Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You Like It... HOW?

Blogs, people! Get your minds out of the gutter!!! Or rather... leave them there, but take this two tiered journey with me.

I've been really busy this week... swamped, in fact, and it has made me notice some things about how I read (or choose not to read) blogs. When I have to limit, I have to limit... and there are some criteria I use. You may use DIFFERENT criteria. I am willing to bet you do. But I think there are some things that might be interesting to discuss... and if I'm not the only one (though I could be) to think about.

When Was Our Last?

I confess to feeling far more obligation to visit those who have visited me relatively recently. There. I said it. You love me. I'll love you back. Mutual appreciation is a good thing. There is an equity bank here... if you are really regular for a long time, then long gaps are forgiven pretty easily. Forgiven of course, overstates it... I'm not ANGRY. But there there is a time debt—THAT is what is forgiven...

I really enjoy certain kinds... the kind where everybody shares this or that... favorite songs, movies, albums... Those are a blast. The shared scenes though... Those take better preparation to participate on a writing end, but also more CONCENTRATION to read that I usually have in my allocated blog reading time. Even when I am almost all caught up, it is rare I read these. It isn't that I don't like them. It is that I feel obliged, if I commit, to reading them RIGHT, and I just don't have time to do that most of the time. My blog time is at about half my necessary attention span.


Okay, I'm sure I'm freaky here. I mean... I am super cheap and I LOVE winning stuff. But so often contests are a lot of work to win a lot of points, and honestly... I'm just not doing it. I don't have the TIME. “Follow and comment” I am in. Tweeting is easy enough. But because so many of them require so much, I often don't even look if I'm busy unless you have a lot of commenting equity.

The Experts

There are several blogs I follow because I think they post helpful stuff but they are by 'experts' (agents, famous-er authors—meaning more famous than my famous author FRIENDS with the whole tit-for-tat blogging thing—I mean the people breathing rarified air, and then the publishing industry folks from larger). Normally I love to read these, but when I am busy, they don't need my love like all of YOU PEOPLE who are HERE reading.

Great Advice

There are a couple of YOU GUYS that give great info, too. And I definitely try to hit these most of the time. These require some brain power, so sometimes they get pushed back to home time, or even a day later, but I DO try to look.

Light Entertainment

These require LITTLE brain activity and might even brighten an otherwise stressful day... they get my first round of reads...

So what about you?  When you are crunched, how do you prioritize?

Now for Amends

If YOU are a follower and comment at least now and again, and if you are not in my sidebar, that is an OVERSIGHT on my part. I TRY to go look at everyone new who follows or comments, but when I get busy, I fall down. (and the FACEBOOK followers are out of order, so I don't have a CLUE who the new adds are) Please look for your blog in my sidebar, and if it is not there, give me a poke, spanking or wet willy, as seems appropriate. It is my intention to fully reciprocate, but as I think I've made clear, I am often DISTRACTED. So please give me a prod and I will add you.

And FINALLY, a little MORE spread of love. Authors promoting Authors are doing a dealy bob to support women's businesses... it is probably best to just share their words.


From Woman's Worth Promotions:
To launch the Woman's Worth Promotions, we are running a contest starting the first week of September.
Every day from September 1st to September 7th, a woman owned business will be profiled.

Each profile will have their own post-their own direct link.

At the end of the week, on September 8th, voting will open.

The profile with the most votes will be awarded one month of free publicity services of their choice.

 If you would like to take part in this contest, send an email to with the word "Contest" in the subject line. Include a brief bio, a blurb about your company/service, a JPEG image, your links and a personal tidbit.

Woman's Worth Promotions reserves the right to refuse entry into the contest based on exceeding number of entries and suitability. If your entry is rejected, you will receive a note explaining why but will be given the opportunity to be featured on the Woman's Worth Promotions blog.


Ted Cross said...

I felt bad, but a couple of weeks ago I went through and culled out a couple dozen blogs because I simply have too many and I can't deal with all of them. I visited every blog on my link bar and checked their content to see if it is posting the type of content that I am looking for. It wasn't meant as a commentary on the worthiness of anyones' blogs; I just need to focus more on those blogs that fulfill what I need right now. Also, you are right that those who comment more on posts will always stay on the side bar!

Kay Richardson said...

i like your words. they make me think.

Anonymous said...

I still haven't actually got my link list sorted out since I moved to wordpress. I really should do that at some stage but I have to admit, I'm more likely to click on a link to someone who commented here in an interesting way than to click on the name of a blog I don't know. That could just be me.
Hope you find your way out of the swamp soon.

M.J. Nicholls said...

I only read this because the doctors have banned my book privileges. Your blog is responsible for some interesting graffiti the asylum toilets.

Hart Johnson said...

Ted-I go through on occasion and if someone hasn't been here for ages and the content isn't regularly what I look for, I've screened too... not trying to be mean, just realistic.

Kay, thank you! And have you been here before? My memory is faulty, but if this is your first time, WELCOME!

Cassandra-it can be sort of overwhelming to redo, can't it? And yes, interesting comments definitely get me to go look at the blog when I haven't seen someone before. I really depend on my sidebar though. It is just easier for me to keep track of that way.

Mark-you're a pill. A wonky, hallucinagenic pill at that.

lisahgolden said...

I've found blog reading to be cyclical. When I worked full time but was unbusy, I read a lot. Then I got really busy and I read hardly any. Then I got laid off and I still didn't read much because I needed time to get into a different pattern AND I started work on my manuscript and I wanted to finally read novels and things I'd put off while I worked full time. Now I read more blogs and my sidebar has expanded to include not just politics and humor, but writers, experts, graphic artists, etc.

Next week, I start editing my ms. I'm betting my blog reading goes back into limited mode.

I've enjoyed getting to know you here, Hart, and visiting folks from your sidebar.

Mason Canyon said...

There are days I can't visit every blog I want and I miss not keeping up. But life so have a way of deciding for us.

Thoughts in Progress

Old Kitty said...

I only prioritize if at work - so I leave the longer blog pieces to read until I'm not at work and get on with the shorter ones whenever I can throughout the day. I have to admit, the shorter the blog piece is the quicker I respond.

But I do eventually catch up with the longer blog pieces - may take a few days for me to reply though! These tend to be the more serious bloggers who follow me that I reciprocate. And by golly some are so serious I need my kitty blogs to cheer me up after!

Take care

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we all get to that point eventually. I have 200+ blogs I'm following, and a regular set of about 30 I tend to visit because they're either funny, helpful, or longtime bloggie friends. There's only so much time in the day, y'know?

There's no right way to do the whole blog thing. There's only the right way for you and your set of circumstances.

I'll just assume I fall under the Experts category. ;)

RosieC said...

Your strategy sounds a lot like mine, since I never bothered to put together a schedule :/ I don't read the blogfests, though I think the idea is great. I usually open them, leave them open for days on end, and then close them when I resign myself to not reading them.

Wouldn't it be great if time just stood still while we were in blogging space? Then we could keep up with everyone? On the other hand, that might be brain overload... never mind!

Hart Johnson said...

Lisa- I think that is fairly true--the cyclical thing, though my day job has remained a constant, so it is just how busy I am. But YES, editing can take away--frankly, for me it just fries my brain. I need to keep on it though. I am 'cleaning' at the moment, which is not quite as bad. (querying is the worst)

Mason--doesn't take long to feel sort of out of it, does it? And then I will hear something big happened and I missed it and feel really bad!

OK-length DOES matter, though so does density. Some longer blogs are still easy to read, while others take some effort. I know I tend to be longish, but usually I try to section a little to break it up.

Simon--expert. Yes. Mostly though, you make me laugh! You are one of the few who stays writing focused that is a bigger spaz than I am.

Rosie-yeah... schedule... I was going to do that, wasn't I?! The problem with organization is the work in GETTING that way! I think what is needed is a 3-day work week. I am sure if I had a four day weekend, i'd be much more efficient... or not.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Life and the MS dictate the blog visits. I try but am sometimes behind. Also, I count on Google Reader which takes it upon itself to censor my list from time to time.


Talli Roland said...

I agree with our Blogfest point. I like them and I think they're a great idea but I don't always have time to give them the attention they deserve! Same with long extracts.

Southpaw said...

That was a mouthful. It’s hard. I want to read each and every post but it is just not physically possible. So, I pick and choose. I look at the title and the first paragraph. That’s enough. It will either hold my interest or not. I try to comment when I can but that is not always possible either with over a hundred NEW posts by bloggers each day. The worst thing is missing a cool post that gets buried amongst all the posts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ironically, I'm posting something similar to this on Friday.
When crunched for time, those blogs listed in my blogroll get first priority, and as I meet new interesting bloggers who comment on my blog, I add to the list.
Although I really need to find a better system, as the blogroll is quite long...

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you (not on your sidebar, btw *nudge*). I try to get around to a lot of blogs and sometimes I just don't have time to get to everyone's even though I really, really want to. Let's face it, terrible two's pwn just about everything. The people who comment on my blog get my first round of attention, however, after that I go to my blogroll. Which needs to be weeded out.

Hart Johnson said...

Mary-I wish I could figure out how to make Google reader work more efficiently. It is the LEARNING of it that I am hesitant about.

Talli-EXACTLY! They deserve real attention, but that is such a commitment!

Holly--Titles totally make a difference on those people who stop in OCCASIONALLY, but not that often. And a pretty good title with a first paragraph that doesn't pull, may get passed, though the title I can see from the sidebar so that is the biggie.

Alex-great minds, eh? I REALLY try to read all my sidebar blogs. I get email notification for a couple more... but sometimes the time just is too little... I NORMALLY start from last read, but there comes a time I have to go top down and see how far I get.

Kimberly--SOLVED! The wordpress blogs have to be added manually, so I KNOW I am worse about those (the blogger ones, I can pull down a checklist)--but I have INTENDED to have you for ages! There now. I try to do comments first, too, but the blogroll is so much easier to navigate.

LTM said...

yep! That's about exactly how I do it, although I use the google reader, so I don't always leave comments... I wish there was a way to do that, Ms. Entertainment/Great Advice/Humanitarian... :D

Erin said...

Hey, my blog's not on the sidebar thing. :O

Steel Magnolia said...

Good morning! Ooops. Totally distracted this summer. But so pleased to see that I am still being followed WHEN I post ;-) Your blog is one of my touchstones. Enjoy the glorious weather and ... keep writing. You are amazing. And, an inspiration. Cheers!