Why I Don’t Read Your Blog (Hint: It’s Your Fault)

Filed under narcissism

Almost as a rule, I don’t read your blog unless you read mine. I don’t mean to be, like, overly sensitive about the importance of my blog, but I don’t have enough time to read all of the blogs of the people who do leave me comments, so I can’t afford to just go gallivanting around the Internet willy-nilly. If I find a blog I like, I usually add the RSS feed to my Google Reader, comment on the posts whenever the mood strikes me for the next few days, and hope to develop the kind of relationship I have with all of the people I’ve linked to in my sidebar.

I understand that not everyone replies to comments on their own blogs, so I don’t expect to check back on a blog I’m newly reading and see some gloriously personal reply, but I do expect the author to have made it clear in some way that she’s read me, too. If she doesn’t? BANISHED. I’m actually amazed at bloggers who don’t comment on other blogger’s posts. Do they think their stuff is so worth the time that some stranger would read every day without getting any sort of contact in return?

My Google Reader has an “Every Day” section that’s filled with the blogs of people I want to read the moment they post: Unapologetically Female, Bachelor Girl, Good Hair, Kim Luck, thickcrust, Serial Monogamist in her various forms, bluzdude, and lots more. I don’t always get to these people every day, but I get to them eventually no matter what. The rest of my feeds are divided up into food blogs, personal blogs, and fluff like Awkward Family Photos. I basically never look at these. So if I don’t comment on your blog regularly, it’s because you personally offended me and got shoved out of the Every Day section. Haha, just kidding. (Except not really.)

Then there’s the problem of the “important” blogs, like all of the food blogs that review all of the same restaurants I do but are twice as popular and half as good. Just kidding again! (Except not at all.) I used to feel like I had to read them just to see what they were saying about the restaurants I was going to, but then Tracey gave me the ingenious idea of shoving them into the sections I never read and using the search function if I ever want to find anything specific.

I know other bloggers who don’t think like this, though. Bachelor Girl, for instance, is forever posting articles on her very active and interesting Google Buzz account from big name tech blogs that I’m sure don’t pay any attention to anyone. And my best friend, Tracey, godblessher, reads all of the big feminist blogs but doesn’t comment on a single one of them, even though she has a feminist blog herself and should be trying to drive traffic to it.

So, what about you? Am I the only compulsive one here?

49 Comments

  1. dd says:

    I really just read stuff that amuses me. If I find it informative or entertaining or well-written, I’m likely to revisit it. I have embarassingly many blogs on my google reader; a lot of stuff I pass by, but there are bloggers whose stuff I read often and it’s always because I like the way they write.

    Blogs are more like magazine articles to me, frankly. Interesting reading to pass the time. Or consume the time, as these things sometimes go :) As to my own blog, it’s more personal, I guess, and also one of those things that, were you interested in the stuff I talk about, you’d probably have found me already!

    • Now I’m so curious about your blog. I just assumed you didn’t have one if you weren’t linking to it. Why wouldn’t you want all of the IMMENSE PUBLICITY that comes with commenting on my blog? Is your blog for such a niche market that my very sophisticated readers wouldn’t be interested?

      Pass along these interesting-to-read-blogs! I’m so happy to have found the awesome bloggers in my Every Day feeds, because for the most part, blogs seem to be AWFUL. Especially the really popular ones, oddly. (I’m looking at you, Pioneer Woman.)

      • Julie says:

        I. Don’t. Get. The. Pioneer. Woman.

        • Kat says:

          She stays on my reader because some day, dammit, I WILL win a giveaway!

          Seriously, though, that many photos makes me want to KILL.

          • I used to think that, too. I also used to think, “If I can just be the first comment on one of her posts, I’ll be so much more clever than any of her other commenters that they’ll all click on my name just to see who I am, and my blog will win worldwide acclaim.”

            But then I realized I don’t want any of her commenters coming here for the reason you listed in your other comment.

        • I. Am. So. Glad. Someone. Else. Feels. That. Way.

          I get that she uses butter in her recipes and has some pretty pictures, but seriously, I don’t need ten of the same photo in every post, and her suuuuuper-boring 50-part series about how she met her husband makes me want to barf/cry. I tried to subscribe to her feed for a while, but it hurt too much.

  2. Someone told me this came off as a rant. It’s not a rant! It’s just, um, starting a conversation. Where I do most of the talking. Sorry.

    Don’t be scared.

  3. bluzdude says:

    First, thank you for putting me in the Daily Read column. I shall strive to remain worthy!

    I always respond to comments on my site with a return comment. Sometimes, it’s a great way to work in stuff that I omitted from the post for length considerations.

    I, too, have my regular reads and I access them from my blogroll. The one thing that bugs me is that there is often a gap between the time a blog is updated and the time the update shows up on my blogroll. So sometimes I’m late to the party.

    I more frequently maintain my blogroll based on frequency of posting. If it goes inexplicably quiet for a while, out it goes.

    There are number of blogs I’d like to comment on, but often times, there’s already a zillion comments there already and A) Surely someone has already said something close to what I was going to say and B) I don’t have the time to read them all to find out for sure.

    • Your blog posts are actually a pain in the butt, because unlike thickcrust, who usually posts a picture and makes a hilarious comment about it, I actually have to pay attention to your immense writings. But the effort’s worth it, especially considering how good you are with the Internet-relationship-making.

      The one thing I’ve found that helps me deal with the slowness of RSS updates is a Firefox extension called Brief, which checks whatever feeds you tell it to as often as you want it to and then shows the number of new posts in the status bar of your Firefox. I’ve kind of learned to ignore it, which defeats the purpose, but it’s still really convenient.

      • bluzdude says:

        And to think I thought you stuck with me just because I was so fascinating…

        Yeah, I got into blogging for the express purpose of writing, so I do very few quick-pic posts. (other than today’s, which for a change is long on pictures and short on words.)

        • You’re one in a million. I think I got into blogging for the purpose of writing, but now I’m pretty sure it keeps me from doing the kind of writing I should be. But the idea of not having a blog freaks me out, and I have way too many opinions to not have an outlet for them.

  4. Eric L says:

    I mercilessly pimp your site and this is the thanks I get? I see how it is Katie.

    • Didn’t you link to me, like, once? And isn’t it canceled out by the fact that you don’t pay attention to anyone else’s blog and therefore have no readers?

      (See how I tied this post in there? Genius.)

  5. Serial says:

    But do you ever see bloggers who just annoyingly comment reply to EVERY SINGLE comment on their blog, and clearly never go over and look at the blogs of the people doing the commenting? It seems so self-serving. Like, why take all this time and energy to comment back, so that people think you care about them? Or to make it look like you get a million comments on every post?

    Also: I made the list! Yay for internet friends!

    • I’d guess those people just like to talk about themselves.

      Although, I pretty much only talk about myself every time I comment on one of your blogs, but if I didn’t, all of my comments would be like, “You are very funny! Exercising is hard! Yeah, dating IS weird!!”

      I also hate blogs that say things like, “We regret that we can’t respond to each and every e-mail and comment, but we’re sooooooo popular, and you’re just not important enough.” I basically can’t read anymore once I see that.

  6. thickcrust says:

    Do you feel any compulsion to include/respond to a blog written by a friend if you don’t think the blog is very good? What about people whose views/topics you don’t agree with or can’t relate to? Or, in the case of Charles’s blog, all of the above?

    • I’ve read this comment to approximately the entire office at some point today.

      If the person is my friend, there’s a reason for it, so I’m going find his blog interesting whether or not it’s about something I’m specifically interested in. Even when Charles is talking about some boring-ass celebrity crap, I usually think the way he does it is amusing. Although his whoring for search engine hits when a celebrity dies reeeeeally annoys me.

      The way that he sometimes accidentally misspells “shyt” as “shty” makes up for that, though.

      • Mike Lowrey says:

        Katie, Even though I don’t make your daily read list, I hope that you still visit my blog every so because you leave the most awesome comments.

        Lol, actually the most hits I get on my site are from two posts neither are celeb stuff surprisingly.

        #1 Pikachu is the Devil
        followed by
        #2 Hey Jack Enjoty Jamaica

        I get hits all over the world because of Pikachu go figure?
        womp:womp

        Hey Katie, do you read blog of folks who don’t post very often say like Adam’s blog lol. I keep clicking refresh but the same post always comes up daily. I thought it was my browser. But it turned out that it wasn’t the browser, it’s just that Adam only posts to his blog once every 90 days.

        I reply to most of the comments just to give back to the wonderful folks who take a moment out of their day to hit my site, and to try to spark a little dialogue.

  7. thekamamama says:

    I’m not always good at commenting back on others’ comments on my blog. Sometimes it’ because I don’t have anything to add. Sometimes it’s because I don’t want to be annoyingly commenting on every comment. Mostly it’s because almost no one reads my blog, let alone comments. But I appreciate you bringing up this topic, because I’m new to the blogosphere and still learning the customs. I don’t want to be a jackass, but I’m not always sure what constitutes jackassiness.

    • I don’t mind at all if people totally ignore the comments I leave on their blogs, actually, as long as they come comment on my blog to show we’re at least having some sort of back and forth.

      I don’t get to read your blog nearly enough because I’m always afraid to look at it at work, and I rarely turn my computer on at home. That’s the problem with having THE MOST SCANDALOUS BLOG ON THE INTERNET, I guess. (That was my ploy to get more people to read you.) Your tweets also always blow my mind.

  8. welfy says:

    You’re the only “blog” I have on my Livejournal. But we may be getting rid of the internet anyway since we’re poor. Yay! Except not. I don’t really consider what I have a blog, and since I don’t write in it as much as I used to, and I don’t comment much because I simply don’t have time (I don’t access any blog sites at work and I have musical practices 4 nights a week and a husband actually home every day now), I don’t expect to get a lot of comments. I almost never comment on anything unless I have something important or interesting to say. Which I usually don’t.

    • Nooooooooooooooooooo! You two will die without the Internet. You’re the Internetiest people I know.

      I’ve had a hard time keeping up with LJ people, because LJ people don’t seem to get the point of not being on LJ (like I didn’t before I basically left it), so I just end up scrolling through posts and not saying anything. It’s like LJ’s too personal for me now, but not in the I’m-divulging-all-of-my-feelings-way (like you do) but in the here’s-a-oneliner-about-a-movie-I-saw-last-night-because-I-don’t-have-to-write-anything-impressive-since-this-is-Friends-Locked-and-no-one-will-see-it. Does that make sense?

      Being busy is tough, though. I’d never read ANY blogs if I couldn’t be online at work.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m loyal to you, i just never say it.

  10. Tessa says:

    WellBasically:

    I know you love me.

  11. Kim says:

    I can no longer keep track of how many different places I leave comments for you in any given day, so I assume this means I am on your good side. As I should be.

    This post does bring up a lot of interesting points though, that I hadn’t thought about. I have never been a part of any kind of blogging “community” where I felt like I was interacting with readers or other bloggers that I grew to know on a more personal (for the internet) level, though I feel like that’s changing what with my new blog and reading and commenting on blogs like yours and Bachelor Girl Kelly’s.

    As for commenting in general in the, uh, blogosphere(?), though, I think I’m guilty of not doing it enough. I mostly read style blogs that are so popular that I guess I kind of feel commenting is futile, unless there’s something I REALLY want to say. It’s like, does Jessica Schroeder really need a 541st comment saying “SUCH A CUTE DRESS!”? Probably not, but aside from that, I really don’t have anything else to offer on the subject matter, so I just don’t comment at all.

    But I do have a handful of what I guess are smaller-scale personal blogs I check in on, and generally leave without commenting, even though their subject matter actually provides me with more to comment on. SO, I will attempt.

    Aw, blogself-bettering lessons from Katie Ett.

    • Kim says:

      Btw, the EVERY DAY list! I made the EVERY DAY list! This is so exciting. And intimidating. Now I’m going to have to spellcheck stuff, or provide content.

    • The only reason LJ is so great is that it’s a built-in community. You have to do very little over there to meet people and keep track of people, and you’re continuously signed in for easy commenting. With a blog, you have to work a little harder to get to know people. But I think it’s totally worth it, and I think people who aren’t trying to built a community for themselves are missing out.

      Who are you talking to if not a loyal group of readers, after all? And why are you talking if you don’t hope to be talking to someone? People who are writing stuff that’s so amazing they don’t need to spend time on anyone else’s blogs to have a huge fanbase get a tip of my hat, but I love knowing who reads me and reading them back.

      In a perfect world, all of my blogfriends would be friends with all of my blogfriends. I’d love a ring of some sort that includes you, Kelly, Tracey, Serial, Noel, and other women our age. All of the mommybloggers made each other popular, and there’s no reason we can’t do that for ourselves.

      I just want everyone to be happy with their blogs and to stick around for life so I have something to read that isn’t written by a stupid celebrity! So yes, comment on those smaller blogs.

  12. Sandy says:

    A+ job on guilting me into writing on my blog, which I haven’t done in 3 months. Also, I’ve really scaled back on a lot of the super-popular blogs… not necessarily because I’m jealous (though I’m not gonna say I’m not), but I think there’s a threshold where they make an effort to appeal to the masses, and I’m just not the masses.

    • I totally just went to your blog, expecting a new post, but there’s nothing there! Unbelievable. I guess I guilted you into considering it, at least.

      I’m always getting these e-mails about your blog in the morning, and I’m always so hopeful for a second, but then I realize it’s just the e-mail to tell me that someone else has commented on a post I commented on, and they’re always spam. But that glimmer really keeps me going.

      I mostly have a problem with the blogs of middle-aged women who are trying to appeal to middle-aged women (the masses, like you said). They’re always so not clever and usually not even close to well-written. I can’t handle their cutesiness, and I can’t handle the laaaaaaaaaaaaame comments they get.

      • Sandy says:

        The cutesiness is what caused me to quit Dooce. In, like, two days, she used the words “meowsies” and “poutsies.” I bailed like a fisherman who can’t swim. Then I went over again about 3 or so months later, to see if perhaps I’d judged too harshly, and “poutsies” was there again. Fuck that shit.

        And there is a new post up now, though it’s not the level of hilarity you’ve come to expect from me.

        • I was specifically thinking of Dooce but was afraid to mention her because I know so many people who like her. I subscribed to her a while back thinking I should like her just because she’s supposed to be so sarcastic and have such a love/hate relationship with being a mom, but yeah, I mostly just found her boring and cutesy, and the pictures of her dogs weren’t enough to keep me around. I always wonder what it is that keeps all of her readers around, though; apparently there are so many of them that she needed to close comments?

  13. Cristy says:

    I’m guilty of not always leaving comments on your blog when I read it b/c I just can’t come up with something witty enough to warrant it. I love your humor and writing style and enjoy reading your posts about idiots on the subway, etc., so know you have a fan, if not a terrifically visible one. :)

    • But you let me know that you’re reading enough that I don’t feel abandoned. I hope I do the same for you, because I read all of your posts for the same reason!

  14. Jennie says:

    What Cristy said. :-)

    I also think that Google Reader has made me terribly lazy when it comes to commenting on blogs. Like, what, I have to CLICK A LINK and then scroll and comment and OMG I’m already tired. I’m mostly kidding but sort of not because, well, I’m very lazy. Hee.

    Also! Your post reminded me that I’ve not updated my sidebar links in forever, so I will be doing that soon.

    • I do understand the laziness. I use the Feedburner “Add a Comment” thing at the bottom of my posts to help with that a little, because I know how annoyed I feel sometimes having to scroll all the way back up to the top of a post. Especially on a netbook, where the sceen’s so small that you feel like you have to scroll for 100 years.

  15. Kat says:

    Now that I’m blogging, I’ve been trying to more regularly comment on other blogs. It’s hard, though! Sometimes, the people who comment on my blog don’t write about stuff that I care about, and then I feel like I need to leave an awkward fake-nice comment, and that’s pretty crappy.

    It’s a tough balance.

    • I know what you’re saying, but I guess that’s why it’s important to make friends with not-boring people. Occasionally I get a “nice photo!” or something where it’s hard to say more than “thanks!”, but I still appreciate the sentiment.

      I think I must either be really self-centered or really creative, because I can think of something to say on just about every blog post I read. It’s more finding the time to do it that’s the problem for me. And of course you have much less time, since you’re a-homesteadin’.

  16. I MADE THE EVERY DAY LIST! I can die now.

    Here’s my policy: I read all the blogs of people who comment on my blog, unless their blog centers around something I don’t like or can’t understand, like in-depth, deeply-nuanced global politics. Or sports. I always comment on the blogs I read.

    (There may be a delay between the time a writer publishes a post and I post a comment. I always READ the blog immediately, but I may not post for a few days due to time constraints.)

    There are some people’s blogs on which I comment on every single post, yours being one of those. When people post on my blog sporadically, I do the same.

    I read and comment on some of the “big-name” personal blogs (Amalah, Maggie Mason, etc.), but most of the time, I skip it. They’re not paying attention or linking to me, so why put myself out?

    As you said, I READ the big-name tech blogs, but I never comment on those.

    I like the idea of garnering more readers for myself (who doesn’t?), but at the same time, I’m pretty satisfied with the relationships I’ve made.

    After all, my BBFF is THE Katie Ett, and that’s all I ever wanted in the first place.

  17. Cassie says:

    I do and I don’t. I have a few I just love to read, like Bluz, Bachelor Girl and http://www.carpetbagger.com but other times I have to remind myself to check out blogs that I have commented on before.

  18. bybee says:

    I started blogging in 2004 and it didn’t occur to me until late in 2005 that I could respond to people’s comments until I saw another blogger doing it.