Scott Hardie | March 15, 2002
I really wish you could control whether or not web search engines added your pages to their listings. Through surfing the control panel log here on TC, I'm finding comments that people left months ago for old entries. I would notice these if I could set TC to mail me updates every day as to who left comments where, but there's no email client set up on my web host, so I can't. The only comment that I really wanted to get was from R.D. in the 2001 Year in Review; all the others were from strangers who, and I know this is cold, do not concern me.

These people find these old entries with search engines. Doing research on flexboards? You might find Derek Sutcliffe's entry about it from last July, even though we, the TC community, have not discussed it since then. I don't like that. I want to leave old entries open for our sake, for our ability to go back and look that info up, but the format of the pages makes it seem like they're still part of an active discussion, and visitors don't realize that they're not. There's no way to tell Greymatter to remove the comments form from old entries - my only recourse is to close entries that are beyond our discussion period (ten days), but I don't want to do that.

I will leave old entries open for one year, then close them manually. (I've already closed all those old "Good or Bad?" entries, since they clogged up the archives.) That seems fair. Of course, by the time July 2002 comes and this weblog will be one year old, I hope to have moved on to PHP and my own weblog, so maybe it doesn't matter.

I'm also removing Classic Pages from my home page. I really like the idea of preserving old pages of mine, like a museum, but frankly, I don't want them showing up in search engines, and there's nothing I can do to stop that from happening, except to remove them. Maybe someday they'll be back - I'm keeping them in pristine condition on my hard drive, whether they ever see online visitors again or not.

I predict that someone will comment on this entry sometime long after March 2002, when I wrote it.

D. R. | March 15, 2002
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | March 16, 2002
Hmm. No Robots I can understand, but I don't know why I haven't heard of the other one. I've gone through the configuration settings many times, including just a few minutes before writing this entry, and I never noticed that. I guess it just didn't register. Thanks for the heads-up, though.


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