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 14, 2012

Visiting New Blogs, Making New Friends

I'm back from my extended vacation and excited about getting into the A to Z Challenge preparations. Next step-- going through the sign up list and visiting new blogs in preparation for April. Any time I participate in a blogfest, I discover great new blogs. (And btw, the A to Z sign-up list can be found here.)

Sharing time: Whether it is this blogfest or others, how do you determine which blogs to follow and which to pass on by? Do you have any particular criteria?


40 comments:

  1. Happy Valentine's to you lovely KarenG!!

    These days I'm extremely frivolous and if I like how a blog looks - pretty, lots of sparkly stuff, pics of cute animals, food, chocolate, wine.. I'm in!

    Take care
    x

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  2. Welcome back, Karen! For me, if a blog makes me feel or learn something...I am all in. Hope your day is filled with sweetness!

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  3. It's the voice for me. If they have a positive outlook, and welcoming attitude I'm there. People who complain about everything don't endear me.

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  4. I hate to say this, but I really detest blogfests.

    For me the best and most extraordinary blogs I've followed have come from reading the comments they've left on the various blogs I visit. If they leave an intriguing or intelligent comment it almost always gets me to check them out and read their posts.

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  5. I usually pick a blog because someone found mine and left a comment or signed up to follow my blog. I found a lot of new followers and new blogs to follow during last year's A to Z Challenge. I have become friends with some of those bloggers and others have fallen by the wayside. Then I have a group of blogger friends who comment on my blog all the time and I on theirs. I feel they are as real as the friends I see and touch. About twice a year, I look up all the blogs I follow and read and comment on them. This has been a lot of fun and I may even do it more often, in small segments. I really don't like it when a blog stops abruptly without notice. That worries me.

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  6. I guess I look for personality. And the person can blog about anything as long as they are passionate about it.
    Some of my best blogger buddies came from the last two years' Challenge and looking forward to more this year!

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  7. Like Maria, I sometimes visit blogs from comments I've found on the blogs *I* visit. I no longer go around madly just to get followers. I look for blogs that interest me, and not just blogs about writing.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  8. I visit many more blogs than I comment on, because if I have nothing to say... Writers write such good posts I could spend hours, nay- days, visiting.

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  9. I also choose from the comments on blogs that I enjoy reading. I look for people who will inspire me, entertain me, and most of all will add a little something to my day.

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    1. Me too! My biggest problem is not getting around often enough to blogs I enjoy.

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  10. I read blogs for the most part based on how the writing touches me. The blog doesn't have to be related to a specific subject, just well written. Sometimes I'm forced to move on from a blog when the owner writes posts that are too long.

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    1. Liza, Same here. I like writing that entertains, or teaches, or that simply makes me feel something. (It must be a nice change for you since my previous 2 posts have been super short. I sometimes do run on.)

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  11. Welcome back, Karen. I look for the passion put into the subject matter and will follow a blog if the passion communicates. It's just that I'm time-challenged and don't get around as much as I'd like.

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  12. Glad you're back Karen. Hope the time was good.

    And now you're geared up for the A-Z Challenge.

    I don't know exactly why or how I choose blogs to read and follow. Something of substance, a bit of wit, maybe a photo. I just know that I know a good blog when I read it.

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  13. If the blogger is writing about something that interests me or that I can relate to, then I'm more likely to follow. I also like blogs that make me laugh. One thing that's a turn-off for me is if the blogger is too negative about everything, because I have to listen to enough people complain in real life. I complain a lot too on my blog, but I try to keep a sense of humor about it.

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  14. That's a tough question. I follow if I've read several posts and decide I like the voice, or content or something. I'm very bad about following just cuz someone followed me.

    Blogfests are a great way to meet new people to follow though.

    Good luck with the A-Z Challenge. I intend to take an internet break during that time.

    ......dhole

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  15. Unfortunately, because I'm strapped for time, I only follow those who follow me AND whom I think I might be interested in following. Not just going to follow people I don't want to follow. Sounds harsh, but the reality is, we only have one life. Might as well enjoy it!

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  16. Tough question. It's so easy to keep adding new blogs to my roll, but harder to find time to read them all. It's kind of like eating at one of those buffet style restaurants -- sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach. *grin* I do try to get around to reading everyone eventually, but can't always comment on every post. If I did, I'd never get any books written.

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  17. My criteria applies mainly to those I'll pass by. If I find content very offensive to me I'm gone. If the blogger is talking to much about family matters and personal things without keeping the writing engaging and fun then I usually don't stay with that blog. If the subject is just totally uninteresting to me and there is no reason for me to keep coming back then I won't follow. Usually a quick scan of previous posts will help me make my determination. Most of the time I am pretty tolerant and will like to give a blog a chance, especially if they have very few followers. If they have zero followers and it's a new blog or one that has been consistently active, I will sometimes follow just
    to give the blogger some encouragement.

    I've been sampling the A to Z list. It's already a challenge.

    Lee
    Is product placement tacky?
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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    1. Lee, Okay, I'm going to use this opportunity to give my own "I don't follow if..." list. I don't follow if: the blog has auto music on, in fact I get off as quickly as possible-- there's too much flashing stuff and flowery, busy stuff or obvious ads-- small white print against black background (too hard to read)-- profanity, shouting, negativity, meanness-- too much self-promotion-- too many blogfests.

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    2. Now Lee, we'll all be asking ourselves, is that why Lee doesn't follow our blog, huh?

      Denise

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  18. Sometimes, a comment left on my blog will lead to a visit which can spark a follow. I'm not sure that I could actually define it. But it's that spark that is necessary and I never know where I'm going to find it. It just like life: totally unpredictable.

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  19. I used to just add anyone, and hope they'd add me. Rookie. Now I have a couple of things I'm looking for, and many of you say the same thing. They must look like they are trying to say something, not just post. They must also be somewhat interesting to me.

    Sadly, because I'm likely missing a lot of good stuff, I just skip over 99% of the Sci-fi/fantasy/YA/romance blogs since most of the topics don't really resonate with me. If they surround those themes, but also concentrate on the writing/publishing process, then I may follow them. I've found myself, visiting and leaving a lot of blogs lately.
    Oh, and if you write about your hamster or cat a lot...sorry.

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    1. Ron, It's funny how much more selective we become the longer we blog! And also interesting how one person will be completely intrigued and another person completely turned off by the very same things. Nice that there are so many blogs online to choose from!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Oh, and if the blog is written by a male, I do try to visit and or follow them...we are just so rare!

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  21. I wish I could tell you. I wish I had a system. I sort of go by the voice of the blog first, then the content, then the look. Yet sometimes all those fall flat and I still follow on a gut feeling. Now I'm going to read the comments and see if someone has a system I can steal :)

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  22. I usually follow people that follow me. And I follow blogs that I enjoy reading or if I feel there's a connection.

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  23. I look for blogs with great writing and a sense of authenticity. Such an honor that folks share their lives and experiences in the blogosphere!

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  24. Hi Karen. Welcome back. They've suggested we read the five blogs following our name on the list so we don't feel so bogged down. I'll do that then stab at a few random blogs. I usually scroll through commenters and hit a few of them too. But it can take hours if you don't watch yourself.

    Denise

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    1. Denise, Yes, we definitely want the A to Z Challenge to be a positive experience for participants, not a huge burden. Since I'm a host, I like to visit everyone at least once, either before April or during. It's a fun diversion as long as I start early and pace myself.

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  25. I need to connect to something about the blog or the blogger. It's too bad that I don't have time to follow (on a regular basis) all the blogs I find interesting.

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  26. I find that I connect better with bloggers who will follow me back. I like to build relationships, and that's hard when the other person is responsive.

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  27. Hi Karen! I'm looking forward to A to Z - April's going to be here so fast! I don't really have a set system for following. When I first started I followed any and everyone, but that was unwise. Now it's pretty much if something about the blog makes me know I want to come back. And I generally follow back people who follow me...unless it's obvious they're just trolling.

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  28. I've about decided to join the blogfest again this year, last year was lots of fun. As to who I visit? It's a random thing and I just hop around and see who I find. If they grab me right away, I generally follow, but if not, or they haven't stayed current with the challenge, I don't. I'm looking forward to meeting new writers!

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  29. Whoops, had an issue, so hope this doesn't post twice!

    I have no particular criteria other than that I enjoy what they say or want to hear more on a regular basis. While I tend to follow more writing related blogs, I do have those that are not, because they interested me for another reason.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  30. I think it is trial and error.
    You open a blog post and read a few lines and you can instantly make out of the post (or writer) is good or not.

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  31. Hello, now following Karen - nice to meet you. Thanks for co-hosting the A-Z Challenge. I joined early on once I had my theme.

    Some blogfests are better than others. If the host maintains the integrity of the list, I'm okay with them (on occasion). Not too many at once though or I get burned out reading blogs.

    When I'm choosing my criteria consists of:
    -interesting quality content,
    -a welcoming blog host,
    -a blog host who will return comments (you can tell that by reading the comments on their posts),
    -easy to follow (compatible blog type)
    -not too snarky (a little cynicism is ok)
    -tasteful (IMO) promotion okay
    -I like seeing art or photos with posts.

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  32. Thanks for commenting, I still have to go through the list of blogs myself, but with work, revision and portfolio my life kinda did a twist in itself, but I do like visiting others blog, yours look interesting, honest which I like.

    I hope you enjoy the blog Challenge :D I know I will

    Take care

    Steph~

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  33. Things that might entice me to follow:
    * Interesting and varied posts.
    * Friendly interaction in the comments.

    Things that put me off:
    * Posts that are dull, rambling, or over-long.
    * Difficult to read (e.g. small font, white on black).
    * Takes FOREVUH to load because the page is laden with graphics.
    * Extreme or offensive views.
    * The blog is almost entirely reviews or self-promotion.
    * The blogger is blatantly following everyone under the sun in the hope that people will follow back.

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