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Transitioning Ownership Of Your Blog

Years ago, when blogging was just being started, a blog would be purely personal, and purely ephemeral. You start a blog, it's yours, and who cares if you stop publishing?

Today, that's not the case at all. Google for "BlackViper", if you want an example of what can happen.

I started a blog for my church, Martinez United Methodist Church, 2 years ago. As blogs go, it's kind of small, but so is the church.

But, as Jesus said in Matthew 18:20
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

So I continue to develop this blog, and the church members seem to appreciate it.

But I occasionally wonder
What will happen after I'm gone?

Well, for one thing, if someone else in the church isn't a blog administrator, or doesn't have access to the blog administrative account, nothing.

And I'm sure that I don't maintain the only blog in the Blogosphere where this is (should be) a concern.

From reading the Blogger Help database, I am aware of 3 relevant factors.
  1. Blog ownership, by definition, is anonymous. You, as the blog owner, can choose to have its existence associated with your "identity", but that's incidental. Ownership of the blog is primarily from access to the Google account that owns the blog. In the past, it was possible for blogs, by mischance, to be without ownership, but Blogger closed that hole last year. Now, every blog has an owner.
  2. A secondary identity, the email address of the owning account (with correct password to that email account) is available, should you forget the owning Google account name or password. You will require access to the owning email account.
  3. Blog existence is eternal. As Blogger puts it,
    "Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire."

With those 3 factors in mind, there is no alternate access, to a given blog, defined. Should a blog have only 1 owner, and that owner be unavailable (temporarily or permanently), there is no procedure that Blogger has published to transfer blog ownership.

For a personal blog, like my Techie Musings meanderings, I don't think too many folks will care. I'd like to think that a few will care about my Windows Networking advice, or maybe my Blogger advice, but both of those are provided by others in my field too. Eventually, those blogs will disappear from the search engines, and then from peoples minds.

Then there are business or political blogs, like Martinez UMC or maybe SF Team Tibet. These are a different issue - they represent ongoing concerns that will (should) continue, long after I'm gone. Maybe you, too, have concerns about one or more blogs that you provide. Not everybody may, though, and in the struggle to develop their blogs, some people may overlook the issue of ownership when they aren't available.

When somebody isn't available to continue the work, and if they were the only person with access to such a blog, what happens? Right now, nothing. When businesses and other organisations become involved, this may change. But this isn't purely a matter of blog preservation. Some blogs should, righteously, be destroyed upon decease of the owner.

The question is, who makes the decision to continue, or to terminate? And how can either be done, without legal access to the blog?

This is an issue that Blogger must address. Or we must address, and urge Blogger to address also.

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