Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Blog Post about Blogging

I have admitted in the past that I am a "pathological blogger". I just can't help but write what I'm thinking and put it on the Internet for everyone to see! I do use the term a bit facetiously, but to be honest, I sometimes think it's an unhealthy obsession. Not only do I willfully spend hours upon hours each week writing about minute details in my boring life, I also harp on my friends who blog and constantly tell them to update, update, update! I mean, I love keeping up with my friends by reading what they have to say about their own lives, but I acknowledge that it just isn't my place to tell them what to write and when. Sometimes, I feel like I've replaced my actual friendships with the blogger-to-blogger relationship -- like I've communicated more with a real-life friend online than in real life.

Over the years, dozens of my friends have begun blogs and ended them. Most were blogs about semesters abroad or random travels. A few were personal journals about daily life that went from the ambitious picture-a-day style to sporadic, one-sentence updates. More than a few simply stopped writing without saying goodbye.

As a result, I've accumulated many "dead" blogs on Google Reader. I didn't realize just how many I had until I decided to move to feedly (since Google Reader is going to be shut down in July), a web reader that can integrate perfectly with Reader. In Reader, I had the option of hiding from view any blog feed that wasn't updated, so I never knew how large my reading list actually was.

When I imported my reading list into feedly, I was a bit surprised to see that I was subscribed to over one hundred blogs and newsfeeds. Less than a third of them were being updated with any sort of regularity. So, I had to make the difficult choice of removing all the "dead" blogs from my feed.

With Reader and its "hide" function, I could always hold out hope that a friend would log in and write a blurb about whatever after years of no news, and I wouldn't miss this blast from the past, since it would pop up in my feed. But... I've decided that now is as good a time as any to start fresh. So, goodbye, (50+) dead blogs! If you are ever resurrected, I probably won't know. But to my friends, the writers of said blogs, well, if you keep in touch in other ways (e.g. Facebook, or, I don't know, real life maybe), be sure to let me know if you've begun to write again.

I myself will continue to write here for at least another year, and I have a handful of entries left in mind for my old Swarthmore blog, so you know where to find me.

Oh, and I guess this is probably a good place to plug my "Friends and Links" page, found in the navigation bar up at the top of the blog, which has links to the blogs of friends, fellow Fulbrighters, and more -- but only those that are 1) updated regularly and 2) I actually read.

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