I am abysmally behind on my feed reader.
When I logged into my Reader this morning, I had nearly 200 posts that had accumulated over the last 3 days. People are writing and they are writing with gusto! Which I love (don't stop). It is, however, (more than) a little daunting.
This afternoon then, I've been attempting to tackle my feed. And I've discovered something I do occasionally that helps me get to every post, eventually, without getting lost.
Now, normally, I work my way chronologically from oldest to most recent unread posts of everyone I follow. This way, I get a taste of all the writers in a jumble in the order they've posted. I like doing it this way generally. Sometimes it helps me spot trends across several blogs...and I love to connect dots from random sources. Mostly, I'm decidedly OCD about following along in a linear fashion.
When I get behind though, it's much harder to think about who is posting what that way. I mean, everyone I follow has such a distinct, clear voice! So, when I'm reading on a daily basis, I know Lucy or Melissa or Melanie or Kelly or cdnkaro or Beth or Masked Mom just by what they are saying and how they are saying it. But, when I'm behind, I sometimes get lost and find myself scrolling up and down and up to look at the author of the post time and again because I'll be reading along and think, "Huh. That's not something Bon would say, that sounds more like Nini" and then find out what I thought was written by Bon wasn't Bon or Nini but Periphery or Jenn.
So, I've developed a system that's still relatively linear but not chronological. This satisfies both my OCD and keeps me straight (heh) on who is posting what.
Note: I don't ever just click on a particular blog's feed and mark all as read without reading. I wouldn't be following if I didn't want to read. Even the big kids.
However, the big kids don't notice if I'm not reading right away or, more importantly, commenting. Us Little Folk, we actually notice when we've not gotten comments from each other in awhile.
This is what I do.
First, I check a few people I would recognize on the street...
Acr0nym - who never blogs (why does he have a blog again? Oh yeah! So that I can one day hijack it and talk about feelings) but who, on occasion, has surprised me...once or twice...a year. Then I check the Divatologist and Peej and Zero Hour!...because they are regular posters.
After that, I start at the top of my Reader list with the letter "A". I skip all the big kids whose blogs I rarely, if ever, comment on. Trust me, Ree at Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, does not notice if I don't say anything because she's got 7,000 other comments to wade through (no, I'm probably not kidding). I know she cares how many readers she has - just as most of us do - but my comments don't mean nearly as much to her as they do to Successfully Underachieving.
I systematically make my way through the alphabet then, clicking on the names of the smallish bloggers I love, reading and leaving comments on (nearly) everything they've posted since I last read them. Frances, for instance, knows I read one post after another of hers today because I left, like, 6 comments in rapid succession on the 9 posts she'd published over the course of the last few days.
Once I've gone through the entire alphabet, only then will I go back through and catch up with the Big Kids.
I've whittled away at my Reader today until I have 123 posts yet. I haven't made it through all of my lovely blogging friends but I'm getting there. Some of you felt the love right away. Some of you (I'm sorry, Melissa! This n that n this falls in the "T"s) are still waiting.
Just know, I will get to you soon. And, when I do, there will likely be a flurry of comments.
Mostly though, I want all of you other bloggers to know I've not stopped reading. I've just...I've been working on a couple of HUGE projects to be revealed soon. One I can't talk about just yet and the other I haven't had time to disclose (as much as I would really like y'alls input...in fact, need your input).
Still...I am reading. You are important to me. I promise.
Note: Blogger (I'm currently on the Blogger platform) has a handy dandy Google Connect button that allows other Blogger bloggers to connect to one another. FYI: just because you are a Blogger blogger doesn't mean I'm following you through the Blogger dashboard. If I'm not showing up in your Google Connect list but still commenting frequently on your posts, I'm likely still following you through my feed reader. If you are concerned that I'm not following you (a good way to know is to check my Blog Roll) and would like to be added to my feed and/or listed in my blog roll, comment or send me a note (contact information is provided on my "Contact" page). I'm always open to new people to read and follow.