slimming down my blog following

Many of you have recommended Bloglovin' after I asked on Facebook about options other than Google Reader. I love Google Reader because I love my iGoogle homepage, but in November 2013 it will be no more, so I needed another suggestion. 

The annoying task of manually adding each and every blog to my Bloglovin' feed got me thinking about blogs I read.
What I like about them, what I don't. What makes me follow a blog I know little about, and what makes me pass one up. Why I follow blogs and why I don't.
So in the end, I'm glad Bloglovin' didn't have an obvious way to add all the blogs I already follow on Google Reader (though that would be a good idea for them to come up with!), because it got me reevaluating. 

How I choose blogs:
Unless they come recommended by trustworthy sources, or I know the author, I'm pretty vain.
If a blog isn't nice to look at I generally won't read it. It sounds silly but my eyes are resting on more than the words when I read a blog. My eyes are resting on font, images, layout, etc. And if it's not easy on the eyes, I usually pass it up. I think it can be telling about how much I'd enjoy the blog too, if the blog in question was a DIY/decorating blog - because if their blog isn't my "style" their projects likely won't be either. And style is so subjective. There's no right or wrong here, just what I like and don't.

So, what I love in a blog,[at first glance]
  • pretty, simple, layout. no clutter.
  • a few fonts at most. too many is hard on my eyes.
  • readable font! cursive writing, light colours, or italics are all really hard for me to see.
  • quality pictures. high resolution, easy to see, blown large.
  • labels of topics discussed. a quick glance shows me if the blog talks about things I care about.
Now, what I love in a blog, [a bit deeper]
>>Because not all great blogs have most or any of the above mentioned qualities, and I still read them because of this:
  • posts about topics I'm currently interested in (in no particular order): Motherhood, Christianity, Relationships, City Living, Church Planting, Theology, Decorating/DIY, Cooking/Baking, Crafts
  • fun writing style. I don't read blogs the same way I'd read a newspaper or book. I don't care about grammar or proper sentence structure or literary rules when I'm reading blogs, I care about the story I'm reading. 
  • similar mindset. While I engage with people on a daily basis who don't share my views, when I'm reading a blog, it's usually to relax and unwind. Brad recently encouraged me to limit reading some  blogs that I disagreed with because often I would leave reading feeling defensive and frustrated. That's my own sin issue, but I'm choosing to do what I can to limit the temptation.
  • an author who will challenge me. spur me on. encourage me. This is usually in the more spiritual and theological blogs I follow, but is also found a great deal in the blogs I read about all topics.
Some blog pet peeves:
  • small, low quality pictures
  • fonts I can't read
  • this is a BIG one... when blogs have music playing in the background. I can't turn it off fast enough - even if I like the song, it's just not my thing.
  • too much advertising. I don't mind some - most blogs I read have sponsors - but too much makes me feel like a customer.
Based on that criteria, I still have a LOT of blogs on my reader, so I tend to give a blog a probationary period. If I don't LOVE the blog after a few weeks, it's gone. And every blog I add to my reader I try to delete one, to keep things limited. It may sound overboard, but I tend to be pretty picky about all the media I take in, and blogs definitely are media and can become too consuming. 

Right now I'm trying to delete at least five blogs, so I'm going through their most recent 10 posts. If I'm not really impressed, encouraged, inspired by any, I'll delete those. Some blogs I've been reading for 3 years now, and they'll probably stay for the long haul. Many blogs I've added on a whim because they met the "at first glance" criteria, but they may not stand the test of time. 

How do you choose your blog (or book, TV, movie) intake?
What makes you love/hate a blog?

1 comment:

  1. Too funny, I was thinking about this today! My pet peeve is a blog whose author posts anything that comes to their mind without filtering, and when I read a post I can tell the author just typed out on a whim and clicked post... No evaluating what they said, how gently or offensively they said it, or (my biggest issue) how they spelled it!