Life Cycle of a Blog
There's been much handwringing and hullaballoo over some recent changes in the blogosphere. Several beloved blogs are gone, their passings occasioned by assorted circumstances, and suddenly "the death of the medical blogosphere" is at hand.
Blogs are living things, which shouldn't come as a surprise, given that they are written by people, most of whom are also living. (The exceptions are certain bloggers who are so hard-core they don't really have anything that can be called a life.)
Blogs are born; some endure; some mature; and eventually they die. Just as in life, some are cut down before their time. Sometimes bloggers come to realize that the time and effort involved in keeping up a blog is more than they are willing to put in. Sometimes they decide that they've said all they have to say. Just the other day one of my very favorite blogs, Miss Snark, called it a day "after two years and two million hits" for this very reason.
Sometimes several blogs disappear within a short span of time, leaving the erroneous impression that the events are somehow connected. The concern about "Who's next?" isn't all that different from the forty-five year old man with a neighbor and cousin who each dropped dead of heart attacks in the last two weeks. To the patient, it makes perfect sense to worry that the same thing could happen to him. It's much easier to see coincidence for what it is when we can take a step back and re-connect with reality.
We'll miss Barbados Butterfly, even as we learn that employers can trump non-work life to a frightening degree.
We'll miss Flea, while realizing that real-time reporting of litigation may have its pitfalls.
We'll miss Fat Doctor and Dr. Dork, without knowing for sure just what factors went into their very personal, private decisions to limit their blogging, even as we rejoice with Dr. Bob Centor as he celebrates the fifth anniversary of his blog.
Several years ago my own family doctor, mentor and friend was tragically killed in an auto accident. Twenty years ago my mother died of breast cancer. I miss them and think of them often, but as with many other losses, time eases the pain. While no one can replace these people in my life, I am reminded of how my father put it:
You don't look for a replacement; you look for a successor.I love my step-mother dearly, and Darling Spouse's doc of twenty-some years is well on the way to becoming my own "personal physician." Even as the blogosphere is poorer for the blogs that are no more, it is continually enriched by the new ones starting up every day. None will ever replace the ones we loved, but medical blogging isn't going anywhere.