Sunday, December 02, 2012

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for Dec 2

Our question this week was whether there is, or should be, some etiquette related to closing or abandoning a blog. Here are your thoughts.

Mick and Lynda: I had to close my blog quickly to protect my privacy and I was sorry to leave people hanging. I started a new one and hope people can find me (you've helped a lot with that).

Perhaps someday soon I can open the old one again.

I'm glad you're back! Perhaps another alternative might be to move your old posts to your new blog.

Mr BB: It would be nice to know if someone is leaving. There is an interesting idea in your post about leaving useful information up that could be helpful to others who come along later. Sometimes it seems like some disappear because they share personal information and are discovered by non-lifestyle friends or family. That is completely understandable.

Ultimately, the decision is, of course, left up to the individual blogger. Albeit online, if their blog is of a personal nature and we feel a connection with them, we feel like we get to know them. They become part of our community. It would be nice to know that the person behind the blog is all right.

Sunny Girl: It would be nice to know if they are "going off the air," but I guess the reason they are might determine whether or not they can do a "goodbye" post.

Julia: DH used to blog. He did it quite frequently and had quite a presence in blogland. Then he got laid off in 2008, and things changed. After a year of not finding work, he started to lose confidence in himself and his ability to entertain people, so he just disappeared. He couldn't stand going back to it, and honestly, it is still a work in progress. A man and his ego is a very sensitive thing, and his was very badly bruised by losing his job.

Kitty: Sometimes when people state that they are leaving, it can sound like a dramatic bid for attention. And sometimes it is. But, it is nice to have a transition post out - because people do wonder. I know there are people who don't so much intend to leave as life just gets busy and they fade away. That's okay.

It is when there has been trouble in the relationship or severe medical issues that I wish for a little note about where someone has gone, because well, I worry. I don't know many bloggers in real life, but having made some connections through blogging, when they just go, the loss is felt.

So, yes, I would prefer a note if someone becomes aware that they are done blogging for now.

Hermione: I would love to make a good-bye post mandatory for bloggers who are about to depart the scene, but unfortunately that isn't always possible. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the departure. I can understand how it would not be possible, in cases of inadvertent exposure or severe health issues, to write a farewell post.

If it's breach of privacy, it would be better to go private than to delete, but the desire to remove all traces of the blog leads to impulsive deletion.

Unfortunately, deleting anything from the internet is very difficult, if not impossible. Blog posts stay around in cached form for a long time, and with the Wayback Machine available, deleted blogs persist for many years.

It's very hard for this community when a popular, well-known and much-loved blogger suddenly leaves without a trace, but in the end, how to handle it is a personal decision.

Prefectdt: That does not look like a very difficult set of questions, but they have so many varied and complicated answers.

I think it depends upon why the blogger has given up blogging and their own personality and reasons for blogging in the first place. It is just something that has to be down to personal choice, for the individual to make.

Having said that, it is nice to have a little notice and a chance to leave a goodbye comment, but (and sorry for the caps lock and exclamation marks, this is important) ONLY IF IT IS SAFE AND CONVENIENT TO HAVE A FAREWELL POST!!!

Fondles: I know that it's not always possible, but a goodbye post would be nice. Whether or not to leave the posts up for others may be a decision that depends upon the reason for leaving in the first place.

Thisgirl: I agree really with what's been said above. It depends upon personal circumstances. I know bloggers who had to delete everything because they no longer wanted a 'kink' presence on the net. I have also come across others who stopped posting, but kept it there as in the case of Bitchy Jones.

I think it's nice to leave a presence if possible. But sometimes, the person's personal circumstances probably just don't allow it.

Jenny: I'd write a big long comment, but it is way easier to say, "I agree with Hermione." Thanks! :)

Yes, I agree that it's easy to agree with Hermione.

Reece Seever: I took my blog down (actually, made it private) some time ago, and it was a hard decision. I still miss using it communicate, but I also felt like I wanted something akin to a personal diary focusing on the DD aspects of our relationship. I liked sharing some of those with people, but as the blog became more popular, I began to find links to it on blogs and websites that had material that I really objected to, like drawings depicting spanking of children. I also felt like the wider the blog was distributed, the more I found myself self-censoring content, thereby inhibiting its original function as a journal.

I am happy to consider adding someone as an authorized viewer. I can be contacted here.

Rosie: I think (most of the time) life intervenes. And usually, not in an epic or loud way. It happens in a more quiet, lasting, pervasive way. In that case, it's not that the bloggers intent to abandon their blog. It's more a matter of of moving into a new chapter of their life. They are less interested in it, have little to say, and quietly fade. More often than not, in my opinion, after so much time passes, they feel they cannot return, even to say goodbye, because no one is reading or it would seem weird at this point to do so.

But then, I've been wrong before. :)

Abby: I agree it would be nice to know that someone is leaving. We do feel a connection to each other, and I know I often wonder what happened.

Wilma Rubble: I haven't been at this very long, but so far I have experienced this twice. Both bloggers were among the first to comment on my blog and helped with support and kind words when I needed it.

One wrote a farewell for now post because of family medical issues. The other's blog has laid dormant for a bit. The latter has me more worried than the former. I find myself looking at the blog on my blog roll and wondering and worrying. It is amazing how quickly we become attached to one another here. I might not know the blogger's face, but I do have a sincere concern.

So I would love if people would offer even a couple sentences even to say, I am stepping away. I do understand how this sometimes is not possible.

Belle: I know that I would rather know what happened to someone, but I can imagine so many reasons why that person wouldn't want to share. I believe that a person should just do what is best for them. If for whatever reason they feel that they just can't blog, that's a good enough reason. We support people's decision to share, and we should support their decision not to share. We do not know all the circumstances, and they may not be able to share it all. When people make a decision, they may, at that point, not want to be confused by other people's opinions, or feel they have to justify themselves.

I believe in prayer, and I believe that God loves all the people that He created. It rains on the just and unjust, but I believe that He listens to our prayers. We should pray for those people, just like we pray for others who we must just put in God's hands (example: deployed military). This is just my opinion. God bless you all.

Ana: A while ago when I experienced a personal difficulty, I stated publicly that I would be taking a break from blogging and didn't know when. I worried whether it sounded like a bid for attention, but I received many expressions of thanks for saying so and not disappearing. Obviously, I am still here.

What I learned from that experience, and what I've learned from watching and worrying while other blogs disappear, is that online is a community like anything else. People have the right and ability to disappear at will. People do. But if circumstances allow, it is kinder and more respectful to at least say good-bye.

Most especially, if it's someone I've known for a while I worry.

Ronnie: It's sad when a fellow blogger just disappears so yes, I'd love if they wrote a final goodbye post but as others have said, not always possible. Depends on their circumstances.

Ms. Betty: I don't think most exits are planned. Having been there a few times, I can say that sometimes life just gets very intense and while you are certain you intend to keep blogging, the days and weeks slip by and you may not get the chance or have the energy.

Life has it's ups and downs, and sometimes fallow periods are required for fresh growth. The death of a blog is like any other death, and maybe it's not always our right to know the reason why. What I would suggest is that if a blog goes dark for some time, perhaps leave a comment or send an email telling the blogger they are missed, but no more.

After all, not everyone may feel comfortable discussing why they've gone silent in a public sphere.

Lea: I'd imagine if someone leaves because of worries of privacy and the like, they aren't in a position to say goodbye to everyone. I certainly appreciate when people post one final thing so you know all is well and they just aren't blogging anymore for a variety of reasons. I would try to do that if I decided to stop.

Six of the Best: If at all possible, when spanko bloggers are closing out, they should make an attempt to inform us of their intentions. Also since I believe that all spanko blogs are valuable, they should be left for future generations to digest and ponder their contents.

Bonnie: As described above, there are many reasons why someone would stop blogging, and not every circumstance is within their control. I would hope in all but the most extreme cases, it should be possible to send an e-mail to a blogging friend. “I'm OK” would be enough, but anything more is appreciated. In this way, word would get around to those who care and no one would have to be concerned. Ultimately, departing bloggers will do as they choose, but I think this is a reasonable request.

The second consideration is the months or years of accumulated content. I have to admit when an established blog goes dark, my second thought is often, “Drat, I never got to read their archive.” I know quite a few bloggers who deleted their blogs and later regretted the loss of all those wonderful posts. Taking a blog private is a much less drastic step because it's easily reversible later. The best option, if practical, is to leave the blog in place to serve as a permanent archive.

Thank you all for participating in this week's brunch!

9 comments :

SpankCake said...

Bonnie,

Weekends are sometimes difficult to post, but I wanted to put in my $0.02...

I recently went through this process and it was definitely a difficult decision. Ultimately I decided to make my blog "private" for awhile, but only because I didn't know how to preserve my blog and leave a single post. After going through this once on blogger, I would have done it differently. For one, I couldn't figure out how to just leave up a single post while making all the other one's private...the single post being an explanation. I later figured out that while you can't make individual posts on blogger private, but you can "revert to draft". I also saved each post in a master draft, just in case I ever want to go back to how it was.

There was a link where people could request access or use to contact me... I only had one person ask about my blog, so ultimately I didn't think it was a big deal. Other than that, leaving and coming back hasn't been easy... and I understand that losing readers might happen with a break like that. But I am happy to be back and blogging.

Thanks, Bonnie, for such a great topic!

xo,
SC

Jack Jill said...

It's sad to see people leave - luckily I found Mick and Lydia again!
Great blog Bonnie!

Jack's Jill

Hermione said...

It might be worth noting that after you have deleted a blog, Blogger gives you the opportunity to change your mind, and provides an "undelete" option for 90 days.

S.N.M. said...

Damnit Bonnie, I'm trying to loss weight. >:(

voiceinthecorner.com said...

I think it is safe to assume that if a blog suddenly vanishes then there is a genuine and unexpected reason for this that prevents the blogger from explaining.

Many of these very good reasons have been covered above - but I doubt if anyone can second guess every reason.

Actually I think a sudden departure is more of an explanation than most people give. What I mean by that is - the web is littered with blogs that suddenly stop posting with no explanation - yet leave the blogs unattended to fade away.

In short and with all due respect - I don't think etiquette comes into it.

All the best

DJ Black

MrBBSpanker said...

This Sunday Brunch came to mind yesterday while I was updating blog links on my blog and happened upon an old one from 2006. They had a post to introduce 12 brand new blogs. I went to each link:
6 were deleted and gone forever.
3 no updates after their first few months
1 lasted a year before laying dormant
1 lasted 2 years before fading into blog history
And only ONE is still going strong today.
Thank you Sara from Finding Sara :)

Bonnie said...

SC - Thanks for a good tip, and welcome back!

JJ - I completely agree.

Hermione - That's also good information. I would add that anyone using Blogger can easily back up all of their content to their PC.

SNM - Fear not. Cyber goodies have no calories!

DJ - Your points are well taken. I recognize that there may indeed be dire circumstances that prevent any sort of notification. At that stage, I agree that etiquette is not the issue. I wouldn't presume to second guess.

Most of my comments were directed toward the more common scenario where someone is momentarily frustrated with blogging, deletes everything, and soon regrets their choice.

Thanks for adding your perspective.

MrBB - If you're only going to find one blog left, Sara is a superb choice!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bonnie... one might be able to get a message to a blog friend asking them to alert the rest of the community of their status...
Further we all should plan with trusted friend/spouse to help us with internet account clean-up if we get into a situation where we can't do it ourselves...just like we should plan ahead with Wills, Health Directives etc...
houston_switch

elle :) said...

I love these brunches. I'll have to get on the next one since I finally started a blog :) I lurked for a while, but finally decided to post too :)
Thanks for doing them Bonnie :)

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