Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Are you here for the writing or the reading?

In my six months of being here in blog land, I've come across quite a few categories of bloggers. Outside of the *experts* with their hundreds and thousands of fans and followers, there's a fairly common pattern that distinguishes blogger-types. Here's what I've noticed, have you any to add?

Some people sign up mainly for the reading. They have their favorite blogs, rush to the new posts and read every word plus all the comments. These reading bloggers write posts, which may be very good but quite short. For them, the reading is more enjoyable than the writing. When they find a new, intriguing blog they like, they're quick to add it to their blogroll, so they don't miss any new posts. They follow more people than follow them.

And there's the non-blogging readers who will never comment or subscribe. Like my mom, husband and son-in-law, who start by reading my posts, then all the comments, then all the blogs in the side bar, and all those posts and comments. My son-in-law came over one day anguished. He had spent 6 hours of his only day off that week reading blogs. Never again, he vowed. Ha, that's what he says.

Then there are the bloggers who are here to write. They post often, sometimes every day, sometimes quite long posts. Because they love to write. They're obsessed about getting new followers/readers, since writers need readers, writers crave readers. What's the point if there are no readers? That's like cooking dinner and no one comes to eat it. These writer bloggers have their favorites too, but they may skim over the reading of posts and still comment. After all, they're here for the writing-- posting, commenting, whatever.

Finally, there's a few blogger/writers who don't read, follow anyone, make any comments or respond to the comments that others make on their posts. A minority, since most bloggers like to interact with others. Some of these types might have followers and commenters, but not as many as they could have if they were more interactive. They're like a rare species of bird that no one ever sees outside its normal habitat.

These are the main categories I've noticed in the blogging world. What kind of blogger are you? Are your here for the writing or the reading? Or are you a nicely balanced blend of both? Or perhaps some entirely new species altogether?

36 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! Hm... I guess I am here to write, but I've always thought of blogging as a way to declutter my thoughts as a prelude to writing, and getting new readers or followers is a lovely bonus but I don't actively promote my blog. Yet!

    With other blogs I do try and comment on each post I see that appeals to me, but I read more than I comment. This is a combination of time factor and, well, a general shyness I think! But I do know how much I appreciate comments, so if I do come across a nice blog then I do try and comment every once in a while to show I am still here, still enjoying the blog, and grateful someone is putting so much free time and energy to providing me with a worthy distraction.

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  2. I think I may be a combination of both, actually :D

    I'm certainly a blog addict - I have bunches of blogs on my to-read list, and I read them daily. Not so much with reading the comments of every post, but I will if the post was exceptionally interesting and I think there will be interesting discussion in comments.

    I also write decent-sized posts on a regular basis, because I love to write!

    Clearly, I am an enigma.

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  3. Like the maybe genius above, I am both. I post a usually healthy amount daily, but I read many other bloggers posts and frequently leave lengthy, or a least adequate, comments. I try to avoid the "that was nice" comment in favor of a comment that I hope adds something to the ongoing conversation --it usually is a conversation in a sense, right?

    I have found a few peculiar blogs that don't accept comments. They are there to write and seem not to care about followers. Where are they coming from?

    Then of course there are the photo and art blogs--digital scrapbooks in a sense I guess. Some are nice to look at, but some I really have to wonder, what's the point, I mean, on the larger scale of blogdom.

    I guess you can find just about anything in these blog pages and I know I haven't seen it all yet.

    Lee

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  4. Hi

    OOoooh! I'm a reader and writer!

    :-)

    I love to read other blogs and look at their pics etc. I love to write stuff on mine and it's always always always nice when people do read and comment. And it's nice when new followers follow and it's super nice when the followers do follow and I love following the ones I follow and following new ones - I find I get quite involved with their lives!

    Does that make sense?

    I hope so!
    :-)

    Take care

    x

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  5. Kitty, makes perfect sense--you like to follow and be followed!

    Lee, blogs that don't accept comments? That's really reclusive, I've not seen that species in my travels.

    maybe genius, You sound just like me. Describes my blogging habits to a t.

    Jayne, I'm glad you chose to comment here. It's nice to know you're still reading!

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  6. I think I'm a bit of both. I love visiting other blogs and mostly leave comments when I do.

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  7. I'm a blogger of the fifth kind.

    And I can't tell you what that is.

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  8. Guess I'm either the combo or I'll join David in taking the Fifth.
    I blog because I love words and sometimes need to share. I read because I want to learn. I comment because my Momma said it was the polite thing to do.

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  9. Debs, I hear ya. If I visit a blog, I'll almost always leave a comment. Is that like marking territory? Maybe I should have mentioned dogs instead of birds.

    David, I really wish you would tell us.

    Kathy, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Polite people are always welcome!

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  10. Blogger of the sixth kind here - would love to do more of both, but horribly short on time. I always read, and try to comment but as I am writing this, my daughter is waving around a full potty and my son has the dog by the tail. I rest my case. And now the telephone, and the door, and the dog has been sick.....arggggh!

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  11. I'm a reader and a writer, and depending on the week, the scales tip either way, or are very askew. I do love comments and followers. Are writers a bit egocentric?

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  12. I'm a reader and a writer, but not always at the same time! I write a comment if the topic engages me, but I'm not one of those bloggers that begs people to follow them - (I've seen established authors do that and its just plain sad) - and so I don't feel the need to comment randomly.

    There just isn't enough time in the day for a start!

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  13. Hmmm. Never thought about it. I think I'm mostly a blogging writer. Not much of an analyzer, though. I just "do" - one step at a time.

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  14. I'm all of the above. Depending on my mood ;)

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  15. Kate B, thank heavens there were no blogs when I was raising my kids! My house would have been a mess. In fact, I'm supposed to be cleaning the kitchen as we speak. It was on my list.

    Krista, just a bit?

    Donna, wow, established authors? That is pathetic. Guess I'll not go ahead with my plan to offer ten bucks AND a free copy of Uncut Diamonds to anyone who adds themselves as a follower here :)

    Carol, I like your blog. Whatever you do, it works!

    Xuxana, Even the rare species?

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  16. Kate B. described me perfectly. Maybe the chaos stems from our names.

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  17. I am here to write, to read, to add to my followers and to follow. I'm an all in novice blogger or blogeress. I skim the comments to ensure I don't make a total eejit of myself. Thats me then!

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  18. Reader, absolutly. I can't even spell to write. Some posts are so exquisite that I don't want to tarnish them by my inane comments, just savor the tone and enjoy.

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  19. Jane, what blog is that? It sounds lovely, and you sound like a very respectful reader.

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  20. I love LA DeVaul. Sometimes I feel bad because my visits leave no mark. How can she know the pleasure I get from reading her stories.

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  21. Hi Karen, I clicked over from Under the Tiki Hut, great topic going on here. I blog for both reasons. It's definitely an extension of my writing, and I always enjoy reading others too. Combined, great dialogues get going, definitely, which leads to a great sense of community.

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  22. Joanne, thanks for visiting! I'm with you, it's all about the community for me. Which is why I tend to drift away from those exotic bird habitats. Maybe I'm just needy, but I like people to talk back to me, in a nice way of course ;)

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  23. Which ones the rare species?

    Sometimes I delete all my blogs for a while, then come back to them when my head sorts itself out.

    I'm a Gemini too ;) - But that's no excuse! hahaha

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  24. Xuxana, they're the bloggers who don't comment or interact, only write and stay on their own turf. They're like a rare species of bird who is rarely seen outside its own habitat.

    Does that sound at all like you? Maybe on certain days lol? Not me. I can never resist the lure of the new blogs, or new followers, or new comments.

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  25. I am a writer... with reading tendencies. I love to keep up with my other friends' blogs and I've made so many friends on the web.

    I write mine about writing... for the most part.

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  26. I didn't think about it, but you're so right that if you're a *blogger*, then you almost definitely will comment much of the time on blogs you're reading.

    I have lots of lurkers. Occasionally they'll come out of lurkdom. But I don't think a single one is a blogger...

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  27. I don't follow other blogs, except maybe 2 or 3, rarely comment, but I do interract somewhat with those who comment on mine. So I suppose I am a bit of the rare species confined to its own habitat. But I thought I'd venture out just to let you know we types can occasionally surprise people with a comment out of the blue. Or out of the forest. Or whatever that habitat is. I think mine is the wetlands. The land of 10,000 lakes to be exact.

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  28. Oh definitely a writer. And reader. And sticky beak, and procrastinator, and...

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  29. Hi Karen. Nice to "meet" you!

    I'm definitely both. I think. I'm also definitely not a "writer." LOL. But I love to blog--actually, have had a variety of personal web sites for many years before going with Blogger--and do love to follow other blogs, read the posts and comment, also love looking at photos. I'm rarely without my own camera, so a personal blog with photos to accompany the stories will catch my eye.

    I think, as I wrote on my Musings site, that all humans have the need to express themselves, in whatever fashion best suits. The urge to create and the urge to leave behind some sort of "mark" is strong.

    For me, at least at this time in my life, blogging--and taking far too many snapshots--fulfills that need.

    -Kim

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  30. Kim,

    Nice to have you visit my blog! I like your take on expression and creativity. Thanks for your comment!

    Karen

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  31. Oh my goodness, Karen. I had to comment just because you have thirty and I wanted to make 31. Woo! What a great discussion.

    I'm always surprised by the people who randomly say they liked such-and-such on my blog and I say, "You READ it??" I had no idea! It IS crazy how many people read but don't comment. My father-in-law is one. A few people from my ward and little sister, too. I always tell them, "Comment, please!" And a few backpedal and say they don't have anything smart enough to say. Tah! Yeah, right! I always tell them EVERYONE has something interesting to say.

    But I have no idea what kind of blogger I am. Once again, most of the time the minimalist since time is so precious with my little ones, but every once in a while I think I have something brilliant to say, but then I go back and realize it really wasn't that brilliant. ;)

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  32. M., maybe yours is one of those that Plain Jane talks about, that is just so exquisite your followers don't want to sully it with their dull, everyday comments?

    Yeah, I'm pretty amazed that this post spawned such a wide discussion. I guess I'm not the only person who finds the whole blogging/personality idea interesting.

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  33. If we non=blogging readers are very confident of our place. We are the stealth members of the blogosphere. We come and go without a trace, like ghosts. Our universe is in our control and we like it that way.

    Besides that when we comment, we become vulnerable, and that is unacceptable. That is why we aren't writers. But this post and comments were too good to pass up.

    Now I'll slink back into the the mists of the moors...

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  34. lol, love your comment, anon.

    Karen, yeah, that's it. My readers don't want to sully my posts. ha! And on the inverse, you get so many comments because your blog is SO already sullied. Sheesh, your logic is so sully-able. Karen.

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  35. This is an interesting topic. I was persuaded to blog when writers I worked with said I HAD to in order to build up a following. I am not sure that I now believe that. Like you, Karen, I am no techno wizard and don't know how to put things in the side bare when I want to (sometimes I enlist my wife's help for this).

    There are things I do not like about the blogosphere... that it is open to misuse and that things like vigilante justice can operate (as it has in blackening my name) and little can be done about it.

    I read some other writers, but am careful not to spend huge amounts of time doing so. I comment where I can.... and where I am allowed. And I post some of my writing up for people to see (I should be sending the stuff out to magazines because it is good enough, but I quite like the immediate risk of hanging it up for comment.)

    I don't have a large following. But that's ok. For me it is about the writing and I use it as a spur to help me write lots and write regularly and write to a high standard.

    Thank you for commenting sometimes on my blog. I really appreciate your visits.

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  36. I think I'm a writer and reader too. There aren't enough hours in the day! Blogs are like Facebook, but without the anonymity. On FB, I see plenty of lurkers, who rarely-to-never post or comment.

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