I Will Follow You

Sorry if the blog has been a little quiet lately. I feel like a slump is about to occur and real life has also been pretty busy. I’ve been thinking of a discussion post since I haven’t done that in a while and I realized it would be a good idea to talk about reasons why we follow certain book blogs. There are so many book blogs out there and if you’re new to the scene, it can be a bit overwhelming choosing which blogs to follow. I guess it starts with knowing that the blogger reads the same kinds of books that you do. I get most of the recommendations for the books that I read from fellow bloggers and I’ve discovered books that I wouldn’t have read if not for them. I also like blogs that have regular discussion posts and fun features. Also, it’s nice to see bloggers review older titles instead of just new releases because that’s something that I enjoy doing. Another factor that may seem superficial but is really important is having a layout that’s easy to read – I’m not a fan of white text on a black background because that kind of thing hurts my eyes. I’m biased when it comes to WordPress blogs because I think they look simple, clean and clutter-free. Also, it’s nice that WordPress doesn’t have CAPTCHA so commenting doesn’t require much of an effort.

What makes you follow book blogs?

What I really love is knowing that I’ve made a connection with the blogger. I like to leave comments whenever I feel like I have something to say and it’s nice when I go back to check a post and see that the blogger has replied to my comment. (More praise for WordPress: I think it’s nice that I get notifications in my dashboard when WordPress bloggers reply to my comments on their blogs.) I also enjoy chatting with bloggers on Twitter about the most random things – books (of course), postcards, food, nail polish and clothes. It makes me happy when I feel like I’ve gotten to know the person behind the blog and I can tell that we’ve become friends even though we’ve never met each other in person and we only get to chat online. This is also why I like bloggers who have personality, someone who has his or her own voice because it’s a lot of fun getting to know that person through blog posts.

On the other side of things, we also have our reasons for removing blogs from the lists we follow. Lately, I feel like I can’t keep up with all the posts in my Google Reader so there are times when I’m tempted to just click the “mark all as read” button. So it’s a good idea to go through the list and make sure that I’m following blogs that I really want to follow. I usually remove a blog from my list when it becomes inactive or when I notice that I keep skipping on the posts and I can’t comment on any of them because I don’t have anything to say. I feel bad when I unfollow blogs but it really is hard to keep up with everything that’s going on in the blogosphere.

What about you, what makes you follow or unfollow certain blogs?


25 thoughts on “I Will Follow You

  1. I find that I click ‘follow’ or the RSS icon when a blog has two things: a great design and great content. If the webpage is pretty, I am much more likely to click around and see what’s going on. That said, content has to be top-notch too. If I’m unsure, I’ll often follow on twitter just to see if I want to ‘know more.’

    As far as unfollowing goes, I only do that if a blog stops posting or if something inexcusable (i.e. plagiarism) happens. I am not afraid of that ‘mark all as read’ button!

    Great question!

    • I agree, design and content are two very important factors when it comes to following blogs. I like what you said about checking the blogger’s Twitter to see if you’d be more interested in following – I do the same thing.

      LOL I really shouldn’t be afraid of clicking the “mark all as read” button, I just feel bad if I don’t go through all the items in my reader.

  2. First that I check is the type of books a blogger reviews as well as content. Second, I am a fan of classy and minimalistic blogs (minimal widget and unnecessary gadgets in the sidebars). I too am partial to WordPress blogs because of the convenience of it. Everything is in here (whenever someone replies to a comment, likes a post, new post via the reader, etc.) I don’t need to go to Google reader to check new contents cause sometimes I am too lazy to read 200+ blog post and often they are reviewing the same books. 😦

    • *WordPress high five* I agree, I love how convenient WordPress is. I try to keep my blog as clutter-free as possible because I don’t want it to get too confusing. WordPress helps me in keeping everything simple by providing nice themes.

      I still use Google Reader to follow blogs because I’ve gotten used to it. I know what you mean though, going through blog posts that review the same books can be pretty boring sometimes.

  3. I follow (and mostly by RSS which is the same as GFC, though people don\’t know it) the blogs that have appealing content and design. But i really keep up with only the blogs, that think in their reviews like me because they are the ones who can actually help me with their recommendations.
    I comment on any special feature post i like. I do check ALL the updates at my reader every day. Heh..
    I like when they answer back, and sometimes i\’m checking back to see if they answered and discuss. Which is something easier happening at smaller blogs.

    I can’t actually remember unfollowing everyone XD I\’m too bored to go over the list. I just ignore them at my feed.

    • I also follow through RSS feeds using Google Reader. WordPress doesn’t allow free blogs to put up Google Friend Connect so I’ve never had that on the blog.

      I try to check all the updates on my reader as well but sometimes there are just too many so I end up clicking the “mark all as read” button instead. Maybe you’d be interested in moving to WordPress since you like checking back blog posts to see if the bloggers reply? πŸ˜› In WordPress you get notifications for that.

  4. I’m guilty on the ‘mark all as read’ thing. When I first started blogging and reading blogs, I followed a lot of people who just did tons of giveaways. As I got into blogging, I culled a lot of those blogs off my life and filled my Reader with people who have something unique to say. I absolutely read the blogs that are in our sidebar. I am just awful about checking (even my own blog) really often:) You know I like to show up and run down the week’s posts lol.I also don’t like the white writing on black background (does anyone?) but I also can’t handle when there are lots of animations going on and tons of stuff in the sidebars, even below the main content. I feel overwhelmed.

    I almost just kept writing there and that is another one of my pet peeves–formatting. I can’t keep looking at huge blobs of text or stream-of-consciousness in blog posts so I rarely visit blogs that don’t differentiate between paragraphs and break it up with pictures once in a while.

    I’m sure I could think of more but as you know, today is my birthday, and I am going to spend it REAAAADING! ❀

    • Don’t worry, I was like that as well when I first started. I followed blogs because they were having giveaways. Now I only join giveaways on the blogs I follow. πŸ™‚ Me too, I read all the blogs in my sidebar. Sometimes I even find blogs to follow by checking out other people’s sidebars.

      Yeah, I have a hard time reading long paragraphs as well. And sometimes I have to be in a certain mood to read long blog posts. I like seeing pictures in blog posts because those are always fun to look at (that’s how my Shoot That Book feature started).

      I’m so flattered that you dropped by my blog on your birthday, Flann! Hope you had a great day. πŸ˜€

  5. Wow, great post Chachic! I’ve just recently started a blog myself so I definitely have difficulty deciding which blogs to follow or not based on a lot of different criteria. I usually follow blogs whose posts I enjoy reading or reviewers whose opinions I trust, but sometimes I find myself being forced to follow blogs for the sake of participating in giveaways which can pose a moral dilemma. Plus, I hate un-following blog so I end up being subscribed to too many blogs and only reading the posts from a few of them. However, I love commenting and interacting with other bloggers online, but following can take a lot more thinking and time commitment to. Anyway, this was a very well written and thought-provoking post Chachic! πŸ˜€

    Ivy Book Bindings

    • Keertana, it takes some time for you to decide what types of blogs you want to follow. Sometimes I’m tempted to follow blogs based on giveaways that they’re having but usually I’m too lazy to do that. πŸ˜› I agree with what you said, I love interacting with fellow bloggers so I try to comment as much as I can. It’s takes time and effort to come up with meaningful comments though so I always appreciate receiving them in my own blog posts. πŸ™‚

  6. The whole comment notification thing in WordPress is my absolute FAVORITE feature! Anyhoo, what makes me follow a blog? Hmmm. Well, it’s about content and voice, really. I like critical reviews, but I also like it when people don’t take themselves so seriously, you know? I love when people make me laugh with their writing, and you can see their funny side. I’ve had to slim down my GR feed a lot, too, just because there was a lot of noise that sounded the same.

    • Me too! Love getting notifications when a blogger replies to my comment, makes it a lot easier for us to have conversations, right? Content and voice are really important. I want to get a sense of what the person behind the blog is like – this is probably why I like Twitter so much. I get the chance to chat with so many people over there.

  7. I follow a lot of people in my reader but I don’t advertise all of those same blogs in my blog roll on my site. That’s reserved for sites I actually read. I comb through my list about once a month and delete out people that haven’t posted. I’ll unsubscribe from people who post something I vehemently don’t agree with or if they just don’t have good content (in my opinion). All memes or just regenerated information and nothing original. I like skimming through a lot of blogs just to stay on top of the ‘sphere but that’s what I end up doing, skimming.

    • I do the same thing, not all of the blogs I follow on Google Reader are listed in my sidebar. There are way too many of them for me to list everything so I stick with the ones that I regularly check. I’m okay with memes (how can I not be when I participate in some of them?) but only if they’re balanced with other content like reviews and discussion posts.

  8. The comment notification between WordPress blogs is my FAVORITE feature since making the switch. I feel like it allows me to more easily carry on a conversation with people, as I don’t always remember to go back and check if a blogger has replied to me.

    I follow for many of the same reasons as you! I love to follow bloggers who are engaged in the community. Occasionally, this even includes bloggers that have very little overlap with me in terms of reading interest, but I like the exposure to what they do read if they have thoughtful reviews/discussions/etc. I actually have unfollowed a couple of blogs out of frustration from lack of engagement by the blogger. I may like some of their posts, but if I comment on someone’s blog 20 times and they never reply or talk to me on Goodreads/Twitter, I feel like there’s really no foundation for a relationship. Followers are great, but I honestly care most about actually having a back and forth with others about the books we read, so if someone is clearly uninterested in that, I feel we have different goals in blogging, and unfollow.

    • Love this comment, Heidi! I agree with so many things that you said. First, I think it’s great that you’re enjoying WordPress so far. I’m glad you made the switch. πŸ˜€

      I like what you said about following bloggers who don’t even read the same kinds of books that you do but are fully engaged in the book blogosphere. I do the same thing. And yes to unfollowing blogs from lack of engagement! I find that really frustrating because I like connecting with fellow readers. I also reply to most of the comments in my own posts and to all my mentions on Twitter. So not getting feedback from a blogger is kind of sad.

      • Exactly! I know some people are ‘lurkers’, which is FINE. But if I reach out to someone via their blog, Goodreads, or Twitter and get NOTHING back, I kind of feel like they just want the page views.

  9. I follow people for pretty much the same reasons you do. If I have a personal connection with them from somewhere, if they read the same type of books as me, or even if I just enjoy their content and it is well written. I do not read every post that shows up in my reader every day, particularly if it has been an overwhelming one and I’m behind. There are a few bloggers whose posts I will look for (you and Charlotte fall into this category) and then just mark the rest as read. Sometimes there is no other option for my sanity.

    • Aww Brandy, that’s such a nice thing to say! I love your blog and Charlotte’s too. I feel like I have a special connection with Sounisians since I first started being active on the LJ community and just decided to start my own blog after being exposed to all the awesome in that site. The “mark all as read” button is becoming more and more of an option for me now that real life is keeping me so busy. I’m hoping that will change but we’ll see.

  10. (gee, thanks Brandy! right back at you!)

    I follow a lot of blogs (but is my “a lot” the same as someone elses? I think it’s aroung 400, though mercifully they don’t all post the same day) through google reader. But my google reader is full of people who might be reviewing middle grade sci fi fantasy (cause of doing my Sunday round-up posts), and I don’t actually read most of what’s in my reader. My list on my blog is people that I don’t think of as “following”–they are just the people who’s posts I’m sure I’ll want to know about.

    I just took a quick break to respond to peoples’ comments on my blog. I must try harder with this!

    • You follow 400 blogs?! That’s way too many for me, Charlotte. I’m not sure how many are on my list but definitely less than 400. Ah yes, you need to follow a lot of blogs for your weekly round-ups (I’m still amazed at how you do that).

      I like replying to comments because that encourages discussion through my blog posts. πŸ˜›

  11. I was wondering about you because I noticed a longer span between postings. I figured it was work because you seemed really busy and not even on twitter much when a manager was visiting? I feel you though, it’s difficult to keep a certain pace up. People need breaks.

    I like blogs that review books in genres I’m interested in. I notice that the blogs I comment on tend to be where people have more thoughtful reviews where they had an opinion and articulated the opinion in a way I understood, or like you said, have discussion type posts that snag my interest.

    • Yeah, things started to get really busy around that time. I think it’s also because I haven’t had some good ideas when it comes to blog posts and I’m still behind on reviews. Like I always say, I don’t want to get pressured to blog so it’s been pretty quiet.

      I agree with you, it’s always nice to read reviews where bloggers were able to explain why they liked or didn’t like the book that they just read. It doesn’t even matter if I agree with what they said because we can’t all like the same books. I just like hearing other people’s opinions because it also gives me a better idea on whether I’d want to read a certain book or not.

  12. I think the most important thing to me when choosing what blogs I follow is the relationship I’ve developed with the blogger. Honestly, if I don’t feel like I can talk to you about books or other things, and if I can’t find something to say other than the usual “Great review!” on a post, I often stop following the blog on my reader.

  13. Oh, gosh, I am so horrible about keeping up with my Google reader! To tell you the truth (I’m pretty embarassed about it, hah), I mostly just ignore the thing. I keep a close eye on all the blogs in my blogroll and I try to read things as soon as they get published. AS for the rest, I tend to be reactive. I discover interesting blogs while returning comments, and then if I visit them often enough, I add them to my Favorites list in Google Reader.

    Like Alexa, I like to know the person behind the blog at least a little bit. It makes me feel like I’m not just wasting time, and I really made a few wonderful friends in the last eight months.

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