The Case Of The Disappearing Blogger

One thing about following a blog that is written by a person with a chronic illness is that one day that blog may just stop. One last entry and nothing more.

I was following a blog by a person with heart failure last year and he eventually needed a heart transplant. His blog went on about his life with heart failure, then he received his heart transplant. The blog continued for another two months after the transplant and he wrote about how well he was doing with his new heart. Then his blog abruptly stopped.  A few days later, the blog came down.

One can assume that he just gave up his blog, or his computer was washed away in a flood when a pipe burst, or his computer was stolen by a band of evil winged monkeys, or, maybe he died.

Unfortunately, the thing about following a blog such as his, is that you root for the person, but they are the only one giving the story. Take the story teller away, and your perspective of their story suddenly ceases, leaving you to wonder, and to speculate.

We are all going to die one day, and even though I am writing my blog regularly about life with a chronic illness, I hope that my blog can cease when I have the chance to stop and let anyone following my blog know that I am stopping. What about the case of sudden death? What do you do then?  I could be hit from the falling toilet seat of a failed space station re-entry and be killed instantly, and my blog stops. Do we as bloggers really need to keep our “public” informed? Are we really obligated to our readers to keep up our blog and inform them that it is done or coming to an end?

I originally started my blog as a bit of self therapy, a way to get my feelings about my disease out of my system to anyone that would listen. I never expected anyone to read it, far less subscribe to it. And although it is by no means a blog that gets tons of hits, it does see its fair share of action and I actually have people who subscribe to it via rss feeds and email. So do I have an obligation, as a person with a list of chronic illnesses, with the possibility of sudden death, to make sure that my readers are informed if I die or become incapacitated and can no longer continue my blog. I think I do. So now I have to include a little note in my will to take care of that. Write out my own ending and keep it as a draft with instructiuons to post when I die. I have to write a will first I guess …

Composed by Basil Rene using WordPress for BlackBerry.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Basil, you raise an important issue about communicating in blogoland. One hope that the person with HF is alive and well; if so why not put up a holding post saying “on holiday” or “in hospital” or even “I’m stopping posting here, go away!”

    Rgeular posters, and commentators as well, who suddenly disappear without explanation should be a cause of concern. I have two folk with whom I have a deal, if they go quiet for over 7 days I’m calling in the medics and cops, “just in case”. Do you want to go on that list?

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    1. Basil Rene says:

      After posting this I made arrangements for a post to be put up if I should sail off the edge of the Earth, but thanks for the offer to call all available medical and emergency personnel to find me! 🙂

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  2. classyrose says:

    You’ve raised a point that I’ve given little thought to. Everyone always assume that once it’s on the Internet it’s there forever, and some it will be. Even if the blog gets deleted there will still be remnants. Cache files here and there in search engines and who knows where else.

    I would have someone put up a final post and leave it there for as long as possible. Especially if it’s on a free platform like WordPress. 🙂

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  3. Carol Wong says:

    I agree with Classy Rose. Last year, I sent a Christmas letter to one of my friends. I received a letter back from her neighbor saying that she had died of cancer. I think that was the best thing to do.
    It is not good to be left hanging and not know,

    Carol Wong

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