If reading fewer blogs is healthy, what does that mean for craft bloggers?

13 Oct 2011

information overload

Image by verbeeldingskr8, via Flickr

This post was inspired by Elizabeth, who wrote beautifully this week about how reading fewer blogs can lead crafters to make more things and find more of their own original ideas. I love her post and completely agree. You might want to read it before you dive in here. I'll wait.

I think Elizabeth hits upon a big trend I've been seeing in the blogosphere – many of us are letting go of the impetus to "keep up."

When blogs came on the scene (about seven years ago, give or take), we approached them like we would approach any media at the time – we tried to read them all, so we'd be well-read and up to date.

Filter failure

Image by catspyjamasnz, via Flickr

That approach worked fine for a few years, but then seemingly everyone on the planet started a blog. Before long, we all had overstuffed RSS readers with hundreds (thousands?) of unread posts. We felt naggingly guilty. Guilt is not enjoyable, so many of us simply abandoned our feed readers. That's when social media took over. More and more of us just started looking at whatever interesting links floated through our field of view on Facebook and Twitter.

…And it turned out, this was okay. We found that we didn't need to keep up on everything after all, and that was a relief. Now, I think we're becoming much less likely to keep up on every post from any one blog, unless we feel we have some kind of personal connection with the blogger.

So where does this leave blogging? Is it dead?

Don't worry. Blogging isn't dead! But with this change in the way people read blogs comes some re-adjustment in the way we write them. That's the bit I want to talk about.

Information overload

Image by Jorge Franganillo, via Flickr

From keeping up to niche-ing down

OK, so we're in the post-keeping-up era. What does that mean for blogs and blog readership? I think it means that more of us will take Elizabeth's advice and weed out those overstuffed feed readers – or at least sort our feeds by priority, and focus on those we consider most important.

Those five words express a big idea: those WE consider most important. Remember, there is no blog in this world that everyone "has to" read. That's an old mass-media idea. The most important blogs in the world now are the blogs that speak directly to you – whatever they're about, and whoever writes them, are not important. The fact that you find them interesting and valuable is.

…And that means both good things and scary things for bloggers. On the one hand, there's potential for every blogger now to find a core group of readers. This is an easier landscape to be an authentic blogger in, actually – with readers becoming less loyal in general, you're free to share things that are truly meaningful to you. And as it turns out, these posts can be some of your most powerful.

On the other hand, as people let themselves off the blog-reading hook more and more, it's true that some of us bloggers will see our readership numbers decline.

Image by antwerpenR, via Flickr

Letting go of "bigger is better"

Now, I have yet to meet a blogger who doesn't want more readers and more comments. (The number one question I get is still "How do I get more readers?") Of course, the whole point of sharing writing and pictures publicly is so that people will witness us. But I think many of us share an unexamined assumption that it needs to be a whole lot of people, or somehow we aren't truly valid.

In the early days of blogging, we watched the original craft bloggers grow very large audiences, and I think that, consciously or unconsiously, many of us aspire to that model. But we need to remember that these blogs grew big with two important influences: there weren't as many blogs to read then, and blogging was a sexy new medium.

Today, I think it's more realistic to focus on the quality of your readership over its quantity. Would you rather have your blog read by someone who's actually interested in you, or would you rather have it scanned for a few seconds by someone who's only looking for visual inspiration? Are thousands of faceless subscribers more important than a handful of thoughtful, active commenters?

The answer to those questions is complex and depends entirely on your own goals for blogging. Which leads me to my next point…

Goal Setting

Image by angetorres, via Flickr

What the heck do you want out of this, anyway?

In my blogging classes and ebooks, one of the first things I ask my students to do is come up with a short list of their goals for keeping a blog. Any answer is valid – some want to practice writing and taking pictures. Some want to market a small business. Others want to grow a large audience that will help them attract the attention of a publisher. Some want to document their lives.

I think that, in the post-keeping-up era, it's more important than ever to be honest with yourself about what you really want to get out of blogging.

The more you understand what you want from blogging, the better you can see whether blogging is actually fulfilling for you. Not everyone is born to be a publisher. In the past six years, I've witnessed so many people starting personal blogs because it's what everyone was doing, and then wondering why those blogs aren't seeing fame and fortune.


Image by loop_oh, via Flickr

If fame and fortune is your goal, then you'll have to produce a blog aimed at a mass audience. In the post keeping-up era, that blog probably looks very, very different from a personal rumination on the small details on your daily life. (Unless, of course, you're a particularly poetic writer who has a knack for engaging a mass audience.) The point is, in the post keeping-up era, big audiences will happen less by chance and more by calculation.

If personal expression is your goal, then it saves you a lot of angst if you can let go of that old mythology about "big" bloggers, and trust that over time, your blog will find its own crowd of people who "get" it. Whether that's five people or five thousand really doesn't matter. Honestly, all that matters is that you're enjoying making the blog only you could make.

Keep Up the Good Work! Inspirational Quotes Qiqi Emma January 18, 20101
Image by stevendepolo, via Flickr

Let yourself off the hook from reading, but not from participating.

I'm actually happy about the post-keeping-up era. I think that the more feeds we try to keep up on, the more passive we have to get as readers. And that, sadly, takes the community sport of blogging and makes it look an awful lot like mass media.

Blogging is not mass media. It's conversation. You are a vital part of that conversation. If you find a blog post anywhere that really resonates with you, it's never been more important for you to leave a comment and let the blogger know. If bloggers must watch their readership numbers decline in the post keeping-up era, they should know that you're out there and you appreciate them. Elizabeth wrote beautifully about this, so I won't go into more detail.

All I'll say is: lurking is soooooooo 2007. You (and I, and everyone) are so incredibly lucky to live in this rich media environment, with amazing content being created every day and delivered to us at no charge. Is it so much to ask that we "pay" with a thank you?

thank you

Image by hellojenuine, via Flickr

To this day, I make a practice of commenting on at least one blog every single day – and more if I have time. I see commenting as fundamental to preserving the things that make blogging (and blog-reading) special.

I'd love to hear your thoughts: has the way you read blogs changed in recent years? If you keep a blog, has the way you write it changed? Do you feel the same way about blogging now as you did when you first started reading blogs?

And if you'd like some great tips on organizing/trimming your RSS reader from Elizabeth, read her follow-up post.



I'm just going to say thanks for this super article Diane to let you know that I've been here, read this insightful post, and am giving some thought to it all... Three cheers for sanity!

Wow this is a great post Diane. I recently decided to slim down my reader, I am glad other people are doing the same! There is a slight guilt feeling when I do it, now I feel better. And if I find I want to subscribe to a new blog, I make sure I delete one to bring one in. Just like when I buy clothes one new item in, one old item out.

I think the whole blogging world is changing, some good, some not so good. A lot of blogs are doing WAY too many sponsor posts or giveaways, and it is getting annoying. These are blogs I used to love to read because of their content, as I am sure all their loyal followers did too. But now it is just one big advertisement with no content and that is when I hit the unsubscribe. Oh and don't even get me started on the daily posts, or the two or three times a day daily posts, or the LONG drawn out posts...UGH! They drive me crazy! Do they really think they are the only blogs people read? It is conversation, and I am not a fan of long winded one sided conversations {hey wait! this conversation is getting long LOL} Even though I may like their content, I found it very daunting to see the amount of posts I was in store for...so I just unsubscribed. Out of sight out of mind is the way I looked at it.

It is like reading a book, like Elizabeth said, you can't read them all, but you sure can choose which ones you will find "turning the page" to be worth it.

I love that idea, Stephanie - one new blog in, one old blog out. And definitely, I am losing my taste for heavily-promotional content, too. I almost see a subtle shift back toward what blogging looked like at the beginning, when it was more personal and heartfelt. Perhaps we'll see a big divide emerging between promotion-oriented blogs and content-oriented blogs.

Thank you so much, Vicki! I totally share your opinion of feeds that display only a snippet of each post - I usually end up unsubscribing. I'll hazard a guess that others here feel the same way. :-)

i find that i go through stages where i am totally involved in others blogs and then nothing. i read nothing for a long time and i am soo far behind! Right now i am returning to my favorites and starting to look around for a few others.
i find i am able to keep up reading once a week--making sure i leave comments.

:-) Thank you for joining the discussion, Carla!

Hi Sister Diane,
I very much enjoyed your post and Elizabeth's. I just recently watched last year's Social Media Marketing 101 that you held via i heart art portland. i just started my small business and utilized all the advice I could get on etsy, and i unfortunately am behind the times. i had a fan page on facebook but that was it. so i signed up for twitter and set up an account with tumblr to have some sort of blog. thank you for the insights about blogging. i always thought that blogs were for the professional bloggers who did it for a living. It's still so new to me and i still struggle with the question of, "who really cares about what i have to say?". i never thought about a goal and what it is i am looking to get out of it. i just started one because i thought it was good marketing to have one. but then i felt like there was really nothing for me to post as per your advice, too much self promotion isn't a great idea. your post made me think of what i really want from the blog. i guess it's nice to have a place to talk about anything i want to, even if there's no one listening it's okay. so i suppose it's more of a vehicle to put my thoughts down "on paper".
knowing what i want to get out of my blog opened my mind to the many thoughts I have to share. thank you.

I think this is a very valid reason to have a blog, Sam, and in some ways, that approach becomes much more effective marketing for your work over time. It does take time and practice to find your blogging voice and build an audience, and that time curve gets longer the more crowded the internet gets. But stay with your enjoyment of the process for now, and let that part work itself out. It will!

What a great post, Lola - thank you for sharing it here. I'm glad to see these ideas spreading, because I want crafters to enjoy the online community, not feel overwhelmed by it. Your analogy about the current blogosphere resembling a great cocktail party and the original blogosphere resembling The Babysitters Club is very apt!

Thank you so much for this post. I came to your blog from link and am so glad I did. You make very good points. I definitely spend more time reading magazines and reviewing blogs than actually creating. It's interesting that I feel compelled to keep up with the blogs. I fear I'll miss something and in the end I miss it all because one great idea is followed up with another great idea. I end up remembering nothing and doing nothing. This is a very important post and one that will lead me to actually DO something - limit my blogs to only those I find truly inspirational.

Well-said, Michelle - that's exactly what happens when I read too much internet. One good idea crowds out another until there's no brain-juice left for making.

Hi again,
thanks for the encouragement. i snooped around your site more and found the continuation of Social Marketing 101.. 102. so i spent my morning learning all about being interesting and story arcs. great workshop. thank you again and if you even feel like seeing what you have encouraged, you can find me at www.teeneemi.com (it forwards to my tumblr)

Great, thought-provoking post. I find it surprising that some say, "I don't have a blog" with a sense of guilt or embarrassment. I would only start a blog if you really, really, super really, want to blog. For whatever reason you choose to blog, you definitely need motivation, energy and time.

In the past six months, I've culled (or is that curated) my blog feeds and am much quicker to unsubscribe. When I subscribe to something new, I think twice.

Very true, Tammy - although blogging was treated initially as something "everyone" should be doing, I'm becoming more and more convinced that it may instead require a particular kind of mindset - one that enjoys writing, editorial planning, and maintaining the practice. That really may not be everyone. And this is totally okay.

I love this.
Talk about helpful!

Wow, what a great question - I hope others will weigh in this one. I've experienced similar angst, Michelle - definitely! There are far more bloggers I love in the world than there are hours to read them all. Maybe you could set up a "once a month" folder in your RSS reader, and place these blogs there. Then, take a quiet Sunday morning or something once a month (or so) and check in with them. Even infrequent comments would surely be appreciated by these folks, right? And I daresay everyone understands what it means to be busy.

REally fascinated to read so many people experiencing the same. I still have guilt, though - I am almost scared to say this, but when I have made a friend in blogland, I tend to keep reading her blog, even when the content has changed and I am not really excited about the posts anymore. I still read and comment to give support to a person I have been following/interacting with forever. What to do in this situation - when I DESPERATELY need to reduce my time online?

I would think it depends on how genuine the friendship is. If you chat a lot with them on Twitter or somewhere else, I wouldn't feel badly about commenting rarely. If you are just blog acquaintances politely exchanging blog comments our of nicety, I'd start to back off. If you are not friends they won't miss you, and if you are, maybe you can be friends somewhere else? And like Diane said, everyone understands busy.

That's well-said! And a great point - I hadn't really noticed that I communicate most with certain people in specific places. I have Twitter buddies I chat with daily, but I don't really read their blogs. And I have blog buddies I chat with via comments, but I rarely chat with them on Twitter. And now, I have a few only-on-Google+ buddies.

I've noticed that I skim and scan a lot more these days. I read most of my blogs on my RSS feed, which is quicker but I do agree that it makes me more passive. I realised recently that I leave far less comments than I used to & I'm not overly happy about that.

I think my habits have changed partly because I'm now more used to the pace of things like Twitter and Pinterest. But I am still reading blogs on a daily basis.

Wonderful, thought-provoking post as usual, Diane. I started to write about how we could space our posts out and spend more time on 1 or 2 per week instead of feeling obligated to write 5...then I read more of the comments and realized I'm not the only one. it's working for me and my readers :)

More good thoughts. I see what you are saying- that is not only relieves your time/energy, but can be a relief to your readers. I had not thought of adding to their strain. Tho I have daily reads I love, partly b/c their regular output inspires/amazes me. Hmmm....

And I do think of it as my own mini-magazine, so thank you for the editorial comment.

Ah, the woman who started it all! :-) Thanks again for a well-expressed and important post, Elizabeth.

I had a section about the idea of blogging frequency in this post, but I ended up cutting it. I do think, though, that perhaps bloggers can get away with less-frequent posting at this moment in time. When I started blogging, the prevailing wisdom was to post every day, and that way, stay on your readers' radar. But nowadays, I hear from a fair number of blog readers that they appreciate having less to "keep up on" – their radars are always full. I've found that dropping to 2-3 posts per week has been a good move, both for my blogging energy level and my readers.

But, if daily blogging is enjoyable and meaningful to you, you should absolutely do it! And for the record, one of the things I love about your blog is that you think very editorially.

That's totally what Elizabeth talked about in her post - that "creme de la creme" tends to find its way to you through social media channels pretty efficiently. In a way, it's cool that social media happened because it gives us more than one way to enjoy what the web has to offer.

Ooh! *hastily composes thoughts* Two big ideas come to mind from that excellent comment...

First, here's why I think so many blogs have led to book deals, TV appearances, and etc. Traditional media, struggling for audience share so it can sell eyeballs to advertisers, sees a whole lot of eyeballs straying to blogs. So it throws some money at bloggers in the hopes that the audiences they influence will be drawn to the books, TV shows, and etc. I think it's tough to say whether that gambit has been successful or not.

And second, you point out something I find so challenging about blogging: there's no universal set of etiquette rules, so it's hard to create equal access to that blogosphere "currency." I comment all over the blogosphere, and there's no consistency to how bloggers respond. Sometimes I'll get a friendly email. Sometimes the blogger will pop by my blog and leave a comment. Sometimes nothing at all happens.

Can I ask you a question, though? I was going to pop over to your blog after typing this response and leave you a comment, but there seems to be no link from your comment profile that I can find. Do you leave your URL with your comments? Maybe people are having trouble finding you to reciprocate.

Thank you for this thoughtful comment - and in case I haven't expressed this, I do appreciate your insightful participation in the discussions here, always.

All comments are good comments. :-)

Bravo, Catherynne! I've only ever tried to maintain two blogs at a time, and each time I've done that, it's proven way too much work to connect with readers in both places. I'll bet that the blog you actually want will be amazing.

True confessions: I haven't looked at my Google reader account in 6 months, give or take.

I've been reading blogs, but I find new posts via twitter, Facebook, or G+ (or even better, emailed links from friends). My RSS feed just started to turn into a chore, full of "shoulds" and low-level guilt. Which sucked time and energy from stuff I'd like to do. So, I'm using social media to curate a fair amount of what I read, because I've found the coolest things through my friends there. I use an iPad app, Zite, to introduce me to a few new blogs based on my interests, too. Overall, I'm letting my blog reading "lean out", and I'm cool with that!

SUCH! a wonderful take on the topic! I had not really thought of the trend/need to down-size in this light.

Before I chat more though, thank you very much for the lovely mentions and links. And a blah, blah sick day it's very nice to have a mentor and friend tell you that you inspired them.

I could write a whole 'nother post in response to this! It's so good.

I blog almost daily because I love it and it's both hobby and purpose-driven for me. Though looking at the way I said I read and your comments on what that means for the writers, I wonder if I should keep that up? It is a lot to keep up even though I love it.

When Pinterest came out I knew it would affect some of the things that go on on Flickr, and maybe Tumbler too. I hadn't really thought what it meant for blogs until this post. A lot of crafty/design blog post reading is the search for eye candy, so Pinterest eliminates the need to follow so many blogs. I guess I pretty much said the same thing in my post when I commented that it brought out the creme de la creme of blog world. If a reader's main impetus is to get DIYs, and they don't have a relationship with you, there's not a lot of reason to follow blogs.

Of course, many of us still have or read for relational aspects, too, but the huge numbers you say are dropping are probably reflective of the eye-candy hunters.

This post inspires me to keep striving to be better and create the blog online that resides in my head. I have enough friends, though I am not opposed to more, so I'm okay with a few comments. And though blogging is a big hobby for me, it does have a couple purposes - to help sell my stuff soon and to help change the way people think, so I do want more traffic. Thank you for helping me think through these things yet again. :)

Here is a big Thank You! I have over the last couple of weeks 'unplugged.' It's been enlightening and I've been re-evaluating, and thinking probably way too much. But your post and the link to Elizabeth's post is a breath of fresh air.

What a great post! Very well-thought out and reasoned. I hadn't thought of regarding my blogs as conversation (yes, plural blogs). Your post has given me some invaluable clues as to how to reduce/consolidate them into something that fits what I actually want, rather than what I think I should want. Thank you :-)

My blog reading has changed, the result of Bloglines changing hands and half of my feeds being unable to crossover, the copying less than successful. The ones I truly miss I can still look up and add, as time allows.

I've blogged personal stuff to the angst and delight of my family, friends and a few stragglers for several years now. I never set out to become something bigger, and it irritates me some that blogging has been the gateway to everyone now has a book published and a series on the Food Network. Some things don't translate, and shouldn't be in my eyes.

You know what gets me? Comments -- the currancy of blogging. I'll leve comments (sometimes many, often) and never, ever receive anything in return. I try to make what I offer smart, honest and helpful and get zero in return. Now that is what turns me off to some writers -- their disregard for their audience.

Not you, of course!

Do you go back to check if bloggers reply to your comments on the original post, Liz?

I always do that on my blog (unless the comment specifically requires a private reply) and until I got a couple of emailed replies to blog comments I left on other peoples posts earlier this year it never even occurred to me that people might expect an email in response!

I don't know if I comment here (because I'm just nodding along, in agreement with everything), other than: Wow! A blog comment a day? Your blog might be the ONLY one I comment on! (then again, I don't think I read any craft blogs, really? Maybe 2 or 3 crafty posts a week?)

Or I could just say: Nice post!

I also liked Elizabeth's idea of designating offline times in your week. I'm currently terrible about this, but I know it would help me focus on more making. Nothing at all wrong with taking a step back and re-centering.

You know, I have seen a resurgence of email subscriptions to blogs in the past year. Email subs to this blog are starting to catch up to feed-reader subs.

Thanks for commenting!

Wow, commenting on every post you read is very ambitious! I wish I could do that, too, but then I'd never pay rent. :-/

Oh, I feel the guilt, with the thousands of unread posts in my reader. But I had to let go, and now I only read a couple every day. I do organise them into folders (and occasionally unsubscribe) but haven't managed to get them under control yet.
I used to comment on every post I read, but as I ran out of time, it became harder and harder, until somehow I've got to the point where I rarely comment. That'll have to be my new focus.

Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

For the past month, at least, I've very nearly stopped reading blogs and posting on my blog. I also cut down on twitter, pinterest and all of those. I just felt like I needed to regroup and actually make things. Like Elizabeth said, reading about crafts doesn't actually mean you make anything. I still want to continue blogging, etc., I just feel like I need to have a plan/purpose first.

The blogs that I do read now are Seth Godin's (through email) and the blogs of people on twitter and forums who I like. I pretty much just ignore my feeds now.

I've changed the goal behind my blog a couple of different times but I'm still enjoying it. I think I have nine followers now? But that's okay, because I started it for me and it keeps me on task.

I like your idea behind commenting on at least one thing a day. I'll keep that in mind!

See, that's awesome, Michelle! I think comments are becoming a bit of an endangered species overall. Every one is precious. Like this one! Thank you so much for commenting!

First of all, THANK YOU for another thought provoking post.
Second, I want you to know that I clicked over here from my email to comment because I enjoyed the content of the post. Also, I appreciate your allowing the full post in email so that I can read without following links. As you can see, well written content will get a comment even if you put the whole post in your feed. :) Posting only a snippet of a post seems to be a common way bloggers are trying to entice readers to visit their blogs and I find it too time consuming. Unless it's a headline/description that really grabs me... I'm not going to take the time. But that's probably another convo for another day.
Anyway, I'm glad to see this topic as it's something I've given much thought to lately. I moved my blog from typepad to a self hosted site back in May and I've spent the summer sitting on my butt trying to re-build my readership. I've succeeded to an extent but seem to be stalled... and I've decided that it's really not that big of a deal to me. I WRITE because I like to, I MAKE because I like to and I'll continue to do it if I only have 3 readers. I'm tired of sitting here all day and making less. Glad to see that I'm in good company. :)

That's so kind, Jess - thank you!!

I think it's important to respect the fact that we all have different styles of blogging, reading blogs and thinking about blogging. There is room for many differing perspectives here, and although it's easy to assume we know what other people are thinking or feeling, usually we don't have the whole picture.

p.s. I like regular bloggers and long involving posts. Otherwise what is the point? If I like them I want to her what they have to say and show, why do I want the experience over quickly? It is choice to have it at all so I want it to be worthwhile. Some of the commenters here sound like they don't like what they read. So don't bother then! No one twists your arm do they?

I really don't get all the angst! I don't have a blog but I am an avid blog reader. I don't follow anyone, I don't subscribe anywhere. I don't join stuff. However, I read heaps of them - the ones I like that is. I have favourites; sometimes I go off them, while some I have loved for about 3 years now. Some I comment on every blog post. Some I comment on if I need to. I am a very responsive person so I comment a lot. I only read blogs I like. I've looked at hundreds and most are just not that interesting. Some hold my attention and I come back again and again and again. It's for different reasons; sometimes it's the personality (rare), often it is content - the writing and/or pictures. I am interested in a quality product and there is some great talent out there. There are also blogs that bore the pants of me (and apparently them too as they don't do it very often, I wonder why they started a blog at all. Perhaps it is envy and hope that they can replicate the rewards that writers of successful blogs can achieve - rewards that can be book deals, increasing business, or even simply gaining self respect and friendship. However, some people are not prepared for the level of work involved to keep up a good blog, which I imagine is huge).

I am inspired by craft blogs in a way that is different and better than anything else. I find the content more visually stimulating than most books and certainly craft magazines. Yes, there is the time element spent on blogs when you could be crafting - in theory anyway - however, without that stimulus and inspiration I don't think I would bother. It's just a natural balance. Why would you feel you have to read stuff? Unless it is all about cliques and impressing people and getting them to like you. Perhaps it's different if you don't have a blog. I don't, because I really don't care if people listen to me or not, it is unimportant to me. I think blogging ultimately IS for show offs. But that's OK, as some people have talent and style worth showing off. These are the ones I frequent. That's all. No others. I don't get why you would. Reading blogs is a wholly satisfying thing for me. I interact regularly and appreciatively with those I do in fact appreciate. I don't do what I haven't got the time or inclination for.

Thanks for stopping by, Scott! I think we'll see a "bubble" of reliance on the big aggregator sites, and then a smaller "bubble" of people turning away from those to follow a few carefully-chosen bloggers. I think there's room for both approaches, and I think the reading audience will tend to gravitate to one of these two camps.

I think there's still tremendous value in good curation, and people who can consistently find high-value, relevant stuff to share with their audiences will be appreciated. but even then, I think there's a big difference between throwing a whole lot of good stuff at readers and giving them a manageable stream of only the most valuable and relevant.

...But the aggregators have to get content from somewhere! And that's where bloggers come in. :-)

I use a similar filing system for my feeds ... definitely ranked by priority. Most of the time, the lower priority feeds don't get any eyeball time from me. I've also started culling my twitter. At first I sub'd everyone and had a "select" list which is who I actually followed. I guess I thought it was "polite" to follow people back when they followed me. But lately I've been unfollowing if all I ever see is info that doesn't delight or inform me. I still don't have the jist of G+. I don't think I'm much of a social media person. My biggest challenge has always been to define what I want out of my blog. The short answer is "Everything" ... ha! ... I think I need a longer, more focused answer. :) xoxo! Great post, Diane!

Your timing couldn't be more curious for this: I just deleted everything from my blog feeds and did over with far fewer and with those that I truly connect with be it because they are/have been mentors, bloggers who I consider friends, artist's I admire and want to support even if just as a reader of their blog (if not financially), or those who simply inspire by what they do. Now I feel a whole lot more refreshed and clear thinking, but it is a constant battle to not slip into old ways but be consistant in my new habits.

Wonderful post... I blog for myself, and the comments and readers are a glorious bonus. However, with a new job and a longer commute, I'd felt myself getting guiltier by the day about not keeping up with blogs I followed, or I'd read all the posts in my reader, stay up too late doing it, and not make anything myself or post on my own blog in the process.

Then I realised it was supposed to be fun! So now I read what interests me the most, comment whenever I can (not as often as I'd like as I can't from work, and most of my reading is done on my google reader during my lunch hour) and value the growing conversations, relationships and friendships that are growing from blogs and social media.

Thank you for affirming it's not just me!! :) (and you're now in my google reader too!)

Carla x

I read your response to Elizabeth's post just now, after I blogged my own response (which can be found here: http://www.herowntwofeet.com/2011/10/on-blogging-babysitters-club/) So much of what we both said echoed each other! I think it bodes well for the blogging community that we see the same (or similar) goals for our community in the long run.