Why do we feel the need to apologise when we haven't blogged for a while or kept to a promised schedule?

Cristobal apologised this morning for not updating his site even though, in his own words, there were only "roughly ten people who could notice" when he posts or doesn't.

It reminded me of times when I have written apologies or explanations when what I’ve been doing has been away from the blog.

Why should we have to?

I used to write about the implied social contract between someone and their followers: the idea that you would be followed for a reason, for the type of material you posted, and the subsequent obligation felt to keep posting the same type of content.

Perhaps there is a vanity metric at play and you don't want to lose the followers/readers you have amassed because no one likes it when numbers start dropping.

I'd certainly argue this is the case with many on social networks where metrics are everything.

But, for a blog, is it something else?

As a blog is inherently more personal is there a deeper sense of connection that runs beyond any implied contract? Is there a sense of community, no matter how small, such that we feel we are genuinely letting friends down on a more intimate level rather than merely not honouring an obligation?

Do we feel the need to post an apology in the same way we need to make amends for not speaking to a friend in a while?

Depending on the nature of the blog, and the person, I'd say yes.

  1. Colin Devroe says: #
    In my personal blogging tips post I wrote about writing what you’ve done rather than writing about what you will do. This discussion sort of falls into this area. Why apologize for not writing? Just start writing again.

    Believe it or not, not many people notice when we’ve taken a break. People have busy lives.

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    1. Colin Walker says: #
      Yeah, it’s scary when you can disappear and no one even notices – the same thing happened to me on Twitter.

      I still think that bloggers build a connection with their audience. Maybe we shouldn’t care so much 😉

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  2. desparoz says: #
    @colinwalker your point is valid. Unless we are being paid to write/blog/podcast to a schedule, we should enjoy the liberty of doing do when we have something to say, and when we have the energy/focus to do it properly.
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  3. colinwalker says: #
    @desparoz Absolutely, it’s just there is often a demonstration of obligation and I wonder why it’s there and where it comes from.
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  4. Interesting point, Colin.

    In the past I’ve apologised myself, but I tend to avoid it now, because I cringe a bit when I see other people do it. I much prefer when people just start writing again, without a big long explanation.

    Having said that, I think we should continue to care. I think indie blogging is about personal connections, and we need to nurture those, without being too self-conscious in the process.

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    1. Colin Devroe says: #
      “Having said that, I think we should continue to care. I think indie blogging is about personal connections, and we need to nurture those, without being too self-conscious in the process.”

      I like this Chris. We should be looking out for each other a bit I suppose.

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