Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yet another blog has died

In the next few words (or paragraphs) I will try to explain in my point of view why some blogs die and why you should not be upset about it. I understand the feeling and that is why I am writing down some of my digested thoughts.

Ever since I started reading blogs (mostly from people whom I have not met until later) I wondered what kind of motives they would have to write it down and then publish it?

Why these people share their thoughts in such a personal way in an open media such as the Internet?

That is the question.
Image taken from creativeeducation.co.uk

When I started Uni (at the end of the 90s) I was the kind of guy who was totally comfortable being anonymous; my facebook was closed to everyone except those very few close friends (although facebook as much much later) as well as my IM or any other type of contact. In other words, I was the most asocial person you could probably meet. But that never stopped me of being curious, frequently checking the Internet for interesting and appealing stuff with my rampant 128kbps modem (translation for the new generation that was the fastest broadband you could get at that moment, at least in Venezuela).

One of the first blog I started reading frequently (by adding it to my bookmarks) was in 2003 and those posts were written from Florida, by a photographer on his mid fifties who decided it was about time to retire and take lovely pictures of kids buying ice cream, eating lollies or running around in playgrounds, which at the time was a big deal with lots of paedophiles on the loose and people complaining about strangers taking pictures on public places. I guess he was trying to protest or argue with control freaks, more than fighting with angry and concern parents... 

He used to post every Friday or Saturday about his life and how society had changed on the last 30 years in Florida, but after a while the blog posts stopped; very few people were following him (or understood the concept of virtually follow someone) and 16 months later, his blog was shut down by his son with a final and explanatory paragraph indicating a fatal blow to his father’s heart; it was just out of the blue. Not long after, the blog was deleted from wordpress and with it, the incredible tales of his author. The content of the blog and the blog itself died with his author.
Image taken from andrewcaldwell.org

At that time I was reading more and more blogs, each of them with different topics; from silly poetry to music, videogames and software development.

There was one in particular I remember the most; it was themed on cakes and desserts, called Caroline’s Cakes blog... but in reality the blog talked about anything but cakes and it was a way to vent different situations in her life (business decisions, life, friends, etc), and the reason of why I remember this blog in particular was because I always felt ashamed of reading it in public with its bright pink and yellow pastel colours and corky midi music in the background, which by the way made its way to the internal speakers of the computer, at loud in the laboratory; it happened once and I said it was one of those frigging pop-ups and I was trying to kill it... yet no one believed me.
But somehow I felt connected to her; connected as if I was her close friend like if I knew her, her thoughts, her way of writing and her silly jokes.

That is one of the many reasons why I felt offended when she decided it was about time to move onto different things, closing down her site and erasing her blog without warning, excuse or the expected ‘that is all folks’ sort of thing; she just closed her blog. To me it was a ‘facebook un-friend’ sort of deal, where someone just decides to take you out of their lives. But who the bloody hell was I? She knew nothing about me! Not even a single peep; never left her a comment or let her know I was reading her gobbledygook. There was no reason for me to be upset, and yet I felt she killed it.

Why would she dare to share feelings and mood to total strangers? 
How did she realise that is better to keep her life to herself after almost two years of constant bickering
When did that happen? 
And why did she remain silent when she had followers and cyber friends?

There was a missing piece in my puzzle, why would someone take the effort of opening their world, putting it into words and writing it down then close that chapter in their life and pretend it never happened?

Radicalised on not spending more time reading someone else useless mumbling I decided to stick to just tech blogs. It was the safest approach as very few IT people, writing down code and ‘best practices’ decides to shutdown their blog to do more entertaining things. 
Let’s face it, we communicate better with a keyword than with our mouth.

But my radical solution started to fall apart as I took the decision of leave Venezuela behind to move somewhere else, making our mind to choose our destination and familiarise with the culture of our soon-to-be home; reason enough to invoke the-daemons-who-find-it-all and browsed for hours any related story about Australia, filling up my head with more stuff than I could possibly remember, keeping me busy and distracted from many problems and situations of Venezuela.

It was amazing how much people have had shared when it comes to migrating to Australia. Is at that moment when you realise it does not matter the differences of culture as long as you find something in common to start a conversation, which later on leads you to friendship.
Sadly enough, very few of all those blogs were active; in fact, half the blogs were already dead! And the cause of death seemed to be Australia (arriving to it or settling in it), causing the flow on entries to dwindle for several months until total stop or the expected ‘we are going to close/end/finish blogging, it was a lovely experience but... [insert-excuse-here]’ blog post.

Could not understand why it happens. I could not possibly understand it because I was not living in Australia and the blog was an escape pod from the atrocious reality of Venezuela.

But you know, eventually I got my visa, moved here and started my life all over again and after a year of adaptation I begun to understand the motives behind the desertion of those moving to Australia.
It was like meeting with an old acquaintance whom you have not seen for a very long time: Greetings, profuse conversation about family, parents, exes (strangely enough someone will ask you about that someone who everyone knows but him/her should not be named), business or bad decisions in life and that is. End of the conversation, both parties look awkwardly to the sides and cheers goodbye.

You just ran out of conversation topics.

Of course, you could mention any funny anecdote of sometime ago but you don’t want to delay the inevitable... So you stay quiet, tapping your glass to make the other one a bit more uncomfortable to then say ‘hey, there is Mary! Has been so long since we talked! Let me check her out!’ Ending the conversation without the nasty and impolite ‘I think we don’t have anything else to talk about... off you go!

Yes, we know... Mary was part of the plan all along. She was your escape pod from that dangerous situation of uncomfortable silence. You told her to stay there and call you out or wave hello in case you started looking to your right and left. Or even better, you just had enough beer and have to go to the loo.

Finally I was getting it, why blogs were dying! I was not because the authors decided to regain privacy of their lives... It was because they got to the point where they would have to share the private details of their mind and lives, the little details they were hiding all the time and all of the sudden, without any new source of events will be forced to share their precious intimate moments!

So the best tactic to apply is run for Mary or escape to the loo, killing the already dying blog.

To those who gets angry at the authors (like I did) whom leave their blogs in a painful state of abandonment, this post is for you. Learn to forgive and move on.

To those who decided to abandon their blogs. Respect your readers and send them one final post. Dolphins would say ‘so long and thanks for all the fish’ although the mundane crowd won’t understand it. Eventually it will be appreciated.

As you might notice by now... my blog is not dying given the amount of gibberish I just wrote.

If makes sense, good onya!
If it doesn't, eventually you will get there.

Until the next time.


Anonymous said...

Edit the content please, and change the statement in red and font size 16 or up! :)

Rod said...

Which statement should I change?