WITH SEVERAL virtual identities competing for limited resources, some of my online properties fall over the side a few times a year. It's no way to build a virtual presence--unless you want to erase part of the Google cache regarding something you've done. Since 1996, I've had something about myself on a domain that I maintained. The earliest stuff is now held hostage by a UK ISP because of a payment dispute. The late 20th century stuff is mothballed in a Dublin ISP and my current stuff is scattered from San Jose to Ireland. By looking at the chart (see left), it's apparent that something occurred a few weeks ago when the numbers of people visiting this blog dropped by thousands during a three-day stretch. Knowing my attention to detail, the same deep decline will happen to me before the end of the decade--it's already happened to my rich media content at Podcasting.ie--and my challenge is to face up to the embarrassment of going dark by preventing it in the first place. A special note to those five people who were alarmed by my dropping off the map--thanks for your text messages and direct email. It's nice to be noticed you've gone missing and it's special to discover that people read the words scribbled on this blog by clicking all the way onto the blog pages instead of taking their information via an RSS reader.