Monday, February 6, 2012

Refreshing the blog...

So I know I haven't posted a whole lot, but I've been working on some new posts over the last few days and I've come to realize that I'm kind of tired of how my blog looks. In the last year or so I've spent more time READING blogs than I have maintaining one and I think it's probably time for a refresh.

Here's the thing. Most of my blog reading is done through Google Reader and I LOVE it. It enables me to keep up with over 700 blogs. Yes, 700 blogs. Most of them are food, parenting, craft or DIY blogs, with a healthy dose of stitching thrown in there. Do I read every single word of every single blog post? No. I am a fast reader anyway - always have been. And I do admit to scrolling through posts quickly if the subject matter doesn't interest me or apply to me.

GOOGLE READER TIP: Using the "J" and "K" keys, you can quickly scroll forwards and backwards through posts. Click "J" for the next post, "K" for the previous post.

But back to using a Reader for blog feeds. I wonder how many people do this, and how many people visit the actual blog. I've been reading blogging articles on page views and things of that nature, and apparently reading through a feed doesn't contribute towards page views, which in turn, enable bloggers that monetize their blogs to make more money. I realize in the stitching community, there are very few, if any, bloggers that make money from their blogs themselves. (I'm not talking about stitchers that make money through their craft or finishing services). And some of you reading this are thinking, "What ON EARTH is she talking about?" Let me clarify a little.

My question is - do you visit the blogs you read on an individual basis, and if so, how do you do it? Do you have a list of bookmarks you go through, one by one? How often do you do this - daily? weekly? Or do you use a reader and click on each blog to go to the blog itself when there is new content - or stay in the reader? How many blogs do you read / subscribe to - stitching and otherwise?

I don't care about money or page stats, at least as far as my blog is concerned. I am never, ever going to make money on this blog - the market is not big enough and that's not really my goal anyway. If I can be a member of a helpful, interesting, informative community focused on a craft that I love doing, that fulfills my goal for this blog. I'm just wondering how other stitchers approach blogging and blog reading and trying to figure out what would work as I think about re-working my blog, so thank you in advance for your help!


Blu said...

I use Google Reader and visit the blog if I have to make a comment. If there is a way to comment while in GR I'm haven't figured it out.

If there is a giant paragraph of text, I'll read the first few sentences and keep going if it sounds interesting, but skim if I'm not too interested.

At last count I subscribed 476(!) blogs, mostly cross stitch, but some other needlework.

debijeanm said...

Great questions and opportunity for me to reflect on what I do with my blog as well. Thanks.

I don't use a reader, only check on the blogs I link to in my sidebar. I know that I spend too much time on the computer (when I could be stitching)as it is so I don't actively seek out new blogs to get hooked on. (A friend has invited me to pinterest which makes me quake in fear.)

I do use three different tracking services because I enjoy seeing where people drop in from. The process is interesting, especially since each tracker picks up different visitors. statcounter seems to be the most accurate (it gets most of the hits that the other two do plus some.) What is most interesting to me about that process is how a "hit" can track to some isolated forest region on the globe; I assume that the tower is one a mountaintop somewhere. And I still haven't figured out how someone can be checking in from Atlanta, GA but be visiting in CA time.

Anyway, like I said, I have just a few "friends" I check in on. I enjoy the connection, even if they aren't showing what they're working on. It's a comfort to know that I'm not the only one with a life that sometimes gets in the way.

Sharon said...

I use Google reader, I have a total of 569 blogs currently. Mostly cross stitch, food and adoption blogs. If I want to comment I go directly to the blog. I skim a lot as I don't like super long posts. Short and sweet is my favorite.

Dee L said...

Such an interesting question. I'm coming back to see more answers. I read about 80 blogs using Google Reader--some of which I "follow." I usually stay in GR because I spend way too much time online reading as it is. If I went to each blog, it would be forever! I go to the blog when I want to comment, when a freebie is offered or something catches my eye. I do love the blogs for all the extras that people put in the sidebars. Sometimes I go to blogs to find other blogs to read or subscribe to. I just can't imagine having a blog of my own though since I'm a slow stitcher, but I do love looking at yours!

Anna van Schurman said...

Reader, only visit to comment. And I have no idea how many blogs are in the reader. But I'm taking more off as they 1) bore me or 2) use semicolons in place of apostrophes (etc.)

Vickie Niggemann said...

I use Reader and click on most blogs. I do this daily. c:

Shebafudge said...

I have all the blogs I follow - which is quite a lot in my sidebar and as they are updated I go and read them. I normally have a read every day so there are not loads to catch up on.

I find it hard to sit and read long posts that aren't broken up either into paragraphs or with photos between.

I don't know much about google reader I'm afraid.

Rachel S-H said...

I check the ones on the side of my blog, then use the reader Blogger provides.

Lynn said...

I use Google reader to read my blogs and only visit the ones I want to comment on. I'm currently only subscribed to about 200 so it's fairly manageable at this point. I do have regulars that I comment on pretty well all the time and others that I also tend to skim through. The majority are cross stitch blogs but there are a few cooking blogs in there as well.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to master google, I have everything set up on blogger as a reading list , when someone posts it shows up. I always go to the blog, because what if they have a new background? I would miss it.

Maureen said...

I'm a google reader person myself - and am constantly behind in reading but that still doesn't stop me from adding more subscriptions ... only visit the actual blog to comment. I would rather read two or three short posts than one long one, just switch off halfway through otherwise. Not too fussed what peoples background looks like as I never see it...

C in DC said...

I use reader and only click through to comment. A few stitchers have their blogs set up so only the first few lines show up in Reader. If those lines interest me, I'll click through, otherwise I'll move on. Your views comment explains why they do this, but I've always found it to be annoying.

Anonymous said...

I use a standalone reader (i.e. not Google) for keeping track of blogs. I keep them grouped in folders, so I can read all the new craft posts at once, then all the book-blog posts. I hate to think how many feeds I have, but I'm trying to trim them down so I have time to get things done outside of the internet!

Susan said...

I use Google Reader mainly because I have a large number of blogs I follow as well. However, I recently installed the Google Reader tool thingie (don't know what it's called) on my tool bar, and it will take you to each blog in order of posts. That way you can see the actual blog, and easily leave posts. It is a little more time consuming, as each page has to load, but that I like being able to leave comments easier, especially during the WIPocalypse.

liniecat said...

Interesting questions and answers there! What makes a blog readable enough to drop in and maybe comment too I suppose as well?
I have a digest list on GR and mostly go on blog to read properly, whether I comment or not.
I dont always comment to be fair but do get an overview before I leave.
Ive chatted about all sorts and sometimes my lead header probably doesnt cover all I rattle on about lol But I do try and include pics or examples of my work or links, because thats what I like to see, it gives me a handle/likely understanding about the blogger Im following or dropping in on myself somehow.
Im not interested in moneterising my blog, dont really understand it anyway and besides I really like the friendly associations I have with some of the blogs I follow.
Im positive afew of us have alot in common, despite distances between us and our different lives, its not unlike the 'penfriends' of my youth in a way lol but now cyberfied!
But all the blog folks I follow have interesting ideas, skills and are generous. They share and exchange and help each other. Thats exactly what Id hoped I might achieve in a blog.
Im a people person and being able to help others get over a crafty
(or personal if needs be)hurdle, or support someone in any way, is just rather nice.
I dont need to count stats, or have a reward, its a distance friendlyness, maybe paying it forward, not sure, but I find it reassuring that theres this element of Creative kinship out there in a world that sometimes leaves us worried!
It never occured to me that 'hits' could be tracked back to an isolated forrest as debijeanm explained but it does make sense if its tower someplace to connect cyberwaves!
See! you learn something every even catching up on comments is worth it in case you miss something! lol
Good luck with the reworking!

Cindy said...

I use Google Reader, and only visit a blog to comment. I have too many subscriptions, so am working on removing most of them!