Some of my favorite bloggers have had a rough go of it lately. Hackers, malware, and personal issues are taking their toll. Sites are down, content isn’t being written, and these folks are struggling.
It’s hard to know what to do when these things happen, especially if we don’t have a close relationship with the blogger. Maybe we’ve been a silent reader of the blog or have only commented a time or two with no interaction beyond that.
Still, when we see their site is down or hasn’t been updated in a while, part of us wants to reach out and see if they’re okay.
But then there’s this other part . . . the part that just wants to ignore it, get on with our day, and forget that bad things happen to good bloggers.
The truth is, we’d never leave an offline friend or neighbor shivering alone in the dark if their house burned to the ground, but we find it pretty darn easy to ignore the online friend who’s just had their virtual “house” torched by a hacker.
“It’s just a blog,” we reason, forgetting that our own blogs are a refuge for our creativity, a comfortable place to connect with others, and a source of income.
No, losing a blog isn’t a small thing.
It’s a big thing.
A very, very big thing that can affect body, mind, and spirit.
So, I’ve been wondering . . . What if instead of pretending not to notice when these things happen, we actually step up and do something?
I’ve given it some thought, and here’s what I’m going to do from now on:
Get in touch. If there’s malware, spam, or a technical issue on a site I visit, I’m not going to presume the blogger already knows about it. I’m going to presume that they don’t. If I have their email, facebook, twitter or other contact information, I’ll send them a private message and tell them what’s happening. If I don’t have a way to get in touch, I’ll track down another blogger who might have that information and ask them to relay the message.
Encourage them. From this day forward, when a blogger I follow has a technical or personal issue that keeps them from blogging, I’m going to tell them I miss them, thank them for their past work, and express my hope they’ll be back soon.
Offer help. I’m not a technical whiz, so I won’t be able to help out personally there, but I can connect them with others with these skills. If they need help with writing, I’ll offer to guest post and organize others to do the same if that’s what’s needed. I’ll also promote their site when they’re back up again.
Follow up. I’ll check in when things are back to normal to make sure they’re managing okay, and I’ll help out some more if they’re not.
And that’s how it’s going to be from now on. No more pretending I don’t see bad things. No more impersonality. And no more letting a fellow blogger stand alone.
Are you with me?
Image by Tayrawr Fortune