I Has a Sad

I’ve just gone through and pruned my blogroll, taking a look to see who was still active (by a fairly generous definition, given my own lack of activity), who had moved house, and who had gone the way of all things since I last took a hard look at my sidebars.

Things happen. Bloggers move on, lose interest, get jobs that require other kinds of writing, and the like; I don’t expect everybody to keep producing. But in my little tour of bloglandia I discovered that the very first blog to catch my attention — the blog of a friend from grad school, which I stumbled across the very week I finished the manuscript of my first book, just shy of ten years ago, just as I was beginning to wish I had some kind of outlet for the immediate gratification of my desire to communicate — is being kept up-to-date, but not by my friend. That site has been taken over by a commercial entity using it to advertise Reputable Chiropractic Services and Compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys. And worse: my friend’s archives are not there.

My friend has gone on to great things; I’m not sad for him. I’m sad for me. It’s less that my model has been corrupted (and yes, I do now have J. Geils whistling through my head) than that I can’t ever revisit that blog in search of inspiration, that his half of our early conversations — the far smarter half — are lost.

I obviously knew when I named this blog lo these many ages ago that this was a possibility; obsolescence is engineered into the very architecture of the blog. But things like blogs and friendships can be preserved, with a little work.

5 thoughts on “I Has a Sad

  1. Yes a domain name acquires value when it has all that blogging content there, and if your friend let it expire, it is easy “prey” for the corporate world to take over. But his/her archives are probably still online at archive.org if you have the domain name.

  2. I’m sure you’re thinking of the blog I’m thinking of, and its absence is indeed a great sadness in the Force. Said author is of course active on Facebook, but I don’t spend nearly enough time there to enjoy the benefits.

    It does feel strange to get a blog rolling again after a long lull, as you’ve been doing and I’ve also tried to do this year. When I kicked myself back into gear in January, part of me hoped it would be just like Old Times… but people have moved on, or out of blogging altogether, and more than any time since I started it feels like I’m talking to myself. Facebook is okay, but it feels pushy to send my thoughts unbidden to old friends there, clogging up their news feeds. A blog gives room to develop ideas, and I like the fact that people choose (or used to choose) to come to it. But the model does seem better-suited to an early-2000s time when there wasn’t as much competition for online attention.

    1. I’m sure we are thinking of the same blog — I’d forgotten, in fact, that we first met in its hallowed comment-halls! Undoubtedly part of my sadness is mere nostalgia for that moment when blogging was the key locus of digital cool-kidness, when we actually went from site to site seeing whether anybody had updated, back before RSS killed everything, or Twitter killed everything, or whathaveyou. People showed up in the comments, and real conversations ensued, it’s true, but the community feel I remember may be a bit shinier in my memory than is actually warranted.

      But I’m trying to remind myself nonetheless that I started this thing so that I would have a space to write, and even if fewer people come by and discuss with me, that primary purpose is still served. As you say, there’s real room here for developing ideas, and those ideas will be less likely to get lost in the noise of all those other platforms. Competition for attention is definitely higher today, but my own attention doesn’t need to be quite so fragmented.

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