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