Sunday Salon: A Reader Survey (Or, I Need Your Input!)

The Sunday

The final months of 2010 were blissfully uncluttered for me. Without them I would not have been able to devote so much time to Erin Reads and to connecting with other bloggers and readers; nor would I have been able to read so many books! Alas, though, now the real world is creeping up on me again and soon my time will be limited once again.

I refuse to give up blogging, and I refuse to give up reading other blogs. But something’s gotta give! Instead of making the decision myself, I’d like to ask you, my readers, for your input. There are two parts to my inquiry:

  1. First, below you’ll find a quick and anonymous survey about comment replies and posting frequency, among other things. If you could take a moment to fill it out, I’d be very grateful, and you’d be helping me use my blogging time as efficiently as possible.
  2. Second, I need help managing my Google Reader! It pains me to consider dropping blogs from my reading list, and so I’m turning to you. How do you keep up? Have you created a system that works for you? Any tips or ideas you can offer would be greatly appreciated! If you don’t want to leave this piece as a comment, feel free to add it to the “Other” section at the end of the survey.

A big thanks in advance for everyone who helps me out — I really appreciate your time and input!

Join the Conversation


  1. I hope you will share any hints you get about google reader! I got so behind during the holidays that I am at the point of marking everything as read and just starting fresh. I’m sure I will miss some fascinating posts, but I was getting so overwhelmed last week that I couldn’t even get started reading blogs again.

    1. I will! I managed to struggle through my holiday GR, but it took me the better part of a week. Something has to change!

  2. I’m pretty ruthless about culling my reader: I save that for only blogs that I really love and/or that regularly post about books I want to read and/or are good blogging friends. I have that further divided into ‘Fave Book Blogs’ and just a general book blogs folder. Usually, I just read the new posts from each. But if I take a blogging break & come back to a full reader, I mark all read in the general folder & read the backlog of my fave blogs, since they’re marked that way since I truly want to read every post they write. Honestly, my reader is lean enough that I can take a two week break, come back, and still have significantly fewer than 1,000 posts inside.

    But I also regularly visit blogs that aren’t in my reader, either with blog hopping, or checking out my commenters’ blogs, or following links people tweet: that’s done on a ‘as I feel like it’ basis. I guess I consider ‘blog networking’ to be a bit different from ‘blog reading.’ There’s overlap of course, but I think they serve two distinct functions. Not subscribing to a blog doesn’t mean I’ll never interact with the blogger: it just means I don’t think I need to read every post they write. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for your advice, Eva! I need to get better about culling my reader; I have this guilt thing coupled with a fear that if I delete some of the blogs I never read, I’ll never find them again. But if I never read them…why subscribe at all, eh? I like your system of a mark-as-read (as necessary) folder and a must-read folder. I’ll have to see if that would work for me. I’d love to take a nice long break and come back to numbers in the triple digits instead of quadruple!

      I need to get better at visiting blogs that aren’t in my reader. I visit commenters, but that’s about it. Maybe if I did more of that I’d be able to cull my reader a bit. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom πŸ™‚

      1. As far as visiting non-reader blogs, I mainly just pop by my commenters’ places. Or if I see an interesting comment on another blog, I’ll check out that commenter’s blog. I only bloghop randomly when I’m in the mood! lol I don’t think it’s something you have to do to be a good blogger though.

        I used to have the guilt thing too, but then I realised no one else would ever know who I was/wasn’t subscribed to. πŸ˜‰

        1. I suppose moving from interesting commenter’s blog to interesting commenter’s blog could be a type of hopping, no? I like that approach to visiting new blogs better than my own, which has been to subscribe to every blog just in case I forget someone. I’m working on fixing that, because it’s ridiculous…there’s no way I can read all those blogs, I just stress myself out! And that is an excellent point…who will ever know??

  3. I tend to skip over most meme posts…Unless something catches my eye. There are a few blogs that I will read every post, but with others I’m just looking for reviews and serious content that I am interested in reading. There’s just not enough time to read every In My Mailbox or the other memes out there. Skipping over those posts cuts down big time on my GR inbox.

    But, I do spend lots of time in GR. It’s something I look forward to!

    1. I tend to skip memes too, and I don’t usually like writing them, so I’m glad to hear they’re not a favorite! Many people seem to lean toward serious content only, which is good to know. I love poking around on GR, too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. I do that as well. I find them harder to write, too, for some reason. I’m glad they don’t seem to be a favorite. Thanks for your input!

  4. I often skip meme posts, but my best organizational principle has been dividing up blogs in Google Reader by how regularly I read them. I have five or six folders starting from blogs whose every post I absolutely must read, going down to ones I like to read but it won’t make my life bad if I miss a few posts. I also have a folder for new-to-me blogs, so I can try them out for a while.

    1. That’s a great idea, Jenny. I certainly have enough blogs in my GR to justify having multiple folders, as you suggest! I love the idea of a new-to-me folder as well. I often lose new blogs in the jumble of my reader; it would be nice to highlight them initially. Thanks for sharing your system!

      1. I put the new-to-me blogs in a seperate place too! For me, I don’t put them in any folder for awhile, until I decide where they belong or if I should just unsubscribe. I like being able to easily access those feeds individually. πŸ™‚

        1. I’ve just created a new-to-me folder in my reader. I think it’ll work for me to keep a closer eye on new blogs!

  5. Best of luck with trying to find a new balance, Erin. I’ve been there before and I know it’s not easy! I use the same Folders system as Jenny (with only 4 of them, though) and I find that it does help a lot.

    1. Thank you! It’s proving rather difficult, but people’s answers to this survey are helping a lot. I’m going to have to think about the folders system and how I could use that. It sounds like a good solution.

  6. This is an issue I constantly struggle with. You just have to do what you can … and what you WANT to do rather than let it become an obligation. I personally prefer blogs that don’t post every day … much easier to keep up!!! : )

    And I try not to read blogs out of a feeling of obligation, but that can be difficult and it is an area I still struggle with. Good luck … and I hope you will share your poll results.

    1. That’s the thing, it’s really not an obligation to me — I love blogging and reading other blogs, it’s just that I doubt I’ll be able to keep up the pace! Mine may soon be one of those blogs that doesn’t post every day, so I’m glad at least one person will be happy πŸ™‚

      I’ll be sharing the insights I’ve gleaned from this survey in next week’s Sunday Salon. Thanks for contributing!

  7. I’m only able to actually spend time commenting once or twice a week so Google Reader is always a battle. Ive been trying to respond directly from comments I receive since many of these people are in my GR but since I only post 2-3 times a week it’s hard to comment on everything I *want* to comment on–like your Juliet Naked and Looking Glass posts that I didn’t comment on. πŸ™ I hate that but if I allowed myself I could spend HOURS commenting and there’s just not time enough.

    Good luck.

    1. I think we all understand — blogging is a hobby for pretty much all of us, and other things certainly take precedence. I have to get better about realizing that myself! You do a surprising amount of commenting for only having a little time each week to do so, and your comments are always thoughtful, which I know we all appreciate.

      Commenting from comments might be a good system, at least as a supplement. Maybe as a bare minimum πŸ™‚ Thanks for your input! (And sorry I’m late in replying — somehow your comment evaded my notice!)

  8. I actually prefer to visit each blog I follow every time they have a new post. Like the above commenters, I prefer to skip over memes, while I prefer blog hops, particularly The Literary Blog Hop. Reading is a solitary activity, but hops remind you that you’re not alone. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I haven’t done much with hops, but I’ll have to look into them more. Sounds like a good way to visit a lot of different blogs. I do like anything that makes reading a more social activity!

  9. What you said to Eva, about deleting blogs from your reader and then worrying about not finding the link again is something I’ve done. And I’ll find the link again and add it to my reader once more so I don’t lose it, but did I really want to? Nowadays I make a note of all the blogs I’ve subscribed to, that way I can add and delete from my reader all I want and know that the links will still be there somewhere. You definitely shouldn’t feel guilty about deleting, we can’t read or indeed like everything.

    1. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one! I should make a note of, or maybe bookmark, the blogs I want to keep in mind but not necessarily subscribe to. That would definitely clean up my reader. Thanks for the suggestion!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *