Stuff On Sundays: Ghost blogs

follow-usedited

Now that Google Reader is gone and I am settled happily into using Feedly, I decided the time was right to purge my RSS feed. I  browse by RSS feed every night after I have settled in front of the TV, it is a part of my routine that I enjoy. Over the last week I have spent about 3 hours sorting through the nearly 1000 book blogs I have followed at one time or another over the last few years.

There were really only a handful of blogs I was targeting, most commonly because I had noticed their posts had become a cycle of memes, cover reveals and book blasts for books that weren’t really of interest to me anyway.

What shocked me was the discovery of how many abandoned blogs I had in my feed.  A few blogs had a ‘goodbye’ post I must have missed, but more often than not the last post was something ordinary – a review, a meme and then nothing, sometimes for over a year. Some blogs simply hadn’t been posted to for a few weeks and in the end I deleted the feed if the blogger hadn’t posted in the last sixty to ninety days, with the odd exception (if for example they have stated they are taking a hiatus).

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened – had the blogger just lost interest or gotten too busy or was there some calamitous event like illness or death that caused them to disappear? None of the bloggers who disappeared were someone I had any sort of relationship with but I found it a bit sad really. I can’t quite imagine any situation I which I would abandon Book’d Out without notice, apart from death. I have already told my husband if something should happen to me he needs to write a brief post here to let people know, even though I can’t help wondering if anyone would really notice or even care.

I was curious so I googled ‘abandoned (or ghost) blogs’ and learnt that up to 95% of blogs on the web are abandoned (ie. have not been posted on in over 120 days) – that is more than 10 million blogs!  Apparently blogger and blogspot addresses NEVER expire. Blogger states ” Occasionally people come back to their blogs after long absences, and we want them to be able to find their blog as they left it.” WordPress has the same policy. I even found a blogger who blogs about “Orphaned, Lost and Abandoned Blogs”.

So I would like to know, under what circumstances would you abandon your blog? How long would it be before you would consider a blog abandoned and delete it from your feed/blogroll/subscription?

Oh and if you would like to add my feed to your reader

http://www.bookdout.wordpress.com/feed/

55 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lloyd Russell
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 09:28:52

    That is a crazy statistic. I can’t imagine abandoning my blog.

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  2. 1girl2manybooks
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 09:33:44

    Interesting post!

    I actually have 2 blogs that would be classified as “ghost blogs” now. When my children were born, I registered a blog name for each of them and did a 365 photo a day of the first year of their life. I haven’t posted in either after their first birthday. I think I had plans of maybe posting weekly, or monthly, that never ended up coming about. I’m glad they’ll always be there though because I love going back and looking at those early days. The photos help keep the memories alive. They’re tiny babies for so short a length of time, it’s amazing what you forget.

    You’ve reminded me that I really need to go in and cull my own feeds too. I don’t follow quite as many blogs but I’m pretty sure that there are some where the owners have abandoned them or moved to a different URL. I probably give 6 months of no posting without warning before I’d delete. But I’m also lazy and I don’t think I’ve reorganised my feeds…ever. So I’m going to do that today!

    I’m like you – only because of sudden death would I stop posting without warning in 1girl2manybooks. I haven’t actually asked my husband to post something if I die (god this is rather morbid isn’t it) but I do know a blogger in real life who could probably get the word out!

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  3. Cynthia@The Things You Can Read
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:15:21

    Enjoyed your post very much. Great topic! I need to do some housecleaning on my blog. It will be interesting to see what I discover.

    Cynthia@The Things You Can Read
    http://thethingsyoucanread.blogspot.com/

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  4. laurelrainsnow
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:26:50

    When I decided that I had way too many blogs (yes, I still do, but I once had more! lol), I moved content to other blogs and deleted the sites I was “abandoning.” But I posted about it beforehand…and put a notice on Facebook.

    I often wonder what would happen to my blogs if I die (while still blogging) and none of my kids would be able to find them and delete them or even post notices. Hmm, something to ponder.

    Thanks for the post…it makes me sad. I have noticed some blogs I follow with no postings in a year or so. I hesitate to remove them….

    Here’s MY SUNDAY UPDATES/MAILBOX MONDAY POST

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:16:48

      I am in awe that you juggle so many blogs Laurel, one is enough for me to cope with LOL.
      Maybe book bloggers need a will codicil giving someone power of attorney over their blogs!

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  5. guiltlessreader (@guiltlessreader)
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:50:45

    I’m probably one of them … but I can’t bear to delete a blog.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:20:37

      I guess it might depend on the type of blog. I have retired a previous work related blog without any qualms when I retired from designing but if I did decide to give up book blogging I am not sure I would be so willing to do that with this one

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  6. Heidi
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:54:23

    I once started a blog to share some of the funny, inspiring and interesting things I come across in my work (I’m a nurse), of which there are many. But despite changing details and settings etc I was always paranoid that I would be violating confidentiality to some extent, so I never got past my introductory post. I regretfully ended up deleting my blog, wondering how some other blogs get around the issue. Book blogging has filled that void now, as I can merrily write about my reading pleasures without fear of any transgressions.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:22:11

      I guess that likely happens a lot – people have a great idea for a blog but executing proves too difficult or awkward for whatever reason

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  7. Tsana
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 11:43:17

    Well, I know I’m not going to be a book blogger forever, so eventually I will stop posting reviews (or stop posting them with any regularity). I’ll always be a book person but at some point other things will take priority (like writing or other bookish pursuits).

    I also post very erratically on my other blog (The SF Writers’ Guide to Space). That one started out fairly regularly but as my PhD got more involved I had less time to think up posts and now I mostly post only answers to questions (although my last post was motivated by a book I read). I also have an abandoned Livejournal blog from high school and a year or so after, but I think that sort of thing is very typical of Gen Y. The internet moves on and so do we as we grow up.

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  8. sally906
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 11:46:48

    When I moved to feeddler I did the same. Where lots of ghost blogs too. Sad isn’t it? I’m not an ‘aggressive’ blogger, really set it up to keep track of what I read. But it’s become a habit and I’ve met nice people through it.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:25:53

      It does become a habit, I know when I go back to work full time things will have to change here, though I am dreading the day.

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  9. Fay
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 12:49:06

    I have switched from another blog to my current address and eventually went self-hosted. I have to say that I do enjoy blogging but there are those moments where when I have nothing to say it is best to say nothing rather than something irrelevant.

    I sat and contemplated the name of my blog the other day with a good friend who is also a blogger and was happy with my original decision as I feel the etc incorporates everything else I post about that isn’t books!

    Recently coming back from a short period of being MIA (couple of weeks if that!) I am now back with a fresh mind and hope that things will start to take off again.

    Sadly a lot of my blogging time unless scrupulously planned has to fit in with my ridiculously hectic work schedule – but as many say ‘No one forces you to do it!’

    I believe the right time to stop blogging is when the individual feels to do so.
    😀

    p.s. I would miss your blog – I do like to read your new posts and some of the older ones!😀

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:31:17

      Aww thanks Fay🙂 I think breaks can be a good thing, especially if people are starting to burn out or just need to step away for a while to prioritise family or friends. I hope your break invigorated you.

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      • Fay
        Jul 15, 2013 @ 14:15:54

        Totally agree! Burning out on your blog is the worst especially when things start to get repetitive!

        My break has done something like that but lets see – hopefully there will be some good changes!😀

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  10. seantheblogonaut
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 13:03:58

    I have a couple of ghost blogs. But I will be blogging for many a year to come, as for my book blog I would post a notice I think

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  11. Paula C
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 13:28:44

    I too have culled my feeds since moving to feedly – fresh start LOL. I think most people have just simply migrated to Facebook – they share their everyday little bits and pieces on there and no longer feel blogging is needed. I only joined Facebook 6 months ago (I know I’m behind the times) and that was simply to “catch up” with people because the majority no longer kept in contact via my blog. I still keep blogging because it’s sort of like my diary and has helped me so many times when I’ve come to journal on a scrapbooking layout or to settle and argument in this household LOL.

    I love your blog and your reviews – I have read so many wonderful books that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about thanks to you🙂

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:37:44

      Thanks Paula🙂 I’m not a huge fan of Facebook though I have both a personal and blog presence there and do check it regularly. I get frustrated by the feeds that don’t let me see everything because FB loads posts with their own *scale of importance*

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  12. stacybuckeye
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 14:23:08

    I can’t imagine abandoning my blog without notice either. When I purge blogs the easy ones are ones who haven’t posted for 6 months.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:38:28

      I agree Stacy, I didn’t have an problems deleting blogs that hadn’t been posted on for 6 months or more

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  13. Kerri Knapp
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 17:39:55

    This is why I decided to create the RSS Blogroll plugin. RSS Blogroll allows you to link to your favourite blogs via the latest items from their RSS/Atom feed. Article titles are much more attention grabbing and will deliver much higher quality traffic. We all hate clicking through to abandoned blogs – displaying article publication dates also lets readers know these are up to date and active sites.

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  14. Jo K.
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 20:06:17

    My blog has been a bit ghostly lately, I only started posting this week after two months… With me it’s either being too busy or having a reading slump. This time it’s both, so I didn’t post any hiatus announcement because I couldn’t foresee me getting busy and not reading, etc. But if I consciously decided to abandon my blog, I’d leave a notice in case anyone cared.

    I’ve just returned to give my blog some attention and I went through my feedly yesterday, purging blogs as well. I don’t do this on regular basis, so some of them haven’t posted for quite a while – 6 months or longer.

    Jo K (Pepca)

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:44:11

      I’m sure that happens a lot as well – people don’t consciously plan to abandon a blog it’s just the weeks drift by until it’s been a month or two or more since a post has gone up.

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  15. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 21:28:40

    Very interesting question Shelleyrae. To stop completely would have to be a really considered decision for me and I would want to bring things to a close in a fitting way because Booklover Book Reviews has become a valuable creative outlet for me. The regularity with which i post could easily change due to a simple thing called life.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:46:34

      I have a thing about finishing what I start, the problem is I will never stop reading so I can’t see this blog ever ending neatly LOL

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  16. Louise King
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 21:54:10

    I’d miss your blog!

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  17. Trackback: Bookish Recap: July 7th - 13th | A Bookish Heart
  18. Teddyree
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 22:45:39

    You’re kidding, we’d notice Shelleyrae, so don’t go disappearing without warning us or we’ll come looking for you lol. I’ve followed a number of blogs (more personal journeys with illness) where a hubby or friend has done a final post to say the blogger has passed away, so sad but it’s a relief to know what has happened and I think family may find comfort in last messages left by readers and friends.

    I’ve culled a few blogs but I need to be a bit more ruthless, some bloggy friends that have abandoned their blogs are also on facebook so I’m sure I’d know if they began posting again.

    I go through stages when home/work/life becomes overwhelming and I really feel like I need a break from blogging but I wouldn’t ever abandon my blog. With family emergencies and illnesses I’ve always managed to put up a MIA/Be Back Soon post and if sometime in the future I stop reviewing I’d definitely let readers know.

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  19. Kat (AussieZombie) (@katlb82)
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 22:52:50

    I regularly ‘cull’ the blogs I’m following – maybe every two months or so, otherwise my feed gets completely out of control! I always think it’s a little sad when I find one abandoned too😦

    I usually stop following the ones that have no content for a month or more, except those with a hiatus notice – I know I have to take a hiatus later this year (I’m no way organised enough to schedule a whole month of stuff in advance), so I’m hoping people will know I’m coming back😀

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:50:48

      I would never be able to schedule a month in advance either Kat, I can barely get a day ahead right now

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  20. Cayce (@Cayce_23)
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 07:20:01

    Yes! I just cleaned Bloglovin out a few weeks ago and was shocked to see that I was following over a hundred abandoned “ghost blogs”. And most of these bloggers just disappeared, without any notice. I don’t know if/when I’ll stop blogging, but one thing is for sure, my last post will be a goodbye/thank you for everything post.

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  21. Lottie Eve
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 14:59:49

    Huh, so I am not the only one who is constantly thinking about those abandoned blogs. Whenever I come across a book blog that doesn’t have a good-bye post or just has a I will come back later post (but hasn’t posted for months or years), I let my imagination run wild😛 But it is really said, since you might never know what had happened to them…

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  22. Trackback: The Sunday Post(12) | book adoration
  23. katebellexe
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 21:36:12

    I have an abandoned blog. I’ve been planning to copy out all the posts and then close it down, but haven’t got around to it. It still gets the odd hit. It was a failed experiment really and I’ve moved on and haven’t bothered with ‘closure’

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  24. mpartyka
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 22:08:11

    Thanks for this post and the research! I might be one of theses ghost bloggers🙂

    I loved book blogging when I lived in Omaha. Life was structured, I belonged to a fabulous book club and had time to read and write. Since moving a few years ago I hardly have time to breathe (HA). I also blame the iphone for the change in reading habits, I am almost never in front of my laptop when reading blogs (comment less, etc…). Now that my big adventure is over it will be interesting to see how this changes my reading habits, genres, etc…

    This is most of why I had to change the name of my blog, to remove the pressure to read/review in a timely manner and to let me still have a blog. It was a big decision but I love blogging and sharing stories, keeping up with my blog friends. I have learned that for me, I don’t care if one person reads my blog or hundreds – coming to that realization freed me.

    I could write so much more on this topic!

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 16, 2013 @ 14:17:08

      I think when the focus changes people prefer to start over rather than re-purpose their blogs – I think changing the name makes more sense!

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  25. Leslie
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 03:02:53

    Since google reader vanished I’ve been doing the same thing… reorganizing and deleting dead stuff… and wondered about that too. Not even a good bye post!

    I have a garden blog that I neglect for months at a time, so I do understand how that happens. It doesn’t have very many followers so I don’t feel pressured to post new content like I do with the book blog. But interestingly the garden blog sometimes gets more hits per day on old gardening posts than the book blog gets on new reviews.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 16, 2013 @ 14:21:37

      I’m always surprised when a very old post gets a comment, I guess because I don’t look back but in my top 10 post views this week are two posts made in 2012 and one in early 2011

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  26. samstillreading
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 17:49:57

    I moved to across to Feedler and a new hard drive recently, so I did this. If people said they were going to stop/post very infrequently, I stopped following (except one blog I love that keeps changing its mind). I always wonder what happened to blogs that are abandoned with no farewell – just hope the blogger didn’t get ill or worse!

    I read somewhere that if a blog lasts for three years, it’s more likely to continue. I’d hope that my family would post something if I couldn’t blog. Sometimes when I have a really crazy work time (like when I’m on 24/7s) I don’t prepare that well in advance!

    Like you, I’m really unlikely to stop reading and I’ve kept a book journal for 6 years, so things are unlikely to change at this stage.

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  27. The Australian Bookshelf
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 18:36:39

    This is a great discussion Shelleyrae and raises things I haven’t really thought much about… like what would happen to my blog if something happened to me! Something to ponder I suppose. To be honest I’m surprised I’ve kept up my blog for so long, about 2.5 years I think. There are times I get a little overwhelmed and times I’ve posted less than usual but for the most part I can’t see myself abandoning my book blog for a while yet. I must admit it did take me quite a few weeks to get back into it when I returned from my honeymoon and I’ve finally managed to schedule some posts ahead so i’m not having to write posts everyday.🙂

    I did start a travel blog earlier this year but it’s been a bit abandoned for several weeks now… and i’m not feeling too motivated to continue with that just yet.

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  28. Jenn J McLeod | Come home to the country...
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 22:39:58

    I had a blogspot blog and someone pinched it. It simply dappeared from my blogger dashboard, leaving other alone. I’ve tried to contact Google/Blogger to no avail. If anyone can tell me how I might have the blog shut down, that would be great. I have having my name associated with something that isn’t…well…me!

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jul 17, 2013 @ 13:44:02

      Is someone else using it to blog Jenn? That is a little scary! I guess you just keep harassing blogger til someone answers you

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  29. Books Over Flowers
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 14:15:06

    I have a few ghost blogs floating around on the internet, but these are blogs were made during my teen years either for school or for personal use. I didn’t really have any direction or idea on what I wanted these blogs so they were abandoned. However, I couldn’t bear to delete them and left them alone occasionally visiting them for nostalgia.

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