poster by the footnoteMavenThe assignment for the 81st Carnival of Genealogy: "If your blog ended or was lost/deleted today, how would you write its obituary?"
TransylvanianDutch, the genealogy blog written by Missourian, John Newmark, was lost today. The blog had its origins in April of 2007 on another blog by the same name, and maintained by the same author. A friend of Mr. Newmark's introduced him to an online genealogy site, which turned out to be a 'gateway drug' for this resident of the 'Gateway City'.
Mr. Newmark had been blogging since 2002, so when he moved his genealogy writing to its own space on Blogspot he transferred a few older posts on the topic, but the true origin of the blog has to be identified as April of 2007.
TransylvanianDutch (sometimes referred to affectionately as TransDutch) had received some recognition, being listed in the Top 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs in April of 2009 by ProGenealogists, as well as being added to AllTop's list of Top Genealogy sites in August of 2008.
At the funeral, several fellow geneablogs talked about what they would miss about TransDutch. Some said they would miss the weekly Amanuensis Monday posts. Others said they were always impressed by the high quality of English.
The Coroner's Report is uncertain about cause of death. There are rumors that a programmer in Mountain View, California spilled a glass of orange juice on the servers and the bits and bytes containing two years worth of data were lost in a second. Author, John Newmark, hadn't backed up the posts. Ashamed, he returned to his former blog, and says he will return to blogging about politics, religion and the other stuff he was writing about before his genealogy obsession. Fans of his genealogy posts tried to talk some sense into him -- comparing the five people who used to read his blog to the current numbers. But he refused to listen.
Contributions should be sent to the Dead Blog Fund.
Creative Note: When I was in high school, one summer I attended a 'Creative Writing Camp' in Michigan. We were given a similar assignment and had to write an obituary for ourselves. I entitled my obituary: "Death by Orange Juice." I had recently learned that one can drown from having one's beverage go 'down the wrong tube.' So I decided I had to give my blog a similar cause of death.
And yes, this is just a creative exercise; this blog isn't dead. And I do back up my posts.
But I have been thinking about occasionally (maybe once a week) writing down some of my non-genealogical thoughts here. Stuff in addition to the social networking posts I've written lately.