Managing our feeds can be time consuming. The more blogs we subscribe to, the more time it takes away from our other blogging activities. When I read Lorelle (of Lorelle on WordPress) has over 350 blogs in her feed reader, I wanted to know how she does it.

Here’s her response.

5) In a post for Blog Herald on preventing blog burn-out, you stated you follow over 350 blogs in your feed reader. What determines which blogs you follow and which posts you read? And do you do what most bloggers confess to, and scan articles without reading word for word?

Of course I scan. I couldn’t function otherwise. Most people scan. That’s a normal reading behavior and doesn’t apply to bloggers specifically. We all scan blogs, newspapers, magazines, even books. For me with that many blogs to track, I have to in order to survive. However, when I boil it down to really important articles, I read them thoroughly, digesting all of it, as do we all when things of interest confront us.

What determines the blogs I follow and the posts I read? Depends.

Every Wednesday I publish the covering a wide range of WordPress news, tips, events, and topics. Thus, I have a huge list of WordPress-related blogs that I have to track in order to generate that weekly post. Are they blogs I would track normally? No. Most of them are BORING and dull, but I love geek talk, so I find something interesting in all the code babble, too. It’s my job, and it helps to enjoy even the dull stuff. :D

I have a wide range of subject categories I track, though not as often as I do the weekly WordPress news items. I track blogs about writing, science, science fiction, gardening, eco-building, environmental issues, nature, knitting, cooking, genealogy, web analytics and SEO, web design, blogging, and the news. I also have a few favorite friends that I track through their blogs. My list is no different from other people as I track the things I’m interested in, monitoring industry news, tips, and information.

As to which blogs make it into my feeds, I think that I’m also like other people. Subject matter dictates inclusion. I have very few blogs I will track that aren’t focused on a specific subject as an expert. I track some genealogy blogs because they write about their research and I can learn about the tips and techniques they use to uncover their family’s history, but if they spend too much time rattling on about their broken down car, family, marriage, work, or ranting about politics and things of little or no interest to me, I’m gone.

To end up in my feed reader you have to feed me. You have to give the information that brought me to your site in the first place. You have to keep providing me with the information I can use or you lose.

Today’s Assignment

What determines which blogs make it into your feed reader?

How do you manage your feed reading time?

To avoid redundancy, the subject of scanning posts was addressed in a recent article titled: Bloggers Flunk The Reading Assignments. If you would like to share how you feel knowing others are scanning the posts you work so hard on, please feel free to leave a comment below.


Photo Credit: Lorelle’s Logo

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  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. This was timely.

    I was checking my Google reader and your post appeared. I get overwhelmed just managing the emails in my inbox so I have not added many blogs to my reader.

    I’ve created an excel spreadsheet where I keep a list of over 70 blogs. After 6 weeks of blogging there are some trusted favourites that I will be subscribing to this week.

    These are the ones that I return to regularly because I enjoy the topics, information and personality of the blogger. Plus, I see commenters returning consistently; their dedication to supporting the blog says a lot.

    As for managing feed reading time, that still remains to be seen. :-)

  2. AnnieNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara -

    I, too, track over 300+ feeds (using Google Reader, which I switched to from Bloglines a few months ago) and absolutely rely on scanning to get through them.

    Part of what I like about Google Reader is that it has a “List View” function that allows one to see the blog name, title and snippet of the opening paragraph along with the date/time stamp. It allows me to scan the title and snippet to see if it’s something I want to fully read or not.

    Of course, there are a few blogs I read regardless of the title and snippet simply because I know there’s going to be something good there. And not all of the blogs I read are professionally related, though a large number of them are. Many are just moms or others that I can feel a connection to.

    I typically will subscribe to a blog that either makes me laugh, makes me think or provides info I’m interested in.

    And I find it entirely useless to have an RSS feed if you’re not going to allow the full feed. Why make it convenient for people to read your blog through an RSS and then defeat the purpose by only providing an excerpt? That’s one sure-fire way to get me to unsubscribe immediately. Unless your blog is just *so* good that I will deal with hassle (which, honestly, doesn’t happen much).

    I’ve heard the argument that it makes people comment more often or something along those lines, but you know what? If your blog has something so good that it makes me want to share my thoughts, I *will* click through to do so from my RSS reader.

    Anyway, that’s my .02¢ worth ;-) ! I’ve enjoyed reading this series of articles. Keep it up! (And you’ve gotten me to come out of the woodwork – I don’t typically respond or comment on any blog – just lurk.)

    ~ Annie

  3. AnnieNo Gravatar says:

    PS –

    Thanks for stopping by my blog again and for your thoughts on the septic stuff. Very useful. ;-)

    ~ Annie

  4. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    This is truly an issue that I am still finding my feet with, Barbara.

    I am beginning to follow loads of interesting blogs and – to be truthful- sometimes it feels like I’m being a little swamped!

    So many of these blogs are brilliant, and I don’t want to miss out on the excellent content.

    These tips from Lorelle are amazing… I’m off to research further, and to organize my “bloginfo” overload- and yes, that is a new word I’ve coined! :-)

  5. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davina,

    Like you, I used to use email subscriptions. I lost control, so I switched to Google Reader and I’m so happy I did. They’re all in one place, easy to manage, and I can pick and choose what I want to read, when I want to read it.

    It sounds like you’re finding the “secret” to gaining recognition; get your name out there, and others will come and visit you, as well.

    Hi Annie,

    300+ feeds is a lot to follow. I just broke the 100 mark and like you, read those snippets. Isn’t that great?

    Full vs partial feeds has been an issue for some time. I will click through if it’s a favorite blog, but I agree, often bloggers will lose readers by using a partial feed. I’ve heard partial feeds are also used to entice visitors come to a blog and hopefully click on an ad.

    I am so happy you stopped lurking and decided to start commenting. Your comments/opinions are valuable, and I feel honored knowing I inspired you to come out of the woodwork. :)

    You’re welcome (re: my comment on your blog). Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Hi Scott,

    Managing feeds can be overwhelming when blogs are producing valuable content so rapidly. That’s why so many bloggers have to start scanning. They want to get the info, but don’t have time to read each and every word (in some cases).

    Keep me posted on the organization of your “bloginfo”. :)

  6. Hi Barbara,

    There are just too many good blogs out there, and so little time! Scanning is definitely necessary for me, else I’ll never get a life. My Google reader has such a long list … it’s beginning to take forever to scroll up and down. I do, however, make it a point to get back to the posts I’ve missed out though, at a later time.

    Irene | Light Beckons’s last blog post..Ask Why

  7. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    re: what determines? teach me something or make me laugh.

    hmm, i read all the blogs in my reader, most are of my blogroll. i do scan some of the lengthy articles, but i keep them there because they are references or teaching aids, not just casual reading (i.e. finance blog).

    i guess i treat my reader like i do most things i would consider clutter. if i don’t have a genuine use for it, i’m not going to keep it. i did clean out my reader a few days ago to make sure that every blog there was something i was actually reading or still wanted to read. i would rather use the time on a blog that i know i will enjoy and read than scanning 100 blogs just because they are there.

  8. I’m with Scott on this one. I’m starting to follow so many blogs (no where near 300) that it feels like a task I can never complete – and it sure would help if I could read faster.

    I rarely scan, though I may need to start.

    I’m curious, for those of you who read a huge number of blogs (or scan), how many do you comment on? And for the ones you do scan, do you comment on those? I mean, what if your comment “adds” something to the article but oops, the author mentioned that in the post but you scanned over it (or a similar comment).

    What determines which blogs make it into your feed reader?

    Blogs that I find informative in my fields of interest for the most part.

    How do you manage your feed reading time?

    Probably pretty poorly. I need to get organized better. Sometimes I use Google Air FeedReader and other times I use Firefox’s RSS feeds to go directly to the author’s website.

  9. Wendi KellyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I read every word. That’s the truth. Now…I only have 44 blogs in my reader and they are broken up into three catagories. The group I call the “Gang” Which I read every single morning with coffee and will comment on if possible or if I have something valid to say. Sometimes these will get involved in converstions that go on all day long and clog up my e-mail box so this is a very short list. The second is the ones I also try to read eveery single day or every other day and will most often comment. There are about 10 in there. The third group I read on the weekend like the Sunday paper and may from time to time leave a comment although I don’t always feel that these blogs are trying to build up a community or are going to respond anyway and that they would even care so I don’t always feel as compelled to share my thoughts as it doesn’t seem as conversational.

    If I wasn’t going to bother to read it, I wouldn’t keep it in there. IF I start to see someone is looding my interest or I don’t feel like reading them ever, I take it ut and then just check in on them from time to time. The ones I have already are enough to manage.

    Wendi Kelly’s last blog post..A Lighthouse in the Storm

  10. Right before I came over here I noticed that I’m up to 100 feeds. It’s tough. What’s happening now is that many blogs will accumulate 10+ posts before I get to them. I just look at the list, maybe read one, then click “mark all as read.” Not sure what to do, but I feel guilty about not reading everything.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Bloggers Must Have These 3 Ducks In A Row

  11. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I am guilty! I scan… But when I do come across a good article, I read every tidbit. As we grow, this is a survival technique that I am sure everyone will attest to.

    The series has been a wonderful learning tool for all and thanks for continuing to share.

  12. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I have subscribed to 130+ feeds. I follow a letter system. Those which I want to read regularly, go in A, the next batch in E etc. Left some letters in between just in case I want to put some blogs in between :). I usually make my unread count to zero everyday. The only problem is, when I miss out on a day or two. The number of unread posts then lok so huge that I end up marking all of them read and read none.

    @John : I usually don’t comment unless I find some value in the article and have something to add. And if I do find value, I stop scanning and start reading it word by word. I scan to find out which articles / parts of article would I like to read word-by-word.

  13. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    What an excellent series this has been! I am so glad that Cath sent me here.

    As to today’s “assignment,” I believe that the responses that you get from people who have been blogging for a long time will vary greatly from those of “newbies” such as myself.

    The way I decide what to make it into my “feed reader” is through pure luck, in my case. I had posted a blog on “monetizing” a few weeks ago, and a stranger named Cath Lawson left a comment that I felt required a response. Out of curiosity, I went to HER bog site, and was impressed not only with the content, but with the comments on her site.

    A relationship developed, and as I started to see the same people leaving comments, I decided to visit THEIR blogs – one or two a day. I put a self-imposed rule on: don’t subscribe until I have read three posts that I can relate to. This kept things managable to me – to a point. There were SO MANY blogs I wanted to visit, but I needed to take my time, or I’d have no time for writing as I’d be spending all of my time reading!

    When you “came into the picture,” I noticed that, like Cath, your blogs were fascinating and educational. Further, many of Cath’s commenters cross-over with yours. You both exhuded intelligence and warmth.

    It is from what people write on your 2 sites that I am finally being able to “narrow down” my reading to those whose comments struck me in some way. Now, as I go to the “commenter’s” sections of blogs, I get more ideas on what to read re: THEIR commenters…and round and round it goes!

    I was fortunate – I received a comment on my blog by a stranger named “Cath.” Had that not happened, I don’t know whom I would turn to for great advice – and other great blogs.

    I believe that in most cases, you “make your own luck.” My blog feeds have been given to me by TWO fine women now, whose comments have become almost as interesting as the blog itself. And, as I said, each day I try to get to some ot the commenter’s blogs. Both you and Cath have been a tremendous help for me in finding both like-minded and education adivice.

    Rita

  14. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    My Google feed reader is growing in size, especially since Liz Strauss’s Blog Showcase! I pick a lot of personal development blogs because that is my niche and blogs on blogs because I’m still very new to this. I also enjoy Savage Chickens cartoons.

    As for reading through them all, I scan for two things in a personal development post: a unique perspective that helps me see things from another angle or an insight or question that helps me see the world or myself anew. Those section slow me down to fully absorb them, and then I’m off again. In blogs on blogs sites, I scan for the missing pieces in my blog knowledge.

  15. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Until recently, I only used email for my subscriptions, but I have enjoyed Google reader to gather my feeds. I am extremely selective about what I put there, and still have to move all of my email feedsover to G Reader.

    I’ve noticed though that I do tend to read the email inbox blogs more thoroughly than the G Reader ones. Is that because of the format? Or because my old favorites come via email?

    Blogs make it on my To Be Read list based on their interest and/or writing style — or they belong to friends from the “real world.” I usually don’t have time to read each of them every day, but I do try.

  16. JodithNo Gravatar says:

    Wow…I thought I was bad with my 150 or so feeds that I read. Of course, I also go through my feed list about once a month to weed out those that I find I scan all the time without ever actually reading.

    I do scan a lot of posts. I figure I read the full text of maybe one in 10 posts in my feeder. I probably end up commenting on maybe 1/4 of those, more if I’m feeling chatty.

    When I’m scanning (I also use google reader) I usually glance at the headline and the first paragraph of the feed. If it doesn’t catch my attention, I’m off to the next one. Just because I subscribe to a feed doesn’t mean that every post that person makes is of interest to me. I look for the ones I find interesting and leave the rest. There are a few that I always read, either because I always find them interesting, or because they are personal blogs of people I know.

    Whether to place full text in feed or a snippet is difficult to decide. Most of the time, if someone just uses a snippet, unless I really, really like the blog, I rarely click through to read the full thing unless a topic really catches my attention. However, I know some bloggers have had issues with their posts being lifted in their entirety from their feeds and reprinted elsewhere. That doesn’t mean they can’t click through to steal your content, though. It just adds another step to whatever program they are using to steal your content.

    I publish the full feed because I know from my own habits that I seldom click through to those that don’t. I’m more likely to click through to those that publish full feeds because I’m more likely to comment on those posts.

  17. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    I limit my feed reader to 100 blogs and I’m tough about this rule… If I REALLY want to add a new blog, another blog must go out.

    Unlike Lorelle, I’m actually drawn to personal blogs, as long as the blog author has a strong personality. A blog that entertains me or makes me think and feel is at least as valuable, to me, as a blog that provides info.

  18. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Liz’s blog showcase gave me some more cool blogs to follow. I’m approaching 200 blogs with Google Reader.

    I actually use NetVibes as my first line of blog reading. The ability to have tabs and to have a multi-column display is pretty helpful.

    My “essentials” blogs are on NetVibes which I check most regularly, and my Google Reader has all blogs, but I only get to that when I’m done with my NetVibes reader.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..Jump Right In!

  19. I’ve just started using Google reader. I haven’t counted how many blogs I’m following, but it must be up to 20+.

    I don’t read every post at every blog, just the ones that sound interesting or worthwhile. I do scan, mostly because I’m reading on “borrowed time”, either from work or mommy-ing.

    I comment if I feel I have something to say other than “good post” – and if I have time to put a coherent response together! (right now my daughter is chattering away so who knows what I’ve written).

  20. To be honest, I basically always read a post in its entirety. It’s just how I go about it. It’s my way.

    Since this is the case, I am not subscribed to zillions of blogs. And if I do not feel like reading a blog, I will not compromise and scan it. I either read it in its entirety, or not at all.

    There’s nothing wrong with scanning – and it would certainly make it easier to comment on many many blogs… It’s just not my cup of tea is all.

    For me to subscribe to a blog, I need to find it valuable. This can come in the form of wisdom, entertainment, or even just writing style! You can learn a lot about writing by merely reading the writing of others.

    And, if someone regularly comments on my blog, I will often reciprocate and comment on theirs. And this also encourages me to subscribe.

  21. MaddyNo Gravatar says:

    HI there, followed your comment from 3 weddings. i.e. I am new here.

    I do not follow anything geeky because it’s Greek as far as I’m concerned.

    I follow a few blogs carefully where I either like the writing style or the subject matter. A few are pure escapism such as photography blogs.

    I nearly always comment.

    I do have a zillion blogs on my google reader which has just died so this gives me the ideal opportunity to regroup and examine what I’m reading and why.
    Cheers

  22. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    I just counted them and I’m subscribed to 57 blogs. I’m thinking of breaking them down into two piles: I’ll read the blogs in one pile on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the blogs in the second pile on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

  23. 300+?! Wow, I need to get reading! Right now I have 35, and I thought I was doing well *smile*. Needless to say, I read them all. I do have feeds no all of them to home, but I do most of my reading from work during my lunch hour and I can’t set up feeds there. (Against security internet usage policies). I am pretty organized though. I keep a list which I work through, and each day I put a check mark beside the blog name if I read it only, and a ‘c’ if I read and commented. (Yours always seem to have a ‘c’ beside it, Barbara *smile*) That way, the next day I know if I need to go back and look for a response to my comment.

  24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Irene,

    There are a lot of good blogs out there, aren’t there? If we want to read every one, scanning becomes necessary.

    Hi Natural,

    Like you, I want blogs that will teach me, make me laugh, or inspire me. Keeping blogs (in our reader) that are good for reference is a great way to stay on top of the latest news.

    Hi John,

    In response to your question, I respond to all of my NBOTWers, and then about 20 more. Sometimes I will comment on the bigger blogs if I have something to say or ask.

    When scanning a post, it’s best to be careful before leaving a comment, as sometimes it’s obvious the post wasn’t read. That could result in a bad reflection on the commenter.

    Hi Wendi,

    It sounds like you have your feed reader well organized. That can make a big difference, plus save time.

    I do see some blogs where the conversation keeps “running” in the comment section. It reminds me of a forum.

    Hi Hunter,

    We’re on the same track (with 100). It is tough to try and read them all. I look at the titles and snippets and decide if they’re worth reading. Often the subject doesn’t apply to me (at this time), so they get marked all as read.

    Hi Linda,

    You’re welcome.

    You’re right, there aren’t many who don’t scan, but by reading the comments here, there are a few exceptions.

    Hi Avani,

    That’s a great way to organize you reader. And yes, if we aren’t tending to our reader on a daily basis, they can pile up FAST.

    Hi Rita,

    Thank you for your very kind words.

    I like your story of how you met me through Catherine. Catherine and I go way back, and I can say this, she is a dear person (we’ve never met). Finding blogs through comment sections is a great way to meet like minded people. Comments often say more about a person than their post, as a post is often written for informational purposes.

    You’re on the right track Rita. You’re pacing yourself, and not getting too overwhelmed. Finding three posts on a blog you can relate to, is a great way to determine if you want to subscribe.

    Hi SpaceAgeSage,

    Welcome to the BWAB community!

    I like how you put that, …I scan…”that helps me see the world or myself anew”, and “missing pieces in my blog knowledge”. That’s a great way to pull value from blogs that apply to each of us, and saves reading time, too.

    Hi Linda Abbit,

    You bring up a good point. Often email subscriptions are the preferred method of delivery, however, having said that, an inbox can easily get as crowded as a feed reader. I like the fact we do have choices.

    Hi Jodith,

    It’s great to see you here again. :)

    You, too, have a sizable collection going in your reader.

    With regard to the full feeds, for some blogs, I prefer to read some of the posts in my reader, especially if the blog uses a tiny font. Like you, at that point, I will click through and if I want to leave a comment.

    Hi Vered,

    I commend you for your discipline.

    Yes, blogs that make us think and feel, often hold as much value as an info blog. I love all the choices we have.

    Hi Al,

    Yes, Liz’s blog show did showcase a lot of great blogs. It sounds like your reading time has hugely increased. Following 200 blogs is a lot of work.

    Hi Ann,

    I give you mommy bloggers so much credit. You all have little ones to tend to, but still find time to produce value based posts. How do you do it?

    Hi Bamboo,

    You bring a great point. If someone visits and comments, it’s like an unspoken rule (or blog etiquette) that we should visit their blog too, (to say “Hi” and thank you). It’s through comments we often find other well written blogs worth subscribing to.

    Hi Maddy,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Yes, I know what you’re saying about those “geeky” blogs. Often they are written in a language I don’t understand either.

    Photography blogs are great ones to follow too. They can take us to far off lands or tranquil settings. They do create a great escape, don’t they?

    Hi Marelisa,

    You have your blogs/feeds well organized. If you’re using Google Reader, they would be easy to put into folders.

    Hi Urban Panther,

    I’m happy to hear I always get a “c”. Plus, you know I always answer all of the comments, so you’ll find my response. :)

    BTW: I read all of my comments word for word. I address each one individually and often read them more than once. :)

  25. LorelleNo Gravatar says:

    I think I’m learning more from this series than you all are! Wow. What tremendous insights.

    I will often be inspired by a blogger’s personal, inspirational, and insightful blog posts. I’ll add it to my feed reader with joy – and the hope that I will find the time to keep up with them.

    Unfortunately, the reality is that I’m so busy, the list of unread blogs in my feed reader is huge. I’m looking at them right now and wanting to scream as there are so many I love reading but they don’t help me make money and stay on top of my game – so they collect virtual dust in my feed reader. So sad.

    I found a great tip for Google Reader and comments yesterday that has now speed up my feed reading time and made writing my weekly WordPress Wednesday News reports on the Blog Herald SO MUCH EASIER and faster.

    Using FireFox and the Greasemonkey Scripts Extension, I added the Google Reader Preview Enhanced (GPE) script from Userscripts.org which adds a small PREVIEW button to the bottom of the feed “window” next to “Add star” and “share” and the rest. I click it and it loads the post within that iframe in my Google Reader and I can respond to comments or click links or whatever to the full post. THE FULL POST!

    I’m leaving this comment via my Google Feed Reader right this moment. No more opening feed links in a new tab then dancing through the tabs (I have more than 100 open right now) to find the post. It’s brilliant! Give it a try. I’ll be blogging about this in the next day or so. It’s wonderful.

    I love feeds and how they bring the news to me, but they can get overwhelming really fast.

  26. LorelleNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, I forgot that I wanted to say something about the full or experts issue on feeds. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of full feeds, both as a blogger and feed reading fan. There are important points from each perspective.

    As a reader, I only want to see what I want to see. I don’t want to plow through tons and tons of junk to find what I need. That’s one of the reasons I finally switched over the Google Reader.

    I like skimming down the blog post titles to see if keywords jump out at me. If they do, I click open the post feed and look. If it doesn’t catch me in the first 200 words or less, I’m onto the next thing. If it really grabs me, I’ll open it in a tab so I can really experience the full read from a web page and respond through comments – though this new Preview Greasemonkey script may change that habit. :D

    So excerpts versus full feeds don’t bother me. If you don’t have my attention right off the bat, you never will.

    As a blogger and business person, I worry and fuss about how easy it is to rip off my blog content, words I agonize over every day. They are mine. I want to make money with my words through my reputation, reprint/sale value, and syndication rights. Doctors don’t give away their work, nor do electricians, plumbers, lawyers, ditch diggers, and the rest. Why should I? Restricting the content to partial excerpts restricts what scrapers can steal.

    I write a lot – I also write long posts. I feel uncomfortable clogging up feed readers with 4-12 screenfuls of content – stuff they might not even be interested in. I want to help my readers pick and choose what they want to read and how much. I like to structure things that give the readers as much control as possible – in the most simple way possible.

    From a business perspective, clickthrough rates and ads are still major sources of income, though they are falling as the market is evolving and shifting. I have no ads on Lorelle on WordPress as WordPress.com does not allow it, which is fine for me, but many are dependent upon traffic on the site not just through the feed reader.

    Look at CNN, BBC, and other news sources. They barely showcase a sentence in their feeds, yet people flock to their news reports all the time. Onsite traffic is critical to their marketing and advertising strategies. Using short, heavy keyword based titles and excerpts helps people get the point and be encouraged to click through. It works for them, and it can work for others – though I don’t recommend restricting feeds to one sentence for bloggers. One sentence sells are VERY hard and a skill few have.

    What you choose to release from your blogs via feeds is up to you, but think about how you use feeds and how your readers use feeds. I’ve found that the most vocal minority are those who scream “I will unsubscribe if you don’t offer full feeds” and not representative of the majority. Many pro bloggers are switching to excerpts happily, especially to protect their content.

    This issue of full or excerpts is a whole blog post topic, but the answer is that one size does not fit all. Luckily, you have a choice – so says she so excited to be commenting straight from her feed reader!!!!

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Lorelle,

    That’s great to know the BWAB community members are an inspiration to you. We like hearing that. :)

    I added the script you must mentioned. Hey, that is too cool.

    Question for you Lorelle. How would that affect how our stats are recorded? e.g. With us responding through the reader instead of actually clicking through – or is the preview like a click through? Or does it make a difference?

  28. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    To me it doesn’t really matter whether your blog is personal, niche, techy, or what ever. As long as I’m learning something, being entertained and being challenged, I will follow you religiously.

  29. Most of the time, if I read an article that I like, I will instantly subscribe to that blog’s feed. Usually, I will also subscribe to the feeds of my readers that comment on my posts to show my appreciation for them. But I know that the time will eventually come where I can not subscribe to all my commenters sites :)

  30. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I know people scan my blog and it bothers me. But I do it too, so I guess it shouldn’t.
    The thing that matters to me is that I like what I write, and therefore I will spend time on it. If others have an interest in it, that’s all the better. I hope I can say something that interests my readers.
    I have around 100 blogs in my reader right now, and I try to keep up with them all. It’s impossible for me to comment on bloggers who post daily, and most people (like you I think!) understand that.
    I’m pretty eclectic and follow quite a few topic blogs. I like to learn new things. I also like to help people out that are just starting blogging, because I know how hard it is.

  31. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Lorelle,

    Thank you for elaborating on the full and partial feed issue. You’ve given all of us a lot to think about. I like that we have a choice.

    Hi Chris,

    So well put. Blogs need to provide value of some sort.

    Hi Ellen,

    I totally understand when my readers don’t have time to comment on each post. I get in that same position. There’s only so much time in the day.

    You’re a girl after my own heart. I love to hear when bloggers want to help new bloggers. Let’s pay it forward!

  32. I’m going to have to switch to a reader at some point. I’m having too many email messages to clear. It’s becoming an uphill task everyday. Oh…but your site still remains as one of my favorite!

    Evelyn

  33. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    Thank you! When you switch, you’ll be asking yourself, “why did I wait so long?’ Google Reader has so many options, and like Lorelle pointed out, by adding the FireFox and the Greasemonkey Scripts Extension + the script, it gets even better.

    Let me know if you need help with any of it.

  34. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I think you hit on this before recently because I reordered my reader after that. I have categories for different types of blogs and then I have a few in my Must Read category. I read these first an usually comment on them. All others I read as best I can. Some days I have more time than others so sometimes I comment more and sometimes I just mark all as read. I can’t stand for it to get too full. I feel overwhelmed. I’m beginning to think it is time for housekeeping again and get rid of some. Blogs usually get the boot when they stop commenting on mine. I have gotten quite a few new readers and I like to try to support those who support me.

  35. I find that there are three kinds of posts:
    1.) Short & sweet…to the point.
    2.) Short but with a little meet on ‘em
    3.) Essays. Long, long essays!
    I’m not going to lie. I scan the essay type ones (and it helps if they use bold text). I can’t help it. There’s a lot to read! Why not just trim what I read? Because it’s all good conversation. Conversation motivates me to write…it forces me to think and reflect on my own perspectives…frankly, conversations matter.

    How do I determine which feeds make it into my feedreader? I gauge the level of responsiveness that the author has with his/her readers. If there’s not communication there it says to me that the author could care less who’s reading and who’s commenting. So to me, it’s like talking to a brick wall. I move on to a better conversation.

    Then, for the feeds that are in my feedreader…well I just label them by topic.

  36. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Debbie,

    That’s a great point. When another blogger visits and comments, we do want to show them support, as well. Building community is a two way street.

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ricardo,

    You summed it up perfectly. Conversation in blogs (comments) is important. Although I do comment on some blogs where the author rarely shows up, I prefer those where the author partakes in the conversation.

  38. AnnieNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Lots of great additional tips and stuff in the comments here. I’ve really enjoyed this series and this one in particular.

    @Lorelle – thanks for your thoughts on the full vs partial feeds issue. I can see one not wanting their content stolen – makes sense. My thought is, though, that if someone wants to steal it badly enough, they’ll do it regardless.

    I also use the userscripts/greasemonkey extension and love that preview aspect! Isn’t it great? I often do comment directly from within Google Reader now. So easy! It also helps with the full/partial issue. ;-)

    ~ Annie

  39. Ok so I really needed this post! :-) Thanks to both of you for a great question and answer.

    (And btw the reason I’m a day late reading this post is because I did get behind on my blog reader). :D

    There are two things that make me add someone to my blog reader.

    Either

    a) Something about their blog interests me
    or
    b) They are frequent commenters on my blog and I want to keep in touch with them.

    a) and b) frequently cross over, too. :)

  40. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Annie,

    Great to see you back. The comments do hold a lot of value, don’t they?

    Hi Sara with an “h”,

    It’s so easy to get behind in our readers, isn’t it? Using the script and extension is a great way to save time. (see Lorelle’s comment)

  41. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rajaie,

    Your comment ended up in my spam folder. I just fished it out.

    That’s a good way to decide how to subscribe to other blogs. It’s important to show our appreciation to regular commenters.

    When you’re famous and have too many commenters, I hope you won’t forget your friends here at BWAB. :)

  42. Web DesignerNo Gravatar says:

    Im a bit late with all this considering my job but ive ot to get stuck in and help like this is always good.

  43. Petra NorrisNo Gravatar says:

    I find that the list view in Google Reader is a real life saver. It’s really quite possible to scan through about 30 posts within a matter of 30 minutes or so.
    .-= Check out Petra Norris´s awesome post: Promoting Local Business in Lakeland – Mitchell’s Coffee House =-.