Linked Data and the US government shutdown

Posting to multiple lists

With the US government shutdown, it appears as if all sites with .loc.gov (at least) have been shutdown as well. This would seem to mean that if someone were using LC linked services id.loc.gov, anything will fail.

Interruption with linked data services have been discussed in the abstract, but now we have a real example to consider. If someone were using the id.loc.gov site extensively for linking name and subjects, what would they do? Using other services, such as Amazon, if it goes down, you may not get some customer comments for awhile, but that is not such a tragedy. Not getting vital information, such as the headings, is a completely different matter and would result in failure in the catalog. There is the IT concept of “failing gracefully”, so that when something doesn’t work, it doesn’t just crash, but is much more controlled. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceful_exit

I don’t even know if anyone is yet using the linked data services from LC, but if you were, what would you do now for your patrons? I don’t know what I would do.

Would it be possible to “fail gracefully”? This “downtime” could serve as a time of reflection into some of the realities of linked data that we all know can and will happen (again).

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