Don Box wrote a post mentioning quotes from Richard Stevens’ home page that don’t make sense given that he passed away in 1999. It touches on an off and on obsession of mine, which is, what would happen to my Web site if I die. I’d hate to be killed in a car accident one day and just have this Web site stop being updated until pair.com turns it off for lack of payment. I’ve considered everything from giving a close friend the passwords to update the site if something bad happened to writing a piece of software that will scan the obituaries to make sure that I’m not in them, and will automatically update the site with a link to my obit were it to appear. I know it’s weird and morbid, but it is something I think about.
Update: Greg Knauss emailed with the perfect simple solution — the weblog dead man’s switch. Basically you just set up a cron job that checks to see whether you haven’t posted for a certain amount of time (longer than you would ever go between posts, obviously). If the specified time limit has passed, it emails all the information necessary to update your Web page to a trusted third party who can verify your status and post an update on your whereabouts. Simple and effective! The only drawback is the discomfort of asking a friend to update your Web site if you die.