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Honey Drought

There’s an interesting discussion going on at Many to Many at the moment. A popular blogger, invisibleadjunct, has recently announced that she is to stop publishing to her blog for personal reasons and that the blog will disappear from the web at some point in the near future. This has opened up a range of emotions from fans of the site, leading to a flurry of comments on her blog (200+ !) as well as many others.

The emotions appear to range from “she’s being selfish for bringing down a site that should really belong to the community that has spawned around it” to a more sympathetic voice of “we support her decision and good luck”.

This whole phenomenon has come about due to the person-centred nature of blog publishing. Unlike almost every other online publishing service, the blog is person-centric. Arguably, the blog acts as an avatar on the web for the author. The difference is that through trackback and commenting other people can attach their own content to that avatar. And this seems to be where the confusion lies, because the attached content causes ownership conflicts between commenters and blog authors. The loss of content is beyond the readerships control, and therefore anger emerges because their content is being unfairly taken away. A resolution is for readers to copy the content of the site and host it (i.e. mirror it) themselves, although this still does not solves the problem since the comments were contextualised by the posts made by the author, and to make a facetious allegory, without a queen bee there can be no honey.

Is this going to become an increasing problem with blogs? Is there a blog-community-saving business opportunity here?

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