But how can that be fanship, Heather? Isn’t it good to be a fan to every blogger?
Yes and no.
|Flickr Credit: Cyril Bosselut|
It’s good to comment back, and it’s good to support others, and that’s great. But I haven’t hid the fact that the number of unread blog posts in my feed is over 100. Sometimes I merely follow bloggers back automatically. And sometimes I don’t even bother to read something if I know I won’t enjoy it anyway.
That is not being a fan—that is being a remora, who is just sticking on for a reader count that is inaccurate, because I’m not reading.
That is why I have decided it is time for a spring cleaning—to bow out from the blogs I can’t give my attention to, and put more time into blogs that do interest and inspire me.
I have therefore come up with a few questions to help me as I make decisions.
Do I Read This Blog?
Strangely enough, the posts I first decide to look at on an average day are the posts I know I won’t care about. I glance at them, and I’m gone. If I’m not going to put much effort into that blog anyway, it may be better not to go there at all.
Do I Comment on This Blog?
If I do read a blog post, is it a place where I feel comfortable enough and excited to comment? I haven’t found a blog with a 100% success rate in this department, but there are some with a 100% failure rate—if I’m not commenting, it could indicate that I have nothing (or nothing nice) to say—another reason to leave.
Do I Engage with This Blog?
If there’s a giveaway, or a linkup, or another thing like that, do I sign up? Do I pay attention to the other blogs that participate as well? Am I part of the community? If I’m not participating in that part of the community, it may indicate that this isn’t a blog for me, especially if I’m not participating because I dislike the linkups offered.
Do I Like This Blogger?
As people, bloggers are great. But I must ask: do I like the blogger’s writing style? Her sense of humor? Do I enjoy her general post content? Do I want to know more? If I don’t like the style or content, then it may be time to go.
Do I Enjoy This Blog?
The last and hardest question. There’s something to appreciate on every blog; as a whole, however, how do I feel about this blog? Do I come away happy from this blog? Am I here because I want to be here? If I’m not enjoying myself, perhaps my time would be better spent on other blogs.
I follow blogs I do not read. I follow blogs I do not comment on. I follow blogs I ignore, I follow blogs I do not like, and I follow blogs that make me angry or annoyed or roll my eyes and I only follow them because I have hopes that someday that will change.
Well, now I shall change. Other bloggers don’t deserve to be lied to about who reads their blog, and my time is too valuable to keep pretending.
And even if it’s hard, and it means I have to leave—not exactly an ideal fan—I have to remember that hard decisions can still be good decisions. And also I will appreciate not having a million posts to catch up on every day.
How do you decide when it’s time to leave a blog? Have you ever been grateful or regretted the decision to leave? Why?
(Also, please do not assume I'm talking about you. An example of my cuts would include any of the writing business blogs I follow; they give lots of tips but I never use them, so they're really just clogging up my feed.)