Deadly Contagion Hits Foreign Service Blogosphere

We cannot say if the contagion that killed almost two dozen Foreign Service blogs was cause by a rogue virus, or if this is the “Peter Van Buren” effect on the FS blogosphere.  But what we know for sure is there are way too many dead blogs by Foreign Service Officers in recent months. We have no idea on the exact date of demise of each blog but they are all dead now.  It’s not even that they just stopped blogging, there are no goodbyes and the archives are gone.  Some blogs were scrubbed clean. Some blogs have become online parking lots. And some have been totally deleted from the cyber-verse.  This is not an exhaustive list, and this does not include the family members’ blogs that have been shuttered.

SD Dispatches (FSO) Blog not found

Scott At State (FSO) Blog not found

At Your Service in Switzerland – Aaron Martz (FSO): : online parking lot

Destination Diplomacy : Blog not found

Diplochick : is no longer available. The authors have deleted this blog.

Diplomatic Incidents : Blog not found

Diplotette : is no longer available. The authors have deleted this blog.

DipNomad : Blog not found

Hick/Hitchhiker/…Diplomat (!?) : posts all gone except for disclaimer that says: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not represent those of the Department of State of the United States of America.

Luffmans.com : The requested URL /index.php was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

My New Life : Blog not found

New L’attitudes : no posts.

Seltzer Water and Other Things (FSS) :
Blog not found

The Last 3 Feet : 404. That’s an error. The requested URL / was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

The Navigator (FSO) : Blog has been removed

The Vegan Diplomat (female FSO) : Blog not found

Two Red Marys and a Yellow Rose (female FSO) : Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

You Can’t Get There From Here (FSO) : online parking lot

It is a sad state of things.  We don’t know if they were all eaten by tigers, or if they were just being prudent. We cannot blame anyone, of course, for being prudent.

We will find time to expand our blog cemetery, we may have to build a new cemetery….

Domani Spero

11 responses

  1. My blog is still running. The Diplomad 2.0. I came under some pressure to end it while I was on active duty, but now that I am retired, I am at it again.

    There is a fake Diplomad blogger out there, who writes about cars. He stole my name and my old url.

  2. My blog isn’t dead yet, but I feel it might be headed that way. No pressure from anyone, but I do feel more skittish about putting anything out there, particularly at my current post.

    • 4G – I miss reading your posts. You’re the kind of writer the FS should have more of out there in cyberland to connect with the American public. Your posts always comes across as funny, and real even with the challenges of living overseas. But I can understand the skittish feeling. Take care.

    • Oh, dear… well, what can I say except that prudence is the father of all virtues. It is absolutely a great thing, CAA! And I could be wrong but it might also be one of those vaccines given at the health unit but they don’t mark it down on the immunization card.

  3. I stopped reading and/or checking in on several as they were so full of complaints and almost no finding/creating joy in jobs, assignment, post and or travel. In my JOT training, our FSO trainer wrote in huge letters on blackboard FOREIGN SERVICE and said if either concept were not very attractive to us, now, in the first week, was a good time to leave. .

    • JM – Thank you for your note. I can understand your reaction. At the same time, just because folks have a complaint does not mean they are not suited for the foreign or the service part that they signed on. Sometimes frustration can have its toll. A system that is responsive to the concerns of its members is the remedy. Excepted of course are frivolous issues like house envy and the likes.

  4. Oh my goodness…

    First of all, two of these blogs were some of my favorites. Hick/Hitchhiker/Diplomat… great, GREAT guy, and great writer. One of my favorite blogs. You Can’t Get There From Here? He was a new hire with a fabulous, fabulous story of how working hard and being tenacious (very, VERY tenacious) could get you hired off of that really long FSO register. I, like you, totally TOTALLY understand people being prudent, especially since I’ve been there/done that with horrible blog problems multiple times. But it’s just… so sad. I mean, really, really sad.

    Second of all, there are others that aren’t on your list or the blogmetery. Blogs that have disappeared or stopped blogging. So even these that have made it onto your list… they are representative. Because there are others.

    Thank you for paying attention, Diplopundit, and talking about it.

    • Thanks for the note, K. I updated the blogpost to say the list is not an exhaustive one. I did not include the ones that simply stop blogging. I figure that the blogs that simply stop updating could be the casualty of not enough time for the blogger, or getting cold feet with blogging, but did not have any immediate pressure to quit. Usually the blog stop updating but the archives remain readable. I am presuming that the blogger in this case has decided that it is not worth doing anymore but find no excuse to scrub or delete the blog, so blogger just walks away.

      The blogs that are scrubbed clean or deleted are more of a concern. Either the bloggers were pressured or they feel that what they have written could get them/or got them in trouble. I have not cataloged the EFM blogs that have been shuttered. I’ll have to go through some 500 blogs if I move the cemetery elsewhere; don’t think they’ll all fit in my sidebar. Yeah, it is sad; but some part of State is probably pleased with this development.

      The fear virus is as real and as deadly as the real contagion.