Top 3 reasons for following a blog

I use Google Reader to organize and read all my RSS feeds. It’s so convenient. So much so, over time it seems it has become way too easy to subscribe to far too many blogs. It has come to over 1,000 feeds in a day, and that’s just too much for me. So this weekend I proceeded to do some very drastic weeding out. I decided any blog I follow has to meet at least two out of the following three criteria:

1. Informative, educational, and challenging. Even about subjects I am not normally interested in. Some of these blogs feature in-depth and often lengthy posts. They keep me interested because the information they present is relevant. Others keep it simple and concise. In all cases, these bloggers are well informed, and share that information in an appealing and well-written way. To the point. Their pages are clean and easy to follow. And they include lots of (pertinent) images. They help me stretch. If not my body, most certainly my mind.

Some of my heroes: SewCalGal, Wayne Kollinger’s Sketch Book, Blue Cricket Design.

2. Up close and personal… but not too much. Have you been there? Suddenly exposed to ranting and raving about fights with the spouse, the in-laws, the next door neighbor… and yes, what happened at the guild last night. Who said what and why. Or post after post of the family vacation, with tons of pictures (some of them not re-sized adequately) of people and places that don’t interest or make sense to me. Or how about that family pet? Don’t get me wrong… I love my pets, too, and think they are the funniest, cutest creatures alive. But I doubt you want a blow-by-blow about all the antics or health issues of any of my pets.

But then there are these other, often small blogs where the person does write about her quilts, her pets, her family, traveling, the garden, cooking, the quilt show… and has the gift of being able to connect it all to the main focus of the blog. And does so in such a positive way it leaves me felling all warm and fuzzy inside. Before I know it… we’ve become friends. These might be “small” blogs, but are the ones I am most apt to continue following, not only because they are about REAL people, but because they are so positive and full of life. It’s catchy.

Some of my heroes: Bev, Geta, Valentina.

3. Sensitive and respectful. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more uncomfortable than someone who uses his or her blog to preach. Especially about political or religious issues. Even more so when their values are contrary to my own. (That was tongue in cheek! 🙂 ) And with regards to quilting blogs specifically, I quickly lose interest in those who hold there is only one way of doing things: their way.

So I much prefer to follow bloggers who are open minded and tactful. And humility goes a long way in my book. Since quilting is my passion, I respond to other quilters who are generous in sharing, yet open to learn from others, too. This opens the door to a dialogue.

I have also found that many of these bloggers seem to have something else in common: quite often they are eco-friendly and socially responsible. It just makes sense to me to use available resources in a sensible manner. So I enjoy blogs (not necessarily limited to quilting) that focus on a good use of materials, with emphasis on repurposing or recycling. Or on simply adapting the old to serve new needs. You get it.

Two of my heroes in this category: Ivory Spring, and  Sew Many Ways.

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So now that I have “cleaned” up my reader, I think I can focus better on those blogs I really, really want to follow. What about you? What are your reasons for following (or unfollowing) a blog?

 

 

 

This entry was posted in This and that. |Comments closed

15 Comments

  1. Posted June 5, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Good, thoughtful post! It gives me a lot to think about. What is the common thread in the blogs I follow? You mentioned “small” blogs, and I know I follow more of those than “big” ones. Perhaps because they feel more personal? A lot of them are “eco-friendly” in that they often are scrap quilters, which I am, mostly. Also, that they don’t REQUIRE you to follow them in order to play along. I’ll have to think on it more, though.

  2. Posted June 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    The blogs I like to follow educate me. I’m like you Angie, I love to learn. Yesterday on your blog you gave us the tip about silk thread and keeping it in the eye of the needle. I’m going to try that with every thread from now on. Okay, now I’ll go give this more of a “think”.

  3. Posted June 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you that it’s easy to start following way too many blogs. Every few months I go through my reader and clean it up. Narrowing down the reasons to follow a blog is a great idea. I personally like the smaller blogs. If they provide humerous content or educate me in some way then I will follow them.

  4. Posted June 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Interesting post! I’ve been thinking about the same issue recently (probably for exactly the same reasons you have been:).

    One other thing I find extremely annoying in blogs is the ones that are always trying to sell me something. Not so much blogs from commercial sites (quilts shops or whatever) – I can read those or pass by as I please – but the ones where they are constantly discussing what they do that you can purchase. Or when they do some kind of give-away with many commercial hoops to jump through (become a ‘follower’, spread the word on FB or your own blog, etc).

    When I started the blog for my own shop, I thought about this very issue because I don’t want to annoy my customers who feel the same way. 🙂

    Linda

  5. Posted June 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Angie,

    I would add one more category … purely visual. I have about twenty who show great photos of landscapes, insects, buildings, gardens, animals, plus sketches and assorted art … inspiration for colour combinations and design.

    At least these don’t take long to read!

    Judy B

  6. Posted June 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Great list post. The one’s I follow are mostly ones that show crafts that interest me. They need to have pictures, for some reason I just can’t ever get through a post that has nothing but words, especially if it’s really really long.

  7. Posted June 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Great post. I find I’m frequently giving a pitch to quilters about the benefits of being active on the internet, of which following blogs is a big one. I love how you categorized the different types of blogs. And I’m honored and blushing that I’m in your list of some truly wonderful blogs. Thank you!

    SewCalGal
    http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

  8. Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Angie,

    Thought-provoking post. 🙂 I generally stay away from blogs that plays too much you-tube videos and background music. Hard on my little computer…

  9. Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Angie, I am so so sooooo overwhelmed-honoured and blushing after reading your blogpost I am not able to say much. Thank YOU, it means so much to me. I have been struggling in staying true to myself, staying positive and being real, that this is really the confirmation I needed, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Blogs can be such a source of inspiration and encouragement, as yours is, that for my little blog to be included into this criteria is really a vote of confidence and an affirmation that I am on the path I have chosen to be.
    My beloved is away on a long business trip and it has been challenging to keep my boys happy, healthy and secure during this time. They miss their dad, and I am trying not to burden them with how much I miss him, too.
    My blog has become a place where I can remind myself that things do fall into place-eventually-, and that every stitch does count. It is a place where I can forget my struggles, my health, my chaos, and focus, quite literally through my camera, focus on beauty and what is positive in my life. I do not lead a charmed life, but I chose to be grateful for my life today; and knowing I am not alone and actually share positivity is quite moving.
    Receive a big hug and thank you, my friend!
    🙂
    Valentina

    Can’t wait to visit the blogs you mentioned!
    🙂

  10. Posted June 6, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Good question as I really need to clean up my reader! I have to say that I’m turned off by blogs that go on about religion and quote the bible at me. I also get annoyed with bloggers that use bad grammar and spelling and especially ones that don’t use punctuation and capital letters properly – or at all! I know that makes me sound snobby, but I find them really hard to read, we have language “norms” to make reading easier.

    I too prefer small blogs, I find that a lot of the big blogs have no actual content and rely on sponsor posts and guest posts a lot. I can’t be doing with posts about holidays, pets or children. I’m just so not interested, I’m here for the crafts and that’s it. But what about the crafts? Anything! Work in progress pictures and info about how they came up with and are executing the idea, finished item pictures, tutorials, educational articles but also eye candy… of the crafty kind.

    I also have to add a little something and I hope you wont take offence… I have a lot of blogs in my reader and so ones where you have to open the blog up to read the whole post really annoy me. My computer is slow and so it takes ages (and freezes the computer for a few minutes so I can’t even carry on reading other blogs) and I can’t help feeling it’s a little arrogant, as though the author is making me jump through hoops to read their post. It’s also hard to tell if I’ll be interested in the post from a short few lines.

    • Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      No offense, whatsoever, Wendy! What is more, thank you for pointing this out. Actually, I am set to show the full post in readers, but apparently only the teasers are showing. So I’ve asked my techie to look into this. I do agree with you. I’d rather read the full post in the reader, and then pop into the blog to leave a comment or check other things out.

      • Posted June 9, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Yay, your full blog post is now in my reader!

  11. Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Angie
    Angie

    Thanks for including me in your lists.

    If I had to choose, I would choose to be in the first list. That’s where you put me, so I am well pleased.

    I am always looking for inspiration. So I try to follow blogs, like yours, that are are creative and original.

    Like you, I may not always comment, but I am paying attention.

  12. Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Visiting from SITS Crafty Bloggers. I have a stash of google reader blogs too, and I have been weeding as well. If I don’t narrow it down, I get overwhelmed and don’t read any of it.

  13. Irene
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Angie, muy interesante tu anotación de hoy. Yo soy bastante “nueva” en esto de leer blogs, creo que inicié con el tuyo y de allí he leído algunos de los que sugieres, más otros en español. También me gusta leer los que nos dejan una enseñanza, ideas para nuestras labores o nuestra vida, que tengan fotos ilustrativas y sean “rápidos” para abrir; muchos otros los leo una vez y no los visito más.
    Me fascina el idioma inglés (y conocer otros idiomas) pero no he tenido la oportunidad de practicarlo en vivo; el poco inglés que conozco es académico, no coloquial. Por eso me encanta leer tu blog y otros similares, porque están redactados de forma clara, amena y con amplio vocabulario, lo que me ha ayudado a conocer más el idioma y atreverme a redactar, aunque a veces me equivoque. Y aunque nunca pude obtener mi “Simon & Schuster’s Dictionary” siempre tengo a la mano mi viejísimo Larousse, para buscar las palabras que no entiendo, o cuando deseo expresar algo y no sé cómo. Siendo de familia española y amante del Castellano, me gusta escribir en este idioma y no incluir palabras sin traducir de otro idioma, me satisface mucho buscar y usar la traducción apropiada; sé que como Traductora, tú me entiendes. Así, cuando menciono la labor que realizo, digo “Labores con retazos y Acolchado artístico”, y luego menciono “Patchwork & Quilting” para que lo identifiquen quienes así lo conocen. Ahora que tengo unas alumnas, les menciono siempre el nombre de los diseños en inglés, y su traducción al español.
    Muchas gracias por tus ideas, que tomaré muy en cuenta cuando me anime a aprender algo más, y me inicie en el mundo de los “bloggers” (OOooops! esta palabra aún no está en mi diccionario, y no conozco la traducción apropiada)
    Me encantó leer todos los comentarios de este correo, todos muy interesantes.

  • Angie Padilla

    I am a self-learner. I taught myself to sew and to quilt. And I taught myself how to draw. I am learning how to dye my own fabrics and am dabbling with mixed media. I am a quilt designer and teacher, and design and publish my own line of quilt patterns. With this blog I would like to share the bits and pieces of my life.

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