Monday, March 18, 2013

Minutia About Me: How I follow

This in all truth has nothing to do with my Quilter's Public Service Announcement post from yesterday. This post has actually been sitting in Draft format for a long time but now it seems like this is an appropriate time to finish it up and post it live.

Like everyone else, I find new blogs to check out through Blog Hops, by seeing what blogs other quilters follow, through links in posts and through features by publications and online shops. Some of the blogs that I have been following the longest I discovered during the Wantobe Quilter Campaign that was at Sew We Quilt.

When I come across a new blog that looks interesting and that I want to learn more about, or if it is a blog that requires me to be a follower to enter their giveaway, I click on the "Join This Site" button and complete the process to become a follower. I'm sure this is pretty much how everyone else does this too.

What I want to talk about next is what I do after this. This certainly isn't rocket science but I use a method that has become my norm. Not withstanding the problems I have had in the past with Google Reader (and actually in spite of them), I continue to follow new blogs for at least 3-4 months if not longer, to learn about the blogger and his/her style, what they like to write about, if they offer any good information or tutorials that I'm interested in or if they are just fun to stalk follow. Hopefully it is an active blog that continues to hold my interest.

A couple of time a year I go through and unsubscribe from the blogs that just aren't my cup of tea. I'm not saying that they aren't great blogs but likely they don't have content that holds my attention. I remember one in particular that I believe is pretty popular and while she does quilt, she was actually posting more about recipes than her sewing projects and I really don't need more recipes. I know and am confident that I give each and every one of them a fair testing. From being on the other side of the pen I know that my blog isn't going to be for everyone and so I don't feel bad for unsubscribing from blogs that aren't for me.

This method may not be what everyone else does but it is what I do and what works for me. Every blogger works hard to provide content that her/his readers will enjoy and those that offer giveaways to celebrate something or just because they want to truly hope that each new reader to her/his blog gives them a fair chance to earn their continued following. More and more lately when I come across a new-to-me blog on a blog hop that is hosting a giveaway and becoming a follower is a requirement to enter, I do a quick scan of the most recent posts to get a feel for the blogger and their style before I even consider joining and then entering the giveaway. I already have a lot of blogs that I follow and I'm trying to be a bit more selective in the ones that I add to my list. Being a follower makes no sense to me if I don't have enough time to keep up with them all.

"Meeting" new online quilty friends is great. This community has given to me more than I could ever give back to others. I learn something from each and every one of them and I'm continued to be amazed and inspired by what I see online. But I know that if I continued to grow my reading list without any way to just keep the ones most interesting to me, I'd spend more time on the computer reading than actually sewing and that my friends just would not do!

However you choose to follow blogs is totally up to you but I do hope that you give each and every new-to-you blog a long enough testing time period before you elect to unsubscribe. You never know what great things you'd be missing out on.

5 of you added your own colorful comments:

Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD said...

Oh I love your post. I particularly enjoy following new blogs with few followers, I like to watch them develop and grow and I know how much I appreciate every new follower.

I'm always put off by giveaways (never offered one myself) it seems to be a technique used to quickly build a following - personally I just want people to follow if they like what I write.

Additionally, if someone follows me then I follow them back (sometimes this is tricky as not everyone links their blog to their Google Friend Connect profile!) - I like to get to know my followers better, it tells me a lot about my own style and who my audience is. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

Rachel said...

I pretty much do the same thing...although when Google continued to return to me the blogs I had left I ended up putting them all in the same folder and just marking it as "read" every day. As you know I am running Feedly and Bloglovin to see which I like best (strictly as a reader). So far Bloglovin seems to be the one I keep going to first.

Katie said...

As a person that directly reads every blog I follow (not through any reader because i like to leave comments -- as you know they can be lengthy) I can appreciate what you are talking about here. My problem now is there are a few blogs that I have repeatedly tried to unfollow (through the google reader) and for some reason can't seem to get them off my follow list. I noticed that three of the ones I am trying to remove are sites outside of blogger. Do you have any tips? I also wish there was a way to group blogs together into categories (kinda like on Facebook with your friends lists where you can see all your family in a group) so if I am strapped for time I read the ones most important to me first. There might be a way I'm just not super savvy at this yet.

Needled Mom said...

Another good post on following. I'm giving Bloglovin a try and see how I like it before the big change.

Judy1522 said...

Excellent post as I have been struggling with this very thing. I need to work on weeding out some of the blogs that I follow that are turning out not to be that relevant to me. When I first started reading blogs about a year ago I did not have a clue how many were out there and I just added everyone to my list. Now I realize I should have been a little more selective and need to take on the task of deleting some. As far as giveaways go I love them and have won some amazing things but I have finally stopped entering every one I come across. I have even stopped trying to go to every site in a blog hop as it is just too much. I really appreciate your insights on this.