Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What I think About--Blogs

There is a unique little event that happens every Friday in blogville called "The Friday Follow."  So how it works is blogs add their sites to a list and people stop by and check out your blog.  If they like it, they follow you and as a courtesy, you check out their blogs (and I'm pretty sure the unwritten rule is you follow them back). The purpose of FF is to find great new blogs; unfortunately, it feels like many people use FF as a business venture--build up the number of followers because in blog land, followers very often equal money.

I've participated in FF a few times and have, for the most part, enjoyed it.  I've run across some really great blogs--ones that make me laugh or think.

On the other hand,  I've run into a few blogs that just aren't my cup of tea.  Without divulging specific names, let me explain why I don't love some blogs.
  • I love to win giveaways as much as the next person but I really DON'T love blogs that do so much PR that the only reason they blog is to give stuff away (read: get free stuff in exchange for a good review).  Constantly signing up to win one thing or another is a huge time suck.  Ick.  On a side note, most of the giveaways are based on the blog author writing a review of a product.  I've yet to read a negative review (most likely because if the author is giving bad PR then PR will stop).  This is fancy advertising--like commercials for blogs.
  • Many bloggers want to be like Dooce and make so much money that they can blog for a living.  To reach their dream, bloggers have ad after ad after ad on their sites.  I'm not opposed to an ad here or there and I even love a site that does it well but when I get onto a blog that is more ads than substance I leave immediately!  
  • 2,368 followers.  A blog-reader novice automatically assumes that the more followers you have, the better your blog must be.  I've come to realize this is NOT true.  I follow a few blogs with a small following and have a blog with very few followers. What I've come to find is that these blogs are by people who blog for their enjoyment and to connect in a community of readers.  It isn't about money.  It isn't about getting free stuff.  It isn't about giveaways.  It's about enjoyment and purity of the written word.    P.S.  There are some GREAT blogs with lots of followers because they are great blogs--not because they constantly review or give stuff away.  Check out this one.
Now that I've ranted, let me share some blogs that I think have quality content, minimal to zero nonsense (and they won't fill up google reader or your inbox with reviews and giveaways either).

Blogs I love:

Frontier Kitchen--I feel like I plug this blog a lot but for good reason.  It's simple, straightforward, and sassy.  It's 100% true that Sarah is a friend (who brought her amazing hummus to mom's movie night last night and I ate way too much--again!) but it's also 100% true that she's one heck of a cook!  This blog is about real food for real families who really don't like casseroles.  Can I get an amen?

The Good Life For Less--I'm a woman who cares about how I look but I'm not willing (or able) to spend a fortune on clothes. On top of that, I might have fashion but I have no style.  Enter TGL4L.  This gal's got mad style.  If you need an "outfit formula" she's got it.  She'll even do a fashion consult!

Peace and Craziness--I just love the name of this blog.  As the title suggests, you can expect random, fun, and emotional posts about everything from house hunting to Lindsey Lohan.

Where does that leave me?  

My intent with Friday Follow was to find blogs to follow and find readers who might be interested in me.  I've found some great ones, like Chapters of Me, so my mission is accomplished.  I'll probably participate off and on to see who and what I find.  But I won't go following every blog I find in hopes of building up a false "follower" base.  

To followers who read what I write and comment or connect to what I have to say (and to my sister and husband for whom reading this is compulsory), please know how much I value our web-based relationship.  And know I'm not going to throw you under the bus for a food processor and a new book (but if someone offers me a new BMW you can consider my site officially sold out!).

I will probably never make money from this blog.  I'll probably never have Vera Bradley send me a tote in the old Java Blue pattern to review (but Vera if you're reading this, I'd take one!).  Eventually I'll probably get blog-burn out and stop posting.  Eventually you'll probably be tired of reading the rants of a Type-A with no boundaries.  

But until then--challenge me to be like the quality blogs I love.  That's all I've got to say about that!

13 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I've done the Friday Follow twice now. I've found some great new blogs to follow, but haven't followed everyone that follows me. Most of the blogs that I've come across have been product reviews for small children and/or about raising small children. While I can appreciate those blogs I will not read them because I'm a mom to two teenagers (I'm still looking for some great bloggers who are 40ish with teens).

    I found you through Friday Follow and I clicked on your site because I loved the title. I stay because I enjoy the content :)

    I have found some difficulty in deleting some blogs from my google reader. Sometimes I think I will like a blog and then they overload my google readers with posts and I want to stop following them. I've tried numerous time to stop by using the "stop following" tool and they continue to pop up in reader--anyone know why this happens?

    I'll admit I'm guilty of some recent blog giveaways & book reviews. However, I LOVE to read and figure I might as well share my review and if I don't want to keep the book I can pass it on through a giveaway. I will say this. If I don't like a product or a book I will NOT give it a favorable review---won't happen, I don't care if the item was compensated to me or not. I believe in giving HONEST reviews..not some spiced up b.s., if that's what is expected then they can keep thier items. Sorry--it's just a sore spot for me. I completely understand what you are saying about only seeing positive reviews---it annoys me as well.

    Oh, btw, I LOVE the Our Best Bites blog..love it! Off to check out your other favorites. I'm on the search for some good gardening and gluten free blogs...any recommendations?

    Have a great day!

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  2. Aww! Thanks for the linky love!

    I second everything you said. I've seen some once awesome blogs turn tragic because they got sucked into reviews and give-aways. Some of my favorite blogs do regular reviews and such but they have such awesome content in between that I don't mind it.

    I've also "outgrown" some blogs I used to really like b/c I find that they talk about the same things every single time they post. There's little to no excitement or diversity. I'm a mom, and I love gushing over kids, but I'm also a grown woman that likes to hear about relationships, fashion, food, politics, etc... give me some substance folks!

    Hence why I follow and regularly read YOUR blog :)

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  3. Deb and Mandy--

    Thanks for the camaraderie! I'm certainly not against a good, honest review so keep 'em up, Deb!

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  4. I have participated in Friday Follow about 3 times and I have found some great blogs. Funny , some serious, some just nice people. I always follow back.. I think it is my catholic guilt LOL

    I do giveaways but I just recently started doing them. I love to read books and I only review books that I know will interest me.

    I have done a review that wasn't claiming everything was great. I tried a product that stated it would whiten my teeth and give fresh breath. It didn't whiten my teeth and I said it in my review, it did make my mouth very fresh but that was it.

    I have been asked to do reviews of sites etc and I have declined in doing a plug or anything because I didn't like their product or their website. So I decline.

    OMG this comment is sooo long ROFL.... anyways. I read blogs everyday and I do enter some giveways not like I use to.

    Have a great week.

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  5. Hi Reagan,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving some links for me to check out. I really appreciate it.

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  6. Hey Reagan,

    I found the Frontier Kitchen blog through you a while ago, but I didn't know you were real-life friends with her. :) Lucky you to partake in her cooking skills! I certainly enjoy her posts and actually just made her "healthier muffins" recipe last night.

    I agree about "followership" not meaning much. I have looked at some blogs with thousands of followers and have not been impressed at all with their posts.

    I enjoy your blog. It is purposeful & interesting! Thanks for writing. I just purged my google reader this morning. You made the cut. :) haha!

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  7. Shelly--Glad I made your short list :)

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  8. I agree about the reviews people do about products! I have never read one with a true critique, I usually stop following a blog if they have too many "paid" reviews! I am really enjoying your blog though.

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  9. I like how on the same day you post this, I post a giveaway. :) I seriously do love that cookbook though.

    After doing my first Friday Follow I had the same feelings you did so I simply chose to only return the following fun with blogs that I liked. I'm not sure if I'll do it again but it was fun one time around.

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  10. Kristen--Thanks :)

    Sarah--You aren't a blog/review junkie. This is your second time around. Trust me, I'll let you know if you start selling out to the gods of Adsense :)

    BTW, I'm already registered to win the cookbook because giveaways off trusted blogs are the best!--Pick me random.org!

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  11. Amen to that!LOl!!! I was literally JUST talking to my husband about this very same thing before I saw your post for today. I enjoyed doing the FF because I found some blogs that I really love, but most of my new "Followers" are just advertizing products and are simply following to be followed. I personally am not a fan of any of these blogs that are only giving reviews. I am blogging and following blogs to connect with others that's it. I follow your blog because I Love it and it's content!

    Very well said, by the way!

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  12. Thanks Amy. I'm diggin' your Chapters_of_me.blogspot.com too. I'm gonna make that homemade laundry soap when Pax is out of cloth diapers!

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  13. I started blogging as a way to let my oldest son, who's in the army, keep up with what's going on at home. I didn't do it for any PR stuff or to see what I could get. The only giveaway I've had so far, consisted of things I went and bought that I thought someone would like.
    When I signed up for Adsense, I had a rock in my belly. I just didn't like what it meant and I have a small ad on the bottom of my page that is out of my way.
    I agree when a site is all giveaways and PR, it turns me off and I leave and don't return.
    Sorry for the rambling...I had a lot of thoughts on this subject and it just came pouring out.
    I'll check out the blogs you list, for sure!
    Thanks for the comment love:)

    Hugs~

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