A Goodbye Should be Mandatory . . .

Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos. ~Charles M. Schulz

When it comes to blogging etiquette, I believe a goodbye should be mandatory. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Bloggers invite us into their lives and thoughts, we invest time and share our thoughts for months with them … an internet relationship is built and I think the polite thing to do when you decide to leave the readers you have assembled is to say a simple goodbye. Some may say that it is no big deal, blogs are fleeting and they expect them to disappear. And, yes, I have noticed how blogs come and go pretty quickly. I read somewhere that the average life span of a blog is 2 years. Not sure if that is a true fact or not, however, the life span of the blog is not the point of my etiquette complaint. What bothers me is that bloggers have advertised their blog, searched for readers, invited us in, shared themselves and their lives with us for months or years and it is not right to just shut it down one day … not without a goodbye message of some kind.

My experience has been that many bloggers make sudden decisions to just quit without warning. Maybe as suddenly as they began they are gone … appearing suddenly is fine, disappearing without a word is rude … don’t you realize that you now have readers who have made you a regular part of their week?

My blog roll has been shrinking very quickly these past few months and almost everyone that has disappeared did so suddenly, quickly and in silence. One day I am reading and commenting on their latest post and the next day I am getting a “blog does not exist” or “blog marked private” message. Their last post said nothing about quitting so …. does this mean they are gone for good? coming back? did something tragic happened to them? did they die? did they run out of things to say? did life get crazy? did their computer die? or, are they burnt out and taking a vacation? Honestly, it would be nice to know what happens to people we get to know through their blogging words … when they suddenly vanish.

Of all the people in my blog roll, the two departures I wonder the most about are:
Lua at Bowl of Oranges just vanished. She quit her job and was off to school in England to pursue her writing dream, and claimed she would let us follow her there .. then, her blog was suddenly gone. Nothing .. not a farewell, no warning, not even sure she made it to England .. it was just gone. Lua … we miss your stories. We wonder if you just got too busy or if something went terribly wrong with your move.

And, now, Mark at The Naked Soul seems to be gone … a private notice appeared just the other day (I still have comments on his last two posts in my list) … His blog was one of the long timers (blogging more than 2 years) in my blog list … he posted about twice a week and his comment sections were usually places of great discussion … is he coming back? I saw signs things were different or changing .. not as many comments from him and posts not as regular .. but, what does that mean? … it is, after all, the crazy holiday season?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know where our regular reads go when they disappear? Just as in life when a relationship or friendship is over .. a blogger should leave us with some kind of message … an explanation and or a goodbye would be nice and considerate, don’t you think? In all the blogging etiquette information I read, no one included the need to say goodbye … but, I would like to add that rule.
♦ If you are ending a reading relationship, say goodbye! Are there any blogging etiquette rules you would like to add to the list? (two good lists I found were: Blogging without a blog and Techipedia

A few bloggers in my blogroll did it right, they were very polite and thoughtful to their readers. For example:
Misadventures of Average Girl wrote us a very nice post telling us she was leaving … thank you for the warning. However, I still miss laughing with your stories. And, another big thank you to “They Call Me Jane” for warning us you were taking a few weeks off … and welcome back.

I will hit my 2 year anniversary in three short months … will I disappear, too? I don’t think so, but if quitting is a decision that happens to bloggers suddenly .. we can’t really count on my thoughts right now, can we? However, if I do decide to quit, I will not slip away in the dead of the night without warning .. I will send my goodbyes in a farewell post to whoever might miss me and give you a big bear paw wave of thanks. If I need a break because life is just too hard to find the time, I will post a vacation notice (and a hibernation picture). And, as a favor to me (and everyone else who reads your work) if you are planning on going on vacation for a few weeks or leaving my blogroll for good .. if a future click on your name is going to result in a “blog does not exist” or “blog made private” message … would you please warn me of your departure? I hate goodbyes, but it is better than a mysterious disappearance.

Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in this life. ~Jean Paul Richter

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~ by bearyweather on December 11, 2010.

21 Responses to “A Goodbye Should be Mandatory . . .”

  1. I don’t blog but enjoy reading your stories by email…charming bear photo today.

  2. I agree with you completely and promise to say good-bye when the time comes. :) (psst…it’s gonna be a while! *smiles)

  3. well said.

  4. Yes. this is very true bearyweather. I’m glad you expressed this thought. And the bear in the picture is cute!

  5. I also wondered about Lua. Naked Soul is now private. I’ve notcied several people who have quit in the last few months…some have given notice, some sent invitations to now private blogs, some are just marked private with no invite, some changed blog titles,and some have just vanished. A couple who quit have come back…yay! I realize that people’s reasons for blogging do change, but I miss them still the same when they go. Glad you’re still here. I might blog less frequently in the near future, but plan to stick around.

  6. I found that sometimes people go private when they take a break … but, I wish they would let us know that.
    To remain sane, I can only find the time to write and read blogs a few times a week. Blogging is something I do for me, I can’t let it take over and make me crazy .. it is suppose to be fun. I am hoping that quality is more important to my readers than quantity and that my blogging friends are okay with me not visiting everyday.
    Glad to hear you are sticking around …

    • Yes, I’d much rather read quality than a lot of nothing posts. I feel like I have lost quality in order to do quantity, and I am not posting as often anymore…probably every other day if I am inspired, rather than making myself post five days a week. I always look forward to reading your posts.

  7. bearyweather, my goodness–I have not had this happen (yet). I agree with what you say. People should let us know when they quit blogging. I also sometimes feel really bad when a regular commenter stops commenting. I suppose it’s silly, but I think that we have a relationship–and suddenly they just quit coming around. Sigh. (If I ever quit blogging I’ll probably blab about it for six months in advance until everyone is screaming, “JUST QUIT, WILL YA?” lol..good blog.

    • Wow … really, no one on your list has quit? Surprising .. you are going against the odds. Yes, I will probably over do my goodbye, too … if I ever decide to stop.

      • In the middle of the night last night I remembered a few people who had quit! Forget everything I said. I agree with you completely! :)

  8. I agree with you Beary. I’ve lost a couple of blogs with no notice and while I can’t force anyone to do anything, I’d have liked the chance to thank them for all their effort while they have been blogging. To let them know that their words and the act of sharing at least some aspects of their lives was truly appreciated and enjoyed.

    I hope to be reading your blog for a long while yet, but if the day comes, I would like to be able to let you know just how nice it is to read your posts and see those fantastic pictures.

    As for blogging etiquette, I’ll have to think about it. To me, writing is quite a personal thing and so I just apply the same approach I have to dealing with friends. I treat them the way I’d like to be treated, that’s always the big one for me. You can’t really go far wrong if you do that.

    • Good point … part of the goodbye process is allowing us, their readers, a chance to thank them.
      “treat others the way you want to be treated” … a great, golden rule of blogging (and life).

  9. I agree with you. I’ve been blogging for over 4 years and have experienced the same thing — bloggers I have come to know and like disappearing into cyberspace or the world without so much as a hint that they were leaving. Some of those I miss very much.

    It does seem to be the way to go. I’ve never understood it. I would write a goodbye post if decided to end my blogging days. I am glad to know you would too.

  10. Robin, I am glad to know I am not alone in this … and to know that you will say goodbye if you leave.

  11. I have no had this happen to me, but I think it would be like watching a weekly tv show that is pulled without tying up any loose ends. I guess blogging would be like that. Just close up shop one day and leave town. That would be sad. I really enjoy your writing, and the nature pictures are amazing. :)

    • Well, I don’t plan on quitting … I have, however, been too busy and my head too full of things to write or even visit my favorite blogs this past week or so. I am so looking forward to my holiday vacation, so I can write again. I would miss your stories if you quit, too.

  12. Oh yes I know how it feels when a fellow blogger suddenly disappears without prior notice . It is rude unless something really bad happened with them which made them delete their blogs.Life is meant to MOVE ON so forget it and continue making new friends.It would be really kind if people who leave suddenly write a short post about their plans.

  13. for a second, i thought you were leaving… after i read the title. what a co-incidence, i just left a vacation note on my sidebar just hours back.

    i will not quit, i hope situations don’t force me to change my mind, but if i have to quit blogging, i will surely make a farewell post, unless of course, i die mysteriously someday…

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