Virginia Tech and What the Blogosphere is Doing

There is a move afoot in the blogosphere that declares April 30th a One Day of Silence. The move, as much as it is linkbait (the badges they give you link back to the One Day site), is a move that is not without controversy. It is a call for the blogosphere to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre and to stand united with the families.

This day shall unite us all about this unbelievable painful & shocking event and show some respect and love to those who lost their loved ones.

On April 30th 2007, the Blogosphere will hold a One-Day Blog Silence in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech. More then 30 died at the US college massacre.

But it´s not only about them. Many bloggers have responded and asked about all the other victims of our world. All the people who die every day. What about them?

This day can be a symbol of support to all the victims of our world!

All you have to do is spread the word about it and post the graphic on your blog on 30th April 2007. No words and no comments. Just respect, reflect and empathy.

The reaction in the blogosphere is mixed.

Lorelle states:

I hope this day of silence will be extended to all those who die needlessly and for the ones who never get such tributes around the world.

She continues with this incredible personal story about being in Israel when the holocaust was remembered.

Vivian, from Vancouver, British Columbia thinks that silence should not drown out conversation:

Silence should be a part of the conversation, but it should not replace the conversation. It’s easy to be silent, it takes guts to talk, to express the outrage, to investigate what went wrong and how 32 innocent lives could’ve been preserved.

Bes, from California, states:

Blogosphere is not in deep mourning. Only people taking real action are in deep mourning.

It’s not all negative though. Cynthia offers her own prayer:

Typically, we celebrate the mighty works of God in our lives, proclaiming all His goodness, mercy, faithfulness and unfailing love for us. At other times we are confronted with the undeniable fact that the reason Jesus had to enter the world was because it was broken. It is a place where depravity can overtake a human heart and there are real situations where justice seems unattainable.

In silence may we salute the lives lost at Virginia Tech and use our day to seek the Comforter, recommitting ourselves to being lights in the darkness.

And of course, today has been declared a National Day of mourning and I’m wearing my Hokies colors at the moment. It seems like more than just the blogosphere is participating. For what it’s worth, Hitler was born today in 1889 – but I digress.

I ask what you think. Is this day of silence appropriate? If you’re a blogger will you participate?

Update: A portion of this entry was removed at a bloggers request.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Uncategorized, , , , , ,
Aaron Brazell
About Aaron Brazell
Aaron Brazell is the author of The WordPress Bible and longtime proprietor of the TechnoSailor blog. He was OTB's IT guru for years and blogged here occasionally from January 2005 to April 2007. Follow him on Twitter @technosailor.


  1. Anderson says:

    Good idea. And then, every day that 30 or more people are murdered in a single incident in Iraq, we can do the same thing. I spend too much time on the g.d. internet as it is.

  2. It seems more important that we feel like we are doing something rather than that we actually are doing something. Kind of like feeling we are secure because we are in a gun free zone rather than actually being secure. IMHO, this is just more style over substance, although I’m sure the good intentions are quite sincere, you know, road to hell and all that.

  3. Hal says:

    Didn’t we just have 187+ people get blown up in Iraq? Where’s the day of morning for what’s going on over there every single day?

    Weird. Very weird.

  4. I think the tunnel vision accusation rings true.

    If it was Virginia bloggers, or maybe (at a stretch) North American bloggers, then maybe.

  5. William d'Inger says:

    It sounds to me to be a typical, feel-good, liberal stunt that serves no useful purpose.

  6. Timmer says:

    A blogging day of silence? Sounds like a day with nothing to read on my breaks.

    A moment of silence in a large group of people is very powerful. A day of no blogging is a day when I wonder why my browser isn’t refreshing.

    No, I won’t be playing.

  7. I don’t support a blog day of silence. I would support a blog day of prayer, where readers of blogs could post their short prayers for the families and friends of the deceased.

    Tammy Swofford

  8. John Burgess says:

    No, it’s just another emotion over reason sort of thing to do.

    The students, while predominantly white Americans, also included blacks, Asians, Muslims, and Buddhists, so the Euro-commenter is wrong on the facts.

    But I think it wrong on principle to demand that the world share one’s pain on all occasions. Let those who are truly grieving grieve. Don’t try to ‘guilt’ the rest of humanity into false manifestations.

  9. David Nick says:

    I think Tammy is onto something. I believe it would be more appropriate to post prayers than it would be to have a silent blogosphere.

    The European commenter makes an interesting judgment but one based in stereotype and euro-hype. Most of these kids aren’t rich, and not all of them were/are white.

    That being said however, this focus on a large activist approach to memorializing one group over another is systemic of larger problems.

    When 9/11 happened and 3000 families got the slice of a Red Cross pie no one in OKC received dime one. That’s not to say national tragedy should be a defacto money grab, but you can’t say one group suffered more than another and then compensate them only for their losses.

    Exercising an ethical thought one would say they all suffered equally and logic tells me that we need to focus on and solve the causes of these horrid acts of bloodshed.


  10. Jim Wrenn says:

    Using the Va. Tech massacre to promote “a day” (April 30) to “symbol[ize] … support for all the victims of our world” is so meaningless that it trivializes itself as well as the massacre. To focus on “all victims [in the] world” is to focus on no victim. I agree that “link bait” may be a more likely motivation. How about a site to protest “all injustices”? “All wrongs”? “All tragedies”? How about a site honoring “All traffic generated by exploitation of a tragedy”?

  11. Perhaps if politicians would refrain from mentioning the Virginia Tech massacre for a couple of days, especially in comparison with their other hobby horses, they could set a good example.

  12. Bes says:

    Aaron, thanks for summarizing the different links around the internet. I wanted to let you know that the correct spelling is Vivien, not Vivian, btw. πŸ™‚

    Also, when you said “It’s not all negative though”, did you mean everyone’s post, including mine, Lorelle’s and Vivien’s to be negative, or just the private blogger from Europe that you mentioned? I just wanted to make sure, since none of our posts were intended to be negative, but were instead aimed to promote certain ideas that talked either about the benefits of silence days or benefits of doing something other than being silent.

    I personally will not participate, as you may already know, since I simply do not find any logic in being silent. I am not sure how being silent pays a tribute to the people who died. Are we willing to apply the same principle to 9/11 victims, by holding just a single day of “Silence” and then moving on? Why not apply the same principle that we apply to historical national heroes or 9/11 victims, to every innocent person that dies?

    Sure, many people die and it is going to be hard to keep up, but if we want to remember a certain death, let us make sure we remember it in a useful way. Let us know focus on death only when we get hyper because of the news. Otherwise, people who start trends on a whim because of the news are least likely to be dependable or people who do something useful, as they might see something else on the news later on and them simply move on to other things that make them hyper or emotional for various reasons.

    Thanks again for linking to different views Aaron. We need more posts like these where a person can read different views and make up their own mind.

  13. As it turned out, I ended up siding with most of you in my piece today. Thanks again for listening to me ramblings. πŸ˜‰