Eulogy of a Blog(ger)

Death is more than just the expiry of life.

Last month or so, I read a few posts that talked of blog-death. Some were questions, some were tentative answers. (It is perhaps, an inconsequential coincidence that all of these posts were by women.)

I left a comment at one of these posts, that blogs, like memories, don’t die. Or something to that effect. And I believe so. People delete blogs, they stop writing at their blogs, yet blogs themselves don’t die. They may be pushed back in the darkest deepest recesses of an inaccessible server somewhere, but they don’t die. At worst, they don’t grow – they stagnate for want of nutrition.

Blogs don’t die. Bloggers do. They die two kinds of death, one of which is certain.

The one which we all know of. The inevitable, as Agent Smith calls it. I have often wondered about this. What happens when a blogger dies? The physical death, i.e. How do we know that death has occurred? Unless the blogger has shared the blog’s log-in details with someone, to write about the death in an eventuality, how would we know? Has the blogger just quit blogging? Is the blogger dead? How will we know? More-so, if we do not know the blogger in the physical world. There are blogs I frequent which haven’t been updated for years. Though there aren’t any feeds, I go there to see if there is a recent hint of life.

The other death is the choice of death. It is not certain, well, at least not till the certain death reveals itself. The choice, not to express. In that sense, the blogger dies, even if the human is still living. The blog will remain alive even after you have deleted it all, in one of Google’s cached server. And even after years, when the cache is cleaned up, there will be a link, a quote, something, somewhere that references your blog. Even if it is a memory, it will always remain.

Neo comes out of the training programme and is bleeding. He says to Morpheus, “I thought it wasn’t real.” Morpheus smiles at Neo ever so slightly, “Your mind makes it real.” Neo is puzzled, without looking at Morpheus he asks, “If you’re killed in the Matrix, you die here?”. Morpheus answers calmly, the truth that we all know, “The body cannot live without the mind.”

Blogs, you see, don’t die; bloggers do.

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22 thoughts on “Eulogy of a Blog(ger)

  1. Hmmm, Ok,blogs don’t die, the kind of death you are talking about,yes,they are there, in some cache,but if a blog has no visitors,no posts,no new look,no new colors,stories which make the readers smile, cry,irritate,agonize, and no movement in terms of number of posts isn’t it also a kind of death?
    I will sure share my blog if and pw with someone,and make sure the info reaches all my blog readers if and when i die:)

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  2. Personal blogs capture moments of life or thoughts that goes in our mind. These are memories of what transpired in real world or in our mind. Our memories will die with us but memories shared on blog will never die.
    This was a thought provoking post. I never thought about death in this way!

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  3. in the last few months, i have wondered about this question myself. as i stumbled upon one abandoned blog to the other. some have their epitaphs written by the blog owner, some merely discardrd for the lack of interest, material or perhaps both.

    and strangely, my longish sojourns away from the world hasn’t helped me understand better why people do so.

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  4. i’m highly impressed…glad to know i was one of those ‘women’ who inspired this post…it’s very thought provoking..i’ve often thought of this too..not really in relation to blogs, but more abt other personal accounts like a social networking page or an email id…its almost existentialist, this discussion…almost..

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  5. Agree at blogs don’t die…sadly the motivation kills the blogger. Sadly we are such social beings that we need feedback, appreciation for what we want to show…

    For some even if you try and revive them back from the dead – with electric jolts of comments…they have given up – much like people with terminal illness die when the will to live isn’t there anymore..

    all said…well put – death in the vitual world is becoming scary too.

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  6. ==Alaps:
    Same with humans, don’t you think? Do humans die if they don’t interact? Is that a kind of death? I think it is – and it is the same death that I speak of – the Type II (if I may).

    I am thinking of the same thing. Perhaps leave my login/passwords to someone. But then I think if that will be appreciated! πŸ™‚

    ==TSC:
    Thank ye, TSC. Been a while since you have been here. Am also glad that your comments aren’t one-liners πŸ˜‰ Glad you agree!

    ==Phish:
    You doing ok? Keeping the ‘fluid’ intake high? Get well soon, a Peru plan requires some perusal.

    I wouldn’t have felt all this if I hadn’t visited abandoned blogs – guess you were with me somewhere while we were wandering in the blogosphere. The epitaphs, I must admit are a bit amusing. At one level we all complain that enough people don’t visit the blog – at another there is this grand declaration of independence from the open prison of blogging. If people anyway didn’t come to your blog, would they care to know if you stopped blogging?

    Ah, am, perhaps, being insensitive here.

    ==NoMore:
    And I am honoured, I haven’t checked back, but this is perhaps the first comment on one of my post rather than a reply to mine, on your post.

    So, Welcome to Gaizabonts!

    Yes, you were one of the ‘women, and gratitude is due where it is, for provoking the thought. I agree with what you say, I wrote in the context of blogging, but it applies everywhere. Even in meatspace, it applies equally; I won’t elaborate the goriness of it all. It is, @ the discussion.

    This requires more than just blog-posts and comments! πŸ™‚

    ==Jols:
    I guess, like in the ‘real’ world, we look for motivation without. We fail to search within, the purpose of it all. Comments and stats are all fine (I haven’t yet recovered from checking it all), however, when the pat on the back becomes more important than original turbulent emotions within, wanting to β€œbe”, I guess we just hand it on a platter to the messenger

    I don’t think comments do anything to someone who has lost the sense of purpose in blogging; in anything, for that matter. Nope, they are like ceramic to electricity.

    ==Vipul:
    That’s the face that most aren’t willing to face? (Tell me more)

    ==TeaMaker:
    Soumyadip, Thank ye, glad you agree, too!

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  7. Something i have often thought about myself… what happens when i die… my blog, my mailboxes, my life online… how do people know about it…
    I have read about 2 bloggers who died and went on to read their blogs, not sure how I should leave a comment and if i should.
    I also remember a very regular blogger who suddenly stopped blogging and after repeated messages and unanswered comments from half the world, her blog remained dead and a mystery… then someone sent a message to everyone on her blogroll including me, and did a public obituary. A few months the blogger surfaced πŸ™‚
    Sorry for taking so much space! Didnt realise it!

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  8. ==Anumita:
    You make this even more thought-provoking, especially on commenting on blogs where the blogger doesn’t exist.

    I would, I think.

    And no, space is unlimited here – what is limited is our ability to fill up the space! Always better to have a few thoughtful comments than many half-liners!

    Nice to have you here, as always!

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  9. It is interesting to think about the continuance of blogs, that foot in the door of immortality, but the Internet is not without limits. Eventually, the sun itself will flicker out. Savor the moment.

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  10. ==Ivy:
    Welcome to Gaizabonts!

    I would believe immortality is the limit of how long we are alive, else it doesn’t matter really, in fact nothing matters after then. Let’s, then make hay while the sun shines?!

    πŸ™‚

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  11. I’ve seen the deaths and mourned the bloggers but understood too why they had to go. Maybe not the particulars, but my intuition tells me many things and it’s usually right at least over 97 percent of the time I’d go so far to say.

    Those bloggers might be revived but we just don’t know – maybe they’ve been reincarnated instead –

    Peace baby,

    ~ RS ~

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  12. Pingback: Promise to Commit? « Gaizabonts
  13. Is it me who is dead or is it my blog which has passed on???

    Blogger is alive (kicking, shaking a fist & making nasty faces at the world) and so is the blog (in its last legs perhaps but a-live still).

    What does one say for blogs/bloggers with sluggish metabolic rates, who for all the adiposa on the blogger ( 😦 ) are skeletally bare and emaciated- blogdead/ deadblog?

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  14. ==Shankari:
    They are just blog-quiet, or blog-waiting for something bloggable?

    While each moment around me is bloggable, I am learning (with some difficulty) that my purpose of blogging isn’t to populate their servers.

    sluggish is still fine, if we know that there is movement possible, imagine the state where there is announcement of a future death. Unfortunate wishful thinking, I call it.

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