I AM deeply saddened by the sudden death last week of La Idler (idledays.net), one of my fellow editors at Tomorrow.sg. She succumbed to the effects of a rare blood disorder last Wednesday.
Read more at TODAYonline (pdf)
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In the days that followed, I was moved by the outpouring of tributes and kind words of support from the local blogging community.
So much so that I now believe there is indeed a community amid this motley assortment more known in the press for its trouble-causing
prowess than for anything useful.
So what if some newspapers persist in labelling bloggers as clueless, careless and more interested in documenting the contents of their lunch boxes?
I think there must be something really important about the contents of our lunches if bloggers such as yj (www.yewjin.com) could dedicate his run at last Sundayâ€™s marathon to Sondra.
I knew La Idler well from her blog â€” but I hardly spoke to Sondra, her offline persona, even during editorial and organisational meetings, many of which were held in preparation for the Bloggersâ€™ Convention (bloggers.sg) earlier this year. It was just one of those things where you know someone better online than you do off.
And thereâ€™s the rub â€” most of the bloggers who left messages of condolences in the comments or wrote posts on their own blogs had never met Sondra, but had grown to enjoy, identify with, and appreciate the things she did for the local blogosphere â€” both in her own writings
and through her contributions at Tomorrow.sg.
Blogger Chandler (samsies.com) typified this sentiment.
â€œThough I do not claim to have known you as well as I could have â€¦ I find myself with plenty to tell you and thank you for as I bid farewell,â€ he wrote, remembering how Sondra had shared thoughts as diverse as blogging technicalities to flavours of candy bars.
On the flip side, Sondraâ€™s family appeared to be unaware of her online presence and what an influential person she had been in cyberspace. When my fellow editors and I attended her wake last week, we spoke briefly with her sister, explaining who we were and how Sondra was a part of our team.
Over the week, the editors decided to do two things: Firstly, to compile Sondraâ€™s blog into a book to present to her family and, secondly, to raise some money to keep her blog, domain name and hosting.
As I wrote in a sort of online eulogy for Sondra on Tomorrow.sg, perhaps this could be a way of remembering someone we didnâ€™t completely know â€” the archives, the categories and each post, all have a way of assembling themselves to form threads of understanding about a person we knew more as an online friend.
Or as Rogue Slayer (amicoolornot.blogspot.com) put it, in his tribute to Sondra: â€œAfter following your blog for about a year now, youâ€™ve parted from our lives in the most abrupt of ways. And yet, because of your blog, youâ€™ll be forever immortalised.â€
Mr Miyagi aka Benjamin Lee has been entertaining readers at miyagi.sg for over a year, and is, like other bloggers, very thankful to have known Sondra/Idler/Fembot and whatever identity she went by online and off.
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