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When Blogs Die November 12, 2005 – 7:07 p.m. – Permalink

The 404 message received when attempting to access Damhikt.

There is certain sadness when you suddenly receive an ominous RSS feed message titled “Goodbye” or “Farewell,” or when you surf to a blog and a 404 error message appears. Many times the reasons are explicit, but many times the manager leaves unexpectedly, leaving a nonsensical adieu.

This has happened numerous times in the past year. Blogs are continually born, growing, and dying. All of the above for different reasons. It’s very difficult to explain the effect blogging has on someone. But when you read someone’s thoughts and see that yes, that’s exactly what I feel, the world comes into light.

Today’s corporate world is marred by monopoly and control. It is so refreshing to see blogs that really bash those corporate interests, yet so saddening when the single–page message appears: “Web design takes up too much of my time. It is time to stop.”

I respect these people’s decisions. I hold them in some of my highest esteem because of their ability to face it and say I’m stopping instead of leaving their blog online without a single indication of their secretive exit.

There are three blogs very dear to me that have closed their doors in recent times (a couple of them not quite fully).

The first is Damhikt. What I liked about Damhikt was its simplicity and utter cleanliness. The purpose of this blog (on Blogger) was to place one news item of importance in the form of a post every day. Only one news article. That was it. I referred to Damhikt when I needed a refreshing respite from the flood of news slammed at you when you browse, say BBC News or CNN (although I hold these sites very high on my list).

What happened? One day in September I browsed back to it, and suddenly I was surprised by the screenshot above. Nothing to indicate anything had been at that URL.

The second is Den of Squiggles. This blog had quite another story. It was a rambling of the daily life of Patrick, one of my great friends (read more about him in the Acknowledgements). Some of his entries were the most provocative I ever read, while some were purely nonsensical humor.

I surfed there and I read this shocking post about his DSL. I sat there dumbfounded for many minutes.

The third is Ignite. Brian’s blog has been the focus of numerous entries of mine in the past, among them “Can’t Stop the Thinking” (July 4, 2005) and “WOWIFLI — A Hidden Gem” (August 8, 2005). His entries were more ranting than they were provocative, but always worth a read and never to be underestimated.

His last post on Ignite was one of his most profound I have read on any blog. It tells of the massive undertaking that comes with blogging and the huge responsibility you have to your readers. It is because of this responsibility that I commend everybody who blogs. They are the heroes of the Internet.

I have absolute respect for those who choose to close down their blogs — whether it is because of some unknown cause or just lack of readership, they are courageous because they are turning away from their readers. They are simply pushing them away.

Some may think that by saying this I am insane, but truly, look at those who have served the Internet for quite some time. Whether this world will fully understand the awesome responsibility that comes with blogging is another story altogether.