I’ve just gone through and pruned my blogroll, taking a look to see who was still active (by a fairly generous definition, given my own lack of activity), who had moved house, and who had gone the way of all things since I last took a hard look at my sidebars.
Things happen. Bloggers move on, lose interest, get jobs that require other kinds of writing, and the like; I don’t expect everybody to keep producing. But in my little tour of bloglandia I discovered that the very first blog to catch my attention — the blog of a friend from grad school, which I stumbled across the very week I finished the manuscript of my first book, just shy of ten years ago, just as I was beginning to wish I had some kind of outlet for the immediate gratification of my desire to communicate — is being kept up-to-date, but not by my friend. That site has been taken over by a commercial entity using it to advertise Reputable Chiropractic Services and Compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys. And worse: my friend’s archives are not there.
My friend has gone on to great things; I’m not sad for him. I’m sad for me. It’s less that my model has been corrupted (and yes, I do now have J. Geils whistling through my head) than that I can’t ever revisit that blog in search of inspiration, that his half of our early conversations — the far smarter half — are lost.
I obviously knew when I named this blog lo these many ages ago that this was a possibility; obsolescence is engineered into the very architecture of the blog. But things like blogs and friendships can be preserved, with a little work.