Bloggiesta Progress

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So, it turns out my 1 a.m. Friday night goals are lot more ambitious than my Saturday-morning-and-it’s-sunny ability to finish them.

Instead of being an active participant in Bloggiesta, my son and I took a walk in the morning. Then, in the late afternoon, my whole family went on a picnic at a local state park. Oh, it was so nice to let my little one just run around in the grass! He had fun, and even though this Chicago summer is already sweltering hot and miserable, I still enjoyed sitting outside in the late afternoon.

My son slept very soundly, as he has lately. He’s also not napping in most afternoons. My blog tweaking time, therefore, is going to disappear even further. With summer, though, I’m enjoying the time away from the computer.

I don’t normally get any time on the weekends to work on my blog, but counting the middle of the night time, I did spend about 3 hours working on my blog on Saturday, which is a lot for me. I also did a little bit of work on Rebecca’s Cooking Journal, which isn’t a blog so much as just an online record of my attempts at cooking (I’m quite the amateur) for my own record.

On Saturday, I wrote my review for The Forsyte Saga, fixed up the links on the “Reviews by Title” archives, and cleaned up my tags and categories. I also participated in a few mini-challenges. I realize, in retrospect, that if I’d just ignored the mini-challenges, I’d have accomplished a lot more of my other, more important goals.

Grade my blog (Ruth from Bookish Ruth). When I did analyzed the SEO info, it suggested I add meta tags to each page, including the about pages.

Update Google Reader (Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog). A few months ago, I deleted a ton of blogs, going from 300+ books blogs to just 30. I’m adding blogs back in, but just those that I’m reading on a regular basis and that I know review books that I am interested in. I’m back up to about 55. It killed me to cut blogs out, but what do you do? 300+ was a bit overwhelming to me. I do click on your name and read your blog if you leave a comment on Rebecca Reads. But I can’t be subscribed to 300 books blogs. I took Rebecca’s advice and deleted some inactive blogs. I already have my blogs sorted in to folders, which does help! How many books blogs are you subscribed to?

Comment on ten new blogs (Jill at Fizzy Thoughts). Oh my, this took forever. I didn’t realize how odd my reading choices are until I read more than 70 blogs looking for someone who reads something that appeals to me. (I didn’t want to just leave an empty “hi, I’m here” comment.) I haven’t been reading much modern fiction, and it seemed like many blogs were genre modern fiction: action, romance, sci fi, chick lit, “paranormal,” YA, etc. I like to read a variety of things.

If you have a books blog, I’d suggest you create an archive of all the books you’ve reviewed or at least an “about me” page that tells what kinds of things you like to read. It’s hard to find new blogs that are interesting, and without any kind of guide, the front page doesn’t always tell me much. Besides, I love browsing through other people’s reviews! What feature do you wish all other books blogs had?

What did you do for your blog this week?

Reviewed on June 22, 2009

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • I’m going to be headed to Chicago for the ALA conference from July 10th through 14th, and believe me, I’m really looking forward to the weather there. It’s been 100+ here every day for nearly two weeks, with heat indexes hitting nearly 110. Chicago weather seems so pleasantly cool. It’s going to be heaven. I’m sure if I was still living in the midwest, I’d feel differently, but oh man any midwestern weather is welcome after TX heat.

  • Amanda, Is it humid in Texas? Because Chicago is VERY humid. I think yesterday was 100% humidity and I didn’t notice the rain when it started because we were already all wet from the sweat. I don’t want to live in TX either. Melbourne Australia was perfect: hot, but dry heat.

    I hope you enjoy your time in Chicago. I don’t get down town often enough! (Twice since we moved here in September, both since mid-May.)

  • It alternates – some days it’s dry, some days it’s humid. San Antonio’s weird like that. We’re right on a line between the humid side of the state and the dry side. I used to live in Houston, though, and that was far worse, even if the temps didn’t get as high. Still, I would like for it to get below 80 degrees sometime. It hasn’t gotten that low even at night for awhile. I’m so looking forward to Chicago.

    My friend and I are going to be staying right down town, a couple blocks from Navy Pier.

  • Kathy, I know you are always commenting, every site I visit. I’m always so impressed by how blog active you are!

    Amanda, Yeah, I suspected Texas wasn’t exactly plesant this season of the year 🙂

    Lezlie, yes, it is hard to keep up. That’s actually why I started doing a “month in review” post so I can go back and update it once a month with all the previous month’s post. It actually goes quite quickly.

  • I’ve been thinking about culling my reader lately…I have no idea how many blogs I subscribe to, but probably too many! I guess I should think critically about where I get my book recs! Aside from a review index, I think all blogs should have a search boc that’s easy to find. I get really annoyed without one!

  • I guess I don’t really envision people going to my blog looking for specific reviews, so I haven’t worried about having a directory. Maybe I should work on one.
    I’m afraid to look and see how many blogs are on my Google Reader. I have learned to skim through titles pretty quickly in the list format, and then stop to read ones that are of interest to me, and then open a new tab when I want to comment. I have never been able to “mark all as read” if I haven’t looked at everything. I could miss something really good!

  • Great post! I agree with you about trying to comment on some people’s blogs. I always to comment on a blog when someone leaves a comment on mine for the first time, but sometimes I give up!

    I love people to have an A-Z list of the books they’ve reviewed somewhere, or some posts which are more general and allow everyone to contribute, but some just have review after review of books I’ve never heard of and don’t interest me.

    I think 50 blogs is about the right number to be subscribed to. At the moment I have about 180 in my reader, but the are organised into folders. I have about 30 in my ‘favourites folder’ and try to commet on them as soon as I see a new post. There are about another 30 that I will always read, and the rest I just skim. I am trying to delete a few, but is is hard to remember which ones to delete – I think I need a few more months to work out which ones should go.

    Is one interesting post a month enough to justify a subscription?

  • Eva, it was so hard to do! Like Shelley said, what if I miss some great book recommendation?! But I haven’t been as overwhelmed since I’ve done so. Once it gets back up to 100 I’ll cut it down again, just to favorites. But it still kills me to do that! I like search boxes too. Mine has an error on the second page, which is not good. I hope no one does a very generic search on my blog….

    Shelley, I normally look for specific reviews if I’m new to a blog: if they visit my blog and I haven’t ever been to theirs, or if I’m visiting for an “event” like Bloggiesta. But, also, I might think of someone’s past review and try to find it. I do think an archive is a great thing; like Lezlie said, it is a pain to keep up!

    Jackie, some blogs just really aren’t my thing! I was going to say that’s too bad, but it’s probably good considering how quickly I add blogs back to my reader! It gets overwhelming. I have mine in folders too: my Reading folder has 50 or 55 and then I have cooking, writing, and family blogs too. So I think I should keep the reading folder down to a reasonable number!

    I wonder about “justifying” subscriptions. I’m subscribed to some blogs that I think have very interesting post but I never, ever comment. I just like to read their posts. And there are others that only post a couple of times a month (or even less!) and I like them too because I like what they say when they do jump in. So yes, I think one interesting post a month justifies it. It’s when they have too many memes mixed in that I start thinking of deleting it.

  • I don’t have a problem with people who only post once a twice a month, it is those who post about 40 times a month, but only one of those fourty posts is interesting to me. I really can’t decide whether to delete them!

  • oh, I delete them without hesitation. I think I look for 50% actual content (i.e., a post about books, either a review or a good thought about reading). I don’t have to like all of that 50% but a good proportion of that helps.

  • 300+!! I don’t blame you at all for narrowing your blog roll down a little. I think I’m subscribed to somewhere between 20-30 book blogs. Even with that small number, if I go more than a couple days without reading them, the number of posts can be overwhelming.

  • Lisa, yes, it’s overwhelming to have even a few books blogs! People write so often. So, yeah, there was a lot of times I “marked all as read” when I had the big list of them all. Just so much easier that way!

  • I’m so impressed that you subscribe to such a small number of blogs. I feel like I have this obligation to put everybody who comments on my blog in my reader. Like I owe them that. And it has gotten overwhelming. I’ve got my favorites folder and admit that I just scan the rest and hit all read. And I totally don’t believe that Kathy is only subscribed to less then 200 blogs. How is that she is the first commenter and EVERY blog that I go to.

    Anyways, yes, blogs need archives! And archives that just aren’t by date. Because I could care less about when something was posted.

    And yay for Bloggiesta! And yay for summer!!!

  • Natasha, I was going to say that I also read the blogs of people who comment (i.e., click on their name when they visit if I don’t already subscribe to them) and suggest that, but you get so many comments even that would be overwhelming. I don’t know how you do it. I’d go crazy. In fact, I was going crazy.

    One thing I realized during Bloggiesta is that I don’t want that many comments. I wouldn’t be able to keep up! Kudos to you for some how making it all work! Wow.

    I don’t think you “owe” anyone anything. I figure, some people don’t read the same books I read so I’m not going to subscribe to their blog just for the one book a year that appeals to me. If they come and comment on my blog, I’ll go check out theirs, but I don’t feel obliged to subscribe. Maybe that’s mean, but I think it’s realistic. Just because someone talks to you doesn’t mean that you are going to be best friends in real life; blogging makes that “best friends” assumption even more strange.

    I think I felt free to delete blogs when I found out that Dewey (who had tons of commenters) only subscribed to 10 books blogs. She did her community stuff by clicking on Mr. Linky links and comments on her blog. If she only subscribed to 10 blogs, surely I can limit mine too.

  • We can only do what is humanly possible. Natasha, you don’t owe anybody anything. Because of the large amount of time spent and traffics/comments to your blog, you bring us great interviews and giveaways that we wouldn’t otherwise get. I would hope that no one is grumbling “Well why doesn’t so and so ever comment on my blog?”
    I love the idea of bookmarking some blogs as favorites, I’m going to definitely do that.

  • I tried to find the link on Dewey’s blog but the site is down ;( Yeah, I’m pretty sure she didn’t subscribe to all that many, just went through links.

    Shelley, I think we all understand! I sure do!

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