How do you solve the blog reading conundrum?

Should you read her blog?

Should you read her blog?

Let’s face it.  There are a million blogs out here.  OK, maybe three million.

If you’re a blog reader–or writer–with limited time and energy (and perhaps no inclination to read three million blogs before bedtime) how do you choose?

There are so many different ways to choose.  Of course, we choose to read the blog writers we like.  We choose topics we enjoy.  We choose interests.  Some of us just like to look at photographs and, darn it, we won’t read 1,500 words no matter how fancy they are.  Others of us adore words and will read essays but ignore the pictures, no matter how sparkling and amazing they are.  Others of us love both.

How many of these blogs can we read each week anyway?

How many of these blogs can we read each week anyway?

Back in the Blogging Middle Ages I eagerly adored anyone who might pause by my blog and added them to the blog roll faster than you could imagine because they were the Most Awesome People on the planet.

Every few days I would scroll down the blog roll and go a’visiting everyone.  Hello, hello, hello!  It was a merry exchange, mostly because there were so few.  You could chat away like crazy when you only had a handful on your blog roll.  It was really intimate.  Kind of like close family and friends.  (Sometimes I miss those days when I only knew six bloggers.)

As the years passed and this blog grew and the commenters started increasing a new strategy developed.  Every time someone commented on the blog I would return the favor and go read and–if a response surfaced in this addled head–share some thoughts.

This strategy has both positive and negative aspects, as does every blog-reading strategy.  The positive is, of course, that you develop a really equal exchange.  You gain some really good buddies.  The negative:  if someone quits reading or commenting on your blog, they kinda drift away in the blogosphere and you rarely see them again unless you remember to look at your blog roll or delve into your “Reader” subscriptions on WordPress.

Tangled mess?

Tangled mess?

I rarely subscribe to other blogs via email because–here is the nitty-gritty awful truth–I get email anxiety when too many emails fill the in-box.  Seriously folks.  Right now the inbox contains six emails (including a hefty credit card bill) and that’s about all the stress this mama can take.

Do you read those who press the “like” button on your posts?  I usually don’t.  As a comment-loving addict (tee hee) I very rarely follow a liker back to his or her site.  You adore them for stopping by, of course, but it’s not incentive enough to return the favor unless their profile looks so interesting that you’re powerless to resist.

As someone who is fortunate enough to have many commenters, I usually reciprocate and read 30-50 blog readers every week.  Sometimes this takes–oh, goodness, gosh, golly, it takes three to five hours or more a week.  And I’m a speed-reader.  Which is also challenging because sometimes when you’re a speed-reader you miss really important points and end up making embarrassing comments which suggest you didn’t really read as carefully and attentively as one ought.

Cheers!

Cheers!

It would be nice to read every loving soul on the blog roll (and THINK of all the wonderful bloggers we don’t even know!) but there is a limit to our time and energy, isn’t there?

I am very interested to know your blog reading strategy.  What do you do?  Do you get subscriptions via email and avoid heart palpitations?  Do you read commenters and likers?  Do you read a standard few?  How many do you read a week?  Do you want to answer any of these questions or must you speed on to the next blog in order to finish reading before bedtime?  🙂

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in February 2013 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to How do you solve the blog reading conundrum?

  1. Fun topic! There are a handful of blogs I read faithfully for the content. They usually fit into one of my three “E’s”: entertaining, educational or endearing.

    I subscribe to many more and skim them in my reader. I’ll stop in to comment if I’m moved by the topic. Sometimes I read them by theme: food, yoga, or whatever shared interest I’m exploring at the time.

  2. Do you want to know my strategy this week? Or last month’s strategy? Or the strategy I will try next month? It IS a conundrum! Lately, have not had time to keep up with many of my favorites — gosh darn life keeps getting in the way 🙂 ~ Kat

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Kat, perhaps we’ll never solve this conundrum. We’ll just keep attempting to keep up, shall we? And shame on life for keeping us away from reading our blogging favorites! 😉

  3. Dawn says:

    Once every few weeks I check on everyone on my blogroll. Really some need to be taken off…but that takes time too…plus I”m hoping they become active…Sometimes someone new comes to visit and I always go check out their blog…and have added several that way. Still I need to weed.

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh darn, Dawn, I know about that need to weed the blog roll. Sometimes people quit blogging…and sometimes you haven’t seen them in a blue moon. I’ve thought of picking a couple days a year–such as the Solstices and/or Equinoxes to apply to blog weeding. Kind of like remembering to change the sheets. (Hope this made sense to you.)

  4. P.j. grath says:

    I keep pretty current with the blogs I have listed on my own. Sometimes the list changes, with an old one dropped or a new one added. What can we do except follow our interests and our hearts, reach out thoughtfully, and respond to kindnesses received?

    • Kathy says:

      That sounds like a good approach, Pamela. I also like to repay the kindness of visits by returning the favor. Love how you stated that last sentence.

  5. Elisa says:

    Yours (this one) is the only new blog mail that I get. The rest, I did have in the reader, with no notifications, but that was just messy. So. I use the reader to look for ones that I might wish to add to my morning tea ritual. I think they tend to be photography ones, nothing to read, simple. I then follow my active blog roll top to bottom on a daily basis. I will also do the ‘you commented on’ page, to see how a conversation that I had interest in, is doing. I guess that if people want to know where I am, what my status is, they can ask or email me. I think that I prefer blogs that exhibit profundity. I avoid blogs that say,,,virusbook pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase I’m needy for likes and clicks and social visits. That stuff turns me off. Even so, I don’t think that I’d ever say that to a blogger, I must just avoid or not reinforce those ones. I think that I treat blogs as food for my brain. Sometimes I shop for what my appetite demands, other times, I peruse the store shelves, and the remaining times I use a shopping list.

    I got a book about introverts. I thought it would help me to understand someone…else. I find me blinking at the words. I find me noticing bits of autism spectrum and sensory processing things in it, and wanting a bit to distinguish…However, well I’ll just keep reading, it’s an adventure!

    • Kathy says:

      It’s fascinating to read how everyone does this differently (or similarly). I like that you have a tea ritual. (And I like that you think enough of my blog to subscribe to it! Really, thank you.) Good luck with reading that introvert book. Do you call yourself an introvert or extrovert or both or none of the above? I think I am both. You figured that, right?

  6. Elisa says:

    ps. before when we just had the library, did people discuss how they chose what books to read or how they tamed the monster intellect? I can’t remember.

  7. Kathy –

    I’m the please-notify-me-by-email kinda gal. That way I’m sure not to miss anyone I’ve subscribed to.

    That prompts the question, who do I subscribe to?
    I subscribe to each person who has subscribed to my blog.

    Do I subscribe to people who “like” my posts, but haven’t subscribed?
    No — but I do go read their current post (if applicable), and “like” it (if I can do so sincerely) to let them know that I’ve actually been there and appreciate their work.

    There are a few people whose blogs I’m fairly confident I’ve never missed: yours, Terrill Welch, and Sandi White are among them. I might have been late, but I eventually show up.

    The blogs I subscribe to come in a wide variety: short and to the point, long and drawn out, photo, no photos, fiction, nonfiction, prescriptive, inspirational, recipes, travel, minimalism, and pets.

    By the way, we actually quite a bit of sunshine today — I hope you did too 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I SUSPECTED you were an email subscriber, Laurie! That’s why you respond so quickly. How I admire you. That you can keep up without flipping out. And that you’ve never missed one of Terrill’s or Sandi’s or my blogs! You are awesome! I’ve told you this sixteen times before, right? And, yes, sunshine today. It was lovely. I’m hoping we get some tomorrow too. Is that being greedy?

  8. susanblake says:

    Hi Kathy!
    My blog reading has REALLY changed in four years! First of all, half the bloggers I read (and yes we had a buddy system of sorts) quit blogging! And that, of course, led to wayyy fewer comments on my blog. I used to read probably a half dozen blogs that were really well written and interesting but for some darn reason, there was no reciprocating so I stopped reading them well after a year, mind you. Enough already. I “stumbled” on to your blog somehow, and I have a few others I attending to regularly, always making comments and happy that it really IS an exchange. Other than that, I don’t have time to “reach out” these days.

    I’m going to re-visit the whole blogging issue after I get settled in up north. I have been literally GIVING myself away on my blogs – free information on health and wellness that I feel I should channel into free-lancing and get paid. I also will NEED the money – so I’m considering re-channeling my writing efforts in the future.

    Hugs
    SuZen

  9. Katie says:

    I’m still so new to this that I feel like I’m searching and searching for blogs I want to read. I have faith that they are out there. They have to be with three million to choose from!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Katie, I remember those newby days. Oh do have fun searching and finding! With three million to choose from, you’re going to have a blast. 🙂

  10. Sybil says:

    As they say, “It’s hell to be popular!” I subscribe to blogs and get new posts in my in-box. Maybe six or seven of those daily. Days can go by without a comment on my blog (sniff, sob). I’m afraid that the few blogs that I subscribe to that are wordier than I like, I skim, and try, like you, not leave a revealing comment that exposes me as a mere “skimmer”. If someone new comments on my blog, I go visit theirs and leave a note there. I think you have a bigger problem than most as you are so darn popular !

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Syb, I’m not sure I can believe you about “days going by without a comment on your blog”. No, I simply can’t. I go over there and have to scroll through a half dozen to speak my piece. I certainly hope you NEVER skim these blogs. That would result in tears and despair. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you? As for being popular, we’ve had this conversation before, Missy.

  11. lucindalines says:

    I agree that the less you have the easier it is to “keep in touch” and “up to date.” I also have very limited internet access, so most of my time on it is spent with the blog. I suspect that when I have easier access, possibly by summer, I will wander away to internet games and … I sure hope I don’t give up on the “friends” I have made. It is an ever changing process that is for sure. Gee, I almost want to end with a breaker-breaker over and out. Ha!

    • Kathy says:

      I didn’t know you had limited internet access, Lucinda. Do you have high speed or dial up? I remember those days. It was Agony. So slow. Breaker-breaker over and out to you! Hope you have a great upcoming week.

      • lucindalines says:

        I have to go to the public library or the school to get internet right now. Part of our big move to Linton was to down size in some areas and that is what took the hit. We already have a house payment, rent, and two sets of lights and water bills, so house phone and internet were out the window. Hopefully we will be able to get it back some day.

  12. Ruchikala says:

    I love that you posted about this! I’ve been thinking about this subject for the past year or so.

    My partner has been talking about fantasy self vs. real self and I’ve been thinking about how some of these themes he’s been delving into are relevant to my own life.

    I feel like my fantasy self looks at my blogroll and says:

    “Great

    • Kathy says:

      Ruchikala, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It IS an interesting subject to think about. Will stop by your blog and say howdy. Soon, I hope. 🙂

  13. Ruchikala says:

    Look at all your subscriptions” When the truth of it is, I hit the subscribe button too quickly (much like the post comment button in this post ;).

    I subscribe to blogs that sometimes don’t add a lot to my life yet feel anxiety that I too am contributing to the over bloated blogosphere of posts that don’t anything useful to the human experience.

    One of the things I’ve been really disappointed by lately in the food world is the lack of original content. With food blogs specifically, so many posts seem to recipe regurgitation and food plagiarism.

    I am constantly resorting my subscription list to whittling things down include thoughts that inspire me to create, re-evaluate, organize.

    Much like this one 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for saying this blog inspired you! I am smiling at how we can push the “subscribe” button too quickly and sometimes regret it. Then it’s hard sometimes to unsubscribe without hurting feelings. I promise not to regurgitate or plagiarize here. But sometimes can get carried away a little too much with optimism. Or silliness. Thanks again for stopping by.

  14. John Kuttenberg says:

    Kathy, I select blogs just like I select magazines, newspapers, and books. Something or someone who interests me. I’m not looking for reciprocity. You should do the same. People read you because you are the neighbor we all wished we had, the big sister we never had, you just touch something inside us. Write what you like, read what you like and spend more time with the people you love.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I am grinning atcha. You are the sweetest, you know. However, as I’ve repeatedly told Barry, Kiah and Chris and everyone else who tells me I needed respond to all comments or go blog visiting to all readers–it’s just the way I’m made. I couldn’t NOT reciprocate. (double negative intended.)

  15. When I first started blogging, I had everything set to show up in my email and it made me crazy. It’s hard to develop a strategy, because I keep coming across new bloggers who have commented on some of my faves and I want to follow them because they are interesting. I wish I had a better way to deal with the amount of material out there… I probably have 10-15 bloggers that I watch for every day in the Reader and always read and comment if I can. I know I am missing a lot, but there is not enough time in the day…

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Ruth–it is Ruth isn’t it?–you have expressed what so many of us feel so well. We want to develop a strategy but it seems that no strategy is perfect. And there is not enough time in the day to follow everyone. Glad to hear you were another person driven crazy by email notifications. I don’t feel so alone!

  16. I thought about your post all afternoon and it is now evening.
    1. I read a blog today, because of the title…stating that the “like” button perhaps should be a “respect” button. I agreed.
    2. I read sometimes just to read. I always read a handful of blogs, always. Why? I respect the person behind the blog and respect that they are “real” people writing from the heart and not just writing for “likes” or comments.
    3. Sometimes I comment on blogs for a week or two but if the author of that blog NEVER even replies to that comment, no matter how much I may like their writing or photography, I stop and NEVER go back. When I am DONE, I am DONE.
    4.I dare say I have tried a blog roll a couple of times and took it down. It never reflected whom I was reading; or IF I really liked that particular blog.
    5. NO BLOG ROLLS FOR ME. I never look to see if I am reflected on anyone’s blog roll because what difference would it make? Does it mean that person will visit my blog….maybe, maybe not. Do they like what I write, maybe, maybe not.
    6. I am older; have less time to care what people think of me or what I write. Yes, I want to be remembered…there is a but…remembered for being honest, tactless, crusty, truthful and maybe funny, if they pause long enough to find out.
    7. I was an excellent teacher and made a difference in those lives. I still teach wherever I may be, if there is a teachable moment. Otherwise, folk will have to make a go of it on their own.
    8. There are never any right or wrong answers. What is right for me may be wrong for you and vice versa.
    9. I started to do a blog post to answer your question but I thought that was unfair because it was, after all, your question; therefore, the long answer here.
    Cheers, my friend, for the courage to ask the question.

    • Kathy says:

      Linda, if no one responds to my comments I will be done, too. It feels so impolite. It’s even worse when they only respond to certain comments and ignore yours. But, come to think about it, if they don’t respond to my comment BUT come visiting here and comment I will still read. Thank you for blogging your answer here. I liked reading it. You never have to limit yourself to a short comment here. There’s room enough for all of us to have our say.

  17. I receive them in my email–but I pick and choose–I have favorites (like you) who I always read; and then others I make sure to visit at least once a week; and others are hit or miss–so I have no real plan other than to make sure I follow about 15 blogs for sure, for sure, and the rest as I can. My husband has taken to calling my laptop my “evil laptop” so I am trying for that thing called balance
    As always – a great topic

  18. Joanne says:

    I tend to be a bit shy about just barging in and saying hello to bloggers I don’t know. I wish I wasn’t so shy sometimes, but why fight it? That’s just me. I think that all of my blogging friends have been introduced to me by someone, (I know that Robin introduced us!) and when I meet people, they either become friends, or not. Just the same as in “real” life really.

    I’m with you on those who simply leave a “like” and no message. They have to have a pretty interesting profile for me to investigate their blog and often they seem to have nothing in common with what my blog shows, so it makes me wonder if they even read my blog at all!

    Sometimes I get behind with my friends blogs, so I catch up when I can. I don’t know how you keep up with as many blogs as you do! Speed reading must really come in handy sometimes. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Really, Joanne, you’re shy? I didn’t know that. I barge in all the time and say hello because I figure most of us are dying for readers. Kinda remember we met through Robin. I do like that you come & catch up on blogs after you’ve been gone awhile. That’s sweet. Speed reading, like so many other things, is a gift and a challenge. You can plow through a lot of material but sometimes you miss things. Often I force myself to read (and type) more slowly. It feels better to be more present.

  19. Stacy says:

    I do a blogopolooza two or three times a week. This means that I read all of my favorites (maybe ten) – everything they posted while I was away. I comment if so inclined. Then I look at my WordPress reader to see what’s new. Then if I still have time, I’ll search random topics I feel like reading.

    I look for humor, inspiration, and writing that reflects the way I think, if that makes sense.

    Your blog makes sense to me. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Stacy. I adore your term “blogopolooza”. It is the coolest. I would love to adopt this if it can be remembered. Ten favorites sounds like such a reasonable number to read two or three times a week. Glad you liked this.

  20. dorannrule says:

    Keeping up with blog reading seems like a never ending task and I haven’t figured out a good way yet. I keep adding new ones to follow and that compounds the problem. And I never want to forget my old time-forever blogging friends. It’s a real challenge to keep up with it all, and if you ever find the answer(s) lemme know! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      It sure can be a never-ending task, dorannrule. If you figure out a way to handle it better let us know. Ha! Looks like you just wrote the same thing in your last sentence. we’ll keep trying to keep up the best we can…

  21. That’s a great question. I have many bookmarked on my computer to go to now and then. I also have a WordPress list of those I follow that I check a few times a day. But usually never read from email alerts but do sometimes from a posting I see on FB or IG telling me of a new post. Will be interested in what others have to say.

  22. I was so excited to read so many wonderful blogs when I first started that I kept pressing the ‘follow’ button until there are about 50 that I absolutely adore, but have trouble keeping up with them all. So, if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’ve been busy going through the repertoire. You would not believe how many blogs have accumulated in my e-mailbox! I really need a better system and more time to spend reading them all! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      withershins, isn’t it really hard to keep up with 50 adorable blogs? It is REALLY hard. I don’t always try to read every single one but do try to read several on a site. Good luck coming up with a better system. Let us know if you discover one.

  23. Dana says:

    I have two seasons of blog reading, though this ‘tried and true’ system has failed me this year. Normally I fall way behind during the summer and catch up during the winter. Again, this hasn’t worked out so well for me this year.

    I subscribe to about 30 (?) blogs, and all of them are do darn great, I never want to miss anything. That said, I’ve realized that this frantic ‘need-to-be-in-the-loop-ness” isn’t serving me, so I’ve cut back on reading, writing, and commenting a bit. I’m getting better at just ignoring/deleting some of the new post notifications that pile up in my inbox (yes, I do e-mail subscriptions), but most of the posts from the blogs I subscribe to are read, if not ‘liked’ or commented upon. Otherwise, it’s just too overwhelming!

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Dana, I agree with you about frantic need-to-be-in-the-loopness. It doesn’t serve us. And yet it also doesn’t serve to make blogging be a personal just-about-me activity. That’s what I’m always trying to balance. Regularly being overwhelmed, letting it go, starting all over again. thinking about you a lot down in the sunny southwest.

  24. Colleen says:

    I can only imagine what those challenges might be. It’s a bit different, being a non-blogging blog reader. I only follow a few that are special to me and subscribe to these by e-mail. I don’t always comment because lately I just don’t seem to be able to find the words. I love and appreciate the blogs I do follow, each one touches me in a different way, some of them deeply. I do sometimes explore but tend to start feeling slightly *disoriented* when reading too many.

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, you have no idea how disoriented I can get after 1 1/2 hours of reading. You start to feel like a reading robot. Yet you want to continue…and you want to keep being as present as possible. Am learning to simply turn off the computer and start again when it gets to that befuddled state. Smiling thinking of the blogs touching you in different ways. A good way to put it.

  25. Dear kathy, must you ask such profound questions. I mean, I just can’t go that deep- gee whiz. Well, I don’t have that el problem-o. No maam. I just ain’t that popular. But I was getting on up there with people liking and that sort of thing and then there were those that JUST WANTED ME TO FOLLOW. But follow to where? So not long ago I found that I was commenting and certain people never commented. They just liked- (what did they like) So I un-liked them and axed them and now I think I am down to about 38 give or take a few. I kept those I like and I am about to delelet more. I let the photographers slide- They are in a (special group) so they are off the hook.

    My feelings about blogging are about quality not quantity. If I like you, I’ll comment on every blog unless I happen to miss it somehow. As for your blog and a few other writers- I let y’all off the hook as well. Probably because you almost always reply to my assine sp? comments.

    And bloggers that have a following of hundreds of subscribers- well I generally don’t subscribe to those either. They don’t need me and I don’t need them. In fact that leads me to make a note to delete a blogger that I recently subscribed to.

    And I was thinking of doing a post similiar to yours but not exactly- just about bloggers. Now, I won’t for awhile since you put it into perspective so well.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, yes, I must ask such profound questions. ha ha. You think these questions are profound? You should be in my head for five minutes! Thank you for sharing your blog-reading strategies. By the way, don’t always be put off by hundreds of subscribers. If you publicize your blog on twitter or Facebook they automatically add all of those people to your subscriber list whether they ever come visit your site or not. Someone could have 400 subscribers listed but they “really” only have 25 subscribers. The rest are on their twitter feed. Kinda weird, isn’t it?

  26. Good questions Kathy and yes, I am already waaay past my bedtime!

    My blog reading habits are as follows — it is easy to get me to follow a blog because when I run across something I like, I give it a chance. So I follow it and see if it continues to engage me. If not, I don’t keep following. This aspect is quite fluid. When it comes to “likes” however, I don’t press “like” unless I sincerely did like the post. I feel no obligation to like or even to follow just because the other person likes or follows me. That said, once I have really gotten to know a blogger and what he/she writes, then I have a lot more commitment to reading, liking and commenting on their blog and I have a lot of tolerance for variation in my interest level in any particular post.

    As for my blogroll, I have changed tact on that and I post three blogs at a time and switch them often. I really do like helping others to find some of the good blogs I have found and so I make the blog roll much more selective yet not static.

    I peruse my reader and pick what I want to read in full–which is not always everything. And when I write, I am trying to present something that represents what I said the blog is about but in the long run, I know I’m going to write what I write and I know that just because someone didn’t click on “like” or make a comment, that doesn’t mean they didn’t read or appreciate it. The stat I do think is significant is number of followers because those are the ones giving me a chance to engage time after time.

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, thank you for sharing your blog-reading practices. I smiled when you said that in the long run you know what you’re going to write. I have no idea what I’m going to write in some of the comments but just start typing trying to support or supplement the main idea–but also to start a conversation. Because that’s half the fun of blogging, right?

  27. Karma says:

    30-50 blogs, oh my goodness!!! I am amazed that you can keep up with that much blog reading. I keep my blog roll as a list of the blogs that I like to read regularly. I try to visit most of them at least once a week, but there are a few I really haven’t been reading any more due to lack of response or lack of posts, so I should really edit it. I subscribe to bloggers whom I like whose posting routine isn’t very regular so that I can pop over when there is something new.

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, I can hardly keep up with this blog reading. Hence, this little essay. tee hee. Do you have school today on Presidents Day? We don’t. I hope you don’t and that you are enjoying yourself either blog writing OR reading!

  28. kiwidutch says:

    I’m reading and not commenting so much at the moment purely due to time constraints since I have study courses for my work and have to study in my own time to keep up, and I have a young family etc and my regular work to do as well.

    I only “Like” a blog post I visit if I actually read and liked it…

    When I have time I investigate people who :”liked” my posts but now, instead of automatically feeling obligated to subscribe to their posts I look around their blog to see if it really is the kind of blog I would like to follow.

    If not, I no longer feel compelled to, especially if on their “About Me” page I see masses of comments stating “I’m here liking your page because you visited and liked mine”…
    …if I see entire strings of these then I get the idea that my blog was only a “number” in a long long chain of blogs that this person visited (and probably didn’t even read) with the aim of getting hundreds of people to return the favour and hopefully feel obligated to subscribing… all these people want is the stat figures, not real interaction with interesting sincere readers.

    For me blogging isn’t a popularity contest, it’s about interacting and widening my horizons with other readers to know more of the thoughts and hearts of people, places, cultures of the planet we live on.

    • Kathy says:

      Kiwi, your strategy sounds like it works well for you. I sometimes wonder how people with full-time jobs or young children find the time to blog and reciprocate. I have a lot of free time and two part-time jobs so it’s easier than it would have been in the past. Even though blogging isn’t a popularity contest for you, I’ll bet your blog gets lots of hits from readers who are wanting to learn about New Zealand especially. Some of the blogs that are most popular in the long run contain valuable information that people want to find out for many years to come.

  29. I subscribe to about 60 blogs, though I don’t read all of them all the time. Certainly they do not all publish every day! Many blogs – about art, decorating, cooking or politics – seem very pertinent to me some days, less so on other days. I do open the reader section of WordPress every single morning, and selectively read while having my coffee. Sometimes I comment on the spot, sometimes I take a day to think about it before commenting. I rarely sit down to write a new blog without having written responses to comments. It is all part of the same thing, I think. Responding to comments is as much an exercise in being social and writing well as writing the blog itself, to me. I am perhaps fortunate to have few enough readers that I have not yet felt overwhelmed, even on my busiest days. Great, thoughtful post, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      It always makes me smile to read about people reading blogs while drinking their morning coffee or tea. Kind of like a beloved ritual of connecting with the larger world… Glad to hear you haven’t felt overwhelmed. As for responding to comments before writing another blog–I would feel MUCH better if I did that. However, get all crazy and write before the first blog has even cooled down. Crazy… Glad you enjoyed this, Cindy.

  30. Lori D says:

    Hey Kathy ~ It truly is difficult to keep up. Been at it for a year now, and I don’t have near the amount of commenters or followers as you. I subscribe to about a dozen blogs via email. I have an email set up specifically for my blog and have given it to no one else. So, I only get blog posts there and/or emails from friendly bloggers. The ones I don’t subscribe to by email are in my reader. If I have time I stop there, but I don’t push myself to get to those. Unless I’m exceptionally busy, I do read every single blog that comes into my email. I feel very connected to you dozen bloggers (on my blogroll) and I don’t want to miss a thing from you. 🙂 New readers who comment or ‘like’ a post I usually stop by their blog. Not just to be polite, but because I’m curious. I figure if there is something about my blog they liked, well then I might like something about theirs too. Perhaps some day, if I ever get Freshly Pressed, I won’t have the time to get to every single commenter or liker. For now, I’m grateful to have the time to reciprocate. And, that’s my boring blogging routine. 😉 If I have a blog post that I especially feel I’d like for you to read, I usually will mention it to you. However, we each have our own unique lives that need attending to and I understand people can’t always make it to my little old lane. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Your strategy sounds pretty good, Lori. It doesn’t sound boring at all! I always appreciate when you nudge a post that I may have missed. Truly. Because I don’t have time to read every one. Unfortunately. Getting Freshly Pressed has its positives and its challenges. Like everything in life, right?

  31. So many blogs, so little time…

  32. Heather says:

    I don’t tend to follow the “likers” back to their blogs, even though I do really appreciate the heads-up that someone paused to visit and like. If someone is a frequent liker, and I notice, then I’ll go check out their site and perhaps like something. Perhaps I’ll even be moved by something to like. But for those I follow, it’s because I really enjoy what they share and/or an online friendship. If someone comments on my blog, I always always click through to theirs and let them know I at least came by.
    As for reading, I subscribe to all my blogs in an RSS feed-reader, so I get a little notification anytime someone out there has published anything. Since I work from home, often buried in tedium, I check in as soon as it’s convenient – which ends up being pretty often.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Ms. Heather, for sharing what you do in the blog-reading department. I can understand how the Excitement of new blogs would certainly break up the tedium of boring work. I get excited like that, too, but then usually stare dumb-founded and absorbing it all rather than reading or responding immediately. Weird, huh?

  33. I felt as though I was reading my own blogging history. I try and get around long time regulars and those you take time to comment. However if lots of people have already commented, instead of repeating the same thoughts I hit like, so not following a like can mean missing out. It is all about time and state of mind!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Flamingo Dancer! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment. You made a very good point about hitting “like”. Sometimes I have hit “like” when I don’t feel like talking one whit. However, that doesn’t usually happen so end up writing comments more often than not. P.S. I do not mind repeated thoughts here. 🙂

  34. lisaspiral says:

    Kathy, I’m surprised it doesn’t take you longer just to read through all your comments! Actually, although writing a weekly blog doesn’t garner as much traffic I chose to go that way in part as an appeal to people like you. You don’t have to stop by but once a week, honest. I don’t really know if that makes it more appealing or less so but it’s working for me.

    In terms of the ones I read, I read the ones who I like. I’ll check out some of the “like-rs” (auto correct was determined to make that lickers) but usually only add them if they’ve got some content that I can’t pass up. There are plenty on my list who I will read posts about some topics but not about others. You know I have those days when I just buzz through and hit the like button and others when I write comments designed to take up inordinate amounts of your time. 🙂

  35. Thanks for bringing up this interesting subject, Kathy. I have thought a lot about blogging recently. My health is not that great and sitting too long in front of my rather old and slow PC becomes a real problem. I am very happy and thankful for the community that is visiting and commenting. I do my best to reciprocate and usually I visit blogs that correspond to my own interests.
    I love yours for all the deep thinking you share but also for happy, humorous, thoughtful moments you share. Just life really ! Quilters’ blogs appeal to me too for all the inspiration and passion we share. Of course, I also enjoy visiting blogs about books and photographs, food and travels, animals and personal experiences, life on a daily basis.
    Most of all, behind all those elements and others I may certainly forget, there are the Persons themselves. Who they are, what their outlook on life is, how close I feel to them for particular reasons.
    I am not able to post much (a long translation work even if I love your language) but I do enjoy the sharing, all I learnt over the years, the friendships that were created.
    To you, dear Kathy, to all who visit and follow me, I say merci, thank you.

    • Kathy says:

      Isa, I love that you took the time to thoughtfully consider and answer this question. Merci for your existence! I am sorry to hear that you are ill and that your computer is slow. Neither are any fun… I also sometimes forget that you do not speak English as a native because your use of the language is so easy and beautiful. Thanks again for sharing. Much love, Kathy

  36. Val says:

    Really it depends on my mood and energy levels. When I’ve just had a blogging break (like now), I head straight over to my favourite blogs – which is why I’m here – and comment on posts that I’ve missed reading and commenting on. There will also be some faves that I don’t get to because my memory is shite and I can’t remember what they are, or I’m not in the mood. Those I leave til I am in the mood.

    The thing is, blog post content is so varied, there is usually something I’m happy to read at any one time. Sometimes I can’t cope with very long posts, so I leave those til I have the concentration – and it can be a long time, and then I can’t catch up (and tend to feel guilty about it, which as we both know is a completely unproductive emotion but one that’s difficult to avoid, even if it only strikes from time to time). I find posts that aren’t broken up with images, to be the most difficult when I don’t have enough concentration as I’m a bit dyslexic and I need ‘markers’ for my visual input so that I can keep track of where I am.

    Image-only posts are great but again I need to be in the mood and I often don’t know what to say in a comment. ‘Great post’ is likely to be intercepted by Akismet and really doesn’t add anything to the person’s blog, so I’m light with those. Often I hit ‘Like’ and run away on image-only blogs, then I return when the image has sat in my brain for a while and allowed some words to join it, and I can then comment in a more meaningful way.

    I’ve got a blogroll (you’re on it) but I keep it has its own page and I’ve split it into categories. My way of updating it is to remove blogs that rarely update as I don’t really want to share those with people. If the blogger starts updating more often, I might put them back.

    I have a look at the blogs of Likers that I don’t know – but it’s usually just a cursory glance, because most of them are just clicking Like to get attention (in the same way that some will Follow ones blog, just for a follow-back). It’s quite obvious from the types of blog they have which are doing it for attention and which have blogs I might want to actually read. My thoughts about Likes are that they are useful for people who either want to add a note of appreciation to their comment (I do it like this, here) or who just aren’t wordy people or are shy to comment.

    I’ve actually just written about my blogging habits and some changes I’m having to make, so this post is timely. I think it’s always good to look at how we do what we do. Hugs to you, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for sharing this, Val. I have found it very fascinating to read about the different approaches we all take to this blog-reading conundrum. You have made me think with your assessment of folks who aren’t wordy or are too shy to comment. Have never thought of that! Glad that you are so often thinking and sharing about how to make this blog-writing and blog-reading experience more balanced and positive. Thanks again.

  37. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I am very similar to Val. It depends on time and energy.
    Your blog is one of three that I get directly into my inbox. These are people who write about life in general. The do something different like live in the middle of a wood or in a foreign country. I like to read them with my morning coffee. I don’t always comment because I don’t always have something to say or enough time.
    I look at a few other blogs in my feed. These are to do with work or interests and take effort or hard thinking – I need to be in the mood for them. I rarely comment.
    When people come and like my blog I look at theirs and see if we have anything in common. I rarely follow new ones as I have so many anyway.
    If someone comments on my blog I go and have a look to and see if there is something I want to comment on.
    I think that even if all you can do do is hit the like button you are showing appreciation for the visit and the comment or like. Sometimes I find nothing to like and that is difficult 😦
    I agree with Val some people follow because they want a follow back. I don’t understand this obsession with getting people to follow. I only follow blogs that interest me.

    • Kathy says:

      Kerry, thank you for sharing so thoughtfully. I carefully read your comment the first time earlier today and am now reading it again. Thank you so much for liking my blog so much that you don’t hesitate allowing it into your inbox! My blog likes you and so do I.

  38. poetjena says:

    Loved this post Kathy and an extremely helpful discussion moreover about a subject which has often enough also left me scratching my head as to what the best approach is, or if I even have one at all!?@?!

    Nice to see the myriad of responses too. I guess I fluctuate from skimmed to semi-skimmed reader trying at least to check in with other writer’s latest posts, assuming inspiration and words are not under such a degree of mental ‘freeze’ as to bring even reading to a cold standstill….

    So thank you for your great writing.
    The consistency of your literary standard and your thoughtful insight are always a pleasure.

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Poet, what a great comment! It was interesting to read all the responses and see the choices made by so many different people. As for the last two sentences, thank you even more. I sometimes suffer (who suffers?) because this isn’t a 100% literary blog (or 100% any other kind of blog.) There is a part of me that wants to be writing all high quality posts or all photography posts or all poetry posts or all spiritual posts… Part of the spiritual challenge of blogging for me is to allow, love, accept what comes out even if it’s not what the mind wanted. I so appreciate you and that you stop by every once in a while and share of yourself.

  39. Robin says:

    Oh gosh, Kathy. I have NO strategy at all. None. I’ve tried so many different ways and none of them really worked out in the long run. I wish I could visit everyone who visits me. I wish I could visit them as often as they visit me. I do make a point of visiting those who are new to my blog, even if all they do is push the “Like” button, because I do appreciate having them stop by and I know that sometimes all I can manage is to push the “Like” button. I know some people don’t like the “Like,” but I find it useful, especially when I can’t think of anything to write in a comment or nothing new to add to all the comments that have already been written. Anyhow. I have some email subscriptions (to those blogs I absolutely adore and wouldn’t want to miss — you’re on that list, btw). Once upon a time I subscribed via email to lots and lots of blogs, and it caused me to have heart palpitations too. So I unsubbed and added a bunch to my reader. That also gives me heart palpitations. I don’t think there is an answer to this dilemma other than doing the best we can. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, I so appreciate your answer! You and I are kindred spirits in many ways, methinks. May we just feel deeply that we are “doing the best we can”. Thank you!

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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