Your Thoughts: Ghost Blogs
Pull out a chair and sit down with your cup of coffee. It’s time to have a little talk. Today’s discussion: ghost blogs.
That phrase has been on a post-it note on my desk for a few months. I don’t even know why. I’m talking about those strange spaces on the Internet that haven’t been closed; they remain up, abandoned, their owners disappearing into the ether. There is no final post at the top announcing the cessation of the project. On the contrary, the most recent post (which is sometimes years old) usually gives no sense that the blog is coming to an end. It’s like walking into a house and finding the table fully set with a warm meal but devoid of people.
Last spring, Times Online had an article about the decline of blogging, which always makes me think of that Twain quote, “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Their doomsday predictions aside, the part about people abandoning their blogs was interesting:
Some internet analysts call them “ghost blogs,” lingering reminders of a cultish enthusiasm for self-expression that is rapidly wearing off. Others liken the abandonment of blogs to “the suicide of your virtual self.”
I was drawn to that idea of “suicide of your virtual self,” which sounds fairly extreme. Does walking away from blogs or social media sites really have anything in common with ending your life?
I’m never sure what to do with these blogs on either the ALI blogroll or in my personal blog reader. I usually leave them up on the blogroll because I figure the archives could still be helpful to someone seeking information. I also usually leave them in my Google Reader because there have been a handful of times that the person has — years later — popped back on with a new post (and, let’s face it, I’m too lazy to prune my Reader).
What do you think about ghost blogs and that Times Online quote? What do you do with them in terms of your blogroll or blog reader?