Monday, June 19, 2006

When feelings of futility close in, go ahead and have the beer. But don't delete the blog -- it's a node in a precious social network

All bloggers get discouraged occasionally. Maybe you have a small blog, and you're tired of watching the sitemeter creep along at its petty pace from day to day, tallying meaningless visitor totals that could easily fit in a thimble, with no evidence that anyone whatsoever cares. It's natural to ask, "What's the point?"

Or maybe you have a lot of traffic and even some ancillary income, but you find that the blog that was once your passion and a labor of love has become a voracious monster that knows no bounds. Life, love, gainful labor -- everything suffers. "What's the point?"

Or perhaps you've lost faith in what you were doing, becoming in your own mind a kind of defrocked minister of the blogosphere, feeling that every word you write mocks your hypocrisy and presumption. "What's the point?"

That's when it becomes tempting to go drown your sorrows -- after deleting your blog on the way out the door. It's so easy, deceptively so. On Blogger you just click on the "Delete This Blog" button, confirm -- and your blog is history.

Resist the temptation. If you need the beer, go ahead. But don't delete the blog -- at least not without reading "Proper Procedure For Shutting Down A Blog" by Coturnix at his old Science & Politics archives, many of which he is in the process of reposting at his new blog, A Blog Around the Clock.

First, spammers are mighty quick at taking over abandoned blog addresses and placing various shady businesses, including porn, on those addresses. Everyone who has ever linked to you is now linking to porn. Bad idea.

Second, even if you started your blog because you are a loner, once you got readers, got blogrolled and linked to, your blog is a node in the web. Deleting the node injures the web. This is anti-social behavior. All the links to your blog become dead links - a big no-no in the blogosphere, where link is the currency, like ATP is currency of energy in living systems.
Read the entire post. He explains in some detail various options for shutting down a blog without deleting it and leaving a permanent tear in the intricately woven fabric of the web.

Who knows? By the time you finish reviewing the options, you just may get your second wind and decide not to shut down the blog, after all.


h de m said...

I've been on both sides--the sort of known and the very obscure and never, ever have I deleted my blog. I think it's because I burned my childhood diaries once I turned 19 and always regretted it.


Grant Miller said...

I'm a one blog kind of guy myself.

Echo said...

In honor of your post, I will be deleting The soon as Grant Miller deletes his...okay... maybe never...