Monday, 24 September 2012

Blogger Cull & Bury The Hatchet Blogfest

My friends, I get to Bury the Hatchet into one of my pet peeves later in this post. But first let me tell you what took me several hours to complete this week:

A blogger cull.

In order to make my blog reading more manageable I finally used Google Reader to divide the blogs I'm following up into groups of similar interest. For example: science fiction; fantasy; young adult; reading. However, before I started this task I was following 351 blogs. I am sure you will agree this was an unmanageable number. How can I possibly visit that number on a regular basis? The answer is of course, I can't. So, I spent several hours going through every one of those blogs to decide whether to stop following them. I used the following criteria to decide whom to cull:

  • Does the blog no longer exist? (even if the blog has been removed you will still be following it).
  • Has there been no post for more than two months and no explanation as to why (I was shocked by the number that came under this category.What has happened to these people?).
  • Is their blog of no interest to me and they do not comment on mine? (This is the only time I used comments to decide to stop following someone. I follow a lot of bloggers who do not visit me in return. However, I enjoy reading theirs and will not stop just because they do not visit me).

Using the above criteria I cut the number down to 138. Once I had divided them into groups I added them all to my Star Bloggers list on the right side of my blog. I also resolved not to follow a blog if it is of little or no interest to me. I think it is easy for new bloggers to follow everyone in an attempt to gain followers back. During my early days of blogging I followed everyone. Two years on, I simply wish to give more time to the bloggers I have formed more meaningful friendships with. And a bonus of the blog cull is I have rediscovered some superb blogs.

How do you manage your blog reading? Do you have a number you try to visit each day or have a set day per week? Are you following too many? Have you ever considered a blog cull?


Now for E.J. Wesley's Bury the Hatchet Blogfest.
 

As some of you may know, Wesley's stunning Blood Fugue was published last week, and in celebration he is hosting a blogfest and competition. The blogfest is simple: post about something you'd like to bury the hatchet in. So, what annoys me to the point of wanting to bury a razor-sharp hatchet into it? 

Con-artists who send you emails trying to gain your help with their dead relatives millions. I'm sure we've all had at least one email from someone with a foreign name, telling you a sob story, and begging you to help them give millions to charitable causes. Of course they would like to know some information about you first. Such as your full name, address, birth date, bank account number, and so on. The sad thing is that people fall for it. On a lighter note, I received an email from Colonel Gaddafi's accountant last week. I had to laugh.

Please pop over to Wesley's blog and congratulate him. Here's the lowdown on his book and competition:

Author E.J. Wesley is launching his latest title, BLOOD FUGUE, and wants you to help him celebrate! Check out his blog The Open Vein for details on how to take part, and how to enter for a chance to win some sweet prizes!

What's BLOOD FUGUE about?


Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, Jenny must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it. Blood Fugue, by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the Moonsongs books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes.


BLOOD FUGUE is available now via Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and most other eBook retailers. Check out the author on Goodreads!



Happy Writing!

43 comments:

  1. It gets tricky doesn't it? There are definitely some blogs I am more likely to read and comment on than others as you say there is simply not enough hours in the day to visit everyone! I only *found* you a week or so ago so I'm hanging around to get to know you more :)

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. It's always nice to make a new blogging friend.

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  2. I did some culling recently and am down to 868 blogs on my reader. I have a lot of varied interests. :)

    There are some blogs where I never comment, I just read for information. Some are big blogs where the comment thread is too big so why bother commenting when my comment has already been expressed? And some are friends whose blogs I just like to read. If I have something to add, I'll comment, otherwise I wait until the next time. I'm still a faithful reader.

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    1. 868?! That makes my 351 seem like nothing.

      I think if I was a full-time writer, I could devote more time to blog readng - I would make time every day just for that activity. In the mean time I will try to do the best I can.

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  3. There are some blogs I follow faithfully and comment on regularly. Others I read regularly but don't often comment. Yet others I read occasionally and rarely comment. I have culled a few blogs - the ones that have not been updated for a couple of years, for example. It's a bit like 'unfriending' contacts on Facebook - I always feel rather guilty and disloyal . . . stupid, I know:-)

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    1. I know what you mean about the guilt but I kept telling myself it was necessary. At least I now have room to follow more blogs.

      Interestingly, I've lost one follower today already. I wonder who is doing the same thing as I?

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  4. I like to try to keep things organized through Google Reader myself. I did a cull a few months back and it was really refreshing - reading on subject matter that isn't the most interesting to you but because it is there is probably the worst of my offenses: now i am off to try and find better blogs to read that connect more with me!

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    1. "reading on subject matter that isn't the most interesting to you"

      It is to easy to fall into this trap. Time is precious, as they say.

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  5. Thank you for including me in your sidebar!
    I divided mine up into Blogger Buddies, Movie Blogs, Book Bloggers, and the rest divided into days of the week. With over 1600 blogs, there is no way I can visit all of them!
    And every now and then I check some blogs to see if they are still following me.

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    1. 1600? Somehow I'm not surprised. I never thought of days of the week. What a brilliant idea!

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  6. I've been pairing down my blog list too. Thanks for including me on yours. I find other people's lists really useful for finding new bloggers.

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  7. That was a lot of blogs. I only have a handful and sometimes find it hard to get time even then. I certainly could not cope with over one hundred. I am retired now but that does not seem to free up as much time as it should, since I am committed to several must do tasks I stupidly volunteered for and family takes up a lot of time too since we are now expected to be available at all times. You must be Supergirl. How many words per second do you type?

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    1. I often hear retired people say the same thing, Snafu. Other people assume you must be free all the time. Not the case!

      I'm definitely not Supergirl. I only visit a few blogs each day. Now Superman would be Alex Cavanaugh - he visits up to 100 a day!

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  8. I follow A LOT of blogs, but read about a tenth of that number and comment on a select few. It's difficult to keep up with everyone, but I do try! What I find works for is my blog list on my blog. Through that, I can always tell when one of my favourite blogs has been updated with new content, so I always know which to visit and when. :)

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    1. I am now using the list in the same way, Sam. If I see a topic that interests me then I will visit that day.

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  9. Ugh, I hate all email spammers! And congrats on the Great Blogger Cull. I think I follow something like 700+ blogs. One of these days I ought to start the great and daunting task of culling them, too. In the meantime, I've organized my "daily" reads and my "faves" into buttons on my task bar. In addition to them I try to visit those who comment on my blog. Otherwise, I don't get much blog-visiting done. I'm lame like that. :P

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    1. I think organisation is the key. Like you, without it I would never visit anyone.

      If you do decide to do a cull, leave several hours for the job. It's mammoth.

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  10. Three hundred and what?!?!?! Blimey!!! I am in super AWE!! I think I follow close to 200 - I think or am I kidding myself!??! Who knows!?! LOL!! I can't stand google reader and am barely coping with this new blogger look - I doubt I could bring myself to be so disciplined with my bloggie stuff! So yay for you!!!!

    Oh but I do get upset if I lose a follower! LOL! It's a bizarre feeling!

    All the best to Mr Wesley!!! Double yay!! Take care
    x

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    1. The new look is taking time to adjust to!

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  11. Ah yes, I could do with a cull - I have some on my blogroll that haven't been posted to for over a year!

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  12. Ellie! You've touched on something I still don't know how to do. I've got tons of blogs in Google Reader, but I don't know how to sort them like you described. (And clear off ones that like you said, are "dead.") HELP! :D <3

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  13. I use google reader. I divide blogs into 'friends', sci-fi, new, and then there's the rest. I follow over 1000 blogs. Do I visit them all? No. Friends I visit consistently. Sci-fi and new get more visits from me than the others, too.

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  14. I do pretty much what you do: categories in Google Reader and the occasional cull. It is weird how some blogs are full of activity and then just ... stop, isn't it? I always want to know why. What happened?

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    1. I can't help but wondered what happened to them.

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  15. Glad I made the cut :) I use Google Reader, too, and have different folders and such. I don't even know how many people I'm following anymore - it's over 400 I think. I definitely don't automatically follow anyone anymore. If they follow me and leave a thoughtful comment, I'll follow them.

    Blood Fugue looks pretty cool! Good luck to E.J.

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    1. Good to know other bloggers are using the reader and that it works.

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  16. Goodness Ellie that sounds aso organised. I wish you could do that for mine LOL! It sounds like a fabulous idea though and yes, I do wonder/worry about those bloggers have had disappeared without trace while their blogs sit like an abandoned home with no-one in.
    I agree about con artists, especially those who target the elderly and con them out of all their savings.
    Good luck to Wesley on the book launch. Sounds awesome!

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    1. Unfortunately, it usually is the elderly that fall for these cons. I know someone who lost £300 through a computer scam. They claimed to be from Microsoft when they rang!

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  17. I need to do this myself. I have such a huge blogroll and can't possibly visit them all. I'm really amazed at all of the bloggers who stop blogging. I guess those of us who stick with it are really in the minority.

    Folks should at least tell their fellow bloggers that they are taking a hiatus.

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    1. I agree. All that's needed is a quick message to say they are stopping. Otherwise we're left thinking the worst.

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  18. I know there are a lot of blogs out there, but I must say "wow" to the number that others manage to follow. I probably don't follow as many as I should, but I read what I follow most weeks, even if I don't comment on everything.

    I'd love to bury the hatchet into the new blogger interface. I miss the old one a lot.

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    1. I'm 50:50 on the new interface. I love the stats you now get on viewing numbers etc. However, I liked everything laid out the way it was before!

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  19. I used to want to buy a Kindle fire, but when I saw it was backlit, I realized that it's basically pretending to be a tablet, except with a LOT less functionality.

    So I bought a Samsung Galaxy tablet instead. DEFINITELY not regretting it. ^_^

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    1. I was wondering how close to a tablet the Kindle Fire will get. Sounds like not close enough.

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  20. A blog cull is a good idea! I use Google Reader to divide all the blogs I follow into days of the week - then I TRY to visit those people at least once a month. Sadly, it doesn't always happen. I don't even know how many blogs I follow, but it's way too many to keep up with.

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    1. It is so hard to keep the right balance between blogging and writing, Jemi. If only there were more hours in the day!

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  21. I'm sooo envious of you cutting down your reader 'bulk'. I need to do that, but I'm scared to even start. I'd love to cross-reference everyone I follow with who's following me as well. Not that I'd chop everyone out who isn't following me back, more for the other way around. (I'd like to be better about following and giving my time to those who follow me.)

    "Con-artists who send you emails trying to gain your help with their dead relatives millions." Yes! lol I think we'd all like to them a whack or two with an ax. Sadly, the reason they exist is because someone HAS sent them money.

    Thanks so much for playing along in the blogfest, Ellie. And for the nice things you've said about Blood Fugue. Truly, dearly appreciate it. :-D

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    1. I dread to think how much money these horrid people con out of innocent people. Sadly, I suspect it is far higher than we think.

      I was more than happy to take part in your blogfest. Blood Fugue was a thrill to read. Roll on book two.

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  22. Hi Ellie .. I agree re the following, but definitely the subscribing - I have to really want to now-a-days.

    Once I've got IE / embedded comment boxes commenting sorted out on my return in mid October - I'll try and be more consistent and keep up to date with things.

    See you soon - if you pick this up .. as it will probably go to spam ...

    Cheers Hilary

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