Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cyberspace Junk

"On Christmas Eve," said Norad,
"A soviet Sputnik hit Africa,
It's coming fast --
Peru too --
It keeps coming..."
And now I'm mad about
Space Junk
I'm all burned out about
Space Junk
Ooh walk and talk about
Space Junk
It smashed my baby's head,
And now my Sally's dead.

"Space Junk"

Devo sang about Space Junk 30 years ago, and the last time anybody checked it hadn't gone away. It's now been joined by cyberspace junk -- discontinued blogs and aborted blogs, which litter the internets like so many defunct Telstar satellites.

Nobody knows how many active blogs there are in the world. I'd guess a couple million. But for every active, currently living blog, I'll bet there are ten or fifteen that were launched, kept up for a long or short time, and then abandoned to sit forever at April 28, 2004, forgotten by the proprieter and only visited accidentally by surfers committing unconscious typos.

Even more numerous are the aborted blogs. These were attempts to set up blogs by people who either didn't know what they were doing or were convinced by someone or something that they should try doing this blog thing, but lacked any enthusiasm for it. The result is a vast archaeological stratum of blogs with names and proprietors but no posting history, or maybe one experimental post and after that, nothing. Since 2002.

Some of these have interesting, even fascinating names. For example, how did Hogofogo arrive at that title for his blog and online identity? Did he or she know that Hogofogo was the name of the villain in the 1964 Czech western "Limonadovy Joe" (Lemonade Joe)? Lemonade Joe, by the way, is an extremely subtle piece of work, and I wonder if the blog proprietor appreciates its delicate and careful satirization of both communism and monopoly capitalism. But no matter, since the blog Hogofogo is now suspended lifelessly and indefinitely in the cyber ether.

Hogofogo survived for one post: a test message entitled "Testovaci," followed by the text, "adsfadsdsfadsfsfa" in two colors. And that is the last we will ever hear from Mr. or Ms. Hogofogo.

The blog Briney didn't even get that far. It only progressed as far as having a title and a proprieter (Ex_pat) before expiring at a date impossible to determine. I have a feeling that Ex_pat may have been a teenager or young twenty-something attempting to launch a blog called "Britney" (the sphere is full of stunningly original ideas), and that if he or she had spelled the name correctly, would have found out that the name is already taken. Or maybe she wanted the name "Briney." In either case, it's a shame the project was aborted, and I'm sorry the name is taken and consigned to permanent dormancy. The Briney Blogspot would be a great name for a blog.

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