A cautionary tale

A very nice piece on the Daily Telegraph web team’s blog, about the perils of maintaining old content. (And good on them for posting it, by the way.)

Our most recent case began at the beginning of this month when we noticed that a story from April 2005 was attracting an extraordinary number of hits online. The story, which reported that Queen Margrethe II of Denmark had called on her subjects to show their “opposition” to Islam, was clearly connected to the Danish cartoons row but it was not clear why so many of our readers had stumbled across it.

I’ve always hated the term ‘archive’: it implies a dusty old room in the basement where nobody ever goes… not a fair implication, as this tale proves. But with no better word springing to mind – anyone running a website with a large archive of content would do well to read this. You always know it’s a theoretical risk; and then suddenly, it happens for real.