What sort of blog reader are you?

Last week I wrote about the sort of blogger I am and that got me thinking about the sort of blog reader I am. Bloggers are never just writers and content creators, we are also readers and consumers of content. We don’t – or shouldn’t – operate in a vacuum. Ideas about what to write take form from other sources. At least, they do for me.

blog readingI subscribe to a lot of blogs and manage them all via Google Reader, categorized according to what they are about. I find it easier to catch up on my reading this way than to go back and forth between various sites. Everything is nicely accessible in one place. On any given morning I have upwards of 150-200 posts to read. I don’t really read them, though. I mostly just skim through the headlines, and the first couple of paragraphs. Anything that catches my eye in that process, I read “properly” and anything that I think others might like I share on Twitter.

I have a category for bloggers I “know” and it is this category that I generally read properly rather than skim. These are people I know personally, or interact with regularly on Twitter, or who are regular visitors here and comment regularly. I like reading these blogs because of the personal connection I have with each of the writers.

I am fortunate in that I have a number of people who generously comment regularly on what I post. And I like to talk back to readers when they comment. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than making the effort to comment on someone’s blog and then not getting a response from the writer. How rude!

However: that’s not to say that I comment on other people’s blog often. It’s actually quite rare for me to do so, mainly because my Google Reader set-up on my iPhone makes it just that more difficult to do so. But what I do is tweet* the blog link to my Twitter followers and Facebook friends, which I can do very easily from Reader. It’s my way of saying: “Hey! I really like this post. And while I haven’t left a comment, I have told my Twitter followers/Facebook friends about it and I hope this drives some traffic your way.”.

So this post is therefore twofold: I want to say thank you to all my readers and subscribers and to thank those of you who regularly leave comments. I wanted to also say that just because I don’t leave comments on your blog does not mean that I don’t care about you and what you write.

I want to let you know that I try to reciprocate in my own way, even if it’s not a “direct” contribution.

*I have automated the tweeting of links from Google Reader as well. I use ifttt and to do this. Basically, any post that I “star” gets posted to Bufferwhich schedules a tweet. This way I don’t spam people’s Twitter feed with lots of links all at once.

0 thoughts on “What sort of blog reader are you?

  1. I’m not as organised as you are. To be honest I prefer WordPress bloggers to follow. I like how WordPress.com allows a reader to like a post and to also leave a comment. I spend a good portion every morning and evening reading blogs I follow. Some word for word and most for the images of food and cooking.

  2. Lots resonating here Di, but I hadn’t made the connection between Google Reader facilitating reading but not facilitating comments. Funny how these tools created to disseminate could actually be impacting engagement. Perhaps there is an argument in there for not having RSS after all…

    I find reading & commenting on others’ blogs “part of the deal” and just as enjoyable as blogging. I can’t always comment but the same as you a tweet can be an great endorsement. In fact, I’d rather see Twitter used as the place where people say “yeah I agree” than the comments box on the blog!

    Slightly ironically, the most popular post on my blog is about how some “popular” bloggers don’t respond to comments… http://peopleperformancepotential.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/pseudo-intellectual-blog-bomb-of.html

    My personal approach is to recognise peoples comments (sometimes on Twitter) but also to explain my commitment to readers of the blog on my About page. Curious to hear what you think about “contracting” explicitly with your readers?

    Finally, I’ve been considering a move from Blogger to WordPress and now reading Gary’s comments I’m further convinced that WordPress is a more effective platform for the blogging experience. Time to bite the bullet!

    1. I like your idea about explaining your commenting policy on your About page, David. I think I will revisit mine!

      I always feel guilty that I don’t often comment on other blogs, but I am hooeful that tweeting a link (and thereby endorsing the post) is a suitable substitute. I do subscribe to your blog and enjoy your posts. I must tweet links more often 🙂

      People like Tumblr too for the same sense of community as WordPress, but I prefer WordPress as a blogging platform. It’s just really nice to work with!

  3. I love the idea of explaining your commenting policy on your About page. I will need to add that.

    I found this article refreshing. I go back and forth on this subject. By commenting for the sake of reciprocatiion I feel is disingenuous, time consuming and not authentic. On the other hand commenting to support a good blogger has resulted in some great friendships. In the end I believe you should do what is in your heart, as you do, and your true intentions shine through.

    1. I agree, Susan. And I’d like to thank you for your support here too. I really appreciate that you take the time to comment here on my blog and contribute to the conversation. I hope that me tweeting links to your blog repays your kindness in some small way.

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