Putting all my eggs in a basket.
May 20, 2009 10:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be away from a computer for a couple years and am tangled in every corner of the internet. What should I do to insure it's all here when I get back?

I have a website which will obviously have to have domain renewal, etc., but I'm paranoid about certain accounts being deactivated after a period of not being used. Here's a list:

Myspace Music

Are there any other steps I should take on the internet before I leave?

thanks in advance.
posted by bradly to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm idly curious as to what would keep you away from a computer for years. I'm not sure that's even possible in this world anymore, except by force or specific choice.

Regardless, I think your best bet is to establish a friend or family member as proxy, to log in to these sites and keep tabs on the registrations once every couple of months.

I'd be really surprised if there was a way to somehow prevent all those accounts from deactivating over a period of several years without interacting with them in some way.
posted by Aquaman at 10:46 AM on May 20, 2009

Best answer: I can't speak to whether the sites above will be totally deactivated, but is there someone you really, really trust to log in every once in a while to keep them open if some do have those restrictions?

I did this once for a friend who lived in the jungle for two years--I handled her paperwork, filed her taxes, paid her bills, handled her insurance, registered her for classes, etc all online. I don't remember the deal we worked out--I was compensated in some way, but it wasn't a big deal. We did everything short of my having power of attorney, which we probably should have looking back, but we were young and figured we didn't need it, and luckily I was never challenged with anything. In the absence of confirmation that the sites will stay active until you change something (and with the ever-present threat that the sites might change their TOS or be bought by another company with different agendas, or whatever) this seems like an option.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:47 AM on May 20, 2009

Best answer: Nthing just having somebody log in once in a while. One trick to make this easier is to have them install Portable Firefox, log into each account in a new tab (and have FireFox remember the username/passwords), go to a page that requires being logged in (like the profile edit page) at each site, and close the browser. The next time they start Portable FireFox, they can tell it to restore the previous session, which for each tab should either load the page and count as a login, or just bring up the login prompt.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:55 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could ask your church members what missionaries have done. As LDS missions are usually 2 years for men, they must've had at least a few members in very remote areas facing the exact same issue.
posted by Houstonian at 11:06 AM on May 20, 2009

I would venture a guess that after about five months of having zero access to said accounts, you won't care as much about not having them available to you. Have a friend or family member log in every couple months, but don't be surprised if, when you are in a position to get back online, you wonder why you cared so much. When you're back online after your couple years off, start over.
posted by pdb at 11:10 AM on May 20, 2009

Response by poster: @aquaman: The World Famous and Houstonian are correct. I am serving an lds mission.

(Thanks for the advice so far, everyone!)
posted by bradly at 11:27 AM on May 20, 2009

Best answer: You know, it might be neat if you designated a family member to be your "proxy" on these accounts. I'm guessing you'll have some form of communicating with them (phone, letter).

They could update your facebook, twitter, blogger, etc., with accounts from your calls or letters, to let your friends know what's new with you. If they see a youtube video they think you'll like, they could add it to your favorites (same with music), so it'll be a neat thing for you when you return.

That way, you can keep the accounts active and keep in touch with your friends at the same time.
posted by Houstonian at 11:33 AM on May 20, 2009

(And, if you have questions for AskMefi, you can send them to your family for them to post here on your behalf. "Dear AskMe, what's the best wood for sending smoke signals?")
posted by Houstonian at 11:36 AM on May 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

I hate to break this to you, dude, but when you get back from your mission the internets will have changed so drastically as to be utterly unrecognizable. Only kidding. Sort of. Who knows whether two years from now the kids will still think Twitter and Facebook are worth their attention.

Seriously, though, ask around people who have recently returned and ask what they did. I personally know someone who cheerfully disregarded the restrictions on internet activity. I'm not saying you should do that, and depending on where you are being called to, that may not be an option. But that is what one of the guys I know did when he was in your situation.
posted by ambrosia at 11:52 AM on May 20, 2009

The next time they start Portable FireFox, they can tell it to restore the previous session

If you go this route, it's even easier to open all the accounts in separate tabs, log into them all, then hit "bookmark all tabs." That would make one a single bookmark for the whole series of tabs. (Less likely to get wiped than a previous session.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:57 PM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I suggest a program called AI Robo Form, it remembers the URL's and all passwords. Even when u get back from prison, errrr, vacation, most sites will let you back in, just make sure your email stays the same. Maybe they let you have computer access after good behaviour.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 7:54 PM on May 20, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

Again, these are all great answers, and I wish I could mark them all. The ones I highlighted cover different aspects of the answer, and should give the best abridged version of this post to future searchers.
posted by bradly at 1:04 AM on May 21, 2009

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