Friday, December 16, 2011

How I Read My Feed When I Need to Take Heed (of my time)

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 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.


TangledLou said...

These are some very helpful tips. I am finding that what with actually living my life, and then blogging about it every day and trying to keep up with everyone else's life it gets a little overwhelming. I enjoy it, but sometimes don't have the time to devote properly to reading everyone. I shall heed your infinitely wise advice and be your grasshopper.

Anonymous said...

I tend get a little behind and then catch up in big batches, but lately, I've been (more than) a little distracted. My intentions are good and I sit down with a plan. Then a favorite blogger's name will pop to the top of my blogroll and I head right over to read.

Plan? Pshaw. It's a good thing I have patient, stick-with-it friends because if they were the fickle sort, they'd have dumped my fanny a long time ago.

TangledLou said...

Oh also super excited you mentioned me by name. I feel like a star. xo

danneromero said...

i am feeling your overload... and like you, i need to backtrack... to catch up, read them all.... because, like you said, why follow if you're not reading....

... your post is sequential, just as your ideas on how to tackle your reads.... :D

Unknown said...

You are so organized! Like another commenter noted, I also can be organized, but also quite overwhelmed, random, and lucky my friends and fellow bloggers put up with me.

The Shiftless Wanderer said...

I'm impressed! Again, I'm still so new that some of what you were writing above here I had to decipher. I'm embarrassed to write that I'm still not sure what a Reader is. I'm thinking it's the comments? But maybe it's comments you've made on other blogs? Yikes. Hopeless neophyte.

I went to your blog roll. Wow. I've got some reading to do! I look forward to wandering through WonderBlogLand. And thank you for adding me to your list. I'm so thrilled! Wish I knew you, too.

Anonymous said...

NO worries from my end, Jane. :)

By the way, and please don't laugh at this, but I am not sure "how to follow" you here on Blogger. I want to show that I am following you, please. So HELP!!

By the way, an excellent. You said what you needed to say, and I hear you!


Just Jane said...

Virginia - you've figured it out! I can see your beautiful smile in my "Followers" list.

Shiftless - I'll have to move you up to the people I think I know (now that we're friends on Facebook). I'll also send you an e-mail over there regarding feeds and readers. You've inadvertently answered a general question I had by asking.

Just Jane said...

Periphery: That's because you ARE famous!

Word Nerd: That happens to me too (usually it's your blog that pops up *laughing*).

danneromero: You're right! It was sequential Ha! Unintentional, to be sure.

Melanie: We adore you! You've also had a few other things on your plate most recently.

Gaelyn said...

When I miss a few days of reading blogs I seem to never catch up. You are devoted.

alienbody said...

It's like you're in my head, man! My feed self reproduces when I'm not looking and despite my propensity toward slackitude, I'm STILL unable to keep up. I often skip the big "the big player", because I love my 'real' peeps the mostest! I just might adopt your strategy, because I'm behind on commenting and I just KNOW y'all miss me! :-) ( worries on getting to the T section, I've been less than inspired lately and my blog is suffering).

alienbody said...

p.s. I just read your blogroll page.
p.p.s. I want Amanda Palmer's eyebrows (and maybe her husband - but only for a little while).
p.p.p.s. I'm afraid to click on anything for fear of getting sucked in and having even more reason to never leave my chair.
p.p.p.p.s. I need more coffee and you are awesome.

cdnkaro said...

You are an inspiration, have this down to a science! Also, like S. Stauss, I kinda feel all big-shotish with my mention:) Thx.
p.s. I was already mulling over a music post, I swear...I don't steal ALL your blogging topics, promise:)

Masked Mom said...

As evidenced by the fact that I am often a day or so late commenting, this is some advice I can really use. I love expanding my bloggy circle, but hate that overwhelmed feeling that happens when I fall behind. I'm also having horrible problems with "following" with blogger--the little dashboard reader randomly displays only SOME of the blogs I'm following so I'm hopping around now subscribing to everyone in Google Reader in hopes I will be able to keep better track of all my new bloggy friends.

(Also delighted to be mentioned by name. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and special.)

Lucy said...

Oh, my gosh I totally understood this post and sometimes I start backwards because I feel bad that the end of the alphabet gets 'cheated'! On a rare occasion I will start in the middle!
Sometimes if I am crunched for time I will read all the backlog of a blogger and then comment on the last post about several of the posts, mainly so they know that I have read all their posts!

Just Jane said...

cdnkaro: Even though I hadn't though so, please, by all means, steal away! I think that's one of the great things about following other bloggers. I cannot tell you how many times I've been inspired/compelled to write about something someone else has written! In fact, I have a tag in my Google Feed Reader to be able to mark posts as Blog Fodder so that I can easily find and revisit certain posts that have inspired me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane! I see that I found how to follow you, right after I submitted my comment. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I also feel overwhelmed. I just go through my feed and click the first post, click to the blog, hit home, and read the latest first. Seems to work best for me. BTW, I'm posting as anonymous, because I noticed that NONE of my comments have shown up. And I've left a lot! I had this problem with another blogger blog, and was told to post as anonymous. We'll see if it works!
Or, maybe you just hate my comments! ;)

Anonymous said...

And sometimes, life just ups and whaps you across the back of the head.
That's happened here - in a good way (mostly). And I have news that I.Cannot.Wait.To.Share.
But must.

I have over a billionety posts to go through, as well. I have a very similar method of going through posts as well. You may notice a small flurry of comments on your blog, :)