Thursday, December 4, 2014

Suspended Animation

Over the past few weeks I've been reading into the "Next Blog" place;  its amazing the number of people who have just stopped posting,  usually just before a cliffhanger, like the birth of a child, or a trip, or a wedding.  Maybe they started up another, elsewhere, a year or two later, or just  never went back to take the old one down.

In a way its like finding an unfinished undated letter that begins,
"Dear Mom and Dad, 
things have been a bit rough here but  we seem to have gotten things back on track, 
now that both kids are home and safe now,  I promise to keep"

--and there's a photo of two cute kids,  boy and a girl, he has a leg cast and she has  a huge plaster across one side of the head.  you'll always wonder who these people were, what happened to the kids, and what happened to let that letter be abandoned.

Unfinished blogs are like that, too. They just hang in the air, some of them started years before, hundreds and hundreds of photos (and oh I do wish they had taken down the kids pictures first) and hundreds of posts. And for five years or longer those blogs have sat there while the parents aged,  the kids grew up, the dog died, and their  life moved away and down a different street;

The kind that started mostly as a kind of textual howl of rage or annoyance, page after page filled with self pity and really REALLY strange pictures, and then disappeared;

Bad poetry, mostly written by girls with too much green hair, fake tattoos and ugly glittery shoes. Or fan sites in another language which are little more than paeans to young rock stars or anime characters;

Now and then a serious connect with someone , in that way that happens when you least expect it,  you somehow collide in mid-blog with someone and keep going back.  You lurk. They lurk back. Its like a dance with one person and yet you're watching that other neat person across the dance floor, who is also looking back...

You wonder if anyone in those abandoned blogs even realizes--or cares--that they're here apparently forever, in suspended animation, part of a life preserved under glass.


  1. The ones that puzzle me (full disclosure: I browse next blog when you mention it in here) are those where someone opened a blog and never wrote a single post. Huh? I had always assumed that you start a blog because you have something you're eager to say. Not that you start one then start looking around for something to put!

    I've heard from former bloggers, though, that they had no idea how much work it would be to write a blogpost, and that other people made it look kind of easy. One of my own readers stated one then abandoned it after two posts, telling me she couldn't stand the pressure of having to think of new subjects all the time. Which I guess meant she didn't have dozens of ideas jostling for space in her blog. Diff'rent strokes.

  2. I think thats it, Boud. It looks easy, but when you sit down at the keyboard and have to Decide What to Say, or choose, the brains sometimes goes into a fetal mode and refuses to function.
    The same people who can write yards of junk about miles of nothing to their best friends in FaceBook practically flat line when confronted with something like this.

    "It Seemed Like a Good Idea At The Time" may be the problem too.,

    Interesting, though, ive only had about four repeats total (one apiece) on any blogs I see, that's pretty good.

  3. I've started five or six blogs and given up on most, making them private, at least, once I realised they were going nowhere. But it's so easy to forget to do that, especially when life events take over.

  4. i have one that i started after this, an experimental model that never got off the drawing board--

    what disturbs me about the ones left behind, they often end just before the birth of a child or the blog owner gonig into the hospital for a "'procedure'' and you think, oh oh...or just before mum and daddy are coming to visit, or something potentially catastrophic happens--but you never find out what.

    one thing google has done in the past is to make it freaking difficult to remove your old blogs. that may account for a lot of the danglers. After four years I finally was allowed to delete my old unused one, without jeopardizing this. Google sometimes gets a bit over enthusiastic about deleting your stuff, and if you dont read the 'however" at the bottom of the last page you can find yourself homeless in Blogland without quite knowing what happened.