(NOTE: My web host is going to be doing maintenance on the server that hosts my site Thursday evening. salguod.net will be down from 7:00 PM eastern through Midnight.)
Not much activity her of late, sorry about that. I really haven’t had much to say. Not sure why, but part of it has been distraction. Now that I’ve been browsing via RSS and Bloglines, the number of sites I read has grown exponentially. I currently have 103 feeds that I’ve subscribed to. I find that I’m not the kind of guy who can easily ignore feeds in bold indicating there is stuff to read. So I click to clear that indicator, and I get sucked in and I read stuff – a lot of stuff – and my mind swims in the ocean of information and there’s no more room for inspiration.
I miss the earlier days of my blogging when my blogroll was a dozen or so entries, all folks I either knew, I had some connection with or blogs that made me think. Now, I look at that long list over there on the left in it’s disarray and sigh. That used to be my daily walk through the web, reading sites on God and His church (and cars) and getting the inspiration to post something myself. Now, I don’t use those links much, I just read posts via RSS. I miss visiting the actual site. With RSS, I don’t get drawn into the conversation because the comments aren’t right there. Some sites have comment feeds, but I haven’t subscribed to many of them and I find that a string of unrelated comments on various entries looses something in the translation. Also, some sites only publish the intro to the post and some places I like to visit, like DJ’s, don’t have a feed at all (which he ought to fix, BTW). I’ve tried sites like ponyfish and feedyes to generate my own feeds with mixed results (feedyes seems to work much better than ponyfish).
Blogging for me initially was about community, making new relationships, feeding old ones, stimulating my mind and learning something new. Now, it seems to be much more about getting through the list, skimming the articles and moving on.
I’ve wanted to clean up the site here for a long time. Long lists of links like mine don’t do much, in my opinion. How many of you have even clicked on one of them, I wonder? It just makes for a messy page, and for me it’s taken much of the joy out of my browsing, so it’s time to clean it up. I’m going to put all the sites that it might be neat to follow into my Bloglines account and take them off that list, leaving only those that I long to visit consistently. That way I can go back to the old way of browsing, clicking the links from my own blogroll, viewing the site, reading the comments. That may be more difficult than I think, but that’s the plan. When there’s time, I can go to Bloglines and see what else is going on.
Reading via RSS to me feels like visiting your neighbors by driving the neighborhood, hanging out the window to wave at everyone. You get to see everyone in the neighborhood, but all they get is a wave and a smile. I want to go back to knocking on a select few doors, going inside where I can see the wall paper and the paintings and have a good chat. I may only get to my closest friends most of the time, but the experience will be far better.
I’m not sure how soon I’ll get to that, but that’s the plan anyway.

5 thoughts on “Spread Thin

  1. “How many of you have even clicked on one of them, I wonder?”
    Me. I still occasionally click on some of your blog links on the left. Yea, I could bookmark them. But why should I do that when you’ve got all the del.icio.us (or however you spell it) I want right here? 🙂

  2. I have clicked on most of them. I like to visit new sites and see if I find the same interest as the guy (or girl) who linked to it.
    By the way, I feel your pain about RSS. I even have mine turned off most of the time, now. That seems to have fixed the problem. 😉
    Another thing I have found myself going on visitation spurts. I might be hooked on a site for a week or two and put much of my blogging time into that one site, and casually visit others during that time. But after a week or two, I find myself hooked on another site in my list and pour myself into the conversation there. And so on. And so on. I still do the “daily visits” to about 15 sites. But I might not contribute much to the conversations.
    I find this to help my blogging be more enjoyable and less stressful. I know it’s not the coolest thing for a blogger to get a bunch of comments for a while from a guy, and then the guy doesn’t say a word for a month or more! But I recognize that people do that with my site, as well. I totally understand it. And I love it when I post something that hooks them on my site again.
    (now…how to chain them to my site without being chained to theirs…hmmm, gotta ponder that one.)
    (just kidding.)

  3. That’s cool that the links are getting used. I still want to trim them down a bit. Maybe a 2 tiered list, the ‘inner circle’ and the ‘outer court’ or something. I’m just tired of the big ol’ list.
    The other thing that bugs me about RSS is it’s so inconsistent. Some site only publish a sentence or two and you’ve got to go read the rest, some have comment feeds but most don’t, sometimes posts keep showing up on the feed over and over, some feeds suddenly show 25 new posts when there’s only one, some feeds will show the whole post than they suddenly won’t and like I said, some site have no feed and if I’m always using my news reader, I might forget to check them.

  4. I can relate to the vast amount of information that is out there. It can be overwhelming. To keep my sanity, I consistently visit only a handful of blogs (and even that is not daily). I venture out on occasion to see if there’s something new that would grab my attention.
    If one of the sites that I like only posts occasionally, that’s a candidate for an RSS feed. I use Yahoo! which is not the most beautiful interface, but it does allow me to quickly glance to see if a new post has been put up and then I go directly to the blog home instead of navigating through Yahoo!.
    Sanity is a good thing. So is being connected to a great community. Balance, to me, is key!

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