The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Blog Boggled: What If You Weren't There?

            Of late some of us, myself included,  have taken blogcations or have gone on special holiday blog schedules.  Most of us probably announced our intent beforehand.   But what if someone whom you read regularly and who often commented on your blog just disappeared from blogging.

            If you have been blogging for any length of time, you may have already seen this happen.  In my early days of blogging when I had few blog contacts, I would often find blogs that just stopped being active and had lay dormant for several years lost in blogger's limbo.  I would even leave comments on some occasions hoping the blog owner might respond--I don't remember it ever happening. 

            Does a dead blog mean a blogger is dead?  It could.   I was once following a blog and then there was a post from a relative that the blogger had passed away and the blog would have no future posts, but the archived blogs would remain.  I hadn't ever met the guy and he wasn't somebody that in the tangible world around me that I could call a friend, but when he passed I felt sad as though he were my real friend.

          Blogger friends are just as real as other kinds of friends.   I look at my Facebook page and receive all sorts of information about my Facebook friends.   But do I really know all of these people?  And do I really need to know about their Farmville activities or whatever other time-consuming activity in which they are involved.  I do like the tidbits of news I get from some of the friends that I remember knowing and from family members.   And I really enjoy some of the photos people put up.  But I swear I don't know who most of these people are.

        Bloggers can be an anonymous bunch in a sense, but many of us are opening up with our writings.  We will often hint about various aspects of our lives and sometimes bare our deeper thoughts and concerns.  Though a reader can never be absolutely sure about the person in the page,  I think most of us are pretty honest about who we are and what our intents are. 

           I think I can claim my blogger friends are real friends and hope they see me in the same way.  We may never pass on the street, or meet in church, or talk on the phone, but there is some sense of caring, sharing, and positivity.     I am thrilled when I read the comments that you've left me and I enjoy leaving my thoughts on your blogs.  

            There are a lot of blogs that we follow.  We may not always get around to leaving comments on every post and may sometimes not even get around to reading.   It can be a difficult thing to do and I think we all understand that.   But if you weren't there--not on your blog, my blog, or anyone else's blog--I'd miss you and wonder what happened.

             Have you ever found a "dead" blog and wondered what happened?     Have you ever followed a blog that ended with no explanation or because the blogger died?   Do you think of blogger friends as "real friends"?



  1. Interesting. Yeah, I have found dead blog, but never a blog that was dead because the owner was dead. That WOULD be sad. And yeah, I think of my friends here in the blogging world as being real friends.

  2. I always wonder what happens to dead blogs. Especially those you read every so often and that blogger leaves comments and then bam, disappears. I wondered if I died would somebody let my bloggers know.

  3. When I mention a post to someone I say "My blogger friend wrote..." A blogger named Barry died and it through me. Maybe you've passed one of your blogger friends and didn't know it.
    Have a great week!

  4. Oh I most definitely think of Bloggers as my real friends. Not all of coarse but I have become close to many of them even so far as talking on the phone. I did know one that passed away and I miss him terribly.
    As far as dead blogs go, I haven't come across many of those yet. But I feel just as you do about the subject Arlee. Love Di ♥

  5. Well said! And yes I have found 'dead blogs' and worry about the blogger. I love social psychology and think about the relationship between social networking and face to face friendship and believe that (as you say) while we may never meet each other we undergo similar rituals/behaviours with blog friends as we do with face to face ones and therefore social etiquette and courtesy, being open and supportive are all valid and important. I also have a long term email friend whom I have never met but consider one of my dearest friends. :O)

  6. I have found some "dead blogs" but I don't think I really wondered what happened. There are actually many dead blogs, maybe that is why. I can't forget my "first" death notification, a young woman 22-24 seems like was killed in Haiti in that massive earthquake. She was on a missions trip from her church I think and someone announced her death and the end of her blog. I was taken back by that.

    I followed a blog I liked and then postings stopped for 8 or 9 months and I finally removed it from my blogrolll and reader thinking it was dead, but then about a month later the blogger started blogging again. No explanation and I didn't ask.

    Yes, I think of blogger friends, that I interact with, not causual commenting, such as yourself as a good friend.

    I have several blogger "friends" whom I would be very sad if 1) something happened to them; 2) they stopped blogging.

  7. this is such a strange topic which, I must admit, I thought about before :) I even considered putting it in my will the obligation for my heirs to inform my blogging friends of an unfortunate accident if something bad, God forbid, happens to me unexpectedly. It strange how we all see eachother every day and get to love our blogging friends, but with most of them you have no other contact.

  8. This is such a great post. Yes, I've seen this happen several times. The only blogger I really worry about is Cassandra Jade because she vanished in the middle of a blog tour that she'd been extremely excited about.

    I do think of my blogging friends as real friends.

  9. I have quite a few of bloggers who have suddenly stopped leaving commments. One is "Mr. Stupidity" who always commented and another is a one whose name I can't spell who lives in the east. There are some followers who sign in only never to leave a comment I have often wondered why. Some don't even have a blog. Life gets very confusing.
    I have a few blogcations coming up this year but will always let people know if I don't take my laptop.

    This was a very interesting issue Lee and thanks to bringing it to the fore.


  10. I haven't had someone die on me yet, but I am in that category where I just disappeared for a bit. But there was writing to be done! I think with all the intimate details we can share about our lives online these days, yes we're defining friends in the social networking era.

    Breakfast Every Hour

  11. I have seen blogs that have just died but have yet to be informed about the blogger. Man that would be depressing because yes I do think of you guys as friends. A faceless, cannot touch you friend but still a friend. Anytime you share parts of yourself with someone it is a connection :) And I would MISS you too, Lee.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  12. I enjoy the friendships I have made through blogging. I always hope that maybe my path will cross with another blogger and we’ll meet in person somewhere like a conference or book signing. I have followed blogs that stopped with no explanation. When that happens I do worry about the blogger.

  13. I see inactive blogs a lot and it's strange... and I've had people I followed stop...I think USUALLY people just try blogging for a while and can't sustain it, but sometimes, there is something bigger.

    I would agree that blogs are a better way to get to know each other than facebook, or the other formats... we pour more of ourselves onto the page, and therefore know each other a lot better... the foundation of friendship. My 'real friends' on facebook seem to ALSO have other ways we've interacted or gotten to know each other. On my writer's profile I try to encourage (and receive the same) but that alone is rarely enough.

  14. I actually just found a dead blog today while looking up some Veronica Mars stuff. Looks like they stopped posting in October--no listed reason--but they were pretty regular posters before that. And I hope all is well with them.

  15. I think of my blogger friends as real friends. And yes, Mr Stupid and Cassandra Jade have both vanished, and I can't help but wonder if they are dead.

  16. Tabitha -- It is a real community just like a neighborhood. We know some people better than we know others and sometimes we may not stop and talk to somebody for a long time---but it doesn't mean we stopped being friends, but our lives just took us in different directions.

    PTM -- I've thought about that myself. Maybe we should make arrangements just in case.

    Mary -- I too refer to "my blogger friend" on occasion. It would be cool to have some blogger get togethers more often. I've heard of some bloggers doing this and I wish I could be a part of something like this.

    Diana -- Even with most of my long time friends and relatives I rarely talk on the phone. Most of them are too far for me to visit very often. My blog friends are not much different than this I guess and in many cases I know more about them.

    Madeleine -- I guess email friends are kind of like penpals we sometimes had when I was growing up, except now we learn things more instantaneously.

    Gregg -- I am honored to be considered among your friends and your friendship is the same with me. I guess blog friendships have a greater mystery since we are not in close enough contact to know all of the details about our blog friends.

    Dezmond -- I have thought about this "will" issue or "what to do in case of death". Nowadays we all have so many e-accounts with passwords and life contacts that maybe it's a good idea to leave all of this information to beneficiaries in case of death. It's weird when someone whose presence we have become accustomed to just vanishes.

    Carol-- the Cassandra Jade mystery is a strange one considering she was in the midst of a blog tour. I even googled her name back then to see if there was any other information.

    Yvonne -- If you're staying in a hotel, most of the chains usually have computers you can use. But the main thing is to have a good time on your trips.

    AlexNYC -- E-friends are perfectly valid I think as long as we keep them in perspective. Meeting in person adds a whole new dimension to the relationship.

    Jules -- And I would miss you as well. Sorry I have been a diminished presence of late--I'm still trying to catch up after my vacation.

    Jane -- I keep hoping to find a booksigning or some event where I'll find a blogger that I follow. I've met one blogger so far (aside from my relatives who blog) and that was a lot of fun.

  17. Hart -- FaceBook does seem rather superficial, but if you really know somebody it's a fun way to keep up with them. Sometimes it's the only way I know what my kids are up to.

    Kristin Rae -- There are several of these. Some of theser bloggers seem very interesting and I want to know more about them, but where are they.

    Alex -- Shudder! I hope they are both well and just bored or annoyed with blogger or something like that. And what about Cassandra Jade's book?

  18. Are blogger friends real friends? Sometimes. Just like people in real life, some are friends, some are acquaintances. I've never met any of my blogger friends in real life.

  19. I've had some of it all. A couple of folks who I really liked went on vacations and never came back!

    Also, my favorite blog of all time "Jimmy Bastard" just flat disappeared...

    Some blogger friends are real friends, some are aquaintances, and some are just folks that pass in and out of each others lives....

  20. I have made real friends off blogger. It's a great community.

  21. I definately consider bloggers as real friends. I like the way Blogdom can be used as a support group when someone is experiencing a particularly difficult time.

    From time to time a blog disappears that I like. Or a blogger stops a series that I like.

  22. I definitely feel my bloggy friends are real friends. I'm very worried about one. She disappeared a while back - she was supposed to do a guest post on my blog and I haven't heard from her since the day before. It's very upsetting.

  23. This is a great post and has me thinking. It can be upsetting to have a blogger friend that no longer post and not know what is going on.

  24. My blogging friends are definitely my friends. We share so much each day. I'm another one that is worried about Cassandra Jade. Very inspiring post.

    Thoughts in Progress

  25. Friendships need to be cultivated to develop, and to keep alive. Since I do this with blogging, I must say bloggers then are my friends! I haven't seen one 'die' off yet, but then again, there's quite a few I haven't cultivated as well as I could have.

  26. As a matter of fact, just before I read this post I sent an email to a blog friend I haven't heard from in over a month. She wrote right back and everything's great, but she was on my mind and I've missed her.

    I had another friend that decided to stop blogging because she got really sick with kidney cancer. She never came back. I emailed her recently just to see if she was doing better and haven't heard back. I'm guessing I probably won't.

  27. Carol --That's a good way of putting it. I'd like to meet a lot of my blogger friends. There should be a convention or something.

    Pat -- And your take on the topic well applies.

    M Pax -- I'll vouch for this community.

    Stephen -- Support is good. And with common interests many can support in very specific ways.

    Jemi -- It wasn't Cassandra Jade was it?

    Asia -- You can feel kind of helpless and only hope that everything's okay.

    Mason -- We really need to know what's happened to Cassandra. Has any one checked her book sales activity?

    Lynn -- Isn't that frequently the case of all types of friendships? So often I'll start missing certain old friends whom I haven't been in contact with and realize I haven't been cultivating all of my friendships.

    Karen -- The first part's pretty cool, but the last story is sad--an open ended tale with an ending we'll probably never know.

  28. Hello, I have found Blogging has opened up a brand new life. Following an accident I gave up rushing around a hospital Emergency Room and retired. This was very difficult and yet, I now have friend that otherwise would never have been. Yes I consider everyone who becomes close on here to be an important part of my life. I learn off them and they off me...and the wonderful thing is, we are from different parts of the globe.. Good on you..

  29. Crystal -- The rapidity and ease by which we can be in contact with people throughout the world is amazing and wonderful. I would say that blogging has opened up a brand new life for me as well.

  30. Lee, I started Blogging when I still had no idea how to use a computer. Over the brief time I've been blogging I have made friends with people I would never have come to know about at all. Yes I love my blogger friends and to tell the truth you probably know more about me than those people I deal with in person on a daily basis. I value your commentary on my posts more than the stupid comments make to my face, this is probably because when we write we have time to marshal our thoughts before hitting the publish button, makes sense to me! Some of my friends do stop blogging for a while but i don't consider them dead, just dealing with life till they are ready to share again. I too do this but I can assure you I'm very much alive. I have asked my son to post a blog for me in the event of my demise or an inability to continue blogging. Be assured you are really my friends. god bless you my friend. Geoff.

  31. Geoff -- Thank you so much for your heartfelt response and I with you on those sentiments.

  32. My sister was seriously injured during an overseas trip, and had been keeping a popular blog about her adventures along the way--while she was in intensive care and for part of her recovery, I took it over and used it to keep her friends informed about what was going on. I know a lot of them would have worried if she'd just lapsed into silence (and in this case, with good reason).

  33. Having a back-up plan while blogging for a known expectant audience is probably a good plan.


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