Pobox in the 21st century

I've been using pobox.com since (checks...) 1996, when I needed to change email addresses and wanted to avert the hassle of getting updates pushed out the next time I had to do that. Pobox does two things: it gives me an email address that I can redirect wherever I want, and it gives me URL forwarding: a Pobox account comes with the ability to redirect http://www.pobox.com/~your-name to wherever you want.

I got email from Pobox today announcing that URL redirection will be discontinued in a couple months:

[...] Pobox alias URLs once served the same purpose as Pobox email aliases: you could get one URL and have it follow you as your web page moved. Over time, though, personal domains have taken over this use case, and Pobox’s URL redirection service is almost entirely unused. Upcoming changes to our web interface make this feature much harder to continue offering, and we have decided to retire it.

Your account’s URL is one of the few that has seen traffic in the last six months. Maybe that’s a fluke, and you’ve stopped using this URL, and it redirects to some long-abandoned page you owned in the 1990s. On the other hand, you might still be using this URL. If that’s the case, you should begin updating links to your Pobox URL and instead link directly to the target resource, or some other redirection service. [...]

As it happens, I am using that URL, and updating links kind of depends on knowing where the links are. (I mean, updating my own links is easy, but that's not why one uses redirection.) I use the domain I acquired in 2017 for all new stuff, and I've been migrating old stuff intermittently. But I didn't finish and cut over, because there are links to my old SCA stuff (in particular) all over the place out there, and I couldn't figure out how to cleanly make all the URLs work -- Pobox gives me one top-level redirect, but if I can't exactly preserve the structure under that, I'm into the realm of individual redirects and that's a big hassle.

Well ok, then -- Pobox is forcing my hand (and I don't really blame them if usage is that low), so I'll just rip that band-aid off and not worry about making the soon-to-be-dead URLs work on the new site. I also hit the Wayback Machine and archive.today with some pages I know are linked, and I asked Pobox if they could give me referrer logs so I can see if there's anyone I ought to notify. Beyond that, I'll just have to assume that search engines will eventually index the new locations and anyone who really cares will search.

Tonight I migrated my SCA pages, which are mainly the page (and many pictures) for the Pennsic house, since Greg Lindahl is already hosting most of my music (and Joy & Jealousy). I also had a bunch of stuff related to the Board crisis of 1994; rather than port all the individual pages, I archived it online and then dropped a ZIP file on my site. It was 30 years ago; I suspect very few people are interested, and those who are won't mind downloading the bundle.

My Pobox account next renews in 2029. I have email through my domain but, again, a lot of people use my Pobox address and updates are hard. But perhaps in the next five years I should attempt to put that change in place, because who knows if email forwarding will go the way of URL redirection by then?