About the Links

Yesterday I wrote on Twitter, “Likely half the "Buddhists" on Twitter now won’t either identify as Buddhist or be on Twitter under their "Buddhisty" avatars in a year” and someone asked me why I thought that. So I’ll answer here because it’s too long for Twitter.

There’s a lot of people who use internet names with Zen-this or Dharma-that or who identify as Buddhist for the purposes of the little biographical sketches that accompany Twitter accounts or on blogs. I used to try to keep up with them follow-wise until I realized that quite a good portion of them get deleted or abandoned within a few weeks.

That’s the same with blogs.

I’ve removed the blogroll I used to keep here because I don’t have time to maintain it. I have had a policy to only include those who’ve been blogging for a while and at least putting up material semi-monthly. I have a list of about 300 more that had just started but apparently went nowhere after the initial post or two. I have no idea why this happens in every case, maybe blogging isn’t for them or the subject matter isn’t something they feel as comfortable writing about as they thought or they started it at someone else’s urging or they’ve decided to write about yoga instead or they’ve gone back to their Christian roots or they don’t have the time to commit or they get too much hassle and harassment from the “Official Good Buddhists Club” to make it worthwhile-we’ve lost quite a number of really good bloggers for the latter unfortunately and a lot of others have really decreased their blogging due to the snipers out there who only like to hear their own voices and those who agree with them-or there is family pressure or other reasons…quite a few people do actually explain before they delete their blogs.

People now and then have dropped me notes telling me this or that blog is now deleted or no longer writing about Buddhism or just abandoned. And I’ve adjusted the lists accordingly. And on Twitter name and account changes are pretty common within the Buddhist-interest group. In blogland such changes occur with quite a bit of frequency as well-I’ve changed the name of this blog from it’s original “Enlightenment Ward” to “Smiling Buddha Cabaret” some time last year though I kept the original url

These kinds of lists go defunct in months-that’s just the attrition rate on the Internet. I may put some of the reference material on a separate page if I’m looking for something to do one day,  but I want to focus here on writing more, replying to comments more consistently and getting into a broader range of topics I’m interested in exploring, rather than other distracting and time consuming things.

By NellaLou

6 comments on “About the Links

  1. damn impermanent twitter buddhists…

    I did like your blog roll even though many did not post anymore. It was handy to see who was blogging on topics. I still even check some of the older posts on defunct blogs…good thing capable writing does not have an experation date.

    I am very happy, though, with my little zen twitter account but I am sure it will fade away eventually. Funny thing about the name…it was the only thing that I could come up with that wasn’t taken…nothing is more annoying than having the account name John452095 or JackDaw790.

  2. Folks often don’t realize the commitment blogging requires. I think most abandon their blogs because they don’t have enough to say, usually because they don’t know their chosen subject matter well enough, or they simply lack the drive to do proper research. Yes, there are the trolls who may drive those with thin skins away, but I don’t believe that is the norm. The norm is most people are empty and they don’t realize it until they attempt to write a blog.

  3. I think that a lot of people have expectations that are a bit too high when they start blogging. We become a bit disillusioned when things don’t turn out as planned. I also think that many of us start off with the idea that readers owe us something because they have decided to read our ravings. When visitors don’t make a huge fuss over us we might then start to think that they are an ungrateful bunch. We forget that they are doing us a favour by visiting our blog. I’ve seen many final posts by bloggers where they have accused their readership of being ungrateful; it always makes me cringe a little.

    Bloggers seem to be mostly like people who used to play in garage bands. Their dream is to get a bit of fame or money. The ones who stick it out tend to be those that are happy to just play in a garage.

    I also find it odd the way people who choose their social media name to reflect their passion tend to burn out the fastest. We get it a lot in Thailand with people calling themselves things like ‘Bangkok Terry’ or ‘Pattaya Simon’. There are also many foreign teacher here who would call themselves Ajahn X (with Ajahn being Thai for teacher) on their blogs and social media accounts – this name seems to be the kiss of death for their career.

  4. Ok, first as an intro I gotta say that I’ve been seeing and admiring your work in other places (i.e. Urban Refuge) for a while, but only yesterday put it together (via Dangerous Harvests) that this is the blogspace of NellaLou! Tremendously thankful to have finally stumbled upon this treasure trove. Took me long enough!

    Ever since I stopped writing on a “Political” blog, where I felt like it had to be Political and Important and therefore the links in the blogroll had to be up-to-date, and preferably well-known (glad that’s overwith), I’ve found it difficult to come up with other criteria for adding sites to my list, while still keeping it manageable and meaningful. Initially I started out by only listing the blogs of people I know offline, personally — having at least talked on the phone or exchanged letters, if not met face-to-face. I felt like this was a refreshing break from the elitism that guided my earlier choices. But then, of course, there are blogs I like whose authors I don’t know! So lately I’ve been adding and expanding a little.

    Then, of course, like you’re saying, people’s blogs go defunct for all kinds of reasons, very often, and this includes friends of mine. So part of me wants to delete them. But the funny thing about blogs is, just because they’re no longer being updated, doesn’t mean they lose what valuable content they had.

    Maybe a sensible solution to this (just thinking out loud for myself here) is to split it up into a “Resources List” with old but good stuff, and a “Live Roll” list with up-to-date material. Kind of like having both a library and a spice rack in my same home. The contents of the former might even mean more to me with age, while the contents of the latter need attention and refreshing (fresh-ground spices: a life-changing learning for me, as of a couple years ago.)

    Thank you for bringing this up, and for focusing your energies on the elements you mention at the end of the post. Your writing is kick-ass and inspiring!

    Hope this note finds you well.

    With much respect and gratitude,


  5. I would love to see your blogroll it you put it back up.
    My blog style might be a bit unusual but I have grown to like it. It includes the following:

    (1) Biography material for my kids to read some day. This started out as stories to help readers get where I was coming from in my posts. I only put this up occassionaly so as to not bore my few readers too much.

    (2) Organizing my thoughts: this is most important. I organize and reorganize posts into index posts as I put my thoughts together. It is like a sandbox for a few books which probably will be stuck on the web. I plan to take those index posts and then develop some other media presentation. So the blog serves as an idea sandbox

    (3) I use it when talking to other folks — I link to short posts I used to explain concepts or principles.

    Besides my Skeptic blog, and am now doing a simpler blog to keep notes as I study Vajrayāna.

    I wrote that to offer suggestions which may help others maintain their motivation to keep blogging. I too miss many good blogs. It is amazing how fast they disappear. I think the comments above nail many of the reasons.

  6. I am coming to believe that to blog for any reason other than to get your own thoughts down on ‘paper’, or to help others in some way, is an exercise in futility. There are many blogs that exist solely for the purpose of making money. They exist to sell something. That is fine, but I don’t consider them blogs in the true sense of the word, only storefronts.

    We owe the Universe as much positivity as we can muster, and — dare I say it without sounding hokey or sappy? — we owe the Universe as much love as we can put out there. The blogs that vibrate with positive energy and love are the ones I follow.

    And yes, people and blogs and Twitter accounts come and go. But we Buddhists understand that, don’t we. We understand the impermanence of all things.

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