Posted by: GeekHiker | January 22, 2009

A Question…

There aren’t, insofar as I know, any hard and fast rules when it comes to blogging, right?

See, I’ve got a bit of a conundrum, because I don’t know how you all do it.  And I need a little advice.

The situation: I was out of town for a few days, and I’ve been working a bunch of OT since I got back.

In that timespan, by blog reader has filled up with nearly a hundred unread posts.

You guys sure are prolific.

Even before the trip, I’ve found myself with a, well, I guess what one might call a “time management issue.”  I love reading everyone’s blogs, but I’m running out of time to read and comment on everyone’s blogs and write (I’ve got hiking posts unwritten from last year) and, well, live life in general.

Maybe I’m just a really slow reader.

Thing is, I feel guilty when I consider not reading all the blogs of those who read mine.  But at the same time, I’m finding that I’m really missing the time to write, which was the fun of starting this whole little thing to begin with.

So I’m wondering: how do you all do it?  How do you write and keep up with everyone on your blogroll?  Am I better off concentrating on writing, even if I don’t read everyone’s posts in-depth?  Or would that be rude?

In any case, I guess I’ve got a lot of catching up to do this weekend.

But if you’ve got any cool time-management suggestions, I sure would appreciate it…



  1. Well, I say go somewhere on the other side of the world and then come back with serious jetlag. I’ve been up since 5 am, caught up on my favourite blogs (I’m sure you noticed my comments?) and sent out one job application. I’m hoping to catch up with J-Money and send out another job application before the pumbler arrives at 10.30 am to fix the stupid washer. You could also move to Canadia where any thoughts of going outside in minus eleventy bajillion degree weather will make your nads shrivel up so that you can’t even begin to form a coherent sentence. Or go back to school for maximum procrastination opportunities.

    In all seriousness, I write first and then read. You don’t have to publish everything you write though. I don’t. I always write for myself so it seems less important that someone somewhere is reading my drivel. I have yet to catch up on some of my blogs from this summer (sorry Sir). I need to write the words for catharsis and so that I can move on with the minutiae of my daily life. Connecting with other people has always been secondary, albeit a wonderful and close second. Like now 🙂

  2. Umm, how do I put this, lol … I don’t have a life … work/home/work/home/treadmill/work/home/treadmill/work/tele

    Although I do find I am reading and writing less (not much going on in my part of the woods at present) … I check out my favorite blogs and every once in a while I’ll check out the others.

    Don’t feel guilty … that’s the beauty of blogs, you read them at your leisure. The posts will always be there, for the days you find yourself with extra time on your hands.

  3. Write for yourself and for nobody else. Read others and comment only when you have time leftover.
    If you want to maintain a connection with other bloggers, comment on their stuff once a week instead of every day. It doesn’t lessen your connection to scale back a little.
    I am online all day at work, that’s how I fit it in!

  4. This is the only thing that is of utmost importance here, GH: As long as you read MY blog, we’re ace. 🙂

    But seriously, sometimes you can’t read them all. That’s okay because it means you have a life!

  5. I would like to tell you to not feel guilty but I feel guilty as well when I can’t comment as often as I used to. Write first and comment when you can. If that’s once a day or once every week, your fellow bloggers understand.

  6. I perpetually have 1000+ unread posts in my reader. There’s no way I could read and comment on every one even if I didn’t have to work/breath/sleep. Nor can I post everyday or really even every other day. But the purpose for my blog isn’t to drum up business or advertise something. It is to express my thoughts or share some of my life (and these are the type of blogs I also enjoy to read the most). It is for fun, it shouldn’t be stressful. I consider the people who post on my blog my friends (and I hope the people I comment to consider me the same). Well, I don’t call my non-blogging friends everyday but we’re still friends. Friends understand, trust me. Just comment on what sets off a spark in your mind, don’t ever think you HAVE to comment. We’ll still love you, lol.

    And if your desire to write is what started your blog, keep that most sacred. Do it first. You’ve got to take care of you.

    As for catching up on reading (as I eye the 30 or so books in my to be read pile+100 unread emails), well, if you figure that one out, do share!

  7. Get to it when you can.

    Right now, I have 454 unread items in my RSS reader. Only 17 of them are blogs. It started out at about 80 this morning. I browse a lot and comment a little. Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses and MARK ALL READ and start over.

    I’ll probably be doing that after being MIA in two weeks for two weeks.

  8. I think writing comes first. The reason you have such a long blogroll is because people like to read your stuff and it sounds like that is what gives you the most pleasure. Don’t feel guilty, it’s okay to be selfish in the blogosphere.

    As for reading/commenting, I would suggest, when you are falling behind for one reason or other, skim the posts and only comment on the posts that catch your attention. Not all posts (except mine 😉 of course) need a comment.

    I would order things like this: Write, Reply to comments on your blog, skim/read other blogs, comment on other blogs.

  9. I have this problem too! After I write about how I deal with it (completely inadequately), I’m going to read everyone else’s suggestions.

    First thing is to write. That’s your passion and the thing that will matter most in 5 years.

    Then either cull out blogs that aren’t rewarding (even if you feel guilty about it… or at least add them to another folder for occasional — not regular — reading).

    Then comment only when you feel moved.

    At least one consolation is that lots of your fellow blog buddies are in the same boat and no one (well not me anyway) wants to exert any abstract pressure on anyone else to read/comment.

    Another friend of mine will only comment a sentence or two, no longer.

    Sometimes when I fall behind, I just have to “start over” and mark everything read. I miss some posts but it takes the pressure off so I can keep up more easily.

  10. Reading blogs is my daily unwinding ritual when I get home from school – for the ones on my blog roll, it takes about a half hour or so to read through them.

    Depending on the content of a new post, I may leave a few sentences worth of comment, while others, just a short quip.

    As for the writing, I say don’t force it. If you feel like you have something you want to say/share – do so. If not, don’t. Nobody will think less of you if you don’t blog every day – I’ve made it a point to only post when there’s something on my mind I need advice about or when I want to share an opinion/good thing that’s happened.

    I try not to post just to have something new at the top of the page every day. To me, it’s more about quality, not quantity.

  11. You are so funny. Everyone fits it in however they can 🙂 I have a few blogs and websites that I always read, if I have a lot to read and I can’t, I just read those. If I get time later I quick browse to check if I missed something important.

    Seriously, mark everything as read and be happy. Missing some entries shouldn’t be a big deal, this thing is good therapy because it’s suppose to be relaxing and good fun.

  12. Well, you know how prolific of a blogger I am… haha, j/k. Fortunately for my blog you don’t have to even read anything! Just look! 😛

    Anyway, I’m kind of the opposite of a normal blogger I guess. I like to write stuff, but don’t ever sit down and do it… which is why I chose to do a photoblog I guess. (I’ve found that for me, Twitter fills my deepest blogging desires b/c it’s quick and I can do it from anywhere.) But I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. I definitely find myself going weeks without reading them sometimes, though, and it can seem overwhelming to catch up! So, I’ve kept my blogroll down to 3-4 that I read regularly. That’s definitely a manageable number for me.

    Also, I don’t comment too often on blogs. I read yours almost every day, but I comment like, 3 times a month? I agree w/ pretty much everyone who’s commented so far… what’s important (for you anyway) is the writing.

  13. OOOh if you are guilty, then what I am? I keep tons of unread posts in my Google Reader and then as time permits, I check in with everyone.

    And so— most of the time I post on ScienceGuy288’s site, I’m two weeks behind. I can rationalize by thinking I’m keeping the post prominent. Because there is a new comment, Google has to index it again and anyone who subscribes to the comment feed may rehit the post. So I’m helping stats, right? 🙂

    Also, I know that if even if I get a comment on a post that is a year old, it is still meaningful.

    So hopefully people don’t mind that I’m so slow!

  14. So maybe this is bad but the blogs I read constantly changes. Like, I’m really into someone’s blog and then I get over it and move onto a new blog I can’t stop reading. So my reading list changes. And not many people read my blog so I never feel guilty.

  15. i think everybody has this problem. and sometimes, you’re just not gonna get to them all. and some blog entries, you’ll read later on past the pertinent time. that happens to me a lot. but you give and you get and that’s just how it is.

    also – figured out the cabo you need to go to. some place called brentwood? cabo cantina in brentwood and ask for a blonde named emily and she is crazy and she is my bff.

  16. I’m glad you wrote this. I’ve been feeling the exact same way. Ah, the guilts that come with bloggerhood…

  17. Here is what Howard Rheingold (social media guru and Wizard extraordinaire) advises his Social Media students–your RSS feed is not your to-do list.

    I keep a folder of must-read feeds, as well as folders grouped by subject matter. Once the queue hits 500 or so I hit “mark all as read” and start over.

    Once you get on Twitter, it gets just that much more frenetic.

  18. I like Aaron’s response 🙂 I sometimes just close my eyes and click “Mark all read”. I do have some personal favorites that I would never subject to that button without actually reading … You probably noticed that I comment in huge patches … it’s b/c I don’t read your posts until I have time to comment.

    I’d say the vast majority of things I read, I do so anonymously without ever leaving a comment. There just isn’t time. I also find that I don’t always have something substantive to say … leaving “Yeah, that’s a good point” just seems like a waste of space.

    I definitely appreciate your always leaving comments on my post, and know that you do it for other blogs too, but sometimes there just isn’t time. I won’t be offended 🙂 You gotta find your own balance, and if what you want to do is writing more, that’s what you should do.

    Good luck!

  19. On the days you can’t comment on my blog, send me a dollar and we won’t have any problems.

  20. I’m fairly glad “I” don’t have any blog. As far as the writing goes I don’t care. After all I only read when I want to do so and the same should apply to you and any blogger in my mind.

  21. Mrs. Chuck Bartowski – Forget going back to school, I just need to figure out how to make this a full time, paying job.

    Dobegil – I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, yet I feel like I owe it to my readers…

    Charlotte Harris – Heh, I’m online all day (I’m in IT after all), but only wish I had time to cruise blogs all day!

    Wendy – Yes’m, keep up on Wendy’s blog. Duly noted. 😉

    Dingo – I hope they’d understand!

    Anya – Well, now I don’t feel quite so bad. And you’re write about the writing…

    Aaron – I haven’t gotten to the “mark all read” point yet, but if I take a vacation…

    Homer-Dog – Is it really okay to be selfish in the blogosphere? I mean, I’ve talked before about common courtesy should extend to online…

    Spleeness – You bring up a point that I hadn’t been forward-thinking enough to consider: five years from now, having the posts there is going to be most important. Thanks!

    East Coast Teacher – It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s trying to find the time to post what I do!

    Narami – Oh, yeah, this is supposed to be fun. I forget that sometimes. 😉

    Gabe – LOL-Maybe I’d do better if I blogged at your pace! I think twitter would be too much for me, though…

    TGAW – So if you comment late, you’re just doing it to pump up the stats? You’re too kind. *grin*

    BeatnikChik – Well, we all go through phases…

    KristenBlakely – I need more hours in the day, methinks.

    Mel Heth – Well, there’s lots of great advice in these comments for you!

    Phil – Say, that’s pretty good advice…

    Seine – I’ve been trying to cut back on the empty commenting, or commenting on posts that don’t really strike me. Seems to have helped quite a bit.

    TheCoconutDiaries – I love that you factor me into a get-rich-slow scheme…

    Gany – Sounds like a plan!

  22. I think courtesy is important for the commenting but the fact is when we blog, we blog for ourselves. Do you really think “Gee, what does Homer-Dog want to read about?” I hope not. You should think: what do I find interesting and what do I want to share with the world. That is a little selfish and I think it’s okay.

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