Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Holiday Cleanup.

It's that time of year when the Christmas festivities start to die down and everything heads to the one last night of the year and a new page is turned, or so we are led to believe. I think we actually do the page turning ourselves and I hope to make my 2012 a great year. More of that though later in the week when I look at past ambitions from last years list of what I wanted 2011 to be and what I want the next year to look like.

Now though, it's time to tidy up. Make room and create a clean page from which to work. So what am I talking about? Right here, right now, I'm talking about blogging. I had a great year on my blog this year. I took part in several blogging challenges and blogfests and built myself up a huge reading list of blogs. I can now see that the reading list is too noisy and unlike Twitter, there is no way to siphon the blogs into lists, so it is just a noise of words. I don't look at it often enough, so find I'm missing posts I'd have liked to have participated in and seeing posts that I do respond to but the blogger has no idea who I am or why I suddenly popped up and there's no return comment. This I'm afraid annoys me. I take the time to comment on someones blog, I'd like to be acknowledged, either by a responsive comment on the same thread or a look over Life in Clarity and a comment left here. Often there's neither.

So what is my plan and how will I create a clean page? I'm unfollowing. It may sound harsh, but I read something on a blog this week, and I apologise because I can't link to the blog because my list is so big I can't remember where I saw it, but the gist was about blogging and community. The blog talked about blogging being a community and not worrying about the size of readership, the interactions are what are important. It's no good having hundreds or thousands of readers if they don't read or interact. This struck a chord with me.

I believe that the blogosphere is a community and I want to know that community and not just blend in with the noise. So by unfollowing blogs I probably followed during a massive blog hop and neither they or I have visited the respective blogs again, and blogs I feel have too many followers and they no longer have the capacity to respond, I make that space for people I can talk with and share things with. So if you're here now, reading this, it's likely you are still being followed by me and we do know each others blogs. I still have a large list of blogs I follow, but I have managed to cut some of it down. There will still be blogs I don't have chance to visit on a regular basis, but when I checked them out, I liked their content and voice of the blog so they stayed.

I want to visit your blog and I want to interact with your blog. It's not a numbers game. It's a place to talk and share and I hope by having a bit of a clear out, I can become a better blogger. If you are reading this and believe I have unfollowed you by mistake, then please let me know.

What are your thoughts, idea's and expectations of blogging and where do you want to take your blog in 2012?


  1. I entirely support what you're saying, Rebecca. I've applied the same principle to Twitter, not automatically following and not taking a lot of notice of the number of followers I have. My aim is the same as I have in my 'normal' life: get to know a few folk well. I'm enjoying it and it's not a source of stress that it sounds like it can be for others.
    Since I've been on Twitter I've blog-hopped a lot less, tending to visit just the ones by my Twitter contacts. I found blogging myself a bit stressful but a useful discipline. When I've set up my new blog over this holiday I've decided to blog just once or twice a week. The last thing I want it to be is a barrier between me and what I really should be doing: working on getting my novel published.
    All the best for 2012.

  2. I agree with you entirely. I only have 28 followers - yet I follow many more, so there are quite a lot of bloggers who are happily letting me read and sometimes comment without making any effort in return.

    On the otherhand, sometimes, especially if I'm reading blogs on my phone, I don't comment because it's just so fiddly.

  3. I'm thinking of doing the same because I'm following so many people now. Although you can separate people into lists through Google Reader so at least you can get to your favourite blogs a lot easier.


  4. Janet - With Twitter, I do have a high follower/following count, but I use Twitter lists so keep up with people I interact with much easier. I didn't realise I could do it with blogs as Mooderino has just pointed out, so I may have a play with Google Reader and see what happens. I still think it's a good idea to manage blogs a bit more tightly than twitter though as it is more time consuming.

    I've looked at your blog and you haven't posted in a while, are you setting a new one up? You'll have to give me the link.

    Annalisa, I once thought 28 followers wouldn't be much, but I now think it's about the quality rather than the quality. Like me, though that follow hundreds of blogs can't keep up and you don't actually have that many people reading. It's merely figures. I like that we read and reply to each other. It's what blogging is about. Have a great 2012.

    Mooderino - Thank you for that great tip for Google Reader. I din't know about it as I read my blogs through the blogger dashboard. I have used reader to add further blogs to my reading list when blogger dashboard filled up, but I didn't realise I could organise it. Thank you!

    A bit of a clean up can make things feel a little more organised and less overloaded can't it? I look forward to keeping up with your blog through 2012.

  5. I understand entirely what you're saying and I've unfollowed a large number of people on Twitter recently but I feel extremely reluctant to unfollow any bloggers. What I have done instead is to put a list of 'chatty bloggers' up the side of my blog page and I use that to see what my favourite bloggers have posted up. I too find the full list on Blogger overwhelming.

    I do try to comment back when people comment on my blog but sometimes there just isn't the time what with writing and visiting other blogs and before I know where I am I'm having to prepare the next blog post. So apologies if I've not responded to one of your comments.

    I beleive that we are a community and our blog list isn't important as long as we've identified the people we want to interact with. (Sorry if I've rambled on!)

  6. I agree with you, Rebecca. We all need to cleanse and purge every so often. Time reading the blogs is time spent away from writing, thus, I make sure that the blogs I keep up with are worth it.

    Here comes my own dilemma of keeping my own blog one of those worth the reader's time. Next year, I plan to post more regularly, and with more content that I hope will be of value and inspiration to my friends I have come to know through it.

  7. You have to do what works for you. I was 'lucky' enough to have a lot of time to devote to blogging this year (the upside of unemployment!) I still haven't found a job but other things are taking my time now, I think I'm going to have to do some re-evaluating of my own.

  8. I understand completely. I don't follow a lot of blogs myself, and yet it's already too much for me. When I do go and read updates, it's pretty much what has been updated in the past day and I don't check my blogger page that often. Keep up to date with so many people is a full time job, on top of the other things I do and it's too much. Thus I'm also very selective about who I follow.

    Blogging can be so many things, a platform, a community, a release, a business, and i'm reevaluating my own this year too.

  9. I consider a "Follow" as a handshake, saying, "I really enjoyed this post, and I hope to find the time in my crazy schedule to visit more often." To take it back seems like taking back a compliment.

    Each of us must follow our hearts and do what seems right there. I liked your comment to Hart's post.

  10. My blog list is a bit like my TBR pile. I try to keep my twitter and facebook profiles less 'cluttered' though. Looking forward to sharing bits of 2012 with you. I wish you a publishing contract :)

  11. Rosalind - Don't apologise, I have regularly been over to your blog and chatted and you here. We are busy people with hectic lives, I don't expect a response all the time. The people I mean are those that don't acknowledge you at all, either over on their own blog or popping over here. I hope we will continue to keep in touch through 2012.

    Mieke - It is time consuming isn't it. I sit at my computer and only intend to be half an hour or so, but then find an hour and a half has passed. It's about trying to strike that happy balance, which I know isn't easy. I look forward to keeping up with you in 2012.

    Sarah- I have been amazed watching your blog go from strength to strength. You have done wonders with your blog and I will be following in earnest in the next year. Time is a big factor. Even if you have to re-evaluate, I'm sure your blog will continue to strive forward.

    Jenny- You're right about what blogging is, as in it's many things and it's ultimately dependent on what you want it to be. I want Life in Clarity to be an honest place where I can connect with people in different worlds I wouldn't normally have the chance to speak with. It opens up a whole world and I love that about it. I look forward to seeing where we both go in 2012.

    Ronald - I completely agree and maybe I come across a little harshly. It is like a handshake and no we don't always get the time to visit, but my belief is that during a massive month long blog hop back in April, I got a little over excited and followed everyone and I don't believe that handshake was returned. I still follow an awful lot of blogs, but have weeded out those I don't believe would actually have an interest in mine. Thank you for popping over from Hart's, I hope our blogging paths do cross again in 2012. The handshake has been made :)

    Denyse - I actually find keeping Twitter organised, a whole lot easier. Thank you for your good wishes. I know our paths will keep crossing throughout 2012. Have a good new year.

  12. When I clicked on this blog I thought it was about cleaning up after the holidays (as in elbow grease), but nonetheless, found it interesting and informative.