Jul 282007

As of now I have zero posts unread in my feed reader. None. Nada. I didn’t know how much it weighed me down until yesterday when through frantic blog-reading I was able to par it down to 25 unread.

Of course, since this is a feed reader and there are such a lot of fantabulous blogs and writers out there this will only last for about an hour or so. And I’m fine with that because it may well be that tomorrow I’ll get restless for some blog-food and then I’ll go and read blogs I haven’t read in years weeks. It’s this pesky little balance things again.

Blog reading and commenting shouldn’t be an obligation, it should be fun. And it is. But not when you’re reading about 90 blogs and have spent the last two weekends attending parties with overnight stays or have gone off visiting friends. With no internet access. And then you come back and you can’t just hit “mark all read” because – there are marvelous posts in there for sure, and there are people you consider to be your friends, and maybe something really important happened to them. So you devote three days to catch up. Three days. And now you’re done. (Well, that would be me.)

But I really don’t like it when I’m that much behind and when I start reading 12 posts of someone in a row. Then I comment on every third or so. But this is not how it’s meant to be. And by the time I’m through the blogroll with reading, I come back and someone else has posted four new posts…

Not me though because I was so busy packing and doing laundry and planning and doing housework and reading blog posts and commenting that I didn’t find the time to write something on my own. But I will. Soon.

Because today is the first day of summer vacation. Six weeks.

(Please don’t remind me that I don’t like summer vacation.)

What do you do to cope with the ever-expanding blogosphere? Of course one could limit reading to a handful of well-selected blogs of interest like my husband does. But then the blogs that I read are hand-picked. I could easily find double or triple the amount of blogs. Good ones. Not commenting is out of the question. Look what De wrote on the subject:

So, any tips?

  14 Responses to “A burden lifted from my shoulders”

  1. Those of us who do get your comments are very happy you make the effort. I sort of know when you are reading (can see on Sitemeter someone in southern Germany), but it is lovely to actually have direct contact with you. Thanks for spending the time…

  2. absolutely, not every post requires a comment, and the act of reading blogs is entertainment, not obligation.
    Comment where you feel it is warranted, not where you feel it is obligated.

  3. The other night, Lorenzo was having trouble falling asleep. I rubbed his back and told him, “Everyone in your world is safe.” I realized that it was true; even though the whole wide world is a mess, always has been and always will be, his world is fine.

    The blog-world is so big and grand, there will never be a way for me to on top of it. The best I can do is to attend to the blogs that are important to me.

    The button was conceived to acknowledge the reciprocal relationship of blogger and commenter. I think it’s fundamental to the nature of blogging, or else why use this medium? When a reader goes the extra step and leaves a comment, it augments the blog. The total is greater than the sum, or however that goes.

  4. I agree with flutter. And, you and she are truly a case in point for me: Sometimes both of you write with such passion, intelligence, and verve, that I simply don’t have a damn thing to add. Or at least nothing that seems worthy of the eloquence of the post. So, I don’t comment.

    I do agree that sometimes the Google reader overwhelms. My new policy is that when I start reading a new blog, I don’t read the archives anymore. I just move forward. And truthfully, if someone starts posting multiple times per day, I sort of lose interest. It’s like overload to me. And sometimes, if the post is one that I know needs more attention than I can give, I put it off. Like the post you wrote before this post. I am putting it off because I need to dust off my thinking cap.

  5. I know exactly what you mean. Ordinarily I can keep up with Reader and enjoy doing so. But if I spend a day or two away from the computer and find 25-30 new posts waiting for me to read and comment on, my stomach knots up a bit. It feels overwhelming.

  6. I don’t feel obligated to make comments on every single post, really. Otherwise, I’d be gone all day.
    I would just start fresh, maybe, if I were you and not worry about commenting on older posts. Hey, if you were gone, you were gone, you know?

  7. Thank you for all the input. Not every post requires a comment but every post requires thought. Otherwise I could just stop reading them.

    I try to make comments more often when people don’t get much of them. I often don’t bother when there already have been 50 or so before me.

    And sober is right, the blog world is big and one can’t stay on top of it. I only get upset when I’m way behind.

    Liv, it has been a very long time since I last read somebody’s archives…

    And I don’t comment on every blog I read. Not by far.

  8. There are certain blogs I comment on regularly.. particularly those who have been on my blogroll since the very beginning.

    I lurk on many blogs and don’t comment unless the person has specifically asked for them.

    And I know this is weird.. but if I get caught up in something else, I have no trouble hitting “mark all as read” and then I start again from scratch.

    Otherwise I would get overwhelmed and that wouldn’t serve anyone. My comments wouldn’t have any substance and I’d only be skimming.



  9. I for one was happy, happy to hear from you.

    But I agree one should only blog and comment when one can have fun doing so.

    As for advice… I’m not sure (as I struggle with the same questions) so I will give the answer that feels right now.

    Do what feels right at any given time.

    and then hope for the best.

    ps. Your posts and comments happen in their own sweet time and I always enjoy them.

  10. Google Reader; a blessing and a curse, sometimes both at the same time.

    In other words, i know what you mean.

  11. I have a similar thing on Bloglines – although I have 2 categories – my regulars (and anyone who comments on me gets put into that category) and my considerings (and anyone who piques my interest in a surf can be put on).

    There are days when I do not get around to checking even my faves out and I only ever comment when I am in the frame of mind to do so – but there are some I will comment on more than others – as someone above said, if someone has over 50 comments its easier to not.

    I too have learned (by accident, but have done it deliberately since) to “clean the slate” because life cannot be constantly lived in the past – sometimes you just have to junk what you have missed and start from a level playing field.

  12. You are the reason I am reading other blogs that are not associated with work so your reading is helping me… I hopefully will be able to build up my list and start commenting more. I am always impressed at how much you are able to comment and if you want me to paint, it will have to be on a vacation to Germany.. I move to Singapore on August 27th….I think ..If I ever leave France…

  13. Chani, this is not weird at all; it sounds very healthy to me.

    Hel, thank you. Mostly it doesn’t feel right to me to speed-read my way through two weeks worth of anybody’s blog posts.

    Meno, nice to have you back from Chicago.

    Jeanie, I have tried to have different sets of lists in bloglines (and I still have) but finally I have to make the decision if I really want to read a blog or not. I’m not commenting on every blog I read and on the ones that I do comment regularly I only comment when I want to.

    Right now I’m feeling all fine again, and my feed reader has remained “all read” for two days. But this shouldn’t be my main goal for the day.

  14. I totally hear you. I get overwhelmed frequently by my bloglines, and I do feel badly if I need to skip ahead to more recent posts out of self-preservation. I’m secretly thrilled when a frequent poster skips a day or two because I need every break I can get-not that I don’t like what they have to say but that I can actually enjoy what they have to say in leisure. I don’t like that sometimes it feels like an obligation, yet my bloglines list keeps growing.

    I need better coping skills.

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