Blogs I follow (1)

How many blogs do you follow? Exactly how many followed blogs is too many to manage?

I ask this because I’ve been following around sixty sites for a while now. I’ll be talking about why I follow these particular ones in due course, but just for now I’ll mention, first, how much I share the obsessiveness that comes about from pretty much all social media these days: the feeling that I’ll be missing something if I don’t check up regularly. The backlog when I miss a day or two gets pretty unmanageable.

This is compounded by the knowledge of how bereft I personally feel when I’ve put my all (as it were) into a post, only to have a minimal response. How much then must others also feel when there is little or no feedback for their efforts, either in the form of written comments or, at the very least, ‘likes’? Surely my little verbal input or click on a ‘like’ button will make all the difference? Won’t it?

So keeping abreast of followed sites requires a degree of commitment on my part, ideally daily. How to square this voluntary commitment with life’s other tasks? At least I’m ‘retired’ (whatever that means; I still put in some work, mostly unpaid) but how do most people fit in their day job with parenting and/or grandparenting, household tasks and socialising? And that’s apart from quality time with a loved one, not forgetting hobbies, exercise or time spent online? In fact how did I actually fit it all in when I was in regular work? My memories of time-management are fragmenting already…

Anyway, it’s the summer holidays. Commitments such as accompanying for choirs and for instrumental exams are temporarily in abeyance, and Phase III of home DIY and decorating is almost at an end (Phase IV can go whistle for now). I can now get back down to those things I feel a touch of guilt about (like that alpha reading of a first draft that I stalled on several chapters in, sorry Lynn) while racking up my book reading and reviewing quotas.

Oh, and giving more attention to those five dozen blogs.

I promised to write about what blogs I follow and why. As those cheesy TV serials of the mid 20th century said, “Tune in again, same time, same channel!” for more!


41 thoughts on “Blogs I follow (1)

  1. I have just had to look, as I had no idea how many sites I follow, and it’s 215. I ran down the list and realised that quite a few had not posted for eons and that made me feel sad, as they were enjoyable sites. So maybe I have some housekeeping to do, but there is another side to this world of blogging, what has happened to those people, you follow them, you like, you leave comments and then nothing, all gone, and I am talking about sites that I have I followed for four years, thats the sad side of blogging. But on the other hand, there are the die hards, thank goodness for them. As to the time I find to blog….. I tell you, it’s magic, lol 🙂 Lynne

    1. 215! I’m impressed, Lynne! But I totally agree with you about blogs that cease to post with no warning, it’s hard not to be concerned especially when there’s no response from a blog that appears to still be ‘live’.

      Finding time to blog: I’d like a little bit of that magic whereof you speak — does it come off like the fairy dust from Tinkerbell when she’s shaken, hmm?

      1. I have gone through the list and now it’s at 175, there are a few that should come off, but I am still hoping that maybe they will be back. I have quite a few people that follow me from that other place, the ones who do not have blogs……and that is the nicest feeling of all, they like and comment because they want too 🙂
        And as to the magic, of course it fairies dust, the kind you get when you do not watch the TV and all that time is yours 🙂 Magic 🙂

        1. Ah, watching TV is a greatly informative and entertaining as well as being a great time waster … damned if I do and damned if I don’t!

          Non-bloggers, yes, in a way the most loyal as they have to make just that little extra effort to engage. Thank goodness for them too!

  2. I follow many more sites than that Chris, though perhaps “follow” is the wrong word to use. I truly follow a selected number of those by setting the reader to give me notifications either daily or weekly and from time to time I will change that notification list. Those that are not on that list get read and liked more occasionally as I go to the reader, while those I receive emails from get read daily (usually over breakfast). There are of course a number that are always on my notification list – such as yours 😉😊

    1. I get too many emails — or rather “got”, as I’m changing email provider — so getting electronic notifications would be a bridge too far for me, Alastair; I mostly rely on the WP Reader to show me what’s current. There are two or three which I actually have to visit to comment — like yours — and while I don’t mind that when I have something burning to say it does mean I cut down on my famously fatuous off-the-cuff comments!

      PS Glad I’m on your approved list — that must be down to [fatuous comment alert!] your undercover inspectors doing lightning visits …

  3. Lynne, I agree with you about the feeling of loss when a favourite blog just comes to a halt for no apparent reason. Some writers give warning or redirect to a new blog, but others just stop posting. Are they ill, or has some catastrophe befallen them, or are they just needing to go in a new direction? We will never know. I have wasted quite a few hours trying to find some of my former blog friends, but all to no avail.

    And Chris, I have been wanting to ask you this for ages, have you read anything by Frances Hardinge? I can highly recommend Cuckoo Song, and The Lie Tree.

    1. Hard to cope with, that disappearance of bloggers from the face of the earth (or from the aether). You have to hope that better things came along — a new job or relationship, a chance to travel or perhaps a welcome addition to the family — rather than the more dire possibilities that immediately spring to mind.

      I’ve got The Lie Tree waiting in the wings, but I needed to finish The Ocean at the End of the Lane first as I sensed, rightly or wrongly, a similar vibe to the two. I was pleased to see this award-winner was wasn’t a one-off novel for her, so thanks for this recommendation!

  4. Yes, very hard keeping on top of following blogs, keeping up with other people, writing content for your own blog, other writing projects – short stories, comps – work, family, home … Too much to juggle effectively! I just checked and I follow just over 100 sites – more than I thought, I confess – but many of those are ‘zombie’ blogs and don’t post anymore, many I don’t interract with a great deal and so it’s only a small handful of bloggers I have any meaningful correspondence with. And I don’t really follow new blogs anymore, well very rarely anyway. Doesn’t seem fair to follow people I know I won’t have time to read.

    And thank you for the kind mention! I just hope you didn’t stall with the MS because it’s sooooo tedious 🙂

    1. Having “a small handful of bloggers” that one regularly interacts with seems to be the sensible way to go, and many self-select by responding more than just occasionally (witness those who have commented so far on this post as prime examples!). And I like the idea of “meaningful correspondence” — that handful are in reality correspondents rather than just random commenters, of which we all get a few, don’t we …

      No, please rest assured, Lynn, I didn’t stall on the MS because it was tedious — I wanted to give due concentration to it as the past few weeks the only proper reading I’ve done has been in the short while in bed before my eyelids drooped. Not ideal for properly evaluating a work in progress! Should start to get easier now.

      1. Yes, we can’t help but be drawn to those who respond to our own comments. There are some bloggers I’ve given up on because even though I like their work they never reply to comments. A select few to connect with is the best most of us can hope for.
        Hope you’re enjoying your relative respite – especially from the DIY! 🙂

        1. Just the last bits on the stairs and landings — for now, at least! — but you’ll be pleased to know I’ve already started back on your MS (good title, by the way, for what’s going on)!

          1. Ooh, landings – such a pain, all that height! What’s next, another big DIY project? Glad you like the title. It was called the Messiah of Micklegate at one point but I suspect this title will better appeal to publishers. Thank you again Chris 🙂

            1. I don’t know how many carpet tacks, staples and nails I removed, holes I’ve filled in, treads I’ve sanded, risers I’ve smoothed, handrails I’ve stripped, undercoats, top coats and stains I’ve applied, fumes I’ve inhaled and sweat I’ve perspired on stifling summer days to make two flights and two landings less of an eyesore! (Ironic then that I stained light-coloured pine floorboards dark oak and painted three centuries old oak stairs brilliant white …)

              Time for a bit of respite; hopefully, when we can afford it, somebody who knows what they’re doing will tackle the bathroom suite but muggins will definitely be decorating after.

              I’m really enjoying The Book Which Cannot Be Named, pausing every so often to jot down notes and absorb. Hope you don’t mind, I’ll give feedback at the end rather than in dribs and drabs.

              Hope the move went well and that you’re all settled in! Unless you’re also up to your necks in DIY?!

            2. Wow! That sounds like a marathon indeed. Amazing how these jobs can spiral out of all control and take a lot more work and time than you envisaged! And you worked through some of those hot days too? The ones where I thought I might pass out just sitting on the bus back from work? Hat’s off to you Chris! Nothing so involved to do here, fortunately – bit of wall filling, sanding, painting, a few ventilation tiles needed in the roof (which we will NOT be doing ourselves 🙂 ) and the shower needs replacing. Bits and bobs only.
              Thanks for reading TBWCBN and for the notes! And feedback at the end rather than dribs and drabs is great. Many thanks – again 🙂

  5. I follow many blogs with diverse subjects – literature, photography, illustrations. I like at least once a week when I get time, read and look at what the administrators of those spaces are posting. It is a way of amusing myself and of instructing me, many times.

    1. Thank you, Evelyn, I hope you find what I have to say both entertaining and informative. I am only sorry that my Portuguese is virtually non-existent, meaning I’m unable to comment on your posts and published books.

  6. Ok, 58. That’s more than I thought. Some of those are friends from offline, a couple are favorite authors (Ilona Andrews) & webcomics (The Foglios, of Girl Genius fame), several are zombies, and one is me. I tend to skim post titles and open up ones that jump out to me at a given moment for more reading, so I probably only read about 10% of what gets posted each week in depth.

    1. This sounds a pragmatic (and honest) strategy on managing the feed of other bloggers’ posts, Brent — though for many of those bloggers some response, in the form of ‘likes’ and comments, may be the incentive that drives them to post in the first place. I personally find it a hard balance to strike.

      I confess, however, that there is variation in the quality of the attention I give to posts: some I read in depth while a handful I tend to skim read. I’d never reveal which ones fall into the latter category!

  7. MrsB_inthehills

    24! I’m obviously at the lazy end of the scale.
    It is sooo difficult to find the time and I don’t do anything as serious as work. I try to set aside one morning a week for keeping up with blog reading but often miss it for some reason. With the added demands of Twitter and Instagram I begin to feel electronically besieged!

    1. Twenty-four seems a manageable number, Helen, not lazy at all! It all depends in what areas you want to engage — as I hope to expound in future posts, my areas are rather varied and diffuse, resulting in the sixty-ish blogs I currently follow. And yes, the demands of other social media can put the kibosh on fuller engagement on any one platform!

  8. I had to check to see how many I follow and was shocked to see that there are almost 200 on the list! As other commenters have mentioned, though, a lot of those bloggers haven’t posted anything new for months or even years, so the number of blogs I actually engage with is much more manageable.

    I do try to comment as often as I can, but lack of time is definitely a problem for me – and sometimes I just feel that I don’t have anything interesting to add, in which case I will probably click the like button instead.

    1. You list some of the common factors, Helen, that others have drawn attention to — so-called zombie blogs, limited time to comment, diffidence over being able to say anything relevant. They’re among points I hope to revisit in future posts but for now it’s good to know they’re not as uncommon as I thought they were. (And ‘likes’ are good too!)

    1. Thank you, Daphne, I hope any feedback I give is both friendly and helpful. I feel that, having embarked on blogging as a way to have pleasant dialogues, I have a responsibility to treat others with the respect they afford me. And, of course, I enjoy the to-and-fro as well, it’s not all altruistic!

  9. Hi Chris! 🙋I used to follow a lot of blogs mostly about literature, travels and running, but since I found myself unable to cope with huge quantity of mails I received I eventually had to make a smaller circle of blog friends. I’m taking a break at the moment, but, you know what? I’m re-reading Emma! 🙆😜

    1. I hope to make the acquaintance of Anne Elliot before the end of the year, but I’d be interested in your take on Emma if you care to share it, Stefy!
      Glad you’re still with us and that you’re just taking a break — no doubt well-earned as you know I too know how tiring that can be! Rationing your time spent on following blogs is a sensible way to manage your time and energy, not forgetting retaining your sanity, but deciding who to drop can be painful, like crossing people off your Christmas card list perhaps. Be reassured, I’m not dropping you from my list of followed blogs any time soon!

  10. I’ve blogged here and there for many, many years but my current blog is fairly new and I returned to blogging after a long break – so am having to start afresh. This time round I made the decision to stagger the blog posts I read and not try to read them all every day! It’s impossible and bad for ones health (certainly bad for mine). As for how many I currently follow, it’s 76, but I don’t see all the posts in the Reader as it’s always been glitchy like that, so I subscribe to posts by email a lot of the time. But that said,there are only so many I can read.
    I do try to comment on posts, if I have the time and energy. I’ve some health issues so the latter isn’t always possible, but I know the need to be read and have a response so I do try when I can.

    1. Absolutely, Val — we can only do what we can. (Ugly phrase, that, but you know what I mean!)

      For myself, I try to respond to every comment that’s made on my blogs, as appropriate. It seems only polite, and of course politeness begets politeness. If somebody’s made the effort to express themselves on a topic you’ve raised it’d be churlish not to acknowledge it.

      In a sort of corollary I feel that if I’ve bothered to follow somebody’s blog then the unwritten, unspoken contract is to ‘like’ or comment on posts, at least occasionally.

      The fact that the contract is unwritten/unspoken of course suggests that the contract could be a figment of my imagination! Naturally I know that no such compunction exists for other bloggers, that it’s only me, and that other people either do what they can or what they choose to do, and that’s their business, not mine!

      1. A lot of good friendships do also form between some bloggers who keep going for years and years, so there’s definitely something more in it than just commenting on an otherwise anonymous blog. I love this medium, have done since I first started blogging in 2004.

        1. I’m a latecomer to blogging, having been a little wary of the process, thinking who would want to read ordinary people’s ‘web logs’ (which sounded as though they were just a sort of online diary). Turns out I was wrong about everything concerning them! And, like you, over six-odd years I’ve kept quite a few of the early followers as online friends even when regular blogging correspondents come and go depending on their enthusiasm for the process.

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