Thursday, June 7, 2012

What do you do when you get too far behind on your blogs?

I've been too busy IRL to spend much time online lately. At best, I jump on long enough to see if I have any urgent emails, and save the rest to (hopefully) read later. Blogging has been rare to non-existent. And I almost never have time to read blogs. When I do find time, I can only read one or two posts if they're short, and then I'm off again on the run. But since I subscribe to 122 blogs, the posts just keep piling up.

I would just mark them all as read, and I may do that on some of them, but on others, I'm afraid I'll miss a great post from one of my favorite bloggers. The bloggers who post very frequently or very infrequently take care of themselves: after a certain number of unread posts, older posts drop off the unread list on Google Reader, and of course, if they don't post often, the posts don't pile up.

When certain bloggers post, I drop everything and read their latest. These tend to be those who post infrequently and always have something good to say. Those who post somewhat infrequently and whose content is hit or miss, I generally try to catch up on when I'm less busy. Those who post frequently, and usually have exceptionally good content, I try to keep up with, but it's a struggle. If you post every day, I'm sorry, but I just can't keep up.

I know I can't keep up with every good blog, or even every good autism blog out there, but how do I choose? So far, the process seems to work something like this:

  1. I run across an interesting blog. I read a few posts, maybe dig through the archives a bit to get the overall flavor, and decide I'd like to read more. I subscribe on Google Reader.
  2. As I add blogs, my list of subscriptions gets longer, but I manage to keep up.
  3. Life gets hectic, I get busy, and I fall behind.
  4. As a backlog of posts accumulate, I start to feel anxious about not keeping up.
  5. I start dreading and avoiding reading my blogs because I feel so far behind, so they pile up even faster.
  6. I give up on following so many blogs, and decide to thin my subscriptions. I start looking for blogs that, for one reason or another, just haven't been as enjoyable lately.
  7. That doesn't eliminate many, so I start scrutinizing those that post the most frequently.
  8. I repeat steps 6 and 7 until the total number of unread posts starts going down instead of up.
  9. I engage in some marathon blog-reading sessions, trying to bring that total down slowly. Along the way, I usually find a few more blogs to eliminate. Usually these are the blogs that seem to post on a regular schedule, whether they have something to say or not.
  10. Repeat steps 1-9.
How do you stay on my list?
  1. Favor quality over quantity. I know some kind of regularity is important to building a brand, if that's important to you, but content is king.
  2. Post at a rate I can keep up with. I can't read every blog every day. If inspiration strikes, and you come up with five terrific posts in one day, post one, and save the others for a dry spell. 
  3. Short posts are generally easier to keep up with than long posts. Exception: If you're posting a recipe, instructions for doing something, or photos of an event, put the whole recipe, set of instructions, or event in one post. Better yet, tell us about the recipe, project, or event in your post, then link to the recipe, directions, or photo page. This makes the post quicker to read, and the information quicker to find again when we need it, especially for those of us with slower Internet connections.
  4. What's the balance between regularity and rate? Every day is too often. Less than once a month with no good content added, and readers may lose interest. For the average blog post, once or twice a week is ideal. If you publish something longer, like a newsletter, once every two weeks is ideal.
How do you keep up with your blogs, and what do you do when you fall behind?



Blogger DeeAnn said...

My favorite blogs are on my blogroll, making it easy for me to see who has new posts. I follow a lot of blogs via google friend connect, but check them very infrequently. I also follow Networked Blogs. Unfortunately, I rarely think about those.

I've been having a hard time keeping up with my own blog. Wait. Who am I kidding? I just haven't had much to say. I keep waiting for Cody to give me new material. ;)

June 7, 2012 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Miss Lexiloo said...

Clearly I'm caught up myself, since it's only a week since this post went up. Heh.

I use google reader, and honestly, if somebody has 255 new posts, I might read maybe the 3 most recent ones to ascertain if I missed anything life-altering (the ONE time I clicked "mark all as read" for ALL of them, I totally didn't know that somebody's kid had died and I felt like a big jerk. I mean, not that I was their bestie, or anything, but now it makes me paranoid. SIGH.)

Other than that, I do the best I can. I can say that if somebody has a partial feed, they tend to fall off my list. I don't always have time to click through to read every post, yanno?

June 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM  

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