Blogging Overload

After suffering from my second cold/flu this season last week, I'm getting ready for a quick trip to Santa Rosa for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday at the end of this week. As you might have noticed, that's led to rather sporadic posting, which will probably continue at least until next Tuesday as there's just not enough time to read another book of poetry, choose a few of my favorite poems, and then explain why I like those particular poems or feel they are characteristic of the poetry read.

Instead, I'll probably use what time I do have to bring some order to my weblog and try to refocus my attention on those things that are really important to me. Lately, like many, I've increasingly felt that this weblogging experience is becoming a burden rather than a joy. Maybe, though, it's not just weblogging, maybe it's the whole internet thing that has become overwhelming.

For instance, yesterday I spend over two hours trying to eliminate bookmarks from Safari. Now, I like to think that I don't overuse bookmarks as I only note pages that I would really like to pursue further. One problem is that I am simply interested in far too many things. Another problem is that sites like wood s lot, riley dog, and mysterium simply introduce too many fascinating topics for anyone to keep up with. Most of the time yesterday was spent automatically deleting any sites over thirty days (I figure I can't be that interested if I haven't gotten back to it within a month). I'm still left with over 60 bookmarks, not to mention the permanent reference set I keep in URL Manager Pro, which is much more extensive.

Another problem is the sheer number of sites I've listed in my blog roll. If I list someone there, I feel obligated to visit their site regularly, and I try to visit old friends, the ones near the top of the list, daily. NetNewsWire has helped me to make some order out of this chaotic list by letting me know when sites update and giving me enough of a summary to know if I really want to visit the site without actually having to open the site to find out that there's nothing new there. Unfortunately, a lot of my favorite sites don't include RSS feeds, so I have to open them regularly on my own. But, to tell the truth, some very good sites get neglected just because they don't have an RSS feed.

I felt rather bad yesterday as I started to systematically visit every site on my blog roll to discover that some of them had totally disappeared in the last month and I still had them on my blog roll. I'll have to spend time shortly deleting those links, and considering whether to include links to other sites that have recently linked to me. I felt even worse when I discovered that there were major changes going on in some of my favorite blogger's lives that I had missed. I felt like I'd missed work for three months and returned only to discover that major changes had taken place in my friend's lives while I'd been gone.

I guess this is a long way of saying that I need to re-examine my priorities, especially my internet surfing and blogging habits, and decide on the best way to take advantage of the opportunities the media offers.

5 thoughts on “Blogging Overload

  1. I try to ease off if I find things being a burden and remind myself I am not obliged to read or write anything. Which is easier to say than do, but a useful rule none-the-less. Also I silently, but ruthlessly, de-link.

  2. I second qB’s comment. There are some 50 odd blogs on my main blogroll and I have no chance of visiting more than a few a day. If I don’t get to someone’s blog in the course of a month or so – silent de-link is becoming the norm. It’s not so much a comment on their blog as it is on my limited time, energy and rapidly waning enthuiasm for this medium.

  3. I don’t have the roll, and I have people who I read because they matter to me, or the write wonderfully, or both. Not because they link, though that is a kindness.

    BTW, you three are among the ones I read.

    Also BTW, I do hear what you mean about the burden. Sometimes weblogging sucks the joy out of your life.

  4. Boy, do I feel empathetic. The blurry line between writing for yourself and writing for others shifts for me all the time.

    And it’s weird to feel like you’ve missed a day at work, just because you haven’t had time to read other people. I get that feeling all the time (he says as he reads blogs for the first time in three days).

    Blogs that don’t ping fall off my radar all the time. It’s not that I don’t like reading them, it’s just that when you have a big roll there just aren’t enough hours in the day to check them all to see if maybe they have updated.

    I’ve decided to perservere though, and try to let go of that feeling of obligation– both the obligation to read and to write for– other people. Ultimately, making sure that writing works for me is the only thing I can really control.

  5. hi loren,

    i thought this might be an appropriate place to let you know that i’m going to stop writing at good maus. thanks for your visits over the past year and a half. it was really nice to know you were around every now and then. i’ll continue to read your writings and thoughts about poetry, however. i learn much from your discussions and now several books of poems live on my bedside table, inspiring and waiting to shape me into a slightly better than i am at present.

What do you think?