"Let life enchant you again." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
August 3, 2007

Trying To Resist The Urge…

For reasons I have not fully tapped into, since coming back from holidays I’ve had the urge to purge my RSS lists. I mean really, really purge, as in cutting back to maybe 5 or 6 blogs tops. It is highly unlikely that I will do that, of course, but the sudden appetite to cut […]

For reasons I have not fully tapped into, since coming back from holidays I’ve had the urge to purge my RSS lists.

I mean really, really purge, as in cutting back to maybe 5 or 6 blogs tops. It is highly unlikely that I will do that, of course, but the sudden appetite to cut back on blog reading might be very revealing. After all, it is not unusual for me to come back from holidays with some “bee-in-my-bonnet” about a process or workflow that needs to be changed. I’ve learnt that if I act on some of those impulses in the first 8-10 days after a break, what follows in frequently a dramatic rise in output and value – whatever the task at hand.

It’s not that the quality of blogging out there has dropped (or maybe it has), but more that some topics are feeling really tired. There is also, for me, a growing realisation that despite some great conversations and loads of WEB 2.0 innovations, the whole blogging thing is not really manifesting many work or writing opportunities. I’ve made some great contacts and read some amazing stories, sure, but is all this really making a difference from a “work” point of view – I don’t know.

Not that I am about to drop blogging; I’m just rethinking what it can and can’t achieve.

All of which leaves me wondering what those of you who still read this blog are thinking. Are you growing or pruning your reading lists? Do we need bloggers need to start digging some new topical wells? Is the whole web-as-a-way-of-networking thing starting to look like a bullcrap carrot?

Please, comments below or in email…

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John Smulo 17 years ago

I’m not pruning my lists so much as I’m giving each post less time than I used to. Typically it either grabs me fairly quickly, or I tend to keep scrolling through my reader.

I’ve been far less involved with my own blog over the last couple months as well. I still am getting a lot out of the blogosphere. But I’m starting to wonder if I’ll go through ups and downs in my reading and writing. For me, I think this mirrors life in general as well.

I do think new topics need to be found, but within reason. If blogs are too broad in scope I find them a little harder to follow because authors are likely consistently blogging on some topics that interest me a lot, and some that I’m not interested in at all. I’m struggling with this on a personal level, as I’m starting to feel too repetitive in my own topics.

jim 17 years ago

I trim about every month or so, but then I seem to end up adding more (i have 148 feeds right now). I have recently created a “new blogs” folder so when I add one to my reader I can monitor it for a while to see if its really worth adding to the ‘permanent’ reading list.

I agree with John’s comment too. I’m trying to improve my quality of reading by scanning through my reader and letting something grab me, rather than just reading every last thing.

One thing I noticed is that blog reading over the past year or so had reduced my regular book reading quite a bit, so I’ve been trying to be more proactive about spending less time blog reading and more time in the book world.

I’m also trying to improve the quality of my own blog, by adding book briefs and movie reviews and pointing to quality posts that I come across since these are the things I appreciate most on others blogs.

Tim Abbott 17 years ago

I think I’m watching for two things, information and inspiration. So if a blog does neither of these, at least occasionally, I eventually clear it from the feed list. I’m watching about 50-60 at the moment and I think that’s my limit – there’s a few I’m thinking of dropping (not yours or Smulo’s!). If I’m having a brain dead kind of day I’ll just check all the post subjects quickly and, like John, if it doesn’t immediately grab me I don’t go and read it. But I really appreciate the window into other people’s work and world that blogs can bring. It lifts my gaze from my little bit of the world and helps me to see the bigger picture.

I’d far and away favour a blogger who writes a few quality posts than several posts a day about not very much – I think this is where RSS shines. In fact, I’m more likely to drop the multiple poster because of the fatigue of wading through endless posts about very little.

The only thing about RSS is you’re never sure how many are watching/lurking. A little feedback is always nice.

billy calderwood 17 years ago

I’m pruning. You made the cut though! (So did the smu) 🙂

I agree with your re-assessment of what blogging can/can’t accomplish. More modest expectations are in order perhaps.

Paul 17 years ago

I’m also going through a bit of a blogging hmm phase – i think maybe it is just the therapeutic nature of a lot of the emerging church conversation on a lot of the blogs i read – there is only so many times i can read about “bad modern christians with their bad modern institutions/practices” and end up wondering whether there is any more kindness, generousity, grace in the modern church exiles? I don’t want to minimise anyones pain or negative experiences, church can be a crappy place but i keep wondering who is talking about moving beyond their hurt into something new/deeper/different?

of course maybe as with my mantra about no perfect churches there are no perfect blogs 🙂

Fernando Gros 17 years ago

Thanks for the ideas and reflections everyone!

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