet Graveyard is about memory and memento. In the Pixar film Coco, one becomes truly dead when no one in the world remembers him/she/they. Maybe it’s the same for a website. 

A little bot, creating graves to memorize those websites that no longer exist and announce their death on Twitter. It works days and nights, but making a grave takes 12 hours, so it can only make two graves a day. At the same time, there are 250 million sites that are already dead, and this number goes up every minute. The job is never gonna be finished, but the poor little bot still digging, making a grave for every dead site, no matter how small it was, where it was registered in and what language it used. —— I think this scenario is sadly romantic and poetic, and that’s exactly what I want to do in this project.


Time Travel

WayBack Machine

Technical details and development logs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *