I love blogs. I love reading new posts, reading about the writers’ families, marriages, kids, jobs, hobbies, favorite books and movies, and funny life stories. Even though I haven’t met the people who write the blogs I read, I feel as if they are my friends. I know about their lives. I care what happens to them.
I first started reading blogs in the summer of 2005 while I worked at Sports and Dance Camps at BYU. I found one blog and then started reading the blogs she linked. By the end of the summer, I had about four blogs that I read on a daily basis, not counting the livejournals of many of my high school and college friends. Back then, I just manually checked the blogs when I thought about which was several times a day.
Now, I use Google Reader to track my blogs. I have a little notifier in my tool bar and whenever a new entry posts to any of the blogs I subscribe to, it dings and shows me the total number of unread posts, the blog, and the title of the post. I also like that it’s set up so much like G mail, which I love with all my little heart.
Currently, I have about 70 blogs in my Google Reader and I read every entry that’s posted. I have a number of different categories that I divide my blogs into (family, friends, cooking, alphamom blogs, favorites, trial blogs, etc).
I find most new blogs through the blog rolls (list of favorite links) on blogs I already read. I look for links with a catchy title or that I’ve heard of elsewhere in the comments section or on other blog rolls. I love a good “About” page so I can get a quick overview of the new writer before I dive into the archives. If a blog doesn’t have an about page or a list of “100 things about me,” I find it difficult to read because I’ve had no introduction. I have no idea about the person whose private life I’m reading about. If I read half a dozen or so good entries, I add the blog to my trial blogs folder.
I go through my Google Reader subscriptions every few weeks and re-sort. Nothing But Bonfires, for instance, went into my favorite categories after only a week or two (how can you not love a person who has a hot pink KitchenAid AND has a British accent?). Other blogs get dropped after a week or two because I find that I really don’t care about them or enjoy their writing. If I really love a new blog, I try to go back and read some or all of their archives because I love knowing the whole back story. As I read more and more by a single author, I feel that I get to know them, that they are a friend. I feel a little sadness when I get to the end of their archives, when I’ve read all they’ve written.
I read blogs and books for different reasons. Blogs are more interactive (I can comment), are ongoing, and are real people, right now. I wouldn’t want to read only books or only blogs. Both are fulfilling in different ways and both, most importantly, leave me with different insight into my own life and the lives of others around me.