Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Following - a question

Now that the A to Z Challenge for 2012 has launched and hundreds
(probably over a 1,000 again this year)
are signing up and adding their links to the list,
I am left with the same question I had last year!

While I am "window shopping" through all the blogs,
how do I know which ones I want to follow?

Really, it is not that easy a question to answer for me.

When I hit that "follow" button, I fully intend to regularly visit and read the posts. I join that site because something about that blogger's posts appeals to me, draws me in, makes me laugh, makes me think, sometimes make me tear up, ... something ... something that is hard to describe.

When I look at all the blogs I follow (the list is quite extensive and not fully represented on my blog side bar), the first thing I notice is that there is diversity to the mix. It isn't all knitting, or life journals, or cooking, or photography. It doesn't follow a specific theme, like writing or religion!

So what is that indescribable something that draws me into a blog enough to say, "Hey, I want to return and read more."

There are a few "likes" I know about:
  • I like blogs that describe the life of someone who lives in a very different place - remote winter lands or other countries, places that I will never see otherwise.
  • I really like blogs that focus on the home and on the ponderings of the writer.
  • I love blogs that show a passion for a hobby like knitting or weaving or leather work or paper crafts or anything where you create with your hands.
  • I totally love blogs where the writer has a quirky or humorous out look on life.
So as I am "window shopping" through the A to Z Challenge participants for this year, I am looking for "new blog friends" to discover and follow. And sometimes I discover a blog with something entirely different from my known lists of "likes" ... something I never even considered before ... something that broadens my world just a bit.

That is what is so great about this challenge - the "exploration!"

How do you decide which blogs to follow?
What are the things that draw you into another blogger's world?
How do you know when it is right to hit that "follow button?"


  1. At this point when I add a blog to my list it is usually because it has been recommended by another blogger or I found it on a bloggers side bar and decided to check it out. I look for humour, or a topic of mutual interest, or an outlook that brings me a fresh perspective on an issue.....usually I read several of their postings before I decide.

  2. I go for the voice of the blogger, much like I do when reading a book. Lately I've been branching out and trying to follow blogs that aren't all about writing and books, altho those are the ones I followed almost exclusively to begin with. But like you, I'm getting more discriminating. One just can't follow 3000 blogs!

  3. I don't think I can really put my finger on it. It's just something about the blog that I like. I don't hit the follow button anymore. I just subscribe to it with Google Reader. This way if I no longer want to read the blog I don't have to stop following.

  4. There has to be a mutual interest to start. But I also like to see and read about things that I might not have known about. I like a lot of pictures and links. A good writing style helps a lot, and so does a sense of humor.

  5. I agree with all the above comments. I also agree one cannot visit as many as one would like if the list is extensively long. I start at the top one day, at the bottom the next day, etc. I don't expect everyone to come by and visit and comment on my blog but I usually develop a relationship with someone before I follow. I follow several memes and that helps me get to know a group interested in old photos, photos of my town, making mosaics and the artist swap one, to name a few. That way I know on certain days I will post about that meme and will visit everyone on the list over the week.A long comment but that is how I do it.

  6. If someone has followed my blog I will usually reciprocate. I know I can't visit all the blogs I follow daily or even weekly, but sometimes I'll see a post that particularly intrigues me--I probably wouldn't see these posts unless I followed them.

    I follow many blogs for many reasons. I don't follow blogs when they seem to be consistently crude or espousing ideologies that I strongly disagree with in an inappropriate manner. In other words if I feel like it's a blog that would consistently offend me then forget it.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  7. It's primarily the voice of the writer. And, sometimes, you don't find out that a blogger is more interested in sales/coupons/etc until you've followed for a while and then realize it's all about reviews. I ultimately stop following them. I like many different genres but prefer to do my own reviewing. Blogs overloaded with family photos of people I really don't know are also culled -- not because they're aren't interesting but because there's just so many blogs you can follow --. The list will be interesting, this year.

  8. Hi Retired Knitter - this is a great post - and a good question.
    I would answer it much along the lines of my co-host Arlee Bird - if you follow a blog you think interests you then at least you will see it in the Dashboard area of your Blog (Blogs I'm Following) where you can then choose to visit or pass on a particular post.

    Also...thanks for featuring the A to Z Challenge in your last post - very cool!

    I wish you good luck and a happy solution to your quandary.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  9. I am mostly drawn to blogs that are inspiring to me in any manner. Lately I've been adding a lot of teacher blogs.


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