Friday, March 22, 2013

To Those Silent Blogs

One of my greatest joys is opening up my blog to see a handful of bloggers have written a new post moving their blog name to the top of my reading list. It means that I will learn something, laugh, nod knowingly and just plain enjoy myself for the time it takes me to read and sometimes comment on their post. It also gives me a few minutes or more of pleasure later when I check back to see if a response has been given. That is why when I find a blog I like, I add it to the reading list widget so that I know automatically when a new post has been posted. But after awhile, my reading list gets quite long and the updated blogs get fewer and further apart. Eventually I suspect something is wrong and do an audit on all the blogs that I have linked to in my sidebar.

Going through my blog reading list, I sound several blogs that no longer exist and their links now lead me to that website that buys up all defunct websites. It was a sad affair to have to remove those links knowing that they won't be back.

Then there are the handful of bloggers that still have sites but haven't updated them, one of them for a couple of years. One of them I know was going through a personal problem and wrote me back to let me know that they would get back to blogging when times were easier. I hope they have even if they haven't taken up blogging again.

Two bloggers that I knew were getting along in years and just stopped writing. I always fear the worse for those type of situations and think blogger should come up with some sort of fail safe mechanism. We could write our own eulogy of sorts and it stays in draft form until a set amount of time passes when we don't login into blogger and it publishes itself to say goodbye to everyone. That way we aren't left wondering if the worst has happened.

Two more bloggers aren't that old and have mysteriously stopped posting for reasons unknown. What tragedy has happened in their lives?

A few blogs were kind enough to warn people that they were going to stop blogging. I always keep them around because if it is on my list, I really enjoy reading it and perhaps one day they will come back to the blogging fold. A couple have but sadly, a couple more that have stayed true to their word.

It is funny that these people whom I only know by words written on a screen have become a kind of family to me. Enough that I miss them when they aren't there anymore. For all those I have deleted their defunct links, I hope you come back to blogging again sometime. For those who mysteriously just stopped with blogs still up on the web, I hope you are still among the land of the living. If not, send me a sign from the other side so I can finally remove your link too.


DEK said...

I would expect a blog to have a limited life, especially an interesting one with any sort of focus other than the ego of the writer. If you have something worthwhile to say about a subject, there will come a time when you will have said it.

Years ago I published a monthly newsletter about something thought important at the time and after about three years I noticed that I had said what I thought significant about the subject -- and I had seen other newsletter writers who carried on after they had apparently said what they had to say -- so I wrote to all my subscribers (there weren't all that many) and told them why I was quitting and enclosed a check for the unused portion of their subscription.

I started my blog with the limited goal of pulling together such material as I could find in my old travel journals and see if perhaps there was anything publishable there. Now, two years into the project, I see that I have about six months worth left and will have to decide what to do with my blog after that.

Ed said...

DEK - I would have to agree with you. Most of the blogs I have seen disappear over time had some sort of focus to them. A small percentage that didn't have focus and just disappeared, I assume something happened in their life that caused them to stop.

Looking at most of the blogs that I still read after all these years, they are all mostly just blogs about anything and everything... kind of like what my blog is.

sage said...

I know that you run out of steam--I am within 10 post of having 1000 posts and although there is still more I want to write about, it is harder to focus after so many years. And besides, my blog feed isn't working again, or so it appears.

Anonymous said...

Early on they seemed to be far more agendized than now, but you still encounter a rats nest now and again.
Mind you I don't think I'm so much of an anomaly anymore, lots of the Harry Potter generation are now writing quite good stuff in blogs without the intend of excluding people or attempting to create the great novel of the last 70 years.
But to be honest I think what causes people to end things is the platform they are blogging from. It can be the straw which tips the decision.

DEK said...

I am reminded of the words of that Eminent Edwardian, Lytton Strachey:
“No good letter was ever written to convey information, or to please its recipient: it may achieve both of these results incidentally; but its fundamental purpose is to express the personality of its writer.”

DEK said...

to which I ought add that many found Strachey quite tiresome.

Linda said...

You wrote my thoughts since I have been wondering why my blog roll people is not writing very often.

Ed said...

Sage - I'm ten on the plus side of 1100 posts. I have slowed down over the years. I remember writing a couple posts a day when I started and after a couple years slowed down to one a day. These days I shoot for three a week but I sometimes feel stretched for that. I suppose there will come a time in the near future when maybe one a week will be the norm. But for me, blogging has been like my journal that I keep up. It is almost second nature.

I would try uninstalling the widget and trying to install it again... after saving off all the websites someplace else first so it isn't so hard to plug them all back in.

Vince - Yeah, I've stumbled in on a rats nest or two over the years. I tend to leave just as quickly as I found them. I'm too old to think I can change someone's beliefs on anything political.

DEK - It was well said on Strachey's part!

Linda - I've been blogging for over 13 years. In all that time, I think I have only dropped a couple blogs off my blogroll voluntarily because I grew tired of reading them. The dozens and dozens that I have removed over the years have all been people who just stopped, sometimes for explained reasons but mostly because they just stopped for reasons unknown.

warren said...

Too many blogs go the way of the dodo and it is so sad. Like you, I get attached to these writers even though I have never seen them face to face or heard their voices...It bums me out. Anyhow, I'll keep on writing. I wish everyone would keep writing even if just now and then!

Bone said...

Nice post, Ed.

You're right, we do get sort of attached to our fellow bloggers, and when one disappears without warning, you wonder and hope that nothing bad has happened.

It's an interesting dynamic, because you don't want to pry too much. Or at least, I don't. But then, you do come to care about them.

At least one blogger I used to read has passed away. And quite young, too. I've always left the link up on my sidebar. It's probably silly, but I guess that is my little way of remembering her.

Murf said...

Boy, I wonder where I fall in this blog entry. :-) Thankfully, I don't think it's the 'getting up in years' one although I do have a few years on you. Ugh!

Ed said...

Murf - This wasn't referring to you. I know your reason for abandoning blogging.