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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Disappeared

I had a friend who disappeared from the Internet last year. She was someone I had been in touch with online for nearly seven years. Hers was one of the first blogs I ever followed, and it really inspired me to start my own. She had been gradually backing away from the stuff she had been doing online, shutting down her main blog, mothballing her other sites. But one day she was just gone. No more Facebook, no more MySpace, no more blogs of any sort. Nothing.

Eventually I got an explanation for what happened.

Early Sunday morning I went to check on a blog I've been following for a few years. It's not one listed on my sidebar, for various reasons. The blogger has led an interesting and colorful life, full of ups and downs and massive betrayals. But things have taken a more positive direction recently. Wait, that's too passive: She has driven her life in a more positive direction. Made positive choices that changed things for the better. Recently she lost her job, and she was starting the job search again, though she has other things on her plate right now that may take priority over that.

And as of Sunday morning, her blog is gone.

I went to another site, one where she used to be a regular, but of late had been showing up only sporadically. And there she was, in items dated Friday.

I Googled her blog name and found a cached copy of the most recent crawl. It was a fresh post from Thursday, crawled on Friday. So the blog was there on Friday. Nothing in the post indicated she was planning to take down her blog.

We had exchanged e-mails a few times. I found her address and sent her a quick message. The message bounced off immediately: delivery failure.

I tried posting a comment to the cached post. That shouldn't have worked, but for a moment it looked like it did. But then I was notified of another failure.

I remembered I had once stumbled onto her MySpace page - under her real name. But it contained references to her semi-unique blogging name. I Googled it and found the page. It was still there, but looked like it had been inactive for a year. (Does anyone still use MySpace?) But I sent her a message through that, anyway.

I went back to my e-mail inbox and found another address for her. I sent a message to that, detailing everything I had just done, including the MySpace thing. It didn't bounce off, but about twelve hours later I received a notice that said delivery had been "delayed." I'm not sure what that means. I'll be waiting to see if it eventually graduates to "failed."

And that's that.

So, what happened? I don't know. If I were to speculate, I'd guess she pulled down her blog because of her ongoing job search. But why leave up her MySpace, and the other thing?

I shouldn't worry too much. She's strong, tough, able to deal with adversity. I've seen her stand up to stuff that would make most folks crumble.

Still, I worry. I hope she's OK. And I hope one of my messages somehow makes it through to her.


UPDATE, 6/22: Dammit. The "delayed" messages finally failed. On to plan G...or is it H?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this made me so sad.
at one time when i was into internet like crazy we had this thing...we told people we followed and got them to say that if something happened to them one of thier family etc would alert someone! can you guys do that?