Saturday, December 08, 2007

There's good news, and there's bad news...

I sat down here today to mourn the loss of some really good blogs, two of which announced their closings just this week: Ronnie Bennett's Time Goes By and John Scalzi's By the Way. They were the latest in a number of blogs I've loved and lost, and I was pretty bummed.

However, when I went to Bennett's place to grab the link, I found that her farewell message in the top slot had been replaced by a heartfelt response to her readers' reaction to the closing, along with a promise to continue posting after all -- with a few new rules in place. (More on that later.) So, Yay for Ronnie!

Time Goes By is absolutely the best, brightest, and most thoughtful blog online about the joys, possibilities and challenges of growing old. Yes, old. And it may be the only place anywhere that doesn't shy away from the word. I love that about it, too.

Recently, the author's efforts have become more political, focused on the fight to preserve our freedom, privacy, social justice, and democracy. She maintains, and I concur, that in these dark times this is urgent and critical work for the nation's elders.

I regret to say that, up until now, I have been only a lurker over at Time Goes By. I am grateful to have been given a second chance to participate, and I will become an active participant there. I hope that you will, too.

John Scalzi of AOL, alas, will only say that he may post occasionally at By the Way "as a civilian," once his contract ends December 31. He is the reigning Blogfather of AOL J-Land, which he built into a vibrant, unique blogging community with his daily postings, memes, links to member blogs, and technical help. The J-Land group dispersed when AOL suddenly began running unwanted advertising on our blogs. Most, myself included, sadly set sail for other, less exploitative venues.

Scalzi soldiered on, serving up a delightful mix of games, challenges, funny links and commentary for the remaining handful of regulars. His career as a fiction writer has taken off and, much as he seems genuinely to enjoy his AOL readers, I'm sure he does have other fish to fry.

Scalzi is also bowing out of his central role at Ficlets. I always meant to get involved there, too, and somehow never did. Guess I'll wait now to see what happens when the group is on its own.

John Scalzi blogs for himself at Whatever, which is also a great place to hang out, though it's a very different place than AOL. I found that one quite a while ago by Googling his name, and have been lurking there ever since. By the Way was a daily stop for me, and I'm really going to miss it when it's gone.

Don to Earth was another favorite, though it didn't last long. It belonged to Don Crowdis, who gained fame as a blogger just for being over 90 years old, but who was also a very thoughtful, intelligent, and articulate voice. He had an amazing life, and may be living still. His last post was "I'm Not Dead" -- but that was back in March. I do hope he's still out there and will be back one day.

And then there's Walt. Walt passed away last spring, shortly after his last post at The Diatom Project. There was never a kinder person or a more faithful friend than Walter, and I still miss his funny comments and personal messages of encouragement and cheer. I think of him so often, and I still click over to his blog, where it will forever be Christmas Morning.

It's a funny thing about blogs. We get comfortable with a few, and after a while they're a part of our lives. But they are, all of them, ephemeral creations that live at the whim of their authors. All of them can vanish without warning. The best of them leave us a little better, a little wiser, a little happier just for having been there. To all of you out there, writing and visiting, I'd just like to say Thanks.


Tammie Jean said...

How attached we become to the words of strangers set adrift out in cyberspace! It's always sad to see a good blog closed down.

MyMaracas said...

Thanks for the comment, Tammie Jean!

It is indeed both wonderful and odd that strangers' little corners in cyberspace can come to feel so much like the homes of dear friends. And it's always sad to show up on their virtual doorstep one day and find they've moved away. And by the way -- yours is one of my favorites.



Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

You may like to know that Olive Riley, a feisty 108-year-old Australian great-great-grandmother, is the world's oldest blogger. She is probably the world’s oldest YouTuber as well.

Physically frail but mentally alert, Olive raised her three children on her own, survived two world wars , the Great Depression of the 1930s, and worked as a barmaid, an egg sorter, and a station (ranch) cook in many parts of Australia.

Olive’s blog, The Life of Riley, has a huge Internet following. Prepared by her friend, international film maker Mike Rubbo, and based on his interviews with Olive, it attracts hundreds of enthusiastic comments from many countries, and from bloggers of all ages. It’s posted on the Internet at
The London (UK) newspaper The Sun has just published a story about Olive:
Best wishes, Eric

Carly said...

Hi Vicki :)

Yes, I was saddened too by the news that John Scalzi would be leaving us at the end of the year, but I am a fan of his other blog, so I will see him there. I will check out the other blog you mentioned, I am always on the lookout for new blogs. I will always feel blessed that I found you. :) I enjoy you very much, and look forward to your entries. You are a great gal, and I have learned a lot from you. :) So THANK YOU!

Always, Carly

MyMaracas said...

Well hello there, Eric, and welcome! What a pleasure it is to meet you.

Thanks so much for the link to Olive Riley's blog. I've just come from a quick peek at it, and it is wonderful. I followed your profile link back to your own blog as well, Life Begins at 80, and that looks intrigueing as well. I'll be adding you both to my blogroll shortly.

I do hope you'll stop by and visit again soon. Best wishes til then, and thanks so much for commenting.


MyMaracas said...

Gosh, Carly, you've got me all blushy and choked up here. Thank YOU, so very much, for your many kindnesses and for stopping by so often to comment. It means more to me than you know.


kathy z said...

Ah, I've recently thought of those I've gained and those I've lost and while it's a part of the community, it is a bummer. Thanks for linking.

Oh, and like you I do a lot of lurking, but perhaps if 'we' lurked less and commented more, folks (some) would be more inspired to keep at it.

MyMaracas said...

Hey there Kathy z, thanks for stopping by and for commenting! You have a great point there about lurking less and commenting more. I'll have to give that some thought.