Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Looking For A Lifeline


As part of my recent interview on blogging with Societe Amore, I was asked if I was "addicted to blogging".  I didn't think I was, but I honestly said I checked my blog and email multiple times throughout the day.  I thought it was no big deal.

That interview was done before I went out of town for five (painfully long) days with limited Internet access.  It was one of those non-stop, whirlwind trips, but despite 18 hours days, blurry-eyed, I still squeezed in at least an hour a night to "check-in" with the blogosphere.  

Busted!  I'm addicted.  

Or am I?

I realized I was not so much addicted to checking my blog, I was addicted to checking yours!  Since my time was limited on the trip, my frustration rose as I tried to figure out the most efficient way to read blogs.

Here's my dilemma.  Before I started blogging, I'd spent a sum total of 15 minutes in the blog world!  Translation:  I didn't have a clue how things worked.  So every time I found a new blog I enjoyed, I clicked on whatever link, bookmark, subscription or follow button (if any) they offered, so I could revisit them.  Now I have several different lists, with over 200 great blogs that I read regularly, but no easy way to keep track of them!  

Even though I use the "favorite blogs" gadget on my own blog, with a short list of faves, 200 favorite blogs is way to many for that feature, isn't it?  The page would scroll for a mile.  

You might have noticed, from my previous posts, that I'm usually freakishly organized, but I'm also one of those people who can't remember names but I recognises faces. Well, in blogging, as you know, it's multiplied ten fold.  I remember photos, user names and blog names but I can't remember who goes with what.  It's making me nuts!

So, my dear blog friends, am I missing something when it comes to tracking favorite blogs and their owners?  Is there one universal way to keep track, a secret handshake I need to learn, or a simple step in the equation that I'm missing?  I really need your help. Otherwise I might miss you, lose you, or end up in the loony bin for stressed out blog addicts.

How do you keep track of your favorite blogs?

PS--  To thank you in advance for your advice, here's a tip for you....
This might sound crazy, but here's a recipe for the greatest hard boiled eggs I've ever tasted!  You'll be happy you tried it!  xo

Welcome to The Fifty Factor  -  Joanna

36 comments:

Hit 40 said...

I too struggle with keeping track of my favorite blogs. I do keep a bookmark of about 20 that I would be very sad if I missed their posts. They are great bloggie friends.

It's also hard to know who dropped you from following. I do not want to leave comments on someones site who dropped me. They obviously do not like me. I don't want to bother them. I try to clean things up once in a while on my blog reader.

Holly said...

Okay, Oh Snarky One, the eggs? Been following that for quite awhile. Martha Stewart says the ratio is 1 minute to 13 and then shocked so, I'd say they come out about the same.

For those who don't know? If you have a hard boiled egge with a gray or green line surrounding the yolk? You cooked them WAY TOO LONG!

Now, you who must be organized? Go back to my blog, and look for my pal, Ribbon's blog, Fragments, Treasure, Memories, and go there to see how she managed this embarrassment of riches!

Might work for you...and if it does? I expect a prize? If it doesn't? I still expect a prize.

ticklishfromadistance said...

I am so computer naive. I had the geek squad here yesterday and in 15 minutes they showed me how to do things I had no clue were available to me. I would love to know some wonderful tips.

Mari said...

I am just like you! I did the same thing when I started blogging and collected lots of blogs to read. Then I spent a lot of time just checking them to see if they had updated. A blogging friend alerted me to Google reader. You already have an account because of your blog so you can use the same sign in for the reader. You can put the blogs you read into the subscription part. Then when you check it, it will say which of those blogs have a new post up. You can put blogs into different categories, like family, favorites, new... It has really helped me!

Joanie M said...

Oh I am majorly addicted to blogging! I check mine numerous times a day and look to see who has recently submitted anew entry. If someone doesn't post in several months, I usually delete them to make room for newer ones.

I have mine set up so the newest entries are first.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Really good questions. I hope you do a follow up post with the best advice.

The follower device will let you follow up to 200 blogs. I use that. I also bookmarked blogs back when I started (before I learned how to follow)so those blogs tend to be my bloggie friends I've had for a long time. If I'm short on time I go straight to the bookmarked list.

I'm with Hit 40. I wish I could figure out how to tell when someone stops following me who it is so I don't bother them when they are trying to sever the virtual relationship.

Cindy La Ferle said...

Joanna, I try to rotate my blog roll, as it can get incredibly long. Out of courtesy, if someone lists me on their blogroll, or asks me to include their link, I always do. My blogroll got way too long for the design of my home page, at one point, so I've been trying to trim and rotate, adding or exchanging new ones occasionally, especially when interesting new friends leave comments on my site.
Along those lines, if people regularly leave comments on my blog, I am more inclined to visit them, so that's an auto reminder for me.
It's a big world out there in cyberspace, and I understand what you mean about how difficult it is to organize these lists.

anne h said...

I like to blog and I look forward to it everyday...despite the fact that I once thought it was "other people" --- not me
Love reading your blog. You always get good comments, too!

Flartus said...

Me, I limit the blogs I read regularly. Every once in a while I'll find a fantastic new one through another blog I like, but it has to be extra special for me to "follow" it. (Guess what? You qualify!)

So that would be my first suggestion, and then as Mari said, use the follow feature in Blogger to see what's been updated. And I too am more likely to check blogs of frequent commenters.

It's like friends...I'm happier with 3 or 4 really close friends than a gaggle of 50 folks I can't keep up with and constantly feel guilty about neglecting!

Green-Eyed Momster said...

After only blogging for 4 months, I took a test that said I was 85% addicted to blogging. My family started calling me the Bloginator! I still have it bad but I'm finding a balance. I have about 73? blogs in my reader and I just go down that. I'm still able to keep my you-know-what out of house. I meet new people everyday and that keeps it interesting. I think that we meet the people we are supposed to meet. Hint, hint...
The way I see it now is, why read fiction when you can read blogs? Most people are real and really funny! I don't watch much TV either so it's how I spend my spare time. I still do housework on occasion and I keep up with the laundry. Besides, the typing keeps me at 50+ WPM!!

Hugs!!

Betty said...

I have many blogs I read as well. But it has slowly grown. First I bookmard a new blog I`ve found and add it to my reader. I read it for a while and if I still like it I become a follower. Then it`s automatically added to my other blogs I`m following.
How to remember names? I think that comes with time. You become familiar with that person`s blog and slowly you remember the name as well. Currently I have 125 subscribtions, but from time to time I delete some, that I feel no connection with. I think everyone changes with time and your interests change with it.
Your blog is currently one of my new favorites! :)

Chris said...

I use Google Reader and have managed to follow around 100 blogs. I week them out every so often, because the reality is, I can only spend so much time on the computer [like everyone]. I have no idea how many people choose to follow me, but I follow the blogs that I like and the bloggy friends who have been consistently supportive of my goofy creative efforts.

It's difficult. I understand!

darnold23 said...

I know the feeling! I probably actually read more blogs off of google reader than I do off of my blog list. If they are on my blog list for any lenghth of time, it means that I check on them frequently - maybe not every day, but periodically. I've been looking at trying to do something differently, but haven't really found a good solution yet. I'll be checking on you to see if you find the perfect way to handle this.

diane said...

I've come to look at my blog buddies as friends, so I keep my list short. If I'm scrinched for time, I only check in with my absolute favorites.
Thanks to blogging, I have a variety of opinions right at my fingertips. I've learned a lot, like that hard boiled egg recipe. xo

Beth said...

I am sporadic and random in how I keep up with the blogs I want to read. I always feel like I am a day late and a dollar short.

Maggi said...

And this is the reason I have two blog lists on my blog! lol I try to always keep up with those that update on a regular basis. Then I'll try to scroll through the list of blogs I'm following to see if I missed anyone. lol It is definitely a time consuming task but this is one of my main hobbies for sure so I've stopped feeling guilty for how much I do it! LOL Thanks for the recipe link, I'm going to check that out!

LadyFi said...

My first priority is to get back to all those who leave me comments. Then I go down my bookmarks and check out others...

You can use something like Bloglines to keep everything in order as an RSS feed can get very long.. but at least it helps you see who has updated.

grannyann said...

I use Blogger Dashboard: http://www2.blogger.com/home
and after I have clicked on a site that I am going to follow them I go here and click on add and it lets me add the persons URL, etc. Then I keep my dashboard on the tab Blogs I'm Following and All blog updates. this way it lists them all and when ever someone updates their blog the first name and first few lines of the post show up and I know to click on it and it takes me there so I can read the whole post.

Google reader has a similar deal but I prefer the blogger one.

Alix said...

First of all, Joanna, how did I get so lucky to have you visit Casa Hice and follow me??? You are a blogging Rock Star for cryingoutloud.

I subscribe to everyone's blog I come across because in my bloggy mind that is a nice courtesy to bestow. it looks awesome to have lots of little "squares "following you. Kind of elevates you into thinking you are special and loved. But to me, the real honor is being put in someone's blog roll.

If I really love your blog and intend to read it regularly, I want it in my blog roll. And you are most decidedly there, girlfriend.

Love and kisses!

Rebel Mother said...

I use that Dashboard thingummy to keep up with bits, but there are so many I'm interested in and so many more I have yet to find.

Perhaps a good old fashioned hand-written list, stuck on the computer with cellotape would do.

PS Those cookies in that piccy look scrumptious!

RMxx

Chris H said...

I too use Google Reader, which has about 250 blogs on it, then I have a list in my 'Favourites' of all the private blogs I read too! There's only about 20 of those.

Rowe said...

Joanna, I'm so glad you did this post after hinting about this in your interview. It left me wondering, what is the best approach? I am using bookmark as well, my blogroll needs updating, etc. and I have just added the followers (your interview prompted me to do that, thank you).

Lilly said...

The Blogroll and Comments are the only things I use. I prune my blog list every now and then. But one thing I will not do is comment for the sake of commenting. I dont use a follower list. The list only gives you other Blogger bloggers so its restrictive when I look at other blogs. I also have a small list of blogs I would never not visit (I have been reading them for a long time and you feel you knwo them). There is just never enough time to visit all the great blogs out there in the world.

I used to be addicted but it wears off. I do not have the time any more and now may have less. The time I have now goes into writing posts one day and commenting on others blogs the next. I am considering studying again. So there are some changes coming up for me. Its all fun.

Christine said...

I like your hard boiled egg recipe. After reading the comments, I think what Flartus says, sums me up, or seems to make a lot of sense. I'm not conscious of having a real system.

Ribbon said...

G'day :-)
Glad you enjoyed your visit with me and enjoyed the blog link list.

best wishes
Ribbon

Ribbon said...

PS... I'm going to add you to the list ~ hope that's okay :-)

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Oh my goodness, Joanna, why did you not come to us sooner with this issue? Like many of your other readers have said, get Google reader:

http://www.google.com/reader

How you have survived this long without one is just a plain miracle. :) Good luck!

-Francesca

Cathy Clementz said...

I don't follow a lot of blogs, but I am going to check into that Google reader thing. In the meantime, all I can suggest is GO TO MY BLOG AT WWW.YOOPERYARNS.COM! You have been missed there recently!

Glad you made it back OK, you addicted person you.

Ocean Girl said...

Thank you Joanna, all the comments help me including the tip on boiled eggs.

I am liking this new-found joy. It is like shopping for books, bringing them home and put them on the shelf for initial glimpsing now and deep reading later.

The best part is the authors are your budding friends.

The Peach Tart said...

I'm most definitely addicted to blogging and reading blogs. I'm thinking about the local Bloggers Anonymous meeting.

Debbie said...

Oh, I just keep adding and adding and hoping for the best! I love the connection to so many people on here.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi all, THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for all your great input and organization "secrets". I have a couple of options and will work on getting my act together in the near future so I can visit you on a more regular basis. Three tips that I'm going to try include--

A little gem called Google Reader: That was total news to me!

After a short scroll down my Dashboard, I learned I could manually add blogs to my fave list in addition to clicking on "follow" buttons.

And Holly-Queen of the Universe at http://hollydietor.blogspot.com/ turned me onto Ribbon's blog list blog at
http://www.bloglinklist.blogspot.com/
is an entire list of her fave blogs all organized in alphabetical order. Ribbon is seriously organized!

Thanks again for all your help. When I have more questions I'll let you know.

And if you haven't tried the hard boiled recipe yet, I'm telling you it's good! I've eaten so many boiled eggs this week I can feel my cholesterol levels rising :-)
http://janeatthegardengate.blogspot.com/2009/06/no-kidding-boiled-eggs.html

xo Joanna

Oz Girl said...

I do the same as LadyFi - I always return the comment favor to those who have commented on my blog. Beyond that, I have about 20-30 blogs I really enjoy following, and then a peripheral amount of blogs that I also try to follow.

I've just recently gotten in the habit of checking my dashboard in Blogger to see who's updated their blog recently. I had some in Google reader, and some in my Blogger reader... I spent some time a few weeks ago making sure I had all my blogs listed in Blogger's reader. So now I can just go to the one place.

I'm in the middle of a blog crisis right now. I think I need a break. :-\

But I had to pop by your blog first, since I noticed you just started following me.

I'll be back to read more, I like your blog!! :)

Oz Girl said...

I meant to mention my blogroll in my sidebar - it needs updated. I will do that upon return from my approximately 48 hour blog vacation.

sheila said...

First I started with a blogroll and visited everyone daily. Now I use that plus RSS feeds, plus my little google friend connect. lol. Sometimes I don't get around for a couple days because there is so many, but That's the way I keep track. Probably not efficient, but...

Maureen said...

Wow! Put me on that addicted blogger list! I'm sure I'm not the most efficient tracker, but I have a blogger blog and I am able to become a "follower" and it ends up on a list for my on my blogger profile. For those blogs I cannot track this way, I will save to a folder under favoirite links titled "blogs I'd like to follow via blogger but can't" and those blogs which I just HAVE to visit at least every 3 or 4 days, I have in my side bar. These are usually people I "run into" constantly on forums and other challenge blogs...or interesting people I like to stalk but don't really correspond regularly with. Hope this gives you any ideas!

A fellow blog addict,
Mo