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Monday, February 20, 2006 

Here today, and gone tomorrow?

How does one say good-bye in cyberspace? In the past few weeks I have noticed that a number of my favourite South African (and international) blogs have simply disappeared. In truth, I only noticed this when I started trawling the web for nominations for The 2nd South African Blog Awards. The blogs did not exactly disappear, but the bloggers have either stopped writing or post intermittently and infrequently. Now I am sure the bloggers in question have perfectly good reasons for not blogging anymore. With The Slipsteam nearing its one year anniversary, I have thought about whether I want to continue with this blog for another year. It is not that I have nothing more to say or that I have run out of embarrassing anecdotes to share. I do. Yet, for all the good bloggging has done for me and the many online friends I have made, one cannot be expected to blog indefinitely, can we? However, this begs the question, when blogging comes to an end, how exactly does one go about doing it? Will a simple farewell post do, and is there an obligation to say goodbye? Should one let the blog and it archives remain to gather electronic dust like a long forgotten book on a shelf or simpley delete it all? Will the web eventualy become a graveyard of abandoned and forgotten blogs? Every blog has a regular circle of visitors and "commentators(?)", and as time goes by, friendships are forged and we come to expect the presence of certain people on our blogs. If not for anyone else, do we owe them a reason, a good-bye, perhaps a farewell e-mail? There really are no protocols to be followed, or a right and a wrong way of doing it. In fact, there is no obligation to do anything at all. In the absence of actual physical contact, online friendships are easily severed, and we can distance ourselves from those we have not seen. There really is no obligation to continue with the "friendship" beyond the blogosphere. It has become as easy as pulling the plug or hitting the ever-popular delete key. Perhaps I am just overly sentimental, and perhaps I am making more of this than is necessary. Blogs are abandoned and deleted all the time... it is the nature of things in cybespace. I think I'll be around for while yet. While the party is still in full swing, I don't fancy standing outside and looking in through the window.

well, you don't OWE anything, but it would be nice for all those who don't use RSS feeds if you stated that you're not continuing. kinda sucks to keep checking a site for updates when there're not going to be any more changes. but i use RSS, so whatever ;)

Oh, do stay at the party, don't make us sad by leaving. But you are right, this blogging thing is interesting, and nothing is forever--but I'm glad you are apparently ready to stay with your increasing circle of readers.

TW: I know what you mean about checking a site for an update. Where would we be without RSS?
jarvenpa: Oh, I couldn't leave while the going is good. There are so many interesting people I have yet to meet.

u've posed an interesting question here. i really wonder whether fellow bloggers could even qualify as 'friends'. but you can't just dismiss them, the twinkle in your eyes when you read a comment from a fave blogger clearly tells you that they do mean something to you.
i think a farewell msg would be a good idea.

I have started and deleted five blogs now. I hate when it happens and I would prefer to just walk away but I usually delete. But I have stopped because each time a "real life" stalker has found my blog. I wish he would just die already.

I think I would want some notice if someone I read stopped. There are people who know each other in real life and do not see (physically) each other for years but at least keep some contact. Must we make everything so impersonal, even if the mileau is impersonal?

chitty: i hope you don't retire anytime soon as i consider you a friend already. it might not mean much to you but yes, you are my friend, and i am sentimental. i do not make a distinction whether it's an internet friendship or a real life one. to me, friendship is friendship. and i do not use the term loosely.

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