Thursday, January 13, 2011

ON BLOGGING ~ It's Not You, It's...Well Actually, It's You...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

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Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

Ever pull up your feed reader and scroll through your daily folder (you DO have daily folders now, don't you?) and wonder why the hell you are even following some of those blogs? It happens. We've all been dumped before. And we've all abandoned blogs ourselves. My question is, what drives you to dump that blog?

I say dump the blog, and not dump the blogger, because that personalizes things too much. When I'm in a purge mode, I dehumanize the process in order to leave sentimentality out of it. Do I care about this blog and the posts it displays? No. Do I care about the blogger creating it all? Yes. I don't like turning my back on people. But the beauty of the blogosphere is that I can move on from the nicest people in the world if they just aren't doin' it for me anymore. I don't have that backbone in the real world. Sometimes I need to remind myself that the blogosphere is not transparent. That blogger is not going to have their entire world come crumbling down if I dump them from my reader.

Which leads me to another point. Would that blogger even notice if I went away? They probably wouldn't even realize I'd been gone unless I popped in after a long gap. I highly doubt they sit there wondering why The Bumbles haven't been by lately. And if they do, I'm sure they get over it when some other new blogger comes to visit, bringing a lot more to the table than I do, having gotten bored with their content.

Many times I dump a blog because the content of their posts doesn't match the level of my interest anymore. When I first encountered them, I was all over all things LOST. But now that LOST is no longer, we just don't have anything in common anymore. Their life beyond LOST consists of tips on finding discounts on make-up and endless reviews of hair metal cover bands - not exactly Red Sox and reading there. So although I thought Ms. Lostie was super fun to talk to about the hotness level of Sawyer and theories behind the source of the whispers, she and I have nothing in common without it. Like those parents who experience profound empty nest syndrome upon realizing they no longer have anything in common with their spouse other than the children who have now finally all moved out.

Sometimes though I dump a blogger, in spite of their blog. This is when I can't avoid letting things get personal. If I invest time visiting this blogger, reading their posts which are of great interest to me and leaving comments that added to the conversation then I expect to be acknowledged. If I am engaging in a one way discourse then I become quite irritated. I don't expect every comment that I leave in the blogosphere to result in a corresponding comment, e-mail or shout-out. I am talking about recurring visits to the same blog without any response. Maybe it means they don't enjoy my company and I can't take the hint. Maybe they just don't believe in responses - which is a pretty rude way to live in the blogosphere if you ask me. But - since they didn't ask me, or even respond to me - ever - they get dumped.

So - in either case, I'm dumping a blog or a blogger because of them, not me. It isn't that I don't have the time or the motivation. It's that they just aren't worth my time and don't make me motivated to join them in the blogosphere anymore. And I can make a clean getaway.

What reasons do you have for dumping a blog or blogger that you follow? How long do you stick it out before moving on? Do you feel blogger guilt when you ditch or embrace the freedom to find better blogs for you?


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm in the process now of culling because I am desperate to lessen the amount of time I spend reading blogs. But it's difficult because in addition to enjoying the specifics of particular blogs, I like to see the overall trends, say, of a book that is getting read a lot, or an issue that is getting talked about a lot. But I think the trend interest has to go. I'm giving up too much real life to keep up!

Margot said...

A very timely subject as I just finished culling my Reader too. After your post On Blogging, I felt the push to start the new year with a much lighter load.

Since this is a confession meeting I will confess to have 166 blogs in my Reader. I now have 72. Aren't you proud of me? I am. I hated always being behind on visiting and commenting on someone's blog. Often I felt compelled to leave a comment even if it wasn't a post about something I cared about. Now I'm down to following blogs and bloggers I really care about. I love them and/or their content. I know I'll add more back in as time goes on but I've told myself that 80 is the top limit. If I add over that someone else has to go.

I feel better, cleaner, and ready to get back to visiting blogs on a regular basis. Thanks Molly.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Rhapsody Jill and I had been talking about this very thing. There are maybe 8 or 10 blogs out there that are mandatory for me (including yours). The others I try to get to but if I don't, I don't. My issue is that I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I know, that is silly. But I admit that is part of my personality. Plus, I do like to see the trends, and be a part of the community. But I've got less time these days, not more, so something has to give!

Kristi said...

I think my confession on this has to be that I ahve dumped blogs before not necessarioly becasue of the blog content, but because of constant political overtures. I understand that many people have different political views from my own. But I don;t enjoy reading blogs that have those political views thrown into their blog blog every week. It's too much. As strong as my opinions are, I don't like to constantly debate them. I would rather discuss things that bring us together rather than divide us.

Janet said...

hmmm...come to think of it, you haven't been by in a long time ;-)

cindysloveofbooks said...

I love this feature.

When I dump a blog its always a hard thing to do because I always wonder if they will notice or if they will even care.

I tend to take two things into consideration when I do that and its 1) they haven't been active in say a year or more and 2) I am just not interested in their content like I was before.

Its always a hard thing to do but sadly things change and so do people.

I love following your blog. So I hope you guys won't remove me ;) LOL

Penny said...

What reasons do you have for dumping a blog or blogger that you follow? If their content isn't interesting to me any more. Sometimes I dump If they never comment in my blog, EVER. I don't want to follow someone just to know? Do some work! I do! :)

How long do you stick it out before moving on? I don't really know how long I hold on. I guess it depends on the author.

Do you feel blogger guilt when you ditch or embrace the freedom to find better blogs for you? Not really. :) I'm oblivious :)

Tami said...

Your timing is great. I just finished dumping a hand-full of blogs because the content was no longer interesting and I couldn't put a personal face to the blogger. I love finding new blogs to follow, but if, after a few months, I don't have the tiniest personal connection through comments, I'm gone. The exception would be professional bloggers who have thousands of followers.

Heather G. said...

There are some I read but don't comment because they've never acknowledged me at all when I have. I try and support those who support me. Though my blog is a bit bland, I still use it as a way to express my thoughts on books and have fun with certain memes, etc. So I try and stay connected with those I've already made a connection. But I must admit I am lagging a bit on some...I've gotta get supportive! Lovely post, Molly.

Anonymous said...

I go through cycles on this issue. I let my Reader build up and then realize I feel overwhelmed by the number of waiting posts. I then reduce the number of blog I subscribe to. Then the whole process begins again. When I cull, I've tried to think about the blog author and see if I can put a first name to them or a "face". If not, I'm probably not invested enough.

I do make an effort to comment periodically on each blog I read, but I'm sure I miss a few. My problem is that when I comment, I tend to ramble on and on (like here! LOL) and it takes forever to get to the end.

kayerj said...

oh my--I'll confess I have 220 blogs on my reader :0

I have them grouped into these folders
read only

I read Tuesday-Thursday. I read the everyday--daily. Books I browse through on Tuesday because that's Tuesday Teaser. Photo's I browse through on Wednesday. I scroll through the read only if I have time. I read the family blogs on the weekend. I clear my reader every day.

On dropping someone--if I feel like I've worked really hard to try to make friends and they just don't respond I quit trying. If I like the content of the blog it drops into the read only folder. I usually never comment on blogs that have more than 150 followers because I know they won't respond (except for the amazing Jenners who takes blogging very personally). I have a number of read only blogs that I really enjoy and it's kind of nice not to have to worry about staying in touch with them. I am a reader so I like being able to choose what I want to read without having to be social. For the most part I have found I can drop in once a month and say hi and that's enough for most people. I have found that most people are only interested in what they have to say and not in what others have to say so it doesn't matter if I comment anyway. I tend to visit those people that I know are interested in other people.

Well I've rattled on and I don't know if it even makes any sense . . . I should probably clean out my reader *shrug*

I do have a question for you. I play tuesday teasers on tuesdays and love seeing what everyone is reading. I've found a lot of good books that way. The host "Miz B at Should Be Reading" does not use a linky. The meme is getting quite big and navigating from the comments takes hours upon hours! I'm very annoyed with it and have played with the idea of adding a Mr. Linky for the meme to my own page. Do you think that is bad bloggy manners?

Susan said...

There are folders?

I will be surprised if I'm not one of the ones you've dropped recently. I just haven't been into blogging lately and I don't know why. There are still interesting (sorta) things going on in my life. I guess I'm just skeptical whether anyone really wants to read about them. I haven't been into photography either. Do you think I'm depressed?

I'll tell you one of the reasons for my inertia...Facebook. I wish I had never gotten on it. Now I can just leave a one-liner there and not expand it into a blog post as I once did. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Okay, you've heard it here first...much less FB, much more blogging with my buddies.

And besides, you can't drop me...I have secrets I can hold over your head! ;-)

Kaye said...

It's always a debatable point with me whether to respond to a blogger on the post or to send an e mail. I'm not sure how many people once they comment come back to see if I've replied to them or not so I do try to respond by e mail if possible. I get an e mail for every comment but so many of them are non reply. Such a dilemma - I would hate to think people think I don't care about their comment because I do. You always have such interesting discussions here, Molly. Thanks for hosting the confession booth.

Lisa said...

I always feel bad when I drop a blog but I do drop them for the same reasons you cite. When I first started blogging I started following all of the blogs of people in the groups I belonged to on Goodreads. But a lot of these people don't read the same kinds of books I enjoy or even the kinds that they might be able to tempt me with and there are just too many blogs I want to read to continue to follow blogs that I mostly just hit "mark as read" on.

cardiogirl said...

I feel intense guilt about dumping a blog. Ugh, it takes months for me to finally pull the cord. And even then I feel like dirt when I do it.

Beth F said...

I can't bring myself to dump blogs. I can move the blog to a different category in my reader...

I guess I understand because I go through periods when I'm reading more than I'm commenting. That doesn't mean I've gone away, it means work got crazy and I can't take the time to write.

I really need to whip my reader into shape and get a better system going (you've heard that from me before, I know).

Lin said...

I just went through my reader and cleaned out all the blogs that are discontinued or shut down. I even ditched a few that I don't connect with anymore. And I'm okay with that, I mean, we all change, right? I had one that I used to like, but she got really, really racist and I wasn't comfortable with that. I didn't feel too guilty ditching it. She had a message to send, but I didn't subscribe to that message, why continue following???

Kathleen said...

I cleaned out my Reader some months ago. I stopped subscribing to blogs that I read day after day but never was really interested in the books they were talking about. I don't mind a romance novel here and there but if that is ALL you write about then I am probably not your target audience. I've also abandoned blogs where I have commented dozens of times and gotten crickets back. I figure they just aren't really interested in having a blog since the whole point is to have readers and comments and some kind of interaction. I do have quite a few bloggers that comment on my blog but might not comment back when I comment on theirs. That's cool because we are still having the "conversation" which is what I came to the blog world for!

JCB said...

I have wated to ask this question for a long time and been a bit embarressed that I don't know the answer. Maybe you don't have to answer, but could point me in a direction to get an answer?
WHAT in the heck is a "reader" and how does it work? I follow some blogs but not many and they are listed right on my blog. Sorry if the question is dumb.......

Anonymous said...

Another great post. After my most recent purge (which I'm trying to do monthly) I'm down to 104. This is great for me. I've got them divided by people who comment on my blog and those who don't. If you don't comment on my blog then I don't feel compelled to spend time commenting on yours, although I still like you enough to brpwse through your posts. But when I purge those are the first to go if their content isn't keeping me interested anymore. This is about half. But each month I see who's been commenting and I'll add you back in with just one comment (I'm easy).
The hardest for me are the ones where I like one weekly feature, but am not all that excited by the rest. I keep 'em and just skip the rest of the posts, but they are still there clogging up my reader!

vanita said...

there's my pet peeve when it comes to blogging. no response. I always try to leave comments on posts that I can relate to, this way I'm surely leaving a comment worth reading (or at least i think so in my head) and I always share posts that I enjoy on twitter and facebook if the option exists, so I find it pretty stinky if I'm not even acknowledged. have i dumped any blogs yet from my reader? yes. is everything in folders? no, i'm really disorganized these days.