Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Remembering the Disappeared

We regularly celebrate the arrival of new blogs to our community. It's a fine day when a blogger hangs out their digital banner and begins to inform, entertain, enlighten, and befriend. I lead the way in greeting them as often as I can because these are our people and we want them to feel at home. I smile as I add each new blog to my blogrolls.

But there's another side. In the past six years, I've watched a thousand spanking-oriented blogs come and go. It pains me to remove old friends from my blogrolls because they don't post any more. I'm sure their reasons are plentiful and valid, but still I wonder.

Some blogs offer a detailed explanation – The story arc has run its course, it's just not fulfilling any more, my relationship is over, I have a new partner, I've lost my kink, I was outed, I'm sick, my days are too full, or I don't want our lives to be so public. The blogger may leave the farewell message up for days or weeks before dispatching the blog. Or it may stand forever as a memorial to the vibrant meeting place the blog once was.

Those words help readers to understand the blogger's mindset, but they're seldom satisfying. Far worse are the blogs that simply go “poof” one day without warning. What, we are left to ponder, would prompt a blogger to simply erase their wonderful creation? What could have been so horrible that all traces must immediately disappear? We just cannot know. Even very large, popular blogs have died in this inglorious fashion, shrouded in mystery.

Then there are the blogs that go private. This situation, for a reader, is somewhat better, because it holds the promise that all that great content still exists and might return one day soon. But again, we don't really know.

Finally, there are those blogs that simply stop, as if frozen in time. Has the blogger given up? Have they found a preferable pastime? Are they even alive (I know of at least three bloggers who sadly are not)? Or might they return to rescue their digital creation? Fine questions all, but the answers are elusive.

So let me ask you. Why do you think so many successful bloggers decide to pull the plug? Could it be burn-out, lack of interest, or competing priorities? Or is there something else? Or someone else? Have you ever deleted a blog? If so, please help me understand. What was your motivation? Is there anything a friend could have said to cause you to preserve the blog's content?

I think a lot about the disappeared, especially when I maintain the blogrolls. I wonder if perhaps some of them still walk among us. I'd like to think they do.


kiwigirliegirl said...

lovely post - yes i too think about those who just disapear - and i leave coments on their last post to ask if they are ok and hope for the best but so far nothing :( its a sad fact of life unforuntaely in these digital times someone can just up and disappear
thanks for sharing bonnie :)
love and hugs kiwi xxx

lilsam said...

Hi Bonnie
I for one have had to pull the plug because my beloved sailor asked me not to blog,
But I do still check out my friends and now and then leave a comment or two.
My Sailor while away, still keeps track of my transgression in that darn book of his.
I still have not learnt to watch my attitude,or keep my tongue in check,so yes I do have a very sore bottom when he come home.
Wishing all of you in our wonderful spanking community a very Merry Christmas and the very best in 2012
love always your friend
Lil Sam

spankedbywife said...

This is a VERY good topic and I too, am saddened by the disappearance of some of my favorite blogs, some of which are actually hosted by people I have befriended. I know several just fizzle out on the energy thats needed (I have been blogging for almost two years and lament the times when my energy level isn't good enought to come up with something to post) and I know that there are several blogs that disappeared due to relationship changes.

With the season, I think of one of my favorite movies, 'Polar Express' (yes, I am a railfan) and the car with the forgotten toys. Its like the 'forgotten blogs' and anyone who has see the movie knows the sentiment.

Again, thanks for being one of the pillars of the spanking blogging community. I know that most of us look up to you.

Ken (SpankedbymyLady blog)

PK said...

I think about this topic often. I've been here almost as long as you have and I know we have seen so very many come and go. I have the privileged of remaining friends with many who were so active at one time but stopped for their own reasons. But others, like you said are just gone.

There was a time I nearly stopped. I thought of taking New Beginnings private, I did take Cassie private for a while, but I opened it up again and it has brought me great joy. I'm I am a member of this community and I'm planning to stay around a while. Many of my friends are here.


Mikki said...

Ms Bonnie...

Very thoughtful post! I have noticed some of my favs have quit and I do wonder about them... and since we have such a way of being "invisible" it makes it that much easier to disappear.

Right now we are dealing with health issues with S and raising a 13yo boy... we have a lot on our hands. It's hard sometimes to come up with something to post that doesn't sound whiny or bitchy or so far off subject that it no longer looks like a spanking blog.

We were having problems with the boy last week and I posted a couple of posts about punishing him. I knew when I posted it that it was going to be highly controversial so I even said in my post that I wasn't interested in any pissing contests and didn't intend on arguing the subject as it was done and I wan't asking permission, I was journaling and talking to like minded friends who understood... and if they didn't agree, I just needed them to quietly lurk, I was at that moment so raw that I just really needed the support of my cyber family!

I got so much support from my friends, it was so encouraging and they all helped me to heal a bit and helped to comfort a friend in need.

Except for one person.... not a friend... not anyone who blogs... not anyone who even cares about anyone else but themselves because Jules just couldn't keep his/her opinions to themselves. You know, for some reason you can have a thousand cheering you on...encouraging and helping.... and it takes one person to slice the wound wide open, forgetting all the healing that has taken place.

I think this could be one of the reasons that some might slow down on blogging... people can be mean and even if we don't know them and they mean nothing to us in our lives, their words can cut us to the quick.

Mom used to say "if you can't say something nice, you don't need to say anything at all". Very wise words. I just think that sometimes people need to remember that bloggers put their heart and soul on the line... we should make sure that our skin is tough enough to take criticizim but sometimes we just need a hug.

Thank you again for your blog Ms Bonnie... you do a great service of drawing us all together and I think that you are a very important ingredient in the glue that holds us all together! ((hugs))

Conina said...

The blogs that disappear sadden me too - I've seen blogrolls with links at the bottom saying they last posted "2 years ago" or "3 years ago," and there's a post title and sometimes a snippet for that last post, but the blog itself is gone... it's very sad.

The amount of time and effort that goes into a blog is vast - I can't imagine just deleting one on a whim, but that seems to happen. It's amazing to think of all that content, all that energy, just...gone.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie you know we stopped for being outed, but it felt we were also posting the same thing over and over again. I felt for me that no one would want to keep reading the same stuff, so that is also why we left. FireBreather

sixofthebest said...

Yes, Bonnie I agree with you. Many a good spanking blog, has said 'goodbye' to us, without letting us know their whereabouts. And that saddens me. As you stated, there could be many a reason for their fate. Some have passed on, such as Alex Birch, the great 'spanking author'. Some for financial reasons. Other's because their is censorship, in that community.

morningstar said...

oh Bonnie - you have asked the questions that I ask all the time when a favourite blog just goes poof...... it always makes me a little sad like I have lost a friend somehow.

I have taken a couple of "hiatus" breaks (one you know about) but I think if the day ever comes when - for whatever reason - the words just don't come anymore.. I would put one final post up... and leave it for all eternity.

Now to answer your question... when I have taken a "holiday" from blogging - it was either I felt I had nothing more to offer... or I was dealing with too much "crap" in my 'real' life..

BUT always - the voices in my head (grinning) would start their babbling... and get louder and louder - until I had to put fingers to keys once more and write............

Anonymous said...

Most spanking blogs read like soap operas, and are boring.
I'm not interested in lunch, kids, recipes, love, blah, blah.
So they get very few comments and can't figure out why.
Posting the same 1978 cartoons/pics over and over again doesn't help either


I try to say a little "Goodbyeeee" to a blog, when I remove it from my rolls ((impossible with a roll as large as yours). Sometimes it is a little sad to do, sometimes very sad. There are as many reasons to stop blogging as there are blogs, we cannot always know why.


Fred Bloggs said...

I have written a blog posting of my own by way of a reply to this interesting subject: Hitting the delete button!

Hermione said...

Bonnie, you do the spanking community a great service by introducing new blogs on a regular basis. Sadly, some of these new blogs disappear shortly after being discovered. I have often wondered if this is so because of the instant fame and sudden rush of traffic they get. It's one thing to quietly write about your kink, but quite another to unexpectedly have a large audience that you didn't know existed. This isn't true of the lurkers and readers who comment and become familiar to us all, then start their own blogs, but it may be the case for a few "outsiders".

For what it's worth, there are many bloggers who have deleted their blogs then think better of it and wish they hadn't. The Blogger help forum is full of requests for help in restoring blogs intentionally deleted by their owners in a moment of passion.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,

I'm so new to blogging that I haven't seen anybody disappear, but I have had a lady write me privately saying she stopped blogging because of some upsetting anonymous comments...I have no idea what was said, but it must have been enough to make her stop.

At the time I hadn't ever had any rude anonymous posts...now I get them daily. I had to set my comments to be moderated, finally.

But, I'm still blogging. I'm too stubborn to let some anonymous stranger get me down.


Mistress160 said...

I once wrote a post about coping with online disappearances but it was about vanishing play partners rather than blogs. We all know vanishing without warning is a part of cyber reality, but knowing it happens doesn't make it easier when it's your friends who are suddenly gone. Same with blogs. I hate it when people delete their blogs, HATE it. I understand that our lives change and it might be time to move on, and I'm always grateful to those who leave a final post. But why remove the entire content??? Hmm bit early for a rant, I must need coffee....

sarah thorne said...

Hi Bonnie!!

One of mine was a disappearing blog! It was Zed and ginger. It appears to have gone private, when in reality, we stopped writing on it but didn't wanna delete it so spammers couldn't use the address.

Why did we do it? At that time, we were about to get married and had some unsettling stats that suggested it was possible Zed's ex had found the blog. She also made some cryptic comments to others in the family. She is fully aware of our kink, so 'outing' in that sense was not an issue. But we were trying to avoid any drama surrounding the wedding, so we went offline until it was over. We then opened back up briefly, but I still didn't like the idea of her possible reading such intimate details about what we were doing, so we made the decision to close it completely with the possibility of re-opening it.

During that time, we went back to using our original pre-ZED and ginger screen names, and became active under those names again. ZED didn't really have much interest anymore in blogging himself, and ZED and ginger was a dual blog. Therefore, after about a year or so of low key blogging under just an initial rather than a name (close friends knew it was us), I decided to just open up my own blog with my original scene name that is also used on my story website, and just connect it all.

So there....that was OUR reason! Funny, when we attend gatherings and parties, some people still call my husband ZED. :)


Blondie said...

Bonnie, I am one of those who just stopped blogging and my sight went "poof". I thought that I would enjoy blogging but I really found that I don't think that I was very good at it. Some people seem to be naturally gifted and what they are writing is enjoyable to read. I only wrote maybe 4 blogs. When I have more time to actually think about what I am writing instead of writing what I am thinking, I might try to blog again. I love your sight and have become a fan. I like that there is someone that also enjoys spankings for fun. Plus it is used for DD with me and my hubby. Thanks for blogging

Anonymous said...

I have never blogged and very rarely interact even though I have been around since before SSS. So please feel free to consider my comments accordingly.

I believe this loose knit community does a great service to help people to become more comfortable with themselves by first educating and then exploring this interest they have in spanking. Some folks find that they can share this interest with friends found here, but most do not find anyone to share with.

And even though the interest never goes away, almost all find that their efforts are better spent in pursuit of more attainable dreams and aspirations. I think the song goes something like: "... and God Bless the broken road...".

I am sure that they pop in-and-out as I do. And I am also sure that they appreciate the heartfelt sense of family and friends that blogs like yours seem to radiate.

I am sorry to hear that you have lost touch with friends, but I doubt very seriously that you are forgotten by those friends, if my own experiences are any example.

Stormy said...

Bonnie, great question! I almost quit blogging forever. My reason was that I had a secret blog for over nine months that my husband didn't know about. It was terribly hard but I told him the truth and faced punishment for deceit. He told me my blog was gone..finished, over. But I was able to share how much it meant to me to write, to learn, and to grow in my submission with all of your help.

He spanked me for nine days..one for each month I had written my blog- and then he allowed me to keep it. He reads it now of course and has learned to appreciate the "window to my mind" that it provides.

I'm thankful I can still write..


Anonymous said...

Hi bonnie,I`m the same as "stormy" mine wasn`t to thrilled when she found out I got spanked aswell don`t care lovin you all david davetouchin toes

SP said...

Dear Bonnie, I've lurked for the longest time on your wonderful blog. Always enjoy your thoughtful posts and comments (like this one). Thank you so much for including my humble new blog on your blogrolls. I appreciate your help to a newbie. I'll try not to disappear too soon. lol

Bonnie said...

Everyone - Thank you all for your thoughtful and thought-inspiring comments. As we probably all figured, there is no one explanation nor one solution. But I would like to continue to encourage bloggers not to erase their content.

KGG - Yes, I too sometimes leave comments on that lonely last post with the dim hope the lost blogger might wake from their long sleep and respond.

Lil Sam - Hi! We miss you. It's good to hear that things are going OK. Best wishes to both of you and please stop back when you can.

Ken - Yes, that's a good analogy for the melancholy I feel when I think about great blogs that are now silent.

PK - Thanks. Me too!

Mikki - I have seen quite a few bloggers run off by abusive comments, especially within the DD genre. I doubt there is any sure way to prevent such comments. The only real answer is for each of us to have a plan in advance as to how such comments will be handled.

I delete ugly comments immediately with no mention anywhere. Trolls crave a response. Getting none, they move on. The second part of the solution is to quickly forget the nastiness and not let it reside for even a moment in your head. I can tell you this works.

Thank you for your kind words. I truly appreciate your support.

Conina - Those traces in automated blogrolls are like footsteps in the sand. All we are left with is sadness and questions.

FB - Yes, your situation was certainly understandable. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why bloggers choose to move on. It just makes me sad sometimes to lose friends that way.

Six - I don't mean to second guess anyone. Obviously they know best about their own situation. Thanks for your comment.

ms - I'm like you in that even if I left, I'm not sure how long I could stay away. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Jack - Each blogger tries to find a unique core readership. The features and topics you find unappealing can (and have) provided the foundation for a successful blog

But your point is valid. If a blog fails to find an audience, the blogger begins to feel as though they are writing only for themselves. I recall this experience in the early days of MBS. It took several months before the blog attracted regular commenters. Had I been a bit less persistent, I might have given up for lack of interest. This is why I try to promote new spanking blogs whenever possible. I figure if we can get them through the rough initial stages, they have a good chance to soar.

Prefectdt - I considered some sort of recurring tribute to our dearly departed, but I decided those pixels are probably better spent on promoting the bloggers who remain. But it's still sad to whisper my goodbyes into the ether.

Fred - Thank you for adding your very relevant perspective.

Hermione - We have met the enemy and they are us? Aaack!

In truth, I know you are correct, at least in some cases. There is a very successful blogger (who I choose not to name) who once published a blog under her real name. It was truly excellent and, of course, I immediately linked her. A couple of days later, she wrote and asked me to remove the link because she had meant the blog for herself and her husband. The blog went poof, but happily, the author reappeared a few months later with a new name and a somewhat more circumspect approach.

Bonnie said...

I didn't know it was possible to write a comment that is too long for Blogger. Now I know because I just did it. Here's the rest.

Kitty - Good for you! Please see my comment to Mikki above regarding nasty comments.

M160 - Yes, I completely agree. Deleted blog content is a tragic loss for our community.

Sarah - I remember being shocked when your blog went private. I believe you were the leading DD blog at that time. Your content was very strong and you had many followers.

When I subsequently heard your explanation, it made perfect sense. I'm just really glad you're back!

Blondie - For what it's worth, I liked your blog and I thought you had some worthwhile things to say. But you know best. In any case, you're always welcome here.

Stormy - I'm grateful you can write as well. Your strong readership is well earned. Your blog rocks!

Dave - I appreciate your sacrifice for the cause! :)

SP - Welcome! We love new bloggers. May all your experiences be positive.

Respecting Mistress said...

Hi Bonnie,

I've come to this a bit late since I've not been on-line to update my own blog or check out my favourite sites in what seems an eternity.

Like others here, I've lost people who had become good on-line friends when their blogs suddenly disappeared, which is a shame when you share so much about your lifestyle and enjoy hearing how relationships develop. It's sad to lose tough with like-minded folk.

But I'm guilty too of not keeping my blog up together in the past couple of months and I was aiming to close it.

Mistress and I have been so busy that we've had so little time to explore the DD side of our lifestyle that there seemed little to write about.

We've talked about how important it is to attend to that, and just this morning I decided to have a catch-up with what's going on-line and found this post.

It made me realise I might be letting down some people out there who do actually enjoyed keeping up with developments in our DD lifestyle (I don't have massive traffic but there's still a few thousand hits each month) so I owe them a regular update.

Florida Dom said...

I am late to this, but it is sad to see a blog you like just go poof and disappear. I at least wish they would say goodbye. And leave their blog up in case they change their mind.


Anonymous said...

Until a few months ago, I wrote a DD blog called "The Receiving End." I took it up originally as an outlet for communicating about this lifestyle we have chosen. It was also flattering, at first, to watch the readership grow. But, I found over time that an expanding audience had its downsides. I felt constrained and found myself self-censoring, i.e. sticking to the DD or spanking topic when I really wanted to write about something else. Or, sometimes I wanted to write something more personal, but that "personal" loses all meaning when the number of hits reaches into the hundreds. I found that I wanted something more like a personal journal. Also, I became very concerned when I found links to my blog on sites that were extreme or had content that I personally had a problem with. I became very concerned about the possibility of being "outed" and having my identity associated not only with my own content, but with the content on other sites over which I had no control.

So, I took my blog private. I do miss having more people read it, and some time I may put up another public version. If people are interested in an invitation, send an email to reece_seever@yahoo.com. I still want to keep it mostly private, but I also miss some of the connections I made.

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