This is the fifteenth installment of Barren Advice. You can ask questions that are fertility or non-fertility related.
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Currently, I have 540 unread posts in my google reader. I feel guilty every time I open it. I feel guilty when I go to one of the blogs I follow and I am behind by a dozen or more posts. Sometimes important things have happened and I have missed them. Sometimes they have come to my blog to support me and I follow the comment back to find I have been gone too long. I have come up with a few thoughts on where to go from here, but I want your advice.
1) Tell everyone I read to stop posting so much. Not more than one post / week.
2) Go through my list and get rid of everyone I don't keep up with and who doesn't keep up with me. I have tried this one and found I am still interested even if I am behind, but maybe I can be more brutal.
3) Become more of a lurker and less of a commenter. But then, what is the point?
4) Stop adding new blogs to my reader - doesn't really help the current situation.
5) Mark all the posts as read and start over - a temporary solution at best.
6) Randomly select one blog / week to completely get caught up on. I feel that if I am going to follow a blog, I should follow it - and comment. Of course this will never solve the problem. It would take more than a year to visit each blog only once. Ug.
You know what is sad? I tend to cover the blogs at the top of my reader better than the ones at the bottom. So if a blog is a DE blog (in a DE folder so at the top) it is more likely to get read than one in "favorites" and if the name of the blog falls farther down in the alphabet, less likely still.
What do I do? What do other people do?
--Kami from The Other Side
We declare blog bankruptcy and start again, tabula rasa. Or we beat ourselves up about it, never actually returning to read through the list until it grows to such epic proportions that Google itself writes us to ask us what is up. Or we start making huge plans on how we're going to get an organized system and set aside a half hour for blog reading each evening and then never actually implement it.
That's what other people do.
The reality is that life moves quickly--whether it is online or offline. Friends that I didn't chat with last week entirely missed out on the twins' health scare. And unless they happen to read my blog, they will probably never know about it. It rocked our world and was this huge focus for many days. Some people were sucked into it and some people missed it entirely. It is not a statement as to the closeness of the relationship--though certainly, our close friends knew because we speak with them frequently--but more about the speed of life. There is just too much information--shifting and changing information--to keep up with and still live your own life.
I think the answer is to form two groups: a core group that has your focus and a peripheral group that gets infrequent comments and read at irregular intervals--just as you probably have a core group of friends that are always up-to-date on your life (within reason) and some that miss out on things; even the big things. It isn't a statement about their blog or their writing but simply who you connect with the most--where you draw support and where you want to place your support. The ones on the edge, they're still inside your life. You'll keep up with them as best you can.
This probably wasn't the answer you were expecting since community means more to me than anything. And part of being in this community is reading and commenting. Still, as a community grows, what worked in the beginning may no longer work down the road. In order to keep up with more people, something has to give and that may be commenting for some, putting a cap on the number of blogs for others, or simply choosing a new method for reading.
It's funny because my Reader also filled over the weekend and I took a break in the middle of writing this to prune. To read and comment, but also to erase a few posts (I am so sorry, Baker's Banter...the granola bars did look good) off of feeds I want to keep. Because, like you, with the speed of which people post, the desire to keep up with many, and the reality of time constraints--the damn thing is always full.
I think the thing I would most like to know is how people view receiving specific comments from specific people vs. comments in general. I think everyone enjoys knowing their words have been heard or getting feedback on their thoughts. But do they note who is specifically commenting, do they miss the words of specific people who they know are still following their blog (because they comment infrequently or because they've mentioned that they're reading the blog on Google Reader)? And how do they feel about those people when an event passes and they don't get a comment?
No really, the beauty of a blog advice column is that you get to weigh in with your two cents too. Let the questioner know if you support the advice, add to the response, or dispute it completely.
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