Friday, August 28, 2009

What The?

Warning: this post is not about blogs in which the owner is taking a brief vacation from, or in which the real world beckons, the owner has to re-org their time, and thus posting becomes sporadic. Please keep that in mind as you read this post.

Ever have this happen to you?

Okay, got done with publishing the latest batch of comments, gave thoughtful responses to the comments and tidied up a few things on the blog. Now I think I'll go read a few blogs. Let's see, I'll go to this one....hmmm, last post was about a month ago.

Or worse, had this happen to you?

Okay, got done with publishing the latest batch of comments, gave thoughtful responses to same, and tidied up a few things on the blog. Think I'll go read a few blogs. Let's see, I'll go to this one....WTF?! It's closed?!

Yes my friends, you have just stepped into the world of "The Abandoned Blog". I'll be your guide as we navigate treacherous waters and dangerous grounds, where abandoned and orphaned blogs wait with baited breath and dull teeth, to hook the innocent reader and pull them into a world where time stands still!!
That last paragraph may sound amusing, but the overall reality of the situation is a serious and sensitive topic.

Abandoned (or orphaned) and closed out blogs.

In a strange way, I seem to have the unfortunate gift of finding blogs that become within a couple of months either orphaned or closed. I'm not really sure why that is, but I will tell you it has become as of late, incredibly frustrating.

For the most part, I do differentiate between orphaned and closed out blogs. I also differentiate between very good reasons for doing so and very bad reasons for doing so.

For orphans that I used to read, they can be broken down into two distinctive categories: 1) orphaned for a reason and 2) orphaned without a reason.

1} Orphaned for a reason: There are a few blogs that I still follow, even though they haven't been updated for awhile, simply because the blogger was kind enough to explain the reasons behind their action. This would basically be a serious re-org of one's life due to the real world economic downturn. Sometimes, when the real world beckons with a golden opportunity, you simply got to take advantage of it.

These blogs and their owners I will forever respect, simply because of the way that they handled the issue.

2} Orphaned for no apparent reason: These are the types that bother me the most. They start their blogs with enough gung-ho to feed an army, then just as quickly, they flame out. No goodbyes, no explanations, no nothing except leaving their readers in the lurch.

I actually have two followers in the collective who fit this category. The time their blogs were last updated it was Thanksgiving and Christmas 2008 (I will not provide links because I don't want to publicly embarrass them). No reason was given for the orphaning of two very good blogs, but orphaned they were. Perhaps they simply didn't have the get up and go to maintain the blog (Blogging is not for the faint at heart. It is something that you want to do. You simply can't do it at 50% and expect it to survive).

Now, closed out blogs. Believe it or not, closed out blogs fall under the same categories as orphaned blogs. Yeah I know, you're gonna say, "Bullshit." Well, hear me out on this one.

1} Closed for a reason: Now at one point I was following a couple of blogs that were closed for what seemed to be on the surface no apparent reason. One was a blog on interracial relationships and the other was someone's personal creative non-fiction blog (for lack of a cleaner description).
In regards to the first one, which was written by an incredibly talented college student, I found out through someone else's chatterbox (nifty widget you can get for your blog) that he closed it out due to being harassed and stalked on his own blog.

Sad really, if you're harassed and stalked bad enough that you close your blog to make it stop.

As for the second, she announced that she closed it out due to the rather unsettling comments she was getting on it. From what I understand, it's reopened by invite only.

And now the one thing that really irritates me.

2} When they're closed for no apparent reason. I have followed about five or six blogs that have vanished like that. I'd original found these through comments that the owners themselves had left on mine. I would investigate theirs, get hooked, then suddenly find it nuked and gone.

Bugs me to no end. I very rarely give any blogger a second chance when they nuke their blog and reopen it under another name.

I've had a total of three bloggers do that so far. All reopened under a new name. One I immediately purged when I found out that they reopened. And by purged, I'd stopped subscribing and removed links.

The other two are a bit more difficult. One has orphaned his second blog and the second nuked her second blog. I like them a lot, but I don't know if I"ll go back to them again.

If there was one piece of advice that I could give to anyone that was going to nuke their blog, it would be this:

If you're dead set on nuking your blog, please, please, please give your readers a goodbye post explaining why you're taking your blog home with you. You have a 50/50 shot of your readers understanding the why.

Also, if you plan on making your blog an orphan, please, do the same thing. Give your readers one last post explaining why. Trust me, we will understand the reasoning behind it. Shoot, we'll even take possession of it for ya and make it a group collaborative out of it.


  1. ..and just as bad are the ones that you find, that have a few really great posts and just go downhill, and never seem to hold you like they once did...
    Every once in awhile my bookmarks list needs a major overhaul.
    Not talking about any in particular of course, just the general state of BlogLand. :)

  2. Hi Kim, welcome back!

    Yeah, I understand completely. I overhaul my bookmarks and faves (got about 60 overall) every quarter or so. That's how I came across yours.

    There are a few blogs that I follow that used to grab me, but now have, in my opinion, gone so mainstream that they lost that oomph that got me there to begin with.

  3. Yes I agree, I find it really bugs the hell out on me when I've been committed to a blog and they just disappear. It's like a real slap in the face.

    I also agree with Kim that some blogs I follow just seem to go downhill too. Sometimes I think some bloggers say too much too quickly and then have nothing left to say.

  4. LL Cool Joe: I have to agree with you on the burn out issue.

    When I first started mine, I was making two posts every other day (an ugodly 8 to 10 a week). By early summer, I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel for stuff to write about.

    As for the slap in the face, most definitely. I found some blogs early on, then next thing I know, boom, no more blog. Usually found out by the infamous, "this url doesn't exist".

    It really does bug the hell out of me.

  5. Hmmmm, can't say this has happened to me. Almost all of the blogs I go to are artists and they never seem to get tired of creating art to share. There are some like me that just blog about what's going on in their life and studio.
    I actually started blogging because I wanted my adult children to get a sense of who I was as a real person and not just "Ma"
    To this date I'm still not sure they even visit.
    You can come visit me G and I'll tell you stories and show you strange art work and I'll visit you and you can entertain me with your wonderful posts.
    BUT, remember I'm old and one day I might be under rather than above ground and I might not have had time to give you warning.

  6. What gets me is when bloggers basically abandon their blogs, then get hurt feelings when people stop following or linking. WTF?

  7. Bea: I do follow a few artistes blogs and I would agree with you that a lot of them love to share their work with everyone.

    I believe artistes, no matter what their field of endeavor may be, are the exception to rule about blog posting. I understand the need for shows and what not, so I have no problem with the way they handle their blogs.

    I will always be pleased as punch to visit your blog. No matter how strange the art may be, I will find something about it to enjoy.

    As we get older, we learn to appreciate the stuff we didn't like when we were younger.

    Riot Kitty: I really never had that happen to me. I mean, get hurt feelings. At least that I can recall.

    I've had people stop visiting due to the hurt feelings that some of my posts my have generated, but it is what it is.

  8. Is there a Bermuda Triangle out there for blogs?

  9. I'm not sure, but I think there should be.

    Imagine all the hundreds upon thousands of blogs abandoned, not just with Blogger, but with Wordpress, Live Journal and any other server, all under one roof.

    Just like a supermarket, where you can pick and choose the abandoned blog of your choice and bring it home with you.

    Sort of like a pet.

  10. I like your "adopt-a-blog" idea, G.

    It always saddens me when a favorite blog suddenly closes - like a good friend not returning your calls.

  11. Yeah - bloggers and their blogs do become friends really. And it does make me wonder when they disappear.

  12. I think some people want to go out Rock Star style and just stop without reason while it's still good. A sudden death sort of thing.

    There is still one blog I follow though she has not updated in forever, she is just too funny to not!

  13. Talon: Excellent comparison.

    When a good friend suddenly stops calling, it does make you wonder if something happen to them or if you did something wrong.

    Lynn: Most definitely. Like I said, I have a few followers in my collection whose simply stopped doing their blogs. I actually checked out one of them on the web (only because I remembered what they do for a living) and I figured that's probably why they stopped the blog.

    It does make me wonder. It makes me sad as well.

    ThatOneGirl: That's an interesting way of looking at it.

    Burn brightly for just a little while, then do a spectacular flame out.

  14. I feel sad when a great blogger just stops. But if their heart is not in it.....

    and while it eases the sadness somewhat if they say goodbye or give a reason - do they really "owe" their readers this?

    Blogworld is not real life, I don't judge those who choose to just stop, even if I do mourn their absence

  15. What you say is apparently very common. Several blogs I really enjoyed were abandoned, and one nuked by the author, who warned in advance but did not explain why. He's dropped by to comment a couple of times, but is out of the blogging thang, apparently permanenetly. One abandoned blog is by a very wonderful person whom I consider a friend even though we've never met. She had a tragedy in the family and we haven't heard from her since, either by email or blog. I'm afraid she's died, because she was elderly and frail.

    It's cut offs like that last one that really are disturbing!!!

    What also saddens me is when the blogs start out really great then slowly become abandoned or the content drops off. I know from my own copious blogging that you go through cycles where you chat about yourself a lot, or you have shallow lookee there articles more than you have serious, thoughtful content; but that's due to life and time available and things like that. But it's sad when the things just get abandoned.

  16. I know one blog that just stopped but the person had a very good reason, a major life changing experience, and she let us know that it had happened. But I agree, that when people just stop they should probably give a final post letting us know some details. I've got some issues myself with folks who just stop a blog and open another one that is pretty much the same thing. Why not keep the old one so I won't have to change all my google reader stuff.

  17. NurseMyra: Welcome back!

    An interesting point you make there.

    Do they owe it to their readers an explanation as to the why? Not really, but it would be simplest thing to do.

    At least for me, I would actually understand the why if a reason was given. I think that I would be more than likely than not to return to whatever blog that particular blogger would create, simiply because they took the few seconds to explain why they were leaving.

    As for the Blogworld not being like real life, I would respectfully disagree. A great percentage of the blogs I follow have such a good chunk of that blogger's life woven into the fabric that it makes it extremely not to become attached to that blog.

    Writtenwyrd: Excellent points. I don't believe I've had the misfortune of a blog that I was reading expire due to the passing of the blogger.

    I concur with the content of ones blog going through cycles. One thing I've tried to avoid lately is talking exclusively about myself. It's one thing to simply weave your life into a blog, but its a whole other world to exclusively talk about yourself as well.

    You gotta have that good mix to keep people coming back for more.

  18. Charles: I agree.

    I mentioned that I was follow two other blogs that recently closed but I gave second chances to.

    It's been really hard for me to let them go. One of them was a blog that I first started following a couple of months after I came online. He closed out that one then reopened it in Blogger, but that one is on hiatus as well.

    The other is a bit more problematic and personal, for which I've been spending a great deal of waffling on. I may elaborate on that one someday, but for now, I'll just keep it to myself and hope for the best.

  19. Mama Z: It is at that.

    There were a few blogs that I followed wot left a gaping hole in my blog life when they departed for parts unknown.

  20. I think when we develop a community of readers, we do have an obligation to them. That includes telling them when it's over. It is a relationship, even though it's on-line.

    And whenever I close something out on the web, after awhile I remove it. It's frustrating to find interesting blogs that are dead.

  21. Pamela: I find that sentiment to be true, be it in the blog world or even in the chat rooms.

    In the chat rooms, you have a tendency to develop friendships, much like you do in the blog world. And when people simply up and disappear, it can be frustrating, not knowing the reasoning behind it.

    The blog world is almost as close as you can get to the real world. You work very hard to cultivate relationships among your peers and among your readers, and you don't ever want to take them for granted.

    I know with me, on the few occasions that I've taken a hiatus, I made sure to let my readers know the reasoning as to why, and that I'll be back in an "x" number of days.

  22. I agree that I always want an explaination! I too have known many old buddies who have done this=

    I believe this abandon/abolish blog shows a severe lack of patience in general.

    I want to leave ESR up forever after I'm gone, because it'll allow folks like grandkids to read it when grown. I suppose some abandon without a reason would be death!

  23. Snaggle: I agree with your opinion on it showing a lack of patience in general.

    It is definitely something that you really have to stick with if you want to be successful. I'm a good example. It took me well over a year to get where I am now, and I'm notorious for being impatient with a lot of things.

    I feel much the same way as Cedar's Mountain. I actually have detailed instructions stashed away on how to access my online life. That way, if I do abruptly disappear, people will know why.


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G. B. Miller

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