Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bangs and whimpers

Blogging is essentially transient, which is part of its charm. It's pleasant to look back at your achives, but the fun comes with what's happening NOW, the conversations and reflections and transactions and confusions that start bouncing around from your latest post.

The inevitable downside is that now becomes then, and bloggers give up the ghost. Maybe I'm getting maudlin, but it seems to have been happening more often recently. Sometimes people just stop (RealDoc, Pashmina), occasionally with a feeble excuse about 'real life', whatever that is, getting in the way. In other instances it's a policy decision, and they have time for a closing speech (LC); others prefer actions to words, and torch the blog as they go, like John Wayne in The Alamo (see Spinsterella). Some just piss off to MySpace, knowing that no person of decency and refinement will follow (I'm talking about you, Bob Swipe), a bit like Captain Oates taking a stroll in the snow. And that isn't even considering the ones who keep threatening to bring down the shutters, usually on the spurious basis that they've upset some inconsequential meatspacer (hello, Slaminsky), but then come back a few days later. Or indeed, the ones who actually die, which I suppose is the blogging equivalent of a note from your mum.

Well, I'm not thinking of closing things down just yet. Sorry if the above meanderings raised your hopes. But I am uncomfortably aware that my blogroll is peppered with links that have become a tad moribund of late. So, over to you. Please identify some new blogs, or indeed other manifestations of the interwebnetmationhighroad that can take the place of our fallen comrades.


S said...

The turnover rate in blogging land is very high indeed. In fact yesterday I went back through some of my earlier posts (less than a year ago) to revisit a few early commenter's. The majority of the names I clicked on either resulted in a broken link or a now outdated blog.

Maybe after reading my blog they thought to themselves 'I'll never reach such a high standard, I might as well give up now'... or maybe not!

patroclus said...

I know you weren't going to, but don't ever stop blogging, Tim, please. I don't know where I'd be without my (several times daily) fix of your most excellent blog.

Has your irritating stalker fucked off yet, though? Because this whole comment moderation thing is really upsetting my 21st-century need for instant gratification.

Anonymous said...

Blogging, at least non-professional blogging, is perhaps closest to diary writing - i.e. something everyone tries once, that most people find they don't have the discipline for, but the one who do soon find they are churning out quality work.

But being in the public sphere it gives one more accountability. I'm sure there wouldn't be half as many diaries abandoned by February if each one had 50+ anonymous readers.

Tim F said...

James: Maybe they just got themselves whatever it was they didn't have and for which they needed to compensate with blogging.

Not sure about the stalker, P. Maybe he's hovering, waiting for me to let down my defences. Or maybe he's been arrested for frotting a bus shelter.

And thanks for your kind words. You know what, yours ain't half not bad neither.

ZB: That seems to suggest that blogs are just online diaries to be read by others. What I like is the complex mesh of responses, references, links, etc, etc. The blogger isn't just an author, s/he's can be a participant in something. It's like a very complicated, but safe, orgy.

rockmother said...

Just rushing off to see if mine falls into the category of 'moribund'. Good god I hope not but I am sure it probably has one a few occasions. Good word though - rhymes with cummerbund. I tried to give up once but it was because another blogger who shall remain nameless really rather spectacularly upset me. I climbed aboard the stannah stairlift to Blog Room 101 and then decided that I would miss everyone too much so I revived the use of my legs and came back. I'm glad I did.

Annie said...

Ouch. That told me.

Thinking of changing my blog name to 'Spurious' now though...

Anonymous said...

Ooh, then I can scratch 'orgy' of the "to do" list! Yay.

If it's not too much trouble, you can change my link to the new address (even though you've already voiced that you prefer the old place).

or if you prefer to save a click

And let me add my voice to the request that you continue your mental meanderings and most entertaining missives, if for nothing more than to mollify me!

Billy said...

It is depressing when people just stop without saying why - I don't mind people quitting spectacularly, although it's always a shame.

I thought of a few blogs to recommmed and then noticed they're on your blogroll already.

llewtrah said...

You had me worried.

When Molly Bloom vanished we held a vigil in her comments box, but she wouldn't come back :( And Winters keeps on vanishing an reinventing himself!

Chris said...

I found this great review the other day following a link from (of all places) Pitchfork:

Other blogs I like:

No idea how obvious or otherwise those things are (except - Click Opera is massive, isn't it?) Thank you, by the way, for the link to Book World in your blogroll - don't know what I'd do without it.

Chris said...

P.S. Not a blog, but a friend's website:

One of the strangest, loveliest things on the internet.

Sid Smith said...

It’s interesting how quickly one can become attached to a blog. I have several regulars I visit on a daily basis (including this one) and the sense of, erm…loss (is that too strong a word?) experienced when said favourite either gives up or goes on holiday without telling us is palpable.

Like an agitated parent I begin to wonder where they are and what they’re up to, and if they put on clean underwear before they went out! This last point comes from my mother used to say that the indignity of not having clean Y-fronts when the paramedics cut off your kegs would certainly kill you even if the hit-and-run driver hadn’t!

Although professional commitments have altered the nature of what I poston my own blog(I’ve moved from the personal / topical stuff to something more akin to a trainspotterish list of cultural passions), I still try and post something most days - OK every other day – knowing that there’ll be a bunch of folks tuning in.

I like the sense of community, shared enthusiasms and jaw-dropping discovery that it’s possible to encounter in the blogosphere.

Blimey, what did we all do before the net?

Jun Okumura said...

I am old enough to remember (actually, I am so old that I shouldn’t) the early days of the World Wide Web (as the Internet, or “internet”, was known then), when private websites were far superior to commercial websites. Problem was, my favorites tended to fade out or die a sudden death in precisely the ways that you speak of here, as work, life and/or boredom afflicted the proprietors.

The good thing about blogs today is that there are so many of them - technically, it must certainly be much easier than maintaining a dial-up website in the mid-90s, and with regard to content, few people stop thinking (unless they don’t do any thinking in the first place) - that the real problem is keeping your blurking down so that you’ll at least have time for eating, breathing, and even getting a little sleep in between. I suspect that the rate of attrition (at least the good ones) is lower now than it was then, with those websites.

Tim F said...

Of course your blog isn't moribund, romo, even if your Stannah needs a bit of WD40.

Spurlinsky, maybe? Don't worry, Annie, you atone for your egregious sins with your winsome charm.

Consider it done, Mr Shot.

Great minds, Billy.

Oh don't remind me of the prolonged demise of Molly, Llewtrah. I nearly invested in a black crepe hat.

That's more like it, Chris. Thank you, sir. I'll waste a few hours poring over them, and add them to the list. Although I'm such a coward, I don't want to ditch the dead links to make room. Mini-redesign in order, I reckon.

The parental instinct thing is odd, isn't it Sid? When a blog's been down for a month, I feel like making one of those stilted TV statements, flanked by police. "Please come home, Kenny, wherever you are. If anything is wrong, we can sort it out. Boggle the cat misses you..." etc etc

Compulsive blurking is an issue Jun: but there have always been too many books to read, movies to watch, and so on.

Betty said...

The only time I *threatened* to give up was during one of my three day depressions, and I'm still embarrassed about it. Mind you, someone else who blogged actually sent me an e-mail because of it (bloggers never send each other e-mails) and I met that person, who turned out to be very nice. So that was one positive outcome. Generally, though, I hate bloggers who make a big song and dance about the fact that they're going, then return a month later. Just go, or don't mention it at all!

Other blogs I'd recommend are Musings From Middle England, Stately Moans and, best of all, Beyond The Implode (I'm in awe of and completely terrified of Martin BTI).

patroclus said...

I think you know most of the blogs that I like already, Tim, although you might want to drop in on Salvadore Vincent if you haven't already - he's here.

Dick Headley said...

Moribund? As distinct from energized? It comes and goes I find. Four years and I still don't know why I'm doing it.

Tim F said...

More splendid suggestions, thank you. And Dick, I think it's like breathing - if you think about it too hard, it gets difficult.