This week, Chris Redmond announced that he will no longer be maintaining Sherlockian.net after the end of this year. We are all in hopes that someone else will take over the care and maintenance of this reliable reference-point of the Sherlockian web, because for many of us, it is a regular stop. Need to know the next story in publication order? Zip over to Sherlockian.net. Wondering if Cincinnati ever had a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars? Over to Sherlockian.net to get the link to the societies list.
Google has taken the place of link lists for almost all net navigation these days, but when you really wanted to go directly to exactly what you need to know, an authoritative site like Sherlockian.net is irreplacable. And Sherlockians are definitely people who like exact knowledge.
I remember the days when I was publishing The Holmes & Watson Report on paper and trying to convince writers to move over to the web with me for the original incarnation of SherlockPeoria.net, a major concern was the ephemeral nature of the web . . . that websites can go away if someone stops paying the server storage bills. Never mind that paper is hardly a medium that will last an eternity, print was what we were comfortable with and a couple hundred years sure seemed like eternity.
Now, as so many internet contributors use third party platforms like Tumblr or Blogger, where the continued success of a company like Google seems more long-term than one's ability to pay server storage fees, a new generation of Sherlockian writers has a very different attitude toward committing their works to the web, at least for the first stage of its existence. Styles of working cross-platform both on output and intake vary wildly from individual to individual, so it's impossible to make absolute statements about the best way to do anything . . . who knows what will come next?
But we will always grow to depend upon what currently exists, and when something has existed for as long as Sherlockian.net, it's going to have a lot of folks considering it a standard tool in their online toolbox. There are good indications that it will go on without its current curator's support, and I hope those indications are followed by a sustained existence for the site.
Because even though nothing lasts forever, we always have a somewhat selfish wish that such things like Sherlockian.net will at least last as long as we do . . . so we don't have to realize what life without it feels like.
All congratulations to Chris for pioneering out on the Sherlockian web frontier and helping us all settle into it as the decades rolled by. And all best wishes on Sherlockian.net having many, many more years of existence, long past those of even this little endeavor.