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The Clutter of Dead Blogs on the Web

Blogger’s Blog pointed to Times Daily’s article on “Dead Blogs”, the growing number of blogs abandoned by their owners and authors.

The blog rush has slowed down from 175,000 new blogs posted per day in July 2006 to 120,000 new blogs per day as of March, according to Technorati, a blog tracking company.

Blogs with staying power, Endgaget’s techno-blog and Boing Boing’s curios-blog, stick around because they have a direct purpose, Carroll says.

…This month will mark a potential peak in the blogging phenomenon, according to research from Gartner, Inc., an information technology analyst firm.

In December 2006, Gartner estimated that based on the “average lifespan of a blogger” and the growth rates of blogs, the number of bloggers would peak at around 100 million “at some point in the first half of 2007,” according to a press release.

After June, it’s all downhill: data byte by data byte. Already, more than 200 million people call themselves ex-bloggers…

…Dead blogs are nothing new. In 2003, surveyors found that one in four blogs were “one-day wonders,” never to be revisited by their authors.

Have you abandoned a blog? Why? Is there anything that would make you go back and restart it? What do you think about all these dead blogs on the web?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

21 Comments

  1. Posted July 5, 2007 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    A blog novice in November -06, I started a blog at wordpress.com – after a couple of weeks I moved to blogger.com. Unhappy with my self-imposed restrictions on that blog, I started yet another one – and so I maintained two blogs. I started a third for my personal thoughts. I discovered that the tag “Facebook” attracted many visitors, so I experimented a bit with a “Facebook News Aggregator” just for fun. I didn’t have a blog in my native language, so I started another one..

    I recently got my own domain with a self-hosted wordpress blog, deleted all my old blogs and exported the entries that was relevant to my current blog.

    I suppose a dead blog with good, relevant content is as good as any other blog. As for all those “one day wonders” with a single entry: they never turn up in my searches – so they don’t really bother me. Even so, it is litter, so if I were a blog service provider I’d probably try to find a way to get rid of them, though.

  2. Posted July 5, 2007 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    I have abandoned my previous blogs. Was blogging in Pitas, then moved to Blogspot, and then eventually settled in WordPress.com. These blogs create some sort of continuation in my (personal) blogging history, and they might have some valuable content for others as well, so I believe it’s better if they stay.

    However I also believed that blog service provider might need to do cleanups of old and abandoned blogs. Maybe doing something analogous to setting a post into a “Draft” in WordPress: let the blog stay, but hide it. The owner is allowed to redisplay it to the Web should she wanted to update again.

  3. Posted July 5, 2007 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I found an Aug ’06 post of mine about dead blogs that still gets traffic AND comments.

    Most people who abandon their blogs are pretty touchy about it.

    Most of the time,they have more to say about why they quit than they had to say about the topic they chose to start a blog on.

  4. Posted July 5, 2007 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve had my main personal blog for a few years now. I started with some kind of LiveJournal personal journal page, but moved on from that. Then I got into Blogger but moved over to WordPress. I haven’t abandoned my main blog.

    I started a blog about World of Warcraft, but I quit updating it after I quit the game. For obvious reasons. I guess that’s the only real blog I’ve ever abandoned.

  5. Posted July 5, 2007 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I started a blog in the fall of 2005 (I think). Blogger made it easy. In 1998 I had run 4 daily e-mail subscription lists, and had plenty of content for those… other people contributed to my reservoir of content. Each Friday evening I would just choose what would be mailed each day the next week.

    For blogging, I hadn’t counted the cost of the effort in keeping a blog fresh, and I didn’t have the inspiration to keep going with my own content. That blog experienced a quick death.

    I started my new blog in June this year, and it’s an easy task this time. I started it with a two-fold purpose, so I have reasons to continue. I also took the time to determine if I would have the inspiration it would take to keep posting articles. As a result, I have several categories, allowing me to easily compose an posting (e.g. a music review) if I haven’t completed a more in-depth article.

    I went back to my old Blogger blog and posted the link to my new site.

  6. Posted July 5, 2007 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I’d agree with schiing that a “one day wonder” is rather different from a blog that gets abandoned when the owner finds a better host.

    I’ve also go several scattered around, for example, I had to get a WordPress.com blog in order to get an Askimet code (I’ve an idea now that you can just have the WordPress.com account, without a blog, to get the code).

    I’ve also got an account on several sites that allow you to start blogs, but I don’t really want one there. I’d rather be able just to point back to the main one (which is on the move at the moment anyway, due to a dead server).

  7. Posted July 5, 2007 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The aggravating thing about dead blogs is that most of the good names are already taken on Blogger!

  8. Posted July 5, 2007 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I think, it was the same story when people began to build their own private homepages. Many of them recognized after a while, that you have to spend many hours to have a good site, and stopped soon. It’s the same with blogging hosters. Because it is very simple to start blogging, many people starts blogging, but ends very fast…

    My first blog was on MovableType on own webspace, I moved then to wordpress. It’s a personal blog in german; now I write also on some other blogs with more specific content.

  9. Posted July 5, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I am disappointed that no one is archiving and capturing all blogs, not just the abandoned blogs. I would think inactive blogs, especially, would be attractive material for social sciences research. I would like to see the Library of Congress lead an effort to systematically identify and capture abandoned blogs. It should be possible to maintain privacy and resources at the same time.

  10. Posted July 5, 2007 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I have abandoned many blogs, however, I’ve always given each one a proper burial by deletion. I would love it if some of the clutter could get cleaned up by people taking down their dead blogs :)

  11. Posted July 5, 2007 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I have abandoned many a blog. Some I have deleted, but some still get traffic and even make money via AdSense. The timing on this is article is weird, because I am very near to finishing a draft post about how to know when to let a blog go.

  12. Posted July 5, 2007 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Personally, I have no problem with free blogging services cleaning out abandoned blogs. But then you have to define “abandoned” and make sure it is clear in the user statement with adequate notification before deletion. Paid hosts close accounts as soon as the money stops coming in, thus killing off the site but not the domain name – until the domain name expires.

    I believe that archive.org is archiving websites and blogs. I know that while I have transfered my site from place to place, they still have archive images of my blogs at different places. I’ve never killed nor abandoned a site myself. I just evolve them.

  13. Posted July 5, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Just reading the comments above, it seems that bloggers like myself go through stages until they settle on a subject. The funny thing though only yesterday I deleted all my one day wonders.

    Now I have my main blogs that I maintain and the family one. I think the turning point in any blog is when you start getting comments and subscribers, then you feel you have a duty to keep writing, with good content and thats when it becomes serious.

  14. Posted July 5, 2007 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I have removed the content from a blog that I intend to use later but when I do that I will direct it towards another and unrelated topical area.

    When I began blogging a year ago I selected a niche topic I knew a lot about – the environment. Over the course of the last year I have watched blog scrapers help themselves to my posts. The longer posts that have been scraped from my blog have been divided up into several smaller posts now and are on splogs earning income for the low life’s that stole them.

    At the same time the blog scraping was going on the news pertaining to the environment was all bad news and reporting it began to depress me. I chose not to leave the contents in my old blog as an archive.

    In time I will return to the empty blog. But, right now I’m focusing on creating content for my personal blog on my own domain which is being hosted by wordpress.com.

    Like you I have no objection to web hosts who offer free hosting services instituting a a clearcut policy for blog deletion and for the recycling of sub-domain names.

    P.S. Thanks for posting the eye candy.

  15. Posted July 5, 2007 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve been blogging for ages. I’ll keep blogging for ages.

    However generally speaking, if I’m closing a blog, I fold it into one of my other blogs. I hate to generate web clutter like a dead blog.

    I know they say “Leave it in case you come back” or “leave it so it can be stored forever”.

    I don’t like doing that. No one really makes hard links to my posts anyway. I usually just leave one post directing any visitors to one of my other blogs.

  16. Posted July 5, 2007 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I have two blogs on the web that relate to the chapter in my books that explains how to modify a blog. I don’t make entries in these blogs, but I want them to be there so that people reading my books find them and see what my examples are talking about. So, if you simply look at the date of the last entry, they would be considered “dead.” However, I want them there and people use them. In my mind, they are still functioning blogs.

  17. Posted July 6, 2007 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I abandoned a blog after 6 months because the organization I was working for forced me to…but then I was kicked out 9 months later, went through some rough life circumstances, and resurrected it again after an 18 month deep-freeze :)

    Now, a month back into it, I’m using some of your handy advice and others to thaw the 18 month hibernation. Maybe you could do a post or two on successful blog resuscitations (or if you have compile some from the archive)? Could make for some helpful and interesting info…

    thanks for this site…it’s a blessing :)
    -jeremy

  18. Posted July 6, 2007 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I’ve pretty much given up on my blog and filled it with CRAP!! I guess the “blogging spirit” has died in me.

  19. Posted July 7, 2007 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The only reasons I’ve abandoned a blog is because my readers abandoned me.

  20. Posted July 7, 2007 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Readers don’t abandon a blog without reason, so there must be more to the story. Bloggers who do not provide consistent and interesting content, abuse their readers, or take other actions that drive people away have a reason for their actions. Thus, your reasons must be deeper than blaming readers.

    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that works with blogs, too.

  21. Posted March 3, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Blogrrrl has the same complaint as I. What irritates me are those who got in early, started a blog using an important geographic name, and then disappeared. An example is Rio Dulce, a rapidly growing tourist destination in Eastern Guatemala. Somebody created a personal blog with the name riodulce, put up three posts, and has not touched it in FIVE YEARS. And the posts are not even about Rio Dulce, they are about Guatemala in general.

    Seems to me there ought to be some kind of time limit on untouched blogs. It should be a good long time but something less than five years.

    Phil


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