Friday, May 21, 2010

Bloggy Business

I'm trying to set my new computer up so that I can blog from office, the deck, or poolside.

Don't let that last one fool you. My life is not glamourous. Its just that swimming season started this week and I know I will be by the pool. A lot.

This post will be my first official post with my new BlogPress app. Which means I can draft to the blog without copy/pasting from the notepad, which proved to be very difficult in the last two posts.

While we are talking of boring topics such as my typing skills, or lack thereof, let's also talk about blog readers - the ones that help organize the blogs you read such a Google Reader or Bloglines, not you the actual reader.

I had recently been convinced to switch my blog settings so that if you read posts in a reader, or on Facebook (hello Facebook friends!) you wouldn't have to click over to read the full post; you could just read it in its entirety right on your reader.

Although I was skeptical, I tried it for two weeks.

If you were happy about my switch, I have bad news, I'm switching back.

I'm doing this for two reasons, one is that I have a Sitemeter that tells me who is visiting, and second, I like to "hear" from those who read (in the comments section.)

I was hesitant to switch because what I had predicted would happen, happened: my visitors and comments went down exponentially.

When readers read from feed-readers (say that ten times fast) I don't get a record of who is really visiting my blog. If you talk to bloggers they will tell you that the numbers aren't important, but lets be honest, bloggers write so people will read.

I don't put faith in numbers, but when the comments are low, it helps to know people still visited.

Do I hear an amen?

I will confess that if you have a blog that can be fully read in the reader, I am less apt to click over to your site, and consequently les apt to comment. Or sometimes it's because I get sidetracked by a bright shiny object. However if I am forced to go to your site to read the full post, I'm probably going to comment, since I am already there.

On a side note, and since we are talking about commenting, it's not that I don't want to comment on your blog, it's just that sometimes, if I don't feel that my comment will add anything of value, or if your are reviewing a product, I probably won't leave a comment.

Not that I mind if you review products, its just that you can find a blogger reviewing product under every URL, so its hard to come up with something original to put in the comment box. I'm just sayin'.

On to the next thing on the agenda....

You may be asking yourself why I don't advertise, or do product reviews? (I have an email box full of companies that want to send me everything from jewelry to luggage to review on my blog)

It's actually a matter of personal conviction. I don't often do reviews, or have advertisements in my side bar, or solicit sponsors. I have always chosen to keep my blog free of these kinds of things.

I can see the value of blogger product reviews (not to mention the great swag that I could gain), but I have always kept an arms distance because when I have opportunities to write to about things that are important to me and to ministry, for example TrueCampaign, you know that I am sharing my heart.

These opportunities may never come (again), and I'm OK with that, I would rather have a very few opportunities when I my voice can be distinct, than to speak in a time when I have to shout to be heard.

On the flip side, you may not care one iota why I don't review, blah, blah, blah...but now you know.

In the meantime, I blog because I enjoy it, and I've met some amazing people along the way.

So that is the bloggy business. Meeting adjourned.

But before you go, tell me: do your prefer reading blogs in the reader, or going to the blog? What makes you comment more? What makes you want to run screaming, taking your comments with you?

I know this post may have hit below the bloggy belt, and you might unsubscribe. Before you do, at least say goodbye!

Happy weekend!


Gretchen said...

I may start reading a blog in my google reader, but I nearly always click over. I mostly use the reader as a central place to catch up, but that's about it. And, actually, as I endeavor to reduce my stress & simplify life, I find my reader holding less & less subscriptions. More & more, I find that unless i feel a true kinship, I drop a subscription & just visit occasionally. That is probably a below the bloggy belt confession, as well.

But you, my platernal, amazing, coffee-swilling friend...You will have to shake me off with a stick! You're stuck w/me. Xxxooo

The Lord Family said...

Hmmm. I seem to like it when I can read the full post in a reader, but I totally get what you mean when you talk about the commenting part.
I'm not sure how my blog is set up. How sad is that?!?
I love comments. Love them. I keep telling myself that isn't why I blog--and it isn't really--but I do like comments. It affirms me. But, in reality, I shouldn't need that. But I do.
ah, my conflicted self...

Tracey said...

I visit each 'fun' blog that I read. The only blogs I read through my reader are my 'couponing', easy, get it done.

I leave comments when I have time. (less schooling = more time)

I'm praying through whether or not to continue my blog...I'm having one of those 'why do I do this?' episodes.

Rachel said...

I use bloglines to keep up with the blogs I read. I usually click over to the real blog and read the posts there. Real blogs are much prettier to look at too. I used to have a sitemetercounter on my blog recording how many visitors had been there, but one day it caused my blog to kind of crash and my hubby had to remove it to get my blog up and running again. I didn't want to add another sitemeter counter at that point because it would've started back at 0 visitors. So I've gone all this time without one. I would be curious to know how many visitors I've had over the last 2 years. Maybe I would be encouraged to post more often if I could see the numbers. Who knows. Anyway, this comment has turned out to be way longer than I thought. Thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving your sweet comments. I do really appreciate it! Have a great weekend! :)

KR said...

I don't even know what a reader is. Of course I know the term, but I figure it is one more thing to take up my already-not-enough-of-it time. You know? Same with Facebook. So I read your real blog. I don't comment a lot, or maybe ever, because (long drawn out pause here while I think) I guess I think the author (of whatever blog) think well who the heck is she & why does she think she gets to comment here? That's a little harsh, but I guess it because of insecurity. Hard to explain. Like if you don't know me, what's the value of my comment? Does that make any sense? :)

Jen said...

I detest google reader. I much prefer going to the site because the actual blog page is pretty and allows me to leave a comment easily.
So...I never even check google reader. Only occasionally to remember who I'm sub'd to. LOL. And then I get overwhelmed with how far behind I am.

I'm beginning to regret linking my blog to facebook because I'm thinking most of my readers are reading there and not commenting on my actual blog page. I don't have many readers to start with, so I really would like to hang on to the few I have!!

And that is probably more information that you needed or wanted, my coffee friend!!

Dana M said...

I love going to blogs (and commenting on occasion though I admit I am often more a lurker than a commenter!) And I am just always SO, SO happy when someone comments on my blog! So, yes, I am in the camp of reading on the actual site and (hoping) for a comment or two.

Anonymous said...

I think I am less likely to go to the post if I can't see a lot of it. I don't read everything that each blogger writes. So that said if I can only read a segment if it doesn't catch me I am not going to take the time to go see if its something interesting. My 2 cents :-). I don't do product reviews for the same reason!

Elizabeth said...

I have to admit that I haven't thought about these things for a while. I've been out of the blogging world for a few months. But I will say that when my reader only shows the beginning of a post, I only click over if it looks interesting to me. If it doesn't spark my interest or if I'm in a hurry and don't have to to click over right then, I usually never do. There are exceptions with the blogs I read regularly, but I prefer the entire post in my reader. But I'll still read yours no matter what, so no worries:)

I think a reader is a wonderful tool when you enjoy a lot of blogs but can't commit to commenting on each one every time.

Becca @ My Crazy Good Life said...

Really? Unsubscribe??? Never.

I read in a reader. Well, kind of.

If I start to read the post, I'll click over to the blog. I don't like reading from the reader, but I like how I can see who has posted and such. So, here I am. I click over from the reader every time you post :)

Carpool Queen said...

I love my Reader, and it's true, I am less apt to click over unless the first paragraph grabs me.

I've even unsubscribed to blogs that only do partial feeds.

But never fear, that won't happen here (hey, look, I rhymed).

Jolanthe said...

I subscribe to blogs through a reader but rarely use my reader. I prefer to visit blogs in person ~ I like the whole 'effect' of seeing it on the actual blog.

I'm strange like that.

Probably the same reason I'm having issues with ebooks ~ I like the feel of a book in my hands, etc. :)

Sami said...

I always use my Reader. But I always read your blog and switch over. I actually know which ones I have to click on so I just open all of those up first. There are some blogs that I would never comment on...for no particular reason. It definitely makes me more apt to comment if I start out on the actual blog. For the record, I'm kind of glad that you haven't done the reviews and ads. It makes it more personal, I think. I feel more connected to a bloggy world.

whimzie said...

I read my blogs in Google Reader. I try to limit my blog reading time so reading the full post in Reader is less time-consuming.

But I always click over to read what you have to say. I may have to come back later in the day when I have more time, but I always come over!