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Monday, August 12, 2013

What Kind of Blogs Do You Read?

You guys always inspire me with your comments. I thought for the next few Mondays I'd tackle some of the topics brought up in the comment stream from last Monday's post (I Stopped Reading You Today).

Today I want to talk about our interests, both shared and uncommon. The reason I have so many blogs on my reader is because I have so many interests. I read writer blogs, as many of us do, but also blogs that focus on marketing and copywriting.

I garden, so there are gardening blogs, homesteading blogs, and green-living blogs. I have animals, so throw in blogs about dogs, goats, chickens, and rabbits. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool frugalista and there are at least a hundred blogs on my reader that list coupons, freebies, and practical tips to save money or DIY projects.

That's the big picture, but what about drilling down to the details? Why do I read some posts and not others? When do I comment and when do I just store the information away?

When it comes to writer blogs, I rarely read or comment on new releases or excerpts unless A) It's a friend of mine. Or B) The tagline is so compelling I have to give that person a pat on the back.

But I hardly ever read writing advice. Most of the advice out there is regurgitated and old news. My thinking is that unless this is your first rodeo, you already know all the steps to this dance. I know how to write. Only practice and excellent crit partners will make me better.

And those hundred-odd blogs on saving money? Unless it's new-to-me, I can scan those and then delete.

What I do read religiously are friends' blogs, posts that help me be a better animal caretaker, and most gardening posts.

I like reading about my friends' personal lives. It's interesting to me and it makes me a better friend if I know what's happening with them. 

Animal and gardening blogs are like information candy. I can't get enough of them. No matter how much I think I know about animals, there are other people with far more experience. It's an honor and a gift to be among sages who can help me be a better caregiver.

Blog reading is a selfish pursuit--at least for me. I read for myself first. 

What about you? What kind of blog topics are automatic reads for you? What do you tend to skip?


Brandy said...

My interests are varied. I read author blogs, Steampunk blogs, book blogs, cooking blogs, not sure how to classify The Bloggess' blog. I also read a couple of craft blogs and Pinterest, while not a blog offers links to blogs of interest like gardening and archeological sites as well as historical dress. The only blogs I usually comment regularly on are the ones of friends I've found over the years through shared interests- usually books. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Brandy: I forgot about the historical blogs on my reader. Those are also must-reads for me.

Your list sounds really well-rounded.

Angela Brown said...

Mine are mostly writer and reader centric. I like looking at blogs about new books coming out and some of the reviews. I'm still a book lover always cherishing the next good read.

Diane Carlisle said...

I like to read about people's vacations or personal hobbies, but I will stick around and read anything with pictures into folks' lives. If you go to France, take photos! If you're sharing a recipe, photos please!

I'm a sucker for food porn.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: Ooh, yes! I forgot to mention the 20+ review blog I read. This is where I get the scoop on all the latest books. I've bought more books reading their reviews than anywhere else. They kind of take the legwork out of finding new authors.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: Re: food porn
Especially if they include recipes! I'm a so-so cook, but I'm willing to try anything if it doesn't look too complicated. If it is, I just admire it from afar.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm selfish too. LOL
I like to read what is going on in my bloggy friends lives--usually I learn some things that way, whether it's travel, or food, or books, etc...

I hear ya on the writing blogs. I'm kind of feeling that way with conferences right now. What else can be said? LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: I never forget that this is social media and my first responsibility is to be social. :)

Re: conferences
I still like cons if only for the energy and camaraderie. I don't go to the 'writing how-tos" but I'll often attend talks on marketing and how to better use social media without being a pest.

PS Thanks for the Retweet!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I read a variety of blogs, some that I read nearly every time they post, from writing to cooking and sometimes just friendly encouraging blogs.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Automatic blog topics? Don't think I have any. There are certain bloggers I follow because I like them (like you!) and because they acknowledge my comment (one way or another), so I will always read their blogs first.

What do I skip? Mostly those that feature another author pimping his/her book. I might take a look, but when the host of the blog doesn't say a word, I leave. If they can't offer an opinion, why should I bother reading it?

And if I've been following a blogger who never acknowledges my comments, I pretty much stay away. Apparently, they don't want my time.

Jackie Burris said...

Online Friends blog posts about pets, personal updates and of course some of my best recommendations for reading come from cover reveals from other book bloggers, recipe posts from different sources and love love love to look at things that bloom that people grow and post photos of because flowers and myself do not get along as I kill them as soon as look at them much less plant them. :-(

There are a few odds and ends that I read on a whim or if not in the mood the same thing that usually interest me I delete immediately.

Darke Conteur said...

I read friends blogs. I like knowing what's going on in their life and I try to post a little something on each (something I learned from you), but it's hard. Sometimes I just don't know what to say.

I'm not a big fan of putting a lot of writing advice on, but if I come across and idea that I think might help others I'll blog about it.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I have a recipe blog I follow. That's as close as I get to inspirational and encouraging. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Oh, you picked on one of my touchy subjects. Some bloggers, email me privately, other respond directly in the comment stream, and a few respond by visiting my blog. It's all good. But when they ignore me, I stop visiting.

I think it's rude to ignore a visitor. This is why I respond to every comment.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Our tastes seem to run along the same lines! I love gardening blogs, though strangely, I rarely comment on them. I feel overwhelmed by their genius and my mediocre attempts. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I know the problem.

Sometimes there will be posts where the blogger is a little vague or worse, leaves no room for comment. You know the ones. They end the post telling you something rather than asking their readers to share their experiences.

Sometimes I try to echo their sentiments because I sense they're not so much interested in other viewpoints. But other times I take the chance and volunteer an opinion and hope the blogger appreciates it.

Me, I almost always end with a question. I'm genuinely interested in other people's opinions and I love it when a discussion develops inside the comment stream.

Jenny Schwartz said...

I haunt Dear Author - so review blogs, selectively. Smart Bitches is great.

Archaeology via Past Horizons generally gets a click.

Some authors' blogs, like yours, Maria :) Also Ilona Andrews has a great blogging style, and Patricia Wrede for writing advice.

Plus I have a fondness for psychology/neuroscience stuff, so I peek at those, like Mind Hacks.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny! I had to pop over to your blog because I was afraid it wasn't feeding through on Feedly.

But you haven't posted since I last visited so a big sigh of relief from me and a wagging finger to you for not posting more. :o)

I haven't checked out Mind Hacks in a long time. I need to look them up again. I do have one blogger friend who's always posting science links so that keeps me clicking.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I read mostly other writers, but like you, I skim writing advice or bullhorn soundings about releases. I like to get to know the writers I like. ^_^

The only other blogs I read are humorous blogs, and I rarely comment. I'm just there for the laughs.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: That's exactly me. I want to get to know people for themselves, not just their work.

Take you, for example. I absolutely LOVE seeing pictures of your dogs. I can tell just by the pictures you shoot and the things you say about them that you are a true dog friend.

And many bloggers may not realize this, but I rate how good a writer they are by what they say in their posts. When you tell a heartfelt story about your pooches, I know you can be equally sensitive and heart-tugging with your fiction.

Darke Conteur said...

That's something else I got from you; ending with a question. Promotes more blog participation.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: And I in turn learned that from someone else. :)

I think the main thing is to be approachable and welcoming. I'm not here to lecture anyone. (I save the lectures for my husband. LOL.)

I'm just sharing my particular experience in the hopes other people will expand on it and tell their stories.

Mike Keyton said...

I pretty much agree with all the comments here. I read friends religiously. I enjoy political blogs, historical blogs and quirky blogs. I have trouble with 'booky' blogs if the genre is not to my taste. These I find difficult to comment on positively, and so it's best not to say anything at all

Anne Gallagher said...

I just culled about 75 blogs off my blogroll. And I'm thinking of doing it for another 100.

It seems to me that everything is either rehashed writing advice, new rules for social media, or crazy book tours that go on forever.

I follow mostly writers. and a couple of historical blogs. I should probably follow other interests. I've just got to find them.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: You're a better man, than I am, Gunga Din. I can't read political blogs without getting all twitchy. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Anne: I'm about ready to do some more culling myself.

I'm not fond of memes, blog hops, or endless blog tours.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I read posts that engage me and make me think. (like this one) It doesn't matter the topic, if it pulls me in and makes me stop a moment to consider then I like it.

James Garcia Jr. said...

You know, Maria, at this point - with my limited time - I simply try and touch base with my pals, buddies and besties as often as I can. I subscribe via e-mail and then just sort based either on my level of interest or the amount of time elapsed since my last visit. There are some like this one *waves* that I visit fairly religiously. Others, I try and stop by and visit a few times per month. Sadly, it's the best I can do at the moment. Soon I'll start writing again, and then there'll be no visiting at all. *frowns*


Maria Zannini said...

Karen: :o) This is why the first paragraph and title is so important for me. If the first few sentences hook me, I'll click through to read the rest.

Maria Zannini said...

Jimmy: That's usually my first priority too. If I'm pressed for time, I'll try to visit my friends first.

The last few weeks have been rough since Feedly tricks me into deleting my entire stream of blogs, but I'm getting better at noticing when it selects everything.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I used to read a lot of blogs. So so many. Mostly animal blogs and writing blogs, with a few one offs here and there.
Now, i read hardly any, anymore. Just my blogging buddies. I just don't have the time

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: And that's not counting the groups I read on FB. And you have Pinterest.

I still like blogs for more complete thoughts, but FB is good for shorter posts--like your incredible pickle project. They looked great!

Giacomo Giammatteo said...

I am reading less and less, probably because I'm busy, but so much is rehashed content. The blogs I continue to read are animals, book marketing, and general business.

Gwen Gardner said...

I do love your state of the homestead posts (animals and gardening are both things that I love). I'll comment on cover reveals if I know the person (and yes, sometimes 5 times, just to be supportive). Otherwise, there's not much to say. I like the writing posts only if they're telling me something new. I like to know what's going on in the blogosphere, too.

Maria Zannini said...

Jim: Remember in the early days when there was next to no information on writing and publishing on the internet? Now it's the same old content making the rounds.

I think some writing/publishing topics are worthy of discussion, but it has to be handled by people who can offer a different slant to an old subject.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: I like reading current events. This is how I usually judge whether to see a movie or not.

Too bad, I didn't read any reviews on R.I.P.D. before I shelled out big bucks for it. But at least it gave me the chance to warn people off it.