What a funny thing it is, that a blog can feel neglected.
Or rather, that the blogger feels neglectful, I should say, since of course a blog can’t feel anything, so far as we know. (Ghost in the machine? An A.I. with an online journal? … What a different book William Gibson’s Neuromancer would have been if Wintermute had been blogging his - or its – way through cyberspace. But I digress…)
What’s the big deal, after all? It’s not like there’s a rule saying you have to write so-and-so many blog posts per month. … Well, unless you’re doing a company blog of some kind and your job depends on how prolific you are with your postings. But for the rest of us, what’s it matter if a few weeks go by without an update? Or even a few months? (Or, for the truly slack, a few years?)
And yet, for me at least, it does matter. It feels somehow “wrong” to have a blog and not use it, to not make sure it stays “fresh” with new posts, whatever their content.
But why? FSM knows I don’t (yet) have that many regular readers, at least going by my (scarcity of) comments. Keeping a blog active is probably a good way to get more readers, of course, but is there another reason?
Is a more active blog more deserving of its existence? Do frequent postings somehow justify its presence in the blogosphere? I suppose you could say that a blog that’s not updated ceases to be a blog, in the strictest definition of the word. On the other hand, I’m sure there are plenty of blogs that – for a variety of valid reasons – no longer get new content (outlived their original purpose?) but that still have interesting & worthwhile posts archived from way back when. Still, I think there’s a difference between a blog that’s been permanently retired and one that just gets unintentionally forgotten; does the blog collecting dust in the proverbial corner not have just as much right to its little virtual life as any other?
If so, then why the guilt? It’s sort of similar to the situation you can find yourself in with friends you haven’t talked to in ages: sure, you feel bad, but as long as you do eventually call (or e-mail, or text, or whatever) and reconnect, isn’t it “all good”? Naturally, a blog is not quite the same as a living, breathing person (though see my comment about Neuromancer above) – and your blog can’t really be the one to initiate contact with you, unlike your longlost friends – but still, it’s similar.
Maybe what it’s really about is that, in posting infrequently, you feel you’re not helping your blog reach its full potential. … Actually, now that I think about it, the same might be said about infrequent contact between friends and the squandered potential of those friendships.
But that’s life, I guess, both for blogs and friendships. You do what you can and try to get on with it, dusting off that neglected thing in the corner and polishing it up even when you’re afraid that – after all this time – there might not be any shine left underneath.