Communique: Old Posts

There is a saying in the UK; Today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper.

This is of course referring to an age when the British fish and chip shops used to wrap their deep-fried takeaway heart-attack fuel in old newspapers. This was both necessary to keep the meal warm and an attempt to stem the flow of cooking oils coating the said fish and chips–that have escaped the first ‘greaseproof’ paper layer–leaking on to your clothes while carrying it on the way to the park or seaside promenade bench, where you would then battle with vicious gulls–or your previously ‘not hungry’ partner–to consume the majority of the delicious contents.

Photo by Digital Buggu on

Nowadays they use plain paper, or more often some sort of polystyrene container. They’re only better to pile up and spill out of public waste bins and blow around the environment as never-decomposing tumbling litter lodged in hedgerows all over the countryside, but at least someone makes money due to chip shops having to buy either of these things, unlike when they used to get old newspapers for free.

Anyway, the point the saying was making was that all of the words lovingly published in the papers, carefully crafted or otherwise by fleets of journalists, the stories, accompanied with your interested, amused or shocked reactions to them, are soon destined to be forgotten by everyone as we move ever onwards through our unique individual lives. Big stories today, moving on to something new tomorrow

I have come to realise that, unless you are writing something worthwhile, the same is true for old blog posts. Regular readers come and read whatever rubbish I’ve just posted, which is lovely of them, and then the post gradually works its way down and is eventually pushed off the home page of the blog as newly published items are added over time.

After it disappears (or in truth, actually pretty much a day or two after publishing) the only time any of my old posts get any attention at all seems to be when the automated software bots run around randomly picking old posts to ‘like’.

Sadly, old blog posts are not even used for wrapping chips later.

I don’t live in the past. I don’t reminisce a lot and my posts tend to be created, published and exist in the now. Of course the past informs and has created what I am now, I just don’t tend to miss it enough or want to relive it in any way.

So, I have deleted all my posts that are older than three months and I’ll be deleting that far back every time we go past the start of a new month from now on. So it was 167 posts. Now it’s 41.

I don’t see the sense of keeping them around, a silly light-hearted and insignificant verse about bananas sitting in a binary form, memorised on some bank of endless hard drives in an anonymous data centre somewhere. I mean, I think it was a good and funny enough verse, but I can’t keep digging it out and reposting it, hoping to wring a little bit more interest out of it. Besides, bananas go off bloody quickly and are very messy to wring out.

I’ll not be kidding myself that I have a ‘body of work’ that would be worth anyone trawling back through. My output isn’t like a journal of my life that I’ll find it interesting to go back through at some future time. It’s always been disposable guff here, and I’ll be happily disposing of it as I go, so if you do like something that much (pfffttt!!), copy and paste it somewhere else (or even share or reblog it) while it’s up here.

PS: I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about, and what you do with, ‘old’ posts etc, if you have any.

Thank you for visiting Scribblans today. Sorry it probably wasn’t very good this time.
Did you know, if you share this post on your social media, it might have the effect of making you feel better? About everything?
Yes it could. Well, try it if you don’t believe me then.

21 thoughts on “Communique: Old Posts

  1. Old posts are great to keep around because sometimes you can’t think of anything and you can just repost a classic. I guess it depends on your storage space, also. I have nothing better to store in all the space my hosting provider gives.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m the same as Herb. I don’t have enough followers or enough ego to think anyone’s gonna trawl through it all, but at the same time it meant enough to me at the time to sling it out before the cold contemptuous uncaring public. So it can stay there, perhaps to waylay some poor lost stranger? Plus, it’s too much effort to delete ’em now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Easy enough to open up the old WP admin page and then bulk edit…. pfff…a page of 20 entries at a time… gone!
      Now of course, if you feel one of my posts looks familiar, it won’t be because I’ve reposted an old one, just doing the same old jokes again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy destroying the things I create, but there’s no visceral satisfaction in deleting posts (no smoke, no potential house fire) so although I like the idea on principle, I can’t guarantee it’ll be satisfying.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I keep everything (even the drafts that never see the sun, although that’s a slightly-different angle) and regularly re-share my favorites. I like the chronicle aspect, snapshots on a journey. On any given day, up to a third of my traffic consists of folks who are taking the time to dig in the archives, and it gives me comfort that my little scribbles here and there still have a pulse…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I can see when your pieces have benefited from much care, thought and love–and are typically a lot longer than mine–then it’s worth doing.

      I think perhaps if I do invest in a theme, I would go for one which allows me to surface some older posts as ‘featured’, to give them a bit of light. (There goes another day playing with possible themes….again)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve begun selling old blog posts (at a discount) to my local fish and chip shop. They get cheap food wrapping, which being electronic, will not harm the environment, and I make a paltry few thousand pounds every now and again on the old posts. Thus everyone is happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have a friend called Eric Alagan, who has for some years now been the custodian of a blog called ‘Written Words Never Die‘. He’s wrong, of course (just ask the folks who used to look after the Library of Alexandria, for instance). But I’ve always appreciated the sentiment.

    You sell yourself short, Bear. Just because you believe that something you’ve penned in the past has no value… I think some others (and that includes me) will believe that you’re wrong. If I didn’t value your writing, I wouldn’t have followed your blog in the first place. And I wouldn’t be here now trying to persuade you not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    If you think that a particular sequence of words is worth placing in order at one point in time, then where’s the harm in leaving them there? It’s not as though you have to pay to leave them be. Someone, someday, might chance upon them and gain some enjoyment from them. Discarding them after some arbitrary period is, I think, a mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah. Well I’m surprised you took that amount of time for your comment with you having read tonight’s one, where I had already posted some reservations about the above decision already for myself… but I do thank you for your kind words Mr Pendant. Over 100 posts have been removed already, but they are presently sitting halfway between life and death and could yet survive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having slept on it, I awoke with a couple of further thoughts… Scribblans is, of course, your blog, and you can maintain it however you choose to, and you shouldn’t listen to anyone else on the matter.

        However; consider that the web is a collaborative effort. It functions, or fails to do so, on the basis of links between content; if a blog post is trashed that another has linked to, that link becomes ‘404, not found’, a symptom of the cancer known as ‘link rot’. 404s are a time-wasting, confusing irritation. They are the antithesis of a well-ordered web, and the nemesis of knowledge. So there 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I leave a trail of 404’s in my wake. I am a web anarchist, the first of the Resistance on my moral campaign, leaving little 404 booby traps and bringing disorder to the supposed electronic monument to the best of human achievements, seeking to bring down the technology one confused web page at a time, like John Connor fighting the machines…
          TLDR; I’m not that bothered by a need for anything to be ‘well-ordered’.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. … “John Connor”? “JOHN CONNOR”? Oh, wait, I’m forgetting: evil always thinks it’s doing good. If you’re John Connor, I guess that makes me Arthur Dent (complete with bathrobe):

            Liked by 1 person

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