Monday, January 27, 2014

Scrambled Thoughts

I was pretty excited last summer when I discovered Bloglovin. I'd not used a reader prior to that, so I wasn't one of the grievers at the loss of Google Reader. Now I'm not as smitten, and actually am not sure I'm going to stay with Bloglovin.

I always used to have my favorite blogs listed in the side bar and arranged so that recently updated blogs would be at the tops of their columns. I liked having everything there in the one place. But my lists of blogs were growing and growing and soon that area was very, very full. Bloglovin seemed to be the right step.

I'm going to stop trying to write coherently and in an organized fashion now, and just list some of the thoughts I'm having:

  • Since going with Bloglovin, I've added many, many, many more blogs to my stable. It didn't seem as messy to have a private list as it did to have it all on my side bar. It was just so easy to add and add and add . . . .
  • When I check into Bloglovin, it isn't unusual to find I've got 60 blogs updated and waiting for me to read.
  • I'm spending a lot more time reading blogs.
  • Some of those multitudinous added blogs really need to be weeded out, and I don't know why I don't get around to doing that.
  • I get peeved when they throw in an advertisement "blog."
  • I'm so tired of book tours.
  • I don't really want to have someone telling me each week about new lines of fabric and where I can buy them. 
  • I'm [fill in some word or another; I can't pinpoint the one I want] of blogs that have lots and lots of give-aways -- all provided by a vendor rather than the blogger herself.
A long-time favorite blogger has stopped blogging. I emailed her to see if she was okay. She replied that she was okay, that she had been spending too much time on the computer, and that the world of blogging had changed.

She's right. It has changed. I recognize that some folks blog as part of how they earn their living. And I know that some blogs are -- IMNSHO -- "blogs" because they are underwritten by fabric manufacturers. Some are so loaded with sponsors that I don't feel I know the writer at all.

The best blogs, to me, are the ones that perhaps have some quilting in them, but that's not all they have. They have bits and pieces of the blogger's life, her family, her thoughts, her frustrations, her theology, her amusements. She might provide an occasional give-away -- out of the goodness of her heart, not because some author has asked her to review a book (like how objective would the review be, anyway?) and then give away a copy. She might ask opinions on a quilt lay-out. She might share a new tool that she discovered on her own and suddenly wonders how she ever lived without it. She's a real person who wants to be known as a real person and who is even interested in knowing her readers as real people.

Here are some examples of some blogs that are -- again, in my opinion -- among the best ones out there. There's this one, and this one, and this one, just to pick three. 

I'm thinking about that former blogger. I almost felt as though I knew her and hoped to meet up with her at a show sometime. She wrote a lovely blog. She was inspired by antique quilts, and I miss her.

This wasn't intended to be a rant, or a moo, or anything but just setting down some scrambled thoughts in the hope of coming to some clarity. Comments most welcome!!




22 comments:

Quiltdivajulie said...

Wow - I'm super honored to make the short list!

Otherwise - I've recently culled my Bloglovin' list for many of the same reasons you listed (most rooted in time issues and 'purity' as you described it). I keep my reader list private so that no one has their feelings hurt if their name suddenly disappears from my sidebar. What I read is my business unless I choose to share it deliberately (sad story, not to be shared here, led to that privacy decision).

PLEASE don't decide to give up your blog - please!!

Carol said...

Ahh, AMEN and AMEN to that. So so tired of the same issues with blogs these days. I don't have a personal blog, but started reading quilt blogs several years ago when I discovered them as a means to LEARN, get IDEAS and feel like I have a connection with other quilters. Love to read about other aspects and interests in their lives, as we do have them, you know! But the constant ads now and giveaways by manufacturers, rules for the giveaways would need a ledger to keep track of. UGH! So enjoy yours, Nancy, the quilts, trips, adventures and DAILY living. Keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Please don't stop blogging! I don't have a blog because I don't have the time to maintain one (read small children and full time employment there) but I get inspiration from YOUR BLOG when I have a chance to read (and then I am catching up on a few posts:)) Also: I also read the best of the best you listed LOL My time is limited and I only read about a dozen blogs. Bridget

Strlady said...

I have been using a reader for many many years. I am a bit of a book fiend and use to follow many book review blogs. Little by little my quilting blogs have become the dominate reading for blogs but I do a lot of skimming.

Last year everyone moved to Bloglovin but I decided to look at all the alternatives (as well as BLovin). I actually did not like BL at all and decided to go with Feedly. I have been using it for close to a year now with no regrets.

I do go and trim my blog list when the blogger becomes very commercial. It is just not for me. I do like my blogs to be primarily quilting but I do enjoy the human aspect, as you mentioned. I have divided my lists of blogs into categories and sometimes I just mark a whole category read without reading if the titles of the posts don't draw me to the content.

What I don't do is tell these people what is expected of THEIR blogs. Not that you are doing that! I have just heard nightmares of how some people will tell these bloggers (which I love reading) to stop talking about their families and start talking about quilting. That is just so inappropriate. I strongly believe that people write what they need to, either because their focus is on their business or their family or a bit of both. It's my choice if I want to read or not but it's not my place to dictate what is you want to do on your blog. Some people... Honestly!
nyway, I really need to get back to my own poor abandoned blog myself.

Thanks for the good post. I think it's time to do some trimming on my own list of blogs. I haven't done it in a while and I think it's ready.

audrey said...

It does all get a little out of control doesn't it? Enjoyed your post today.:)

Tanya said...

I'm not sure about Bloglovin' either. It seems to all pile up on me and I almost dread seeing another Bloglovin' reminder in my e-mail box.

In general blogging has changed. I feel like I am pretty old fashioned these days just doing blogging...

Barbara Anne said...

Amen! The fact that your blog has these wonderful, personal features of your creative quilting, pondering, musings, moos, joys, concerns, and other glimpses of real life makes it a treat to visit with you! Pretty please - don't disappear.

I'd only seen one of the blogs on your short list and have been there each morning for years but am glad to "meet" these two new blogs and the creative lights that shine there. Thanks!

Hugs!

Paula, the quilter said...

Like Striady, I did not like B.L. And went with Feedly instead. When I read using Feedly there is an icon on the Feedly iPad app that will 'clean up' the post of extraneous stuff and only give you the words and pics. I love it!

I skip the blogs that do the book tours and hate those giveaways that make you 'tug on Superman's cape and spit into the wind' to get entries. In fact, I do not enter giveaways at all anymore.

Don't go anywhere, please. I enjoy reading what you write.

Nicole said...

Thanks for the kind words Nancy. I so agree with you about how the world of blogging is changing. I am so weary of endless ads and promotions. Linky parties are starting to wear me out as well. I do use Bloglovin, but often just scan the list of blogs I follow and go in depth more with the ones that have a subject that interests me. I like to read a blog that is written by someone with varied interests and is someone who seems human!

Kathleen Schwitzner said...

Nancy, you have summed it up really well. I want to know the person behind the blog - your triumphs, your lows, your story. I consider you a friend. An online one, but one nonetheless due to the bond of quilting. I just wish I had more energy for my own blog.

I have swapped with you for Miss Mellie and Ashley. I am putting those pieces together into Beau's quilt (what else could it be?), and when people ask, I say, well, I was in these swaps with my friend, Nancy, Near Philadelphia...

And I still chuckle when I note that you think Chicago is the west, when I myself just call it home.

Your blog greets me each morning at work when I need a moment or two of sanity. Thank you.

Kathleen S.
Normal, IL

Synthia said...

I agree with your observations and IMHO your blog is one of the best!!!

Millie said...

Yes, Yes and YES!

wordmama said...

I don't feel like I should try to blog anymore because I can't do fancy photos and I'm not writing a book. So I just read and get inspired by others. I've always enjoyed your blog because you have a point of view and you are interesting.

Just thought I'd share...

Kris

Karla said...

Good morning Nancy! Wow did I ever sense frustration in your blog. I would love to offer up some great wisdom, but I only read 3 blogs, yours and The Very Worst Missionary and my former step-daughter's (who could use some prayer) Here is a link to hers, a great one on cancer http://www.light-in-the-dark.org/. That is it. Makes my life pretty simple. I have not experienced any of the advertiser issues that you have(maybe I would if I blogged). BUT I do know that if I was overwhelmed with the amount of blog updates I would be tempted to throw my hands up in the air and give it all up. Just weed them out, aggressively. Don't give up your blog if you can manage. I love it. I enjoy the little window into your life, brightens my day.

Lori said...

I agree! I dont love blog lovin as much as I did because I cannot comment easily on several blogs (Including yours!) I have to open a new page outside of blog loving and comment that way. With that said, I enjoy your blog and I enjoy blogging.

Nemo said...

Me too! You took the thoughts right out of my mind. I miss many of the quilty and crafty blogs I used to read - but there are so many now that have stopped blogging all together, yet were part of the reason why I began blogging some years ago. I miss reading and seeing their life - both craftwise and life in general - but I understand that life needs time and space too. I guess I stick to blogging (although not every day, but regularly anyway) because I need something in my life that is not work related or family - but something that's mine, and a way to take note of and register what I like and make and am inspired by at this point in life. I recently went back and read some of my first blog posts, and found heaps of things and pictures I'd forgotten all about. There are hardly any comments on my blog anymore, so o guess that proves that I do this, I blog, for me and not for everybody else. But I do really really miss many of the blogs I followed back then.

Ray said...

Oh yay, I'm going to be able to comment. So often I'm not able to.

I agree with most of what you say. I like blogs when I feel I get to know the author rather than feel like I'm reading an advertisement. There are a few bloggers who do advertise, yet still offer personal giveaways and nice tutorials. I don't mind if they earn their living by blogging if what is written rings true to me. How much more subjective can I get??

I use Feedly as my reader, and still miss Google Reader. :-(

Anyway, I love your blog and feel like I keep up with you by reading. Please continue no matter how your blog reading might change.

Colorblues said...

I always love this blog. So much I agree with. Totally separately I just found a quilt from 2011 on one of your posts. DNA with half square triangles. I so want to do this, and wonder if you ever posted more details or the finished product?

OT Quilter said...

Nancy, I too, have been frustrated by the blogosphere lately and have cut way back on blog reading. I was a Google Reader fan and have found that I much prefer Feedly to Bloglovin. Feedly is not perfect, but I'm dealing. Please don't stop blogging! Your quilts, your musings, your life's journey are all interesting and inspiring. Stay the course.

AnnieO said...

I never used a reader either and although I joined BL, I am having a lot of problems with leaving comments on my fave blogs. I have to open the post in my browser to do so, so what do I need BL for? I started reading blogs for the same reasons you did--to make connections with others in my same station, that is, alive and writing about it!

Lynley said...

I do agree! I am so ruthless with my blog list - you're boring me ... delete! I don't care about your home schooling ... delete! It's a fabric line, not the second coming ... delete! I would never actually say that to them of course (how rude) but I can say it to myself. As I delete.

Sarah said...

I completely agree! My favourite blogs are those of average everyday real people who make quilts. Some people are becoming a bit too famous or trying too hard to make a living through their blog for my liking. I do follow some people who make a living through the fabric industry, eg fabric designers, but only if I love their fabrics and only if they include everyday life stuff, not just buy my product talk. Nicole Sisters Choice is one of my favourite bloggers too.