Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fan Month: Sweet and Sour Sorrow

If you’ve been checking out the different Fan Month declarations and compare it to mine, you might notice that I did something a little different—I said I would delete some blogs that are currently on my reading list.

But how can that be fanship, Heather? Isn’t it good to be a fan to every blogger?

Yes and no.

Scissors vs paper
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.)


  1. Very intelligent questions, Heather, and I don't expect to see you again. *flourishes a bow*

    Just kidding :D This is really important, I think, because you can take time away from marking the post as read to engaging with the posts you read and like. So in a way, you are improving your fanship (fanhood? fanness?) in a roundabout way. And lying to be fan is definitely a no-no.

    Interestingly enough, I love writing how-to and publishing tips blogs. It gives me something to fret about instead of fixing the character motivations. XD

    1. *curtsies in return* And good riddance, eh?

      ;) Anyway, yeah, no. XD But yes, you are being a better fan by making more time for the bloggers that really matter to you. Plus lying is kind of rude, if not immoral, so you're not wrong there, either.

      They're good posts for me to read. XD I don't know much about writing them (okay, yeah, this is ONE of those posts that I indeed wrote, but still) just because that is totally not my area of expertise, I think. But, it does keep me away from my MS, and what more could I ask?

  2. Great post! Every so often I have to unfollow a blog because the post content is no longer enjoyable or relevant to what I originally wanted to get out of it. It's rare, but it does happen. I feel bad at first, but then not so much because if somebody wanted to unfollow my blog for the same reason, I would understand that. If you don't like what I post, why follow?

    (fyi, I'm still trying to catch up on your blog posts, bear with me! c:)

    1. *nods* Absolutely; if you're not getting out what you're putting in or more, then I don't think that's a good investment of your time. I'd also understand that if it were my blog, and it would also make a lot more sense to me, as to something I myself would have to work on...

      (Don't sweat it. I have everyone's blog posts to catch up on...)

  3. I've cut a few blogs from my follow list mainly because while I might have instantaneously followed a blog based on one really interesting post, I might not like the content that follows. I usually comment on just about every post in my blog feed, so the few that I don't comment on I know I might cut. Plus, like you said, it saves room for following some new blogs that I really enjoy reading.

    1. It's very easy to do an insti-follow, huh? But, unless post content isn't consistently awesome, it's sometimes not worth it to wait around. I try to comment on most of the posts I read, but you're right, that is a good indicator. I should start paying attention, myself! And, yes! The better blogs the berrier... I guess.

  4. I usually feel bad unfollowing blogs because they were probably my favorites when I first started blogging. I tend to give blogs a chance, with the hope that some of their posts inspire me. I do, however, cut blogs that don't post regularly. I get annoyed when a blogger only posts once every few months.

    1. I know what you mean; sometimes you feel like you have to stay attached to a blog for loyalty's sake. I've spent a lot of time hoping on blogs, too, but it hasn't always worked out. Also, yes to cutting blogs that post irregularly is also a thing. I mean, I'll still follow them, but only if they are superb.

  5. Great post! After your suggestion I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning as well.
    There are some blogs I followed when I first started and thought it was 'proper' to follow people back. But those people don't even visit my blog anymore and I'm not interested in anything they have to say. So I'm starting to clear them out of my reading list.
    Compared to some I don't read that many blogs, so I'd love to follow more, but I'd love to get rid of the ones I don't need as well!

    1. Ooh, hooray for spring cleaning!

      That's true! As we become more familiar with the blogging world, we become more aware of what it is we want to read, and if your relationship with that person is stagnant, there's little point in keeping the clutter.

      And it's not bad to follow just a few blogs—just so long as they're the blogs you want to be reading! Good choice, I think. :)

  6. This is a really great post, and it makes me feel better about unfollowing some blogs.

    My blog is only about 4 months old and when I first started I wanted to follow as many blogs as possible. While it's good to follow a lot of blogs, I wouldn't suggest doing so blindly or only based on one post.

    There are quite a few blogs I subscribed to when I first began which I don't even read. You're right--other bloggers don't deserve to be lied to about who reads their content. And I can't follow someone just because it seems like the "nice" thing to do....

    1. I'm glad it's offering solace. :)

      I agree with you there; it's not that rashly following a blog is an unforgivable or unchangeable mistake, it's just that it steals some of your time, and you need to be careful with where you decide to spend it.

      Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, as Shakespeare would say. Maybe you won't be there to read, but they'll have a better idea of their audience, and maybe be more motivated to keep working!

  7. Heather, this is an excellent post! :) I often use this time of year to organize everything blogging wise, but I have never considered applying the same spring cleaning mentality to my Bloglovin' feed. I will return to these questions when I go through the sites I follow over the weekend!

    1. Thanks! It's easy to forget that the clutter in the blogging folder doesn't just come from our own works! I hope you have a good time (and not-emotional) spring cleaning!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. This is excellent criteria for unfollowing. I feel really bad when I stop following a blog, even when I haven't interacted with it for a long time. But sometime you just know it's time, don't you? For me, I unfollow a blog when I haven't read it in months, when my eyes skip over its posts in my feed, or when the blogger stops blogging for months. I'm still trying to work on cutting down on the blogs I don't read any more, so I'll be remembering this criteria as I do that!

    1. I feel ya. Unfollowing blogs feels almost like being a traitor, in a way; you expect to make a commitment. But, like you said, sometimes it's time. You picked out some great criteria for yourself—I'm sure that even if it's hard, you'll make some good decisions when you're working on cutting down on the blogs you read.

  9. Great post! I don't usually stop following blogs, I am pretty much interested in most of the things people post. I try to comment on the posts I read, but sometimes the writers don't captivate me enough. That's when I usually know it's time to un-follow. Your bog is definitely safe from my unfollowing wrath though because I find you a VERY interesting person, with VERY enjoyable blog posts!
    Mae :)

    1. Well, good for you! It's great that you can commit to the blogs you read; I don't blame you either, for your unfollows. Boring blogs are never high on my priority list. But, I'm glad I'm safe—I do my best to stay interesting! :)


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