Munching through blog posts.

[Note: I wrote the following post a few weeks ago in a fit of something. I wasn’t quite sure if I should post it. My intent on My Porch is not to offend–So far I think I have only inadvertently offended my mother and one Meryl Streep fan who didn’t like what I had to say about Sophie’s Choice. But then I was thinking that because I like all my blogger friends, I sometimes over-edit my point of view. So, in honor of the recently departed Hurricane Irene, I am throwing caution to the wind. ]

As I mentioned previously, after two weeks without the Internet I came home to over 1,000 new blog posts in my Google reader. JoAnn at Lakeside Musing commented on that post writing that she was surprised I was able to get through them all so quickly. Which is true, I did blow through them pretty quickly. But in reality it wasn’t that difficult because for every grain of blogging wheat there was a bushel of blogging chaff.

Now, before any of you get upset, I think you can safely believe that your blog is one of the exceptions. My blog roll is quite different from the blogs I keep an eye on in my Google reader. [I need to up date my blog roll, there are some great blogs I haven’t added yet.] And I am fairly confident I know who my regular readers are. Of those, the ones who have blogs, have blogs that I like. Sure, we all write a boring post from time to time (perhaps this one), but somehow I picked up a long list of blogs over the years–mainly through various challenges and such–that I realize now are pretty damn boring on a regular basis.

Of course it is all subjective. In some cases I find them boring because of the kind of books they read. In other cases I don’t like them because they are written by boring, humourless writers. And in other cases some bloggers write as if they are trying out to be the book critic for their local newspaper–with lots of hand wringing when they feel like they are somehow not living up to some imaginary standard. I suppose I do a certain amount of hand-wringing myself, but I hope to goddess I do it with a proper sense of perspective and (fingers crossed) humor. No one is paying us to blog so why make it seem like a job?

So why do I try to keep up with these blogs? Like a four-year old refusing to go to sleep I am, no doubt, worried that I might miss out on something. But after facing down those 1,000 posts I think I may need to grow up and get over that. Time to weed the reader.

If you think I am throwing stones dangerously close to my own glass house drop me a note and let me know I am full of shit. It is highly possible I just felt like using the word ‘chaff’.

14 thoughts on “Chaff

  1. C.B. James August 28, 2011 / 2:47 pm

    This is one reason why I have never used Google reader. I don't think I'm going to weigh in on the question of just how much chaff is out there, but I will say that I always try to say something interesting. And I always try to keep things concise just in case what I'm saying turns out to be dull.


  2. Teresa August 28, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    I have my Google Reader more or less sorted into blogs that I actually read (like yours) and blogs that I sort of keep a vague eye on (all the usually boring ones that I won't name). That makes getting through them go more quickly. And every now and then I do some weeding, but like you, I worry about missing something!

    What I really need to do is weed out the blogs that annoy me on a regular basis. Yet those are the hardest ones to let go of because they are interesting.


  3. Lu @ Regular Rumination August 28, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    I don't know if you saw my response to your comment on my blog, but I don't want it to feel like a job either. I want it to be something I work for, but not a job. I understand exactly your sentiment here.

    Like Teresa, I have my blog sorted by “Read Every Day” and “Read When I Have Time.” The truth is, I rarely get to the “Read When I Have Time” blogs and I should probably just delete them, but like you, I haven't gotten around to it yet.

    On the other hand, writing such boring posts is another reason I want to write for my blog every day. Writing every day doesn't necessarily mean posting every day, and making sure posts are ready to go out, not just chaff as you call them, is one of my goals.


  4. Carol August 28, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    I am constantly adding and removing blogs from my Google Reader. Your's is among several that I would never think of removing. I'm glad you had an opportunity to use the word “chaff”!


  5. Relish August 29, 2011 / 2:19 pm

    I completely understand! I do get nervous that I will miss out on things but I have sadly recently started to be a bit harsher with my culling of Google Reader. Its a shame because there are some lovely bloggers out there but .. if I can't bare to read what you've written, or indeed, what you read..then what's the point!?


  6. Ti August 29, 2011 / 2:23 pm

    I go through my blog roll regularly and only list those that I actually read. I am about to dump a few only because they've relied heavily upon memes this year (hate memes) and seem to be lacking content. BUT, some of those folks I like quite a bit so I will just stay in touch with them on Facebook. FB is good for that.

    I like my reader because it's easy for me to quickly skim and weed out the chaff, as you put it. But I only comment on a few.


  7. Thomas at My Porch August 29, 2011 / 3:48 pm

    CB: It would be even worse for me if I didn't use Google reader. I would still try to keep up with them all but wouldn't be able to do efficiently.

    Teresa: I think I need to learn how to organize my reader. I agree annoying is better than boring.

    Lu: I need to come up with a similar system.

    Carol: Thanks for the compliment. I think my litmus test for chaff needs to be whether or not I ever feel compelled to comment on a a particular blog or vice versa.

    Relish: I can be a very snarky person–I once wrote a devastatingly cruel letter to FoodTV about Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee–but I would prefer not to bee that person too often. But some bloggers really make me want to be snide.

    Ti: I agree with you about memes. I have done them from time to time. But even then I try to mix it up and make it somewhat unique. And there are some who do nothing but memes. Thankfully none of my regular features (that haven't been very regular lately) have inspired people to copy them in meme fashion (at least not too often).


  8. pagesofjulia August 29, 2011 / 4:16 pm

    Lol! You mean you're not getting PAID?

    Nah, it's okay. You have not offended (me, at least). We can't all like everything everybody else writes!

    I have an probationary subcategory to the blogs I follow, and some blogs fall off of it pretty regularly. Reading blogs should be a pleasure, not a chore.


  9. StuckInABook August 30, 2011 / 6:49 am

    I wish you'd been snarkier ;) I'd never dare on my own blog, but I do get a little kick from other people airing snarky opinions. I don't have Google Reader, and never have, mostly because I don't like the idea of reading posts out of context with blogs. So my litmus test is whether or not I remember the blog exists!


  10. JoAnn August 30, 2011 / 8:28 am

    Ok, trying to catch up on my google reader again.

    I think I'll give Teresa's method a try and set up folders for blogs I actually read and those I keep an eye on. It's impossible to read everything and, like you say, some are just more interesting than others.

    Chaff is a great word, BTW… wonder if I can use it sometime today.


  11. Thomas at My Porch August 30, 2011 / 1:56 pm

    Julia: You are right, it shouldn't be a chore. Keeping that in mind will help me weed.

    Simon: I think the only person I may have ever offended is you with my review of Mrs Hargreaves. I think you are on the right track with your litmus test.

    JoAnn: Yeah I think Teresa has the right idea.


  12. StuckInABook August 30, 2011 / 5:29 pm

    Oh gosh, you didn't offend me Thomas! The only people who've ever offended me in the blogging world have been those who left mean anonymous comments on my blog.


  13. StuckInABook August 30, 2011 / 5:30 pm

    (although you might offend Miss Hargreaves by believing her married ;-))


  14. agoodstoppingpoint August 30, 2011 / 9:36 pm

    With my job change last year, I started having much less time to read blogs, so I've had several pruning sessions with my Google Reader.

    I felt sad at cutting some of them, as they were sometimes blogs I'd started following at the beginning of my book blogging days. So they felt like old friends in a way.

    I comfort myself by the fact that I still see some of these bloggers when they comment on blogs I still read, and so I can still click through to their blog to catch up now and then.

    – Christy


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