We recently had a long time contributor bid farewell to one of the tandem discussion forums I frequent and his sign-off made me reflect a bit on some of the sign-offs I’ve seen, to include my own from the Hobbes list back on April 10, 2007. Yes, I actually left Hobbes… in some respects having been motivated by the very same reason that long-time Hobbes contributor Peter Jon White left in August of 2006: lack of meaningful and interesting tandem content.
However, unlike Peter’s last post — which really was his last post to the Hobbes list — I continued to check-in to the list from time-to-time via a web-based compendium following my un-subscription in the hopes that the discussions would shift back to tandem-related content. While checking in one weekend in August of 2007 I found myself drawn back into a new subscription when a former list member who wasn’t exactly tightly wrapped returned under a false name and needed to be called-out by someone who’d been on the list back in the day (yours truly). But I digress, as always.
So, as I said, a long-time contributor to this particular forum posted a simple goodbye, noting he had found himself spending too much time on the forums. Not an unreasonable decision, noting his post count was truly through the roof… something on the order of 3x as high as my own which is also pretty darn high at 6,400. However, the goodbye post made me think that when folks who have been long-time contributors depart, there should be a new rule of forum etiquette whereby those who depart shall leave an auto-obituary wherein they offer up a short summary of their lives on the forum and the nature of their demise from the list. I feel that it would go a long way towards giving closure to the other members, as far too many on-line friends just seem to fade away, never to be heard from again… leaving those of us who remain to wonder, did they find the answer to all of life’s questions? Were they able to find a cure for list subscription addiction? Is there life after lists? Or did they simply move on so they could spend more time on Facebook?
Rest assured, if and when I finally come to my senses and see the light, I will definitely post a swan song before signing-off for the last time.