Decay Window/Fr Antunes, via Flickr

This is just to say that we realize that personal blogs by nurses have life cycles. They wax and they wane. While a core few are updated consistently, with the occasional gap for a vacation, and live on and on, evolving their appearances or keeping the old reliable appearance, many more simply die a quiet natural death. In many cases, no one plays taps. They served their purpose, they were noticed by a few or many of us, and then they quietly grew quiet.

Sometimes the bloggers say goodbye. Sometimes they just stop as if abducted by aliens. Or by their lives, or jobs, or illness, or death, or families, or by an alter ego. Well, that last bit is just speculation. Often the blogs live on, like deserted homes with the furniture still in them, never growing dusty, never surrounded by weeds or visible decay yet somehow sad. Or not so sad: testaments to an episode in a life in which a voice was raised with humor or outrage or questioning in a solitary room with a keyboard somewhere after the kids were in bed or while the DVR recorded the latest episode of something or other or early in the morning while the plows scraped the streets of the night’s snowfall.

Some nurse bloggers are more bloggers than nurses, it turns out, or more techies than bloggers, or some combination thereof; these too sometimes move on, some to paid roles as writers with columns on sponsored sites, some to roles in which they reveal their actual names to their audiences if they didn’t at first do so, some to entirely new professions that deprive their blogs about nursing and health care of their reason for being and their material. 

It’s the way of the web. It’s just fine, though it’s always a disappointment when someone really perceptive or unique or honest decides to opt out. We begin to see the passage of time on this ephemeral thing the Internet. We see markers of the first decades of this medium on the dates of blog posts we stumble upon through blogrolls that haven’t been pruned in a long time.

Which brings me to our blogroll. We update it when we can, when we find someone new to draw attention to. It’s not systematic. We’re very open, though we don’t include every blog we encounter. Sometimes we remove a blog that hasn’t been updated for a long time. Sometimes we wait it out for another few months in case this is just a hiatus. It’s a judgment call. If we do remove your blog, it’s nothing personal; and if you subsequently start to post again, please feel free to let us know. We want the blogroll to be worth exploring, to be a reliable source of places readers might want to check out. If you find a blog on it that’s become defunct, please let us know as well. We can’t always check everyone all the time.

Maybe in some future Internet the blogs and websites (or whatever we call them by then) will have a decay feature built into them so they’ll give off a musty smell of old leaves accumulated in cellar holes, so the words will begin to dissolve gradually, so other ideas and stories will take up residence in them like squatters and wild animals in need of a den. Now that could really get interesting.—JM, senior editor/blog editor

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