The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Clean Up Time

             Changes are coming as promised last Saturday, but the process may be gradual at first.  Don't expect a remarkable transformation to suddenly occur before your eyes--at least none is planned yet.  What may be a big, but almost imperceptible change will be occurring in the upcoming week in this blog.   More on this later.

           First let's look at the big change that occurred over the past week on Tossing It Out.   The week started out with Alex J Cavanaugh's Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest.  My blog topics turned away from the music fixation that I have had for several weeks as I posted my twelve favorite movies on Monday.  There were about sixty participants in this totally fun blogfest.  I'm still not sure if I got through all of them, but I found a lot of movies I may need to check out over the summer.  Thank you Alex for hosting this wonderfully successful blogfest. 
          As happened with the music favorites lists, I could not confine myself to just one list.  During the course of the week I listed my dozen favorites that came after 1990 my favorite show biz movies, and my favorite dark movies.   Then on Thursday we had an interesting debate day question about censorship and movies.   There were some sharply divided opinions but as always the discussion was amicable.

          On this upcoming Monday I will return to music with the 10 FAVORITE LOVE SONGS / 10 FAVORITE BREAK UP SONGS list.   If you have some you'd like to suggest, be sure to sign up on the Linky list at the top of the page.  The following days will consist of cleaning up.  I'll begin wrapping up the music and the movies and start moving back to business as usual on Tossing It Out.  There is one more scheduled event which will be the favorite Spanish or Latin albums on Monday July 5th.  After that  music topics may appear on occasion, but this blog won't be all music.

Now please give me your opinion:

      First I have a few questions:    Have you ever seen the number of your followers drop unexplainably?   Would you like it if somebody notified you before they drop you to let you know why?  Was it something you did wrong?   Is there a way to see which follower has dropped you?     

        Do you ever stop following blogs on your list of the blogs you are following?  Here's why I ask--I'm planning to do exactly this.   I have a number of blogs that I follow that I never look at because they don't interest me.  There are also blogs that I have commented on and they never acknowledge me or comment on my posts.   I'm also planning to get rid of some of these.  Now you who are reading this have nothing to fear. If someone is following my blog I will continue to follow theirs.  However if I'm following someone's blog and they do not follow mine and never acknowledge me in any way then I don't see where we have any real relationship and they are taking up space that could be occupied by someone for whom I care more.  My dashboard reading list has become very full and I think housecleaning is due.

        I want your honest opinion.  Am I being petty?  Do you do this sometimes?   Should I notify the parties that I am going to drop just in case there has been an oversight in reciprocation?   I can think of some blogs that have been up longer than mine and regularly post very fine blog bits, yet they rarely get comments and only have a few followers.  Why?  Probably because when someone does comment they rarely acknowledge the commenters and they never seem to make comments elsewhere.  I wonder why they have blogs if they aren't interested in some kind of interaction?

        If any of you have any thoughts about any of this I'd love to hear them.   The way I see it my first change in the interest of helping me organize my blogging activity and free up my time for other things is to start doing some house cleaning.   Please--if you are currently following my blog and I am not following yours, let me know so I can fix that.  Also, if you see that I have stopped following your blog and you are still following mine let me know that I have made an error.  I do plan to notify anyone whose blog I intend to stop following to see if they want to have a reciprocal relationship or if they even care.

        Changes have to be made but I want to do it carefully and fairly--in other words I want to do it right.

         What do you think?





27 comments:

  1. I am a very blunt person, and that description itself should tell you what I am going to say.
    If you are for some reason following a blog which no longer interests you, and if the person in no way acknowledges your presence either, I see no reason for you to keep following that blog. The person may notice a fall in the numbers, but I am sure that is something everyone is used to.

    And yes, I have purged blogs off my list often enough, and they were all blogs that no longer interested me, written by bloggers who didn't in any way acknowledge me.


    BTW - if you sort your blog list by recency of posts, the list may become a bit neater.

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  2. This is a good question. I just did the same thing but did not notify those I chose not to follow any longer, I hope this did not break any "Blogging" ethic code.

    I say just do house cleaning. But I will continue to follow your blog.

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  3. If a blog you follow no longer interests you and you want to drop than go for it. I can see how my own blog would not interest people and don't take offense. Just a slight ding to my easily dinged ego. :-) I would kind of like to know why someone dropped me but sometimes ignorance is bliss.
    My problem has become google reader. Before it I was much better about making it to all the blogs I like. After reader it has been very easy to read lots of blogs but it takes extra steps to actually comment. I do make the extra attempt more often to actually go and comment on the blogs of people who comment on my blog. There are lots of blogs I love to read but I don't comment often because I don't feel I have much to add especially if there are already 50 comments. I guess I could work on that more.
    I really enjoyed your music posts and actually used it to add tunes to my itunes.

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  4. It is your house Arlee, you can do as you please :)

    Wish you a great weekend.

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  5. You gotta do what you gotta do, but sometimes I think you think about followers,following and those who comment and those who just read too much. I have readers (site meter) that never show their faces (comments) or perhaps never join my blog. I love that they are there. I join every blog who joins mine, plus many who do not join mine. Anyhoo, I write for me first. If you want to my posts -fine, if not fine.

    That's my take.

    Teresa

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  6. I too have followers who signed on to follow then never ever write a comment. Why say they are going to follow in the first place? There are a few whose blogs I follow who never ever comment back so if that how you feel Lee that's fine, as one person said "It's your house"

    Enjoy your house clearance
    Yvonne.

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  7. My comment doesn't seem to be any different than the others, I agree with Ocan Girl - it is your house.

    I recently went in and cleaned out about 40 blogs that I no longer followed.

    I think originally I wanted a large number of followers. So, I joined many blogs hoping they would receiporcate and follow mine.

    I then decided I wanted followers who would really follow, read, and hopefully be blesed by my blog. So I purged those which did not seem to have any interest for me; those who did not ever comment on my blog at all.

    I actually got it down to a manage number to followe and read and comment on.

    Now, I am thankful when someone joins, if they do, I check out their blog. If it is one I want to follow I join theirs, but if it isn't I don't join. My followers will probably go down and then come slowly - but I am ok with that. I want to be a blessing to my readers and I want them to read becasue they are encouraged, edified, and are learning.

    So, having said that, go ahead, make your changes, clean up and reorganize.

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  8. I did the same thing about a month ago. I cleaned out people that I found myself skipping in my reader all the time. I was following 178 blogs and cut down to 125, then added more. LOL!

    I've had people stop following me, and no idea who they are. Part of me wondered for a second "What did I do?" But mostly it didn't bother me. My blog is for me, my journal. I'm thrilled so many people follow and comment, but that's all icing, ya know?

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  9. maybe it's not you, maybe some of the people from your list just closed their blogs.
    I did unfollow two or three people in the past, but those were people who were posting some things I didn't agree politically and ethically and I didn't feel like supporting such blogs would be a good thing.

    You already know that you must comment on other people's blogs if you want them to return the love, and I see you already mentioned that. Just like you, I also don't understand people who expect to have readers but never actually show their love to others.

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  10. Someone warned me a while back that blogger only allows 300 blogs on the blog roll. I'm at about 230 blogs I follow right now. I'm considering cleaning up that list as I get closer to the limit. I don't think I'll unfollow the blogs though.

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  11. Thank you for the great responses--they are very helpful to me. I did want to address the "it's your blog and you can do what you want to do". I have some background in market research and customer maintenance so the subject fascinates me. Though I realize that I'm in control of my blog, I like to get input as to what keeps readers interested and gets them involved. I try to write about what interests me, but at the same time I want others to read and be interested. As I pursue a career in writing I think that is an even more important factor to consider. I am going to strive for marketability and would want the same for the blog. At the same time I do have to think about the efficiency of my blogging activity.

    Thanks --- Below I will address comments individually.

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  12. Rayna -- I love bluntness as long as it is meaningful and honest and you have given me both (but from knowing you so far could I expect any less?). However I am unclear about what you mean about sorting according to the recency of posts. Does that mean my blog roll which is showing in alphabetical order now? My reading list shows new posts as they come up and those are in order of recency.

    Jules -- I don't now of any blog ethics code or anything but I just know the few times someone has stopped following I always wonder why. If I offended them I'd like to rectify the situation. If it something that needs improvement on my blog I'd like to consider that as well. Thank you for following this blog.

    Junebug -- Thank you for your nice comment. As long as the bloggers are mutually acknowledging one another I feel like that is interest of relationship even if there is little in common with interests. You never know when something will strike a chord. Even if I followed someone whose posts I didn't care for and who criticized me regularly at least I would consider that there was a relationship and would want to keep it, unless they were being rude, offensive,and abusive. I enjoy civil disagreement though. And sometimes friendships take a while.

    Ocean Girl-- Yes it's my house, but I want everyone who stops by to feel welcome and want to stay to visit a bit.

    Teresa -- I understand what you're saying. My point is a matter of cleaning the clutter of my blog roll. And I respect the mutuality of following. I don't want followers just for the sake of numbers, but I want readership and a mutual relationship. As I said in my previous post I am seeking marketability of my own writing and the ability to visit the blogs of my "friends" without having too many extraneous blog descriptions popping up on my reading list. It's been getting overwhelming.

    Yvonne -- I've been trying to clean my real physical house and that has been influencing my blog thoughts. Housecleaning can be fun and you can sometimes find things you'd forgotten about.

    Gregg -- I think you expressed my sentiments very well. I going to do pretty much what you said that you did.

    Charity -- I know what you're saying. But like I noted above I have this marketing research / customer satisfaction thing that interests me.

    Dezmond -- Like you say, I'm thinking that some of the blogs on my roll just stopped posting. Of course that wouldn't clutter my reading list, but I want to figure out who's who and what's what. But yeah, I know what you're saying.

    Jemi -- I keep hearing about that 300 thing. But if they're not on the blog roll anymore how would you know if you're following them. I guess I'm not there yet or that 300 thing is a rumor that got started somehow. Does blogger say this anywhere?

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  13. I dumped a couple blogs I was following for the reasons you described. They also had next to no comments, too. I really wonder - why would someone set up a blog, post daily, and yet never comment on anyone else's blog or wonder why no one comments on theirs? I thought the whole purpose of a blogging was to interact with others.

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  14. Alex-- Exactly! It's just plain weird I think. Writing these blogs can take time and I would want some kind of feedback. It only makes sense to nuture the feedback you get. I'd love to meet some of these bloggers in real life and see if they are as rude and haughty as they come across in their blog life.

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  15. I dumped about fifty of those recently - was getting too near the 300 mark. Do it, Lee. I mean, why follow people who don't return the sentiment? I don't expect comments - I follow way too many blogs to comment on everybody's! - but a return follow is nice.

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  16. L.Diane-- Oh yeah! 50??!!! That's a bunch. I was expecting 10 or 20, but I haven't ever really done much in the way of purging since I started my blog so maybe I have 50 too. Thanks for the hearty encouragement.
    I don't really expect acknowledgement of a typical complimentary comment, but if I put a comment of some substance which I have left open to response it's nice to get answer to my question or a counter to my observation.

    Thanks Diane, for being a regular commenter and for posting meaningful posts and acknowledging the comments you get.

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  17. well....it's like i said before, but i don't think you believed me:) i honestly, i'd rather have fewer followers then many and i told people right from the onset, just because you follow me does NOT mean that i'm going to reciprocate. only follow those that interest me. those in my "Blogs i'm following" list, but some i don't leave a comment in. there's a couple of people that just go around leaving one comment and all that comment amounts to is an invitation to follow their personal blogs. when you check out their blogs, they have hundreds of followers. but the number of comments in comparison is pathetic... i have 29 followers and 25 % of those people are leaving comments on somewhat of a regular basis. there's some blogs that i've posted comments in from time to time and not once have they ever left a comment in mine. yet, i like their blogs and will continue to follow them and leave comments regardless of the fact. since i'm not into the number`s gig, some blogs i follow are in my bookmarks. i hate popping my head up in these blogs that have hundreds of followers:) like i said, would rather be around a few friends then a crowd of strangers!

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  18. I hear you, Lee! :-)

    When I comment on a person's blog and they don't acknowledge me, I do tend to stop commenting after a while. If their blog content interests me, I'm probably still going to read them weekly, but I won't always drop in with my views - not to be spiteful, but because I assume they're more about sharing than interaction.

    I think you should keep writers on your blogroll who interest you, and whose writing pertains somehow to what YOU write. Otherwise it's just a big reciprocation list, which is certainly very kind, but doesn't do much for you personally.

    Your blogroll should tie into your content.

    I think there are many bloggers out there who like writing but don't necessarily have the time or inclination to visit other blogs. I don't see anything wrong with that. It's just a different way of doing things.

    I hope you're well this week, Lee!

    :-)

    Corra

    The Victorian Heroine

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  19. Being somewhat new to this, I did not realize there was so much riding on the following of blogs.

    My blog on My Space (music reviews) gets a lot of hits but has zero followers. SInce it's landed me a handful of promotional CD's, it's been worth it for me.

    My two blogs on bloger.com have less than ten followers between them. I assume that's mostly due to the lack of a way to direct readers there.

    I'm not real religious about posting in either place, and pretty much do it as an outlet, never really considering the possibility that they might actually be read.

    In fact, I've never really considered the possibility that Americans CAN read! Of course, many bloggers are not American, which explains the literacy thing.

    That said, my feelings would not be hurt if someone were to drop my, any more than I get a lift when someone decides to follow.

    I assume everyone is busy, and I know that after twelve hours a day in front of a computer screen at work, I simply do not have time to read everyone's blog, every day.

    So, Lee, if I were a casualty of your purge, I certainly would have no hard feelings.

    Of course, that means I will refuse to participate in the "Top Ten Rap Soundtrack Albums With A Positive Message In Their Lyrics" blog hop.

    After all, a guy's gotta have standards!

    LC

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  20. You're faced with an interesting conundrum Lee.

    Frankly, I was wondering what was going to happen after your blog challenge. I thought the challenge was brilliant, but I wasn't sure if after the motivation ended that many would stay with it. Lots of people start blogs and don't realize the time commitment involved in writing as well as the give-and-take commentary.

    Looking at your blog roll on the right side of your page, I notice many have not posted in a month. So they may just be reading your blog and not commenting.

    Some days, I'm very pressed for time and I will read a blog, but not comment, particularly if I have nothing to add, and sometimes it takes me two or three days to come back and revisit the post and leave a comment.

    I do find many folks, unless they really have something to contribute to the dialogue, will often lurk in the shadows - just reading my blog, which is okay by me, but I do enjoy the human interaction.

    On my blog I have a counter that tells me personally how many page views I get on each post and how many are return visitors. Even though I only have 15 "followers," my page views are significant and are worldwide. I'm also able to see the length of time they spend per article and if they are return visitors.

    You might consider installing one of these gizmos on your blog - the invisible audience will certainly help you realize that you're not alone.

    Social networking and sharing posts at other sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Yahoo, Stumbleupon etc. will also get you readers - no guarantee on the comments, but you will get traffic, and they are more than likely not bloggers - they are just folks that enjoy reading your blog.

    As far as only being able to have 300 followers - I'm not sure where that idea was generated, but that's not the case.

    Whether you delete some blogs, that's a personal judgment call.

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  21. Bud -- I know what you're saying and have agreed in part with it all along. I still like the idea of having many followers ie potential readers. What I don't like is when I follow a blog that seems interesting and it's not just that they won't follow mine, but that they will not respond to open ended comments intended for discussion or specific questions I've asked about a blog post and I'm basically cold shouldered. I then see that blogger is not interested in communication with me so what's the point of having their blog clutter my already crowded blog roll. If they have information E can find in no other place then maybe I'd keep them on, but I'm not sure that blog exists.

    Corra-- You expressed this well and basically this is the approach I'm taking. Althought maybe I do have overly eclectic content and interests. Then maybe not.

    LC-- It's unlikely that I would ever purge your blog from my list. That is unless you insist on refusing to do the rap album list-- Now when was it you wanted to do that one.

    Paula --- I doubt whether I would purge any of the blogs I started following during A to Z, except for the ones that I know for a fact basically shut down or moved to a different blog address-- I have several in my list like that. I am considering installing a counter on my page. I'm already tracking with Google Analytics so I do keep track of the stats that you mention. What I want to eliminate are the blogs that are basically clutter-- they are defunct, inactive, or they are purposefully non-reciprocating, sometimes for spiteful reasons or sheer indifference. Perhaps as I go I will update my readers as to what I find. I think many out there have what I have in their blogrolls. Clutter results in reduced efficiency and I want to improve my state of efficiency.

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  22. Well since you asked. I have not lost any followers. I follow many blogs. Over time I have discovered a pattern, at least with me. I can only, after all, speak for myself.
    It is pretty basic. I will read and comment on your posts if you read and comment on mine.
    I do have a few exceptions. There are some people that don't comment on my posts yet I will comment on theirs. The reason for this is just a feeling. I just feel that they need the comments and perhaps just don't have the time to comment back.
    But these are very few exceptions anymore. If someone comments once or twice and never again, well I just have to return the favor as I am very busy myself!
    Perhaps this sounds bad in some ways. But the truth is that I am VERY,VERY busy. And I spend more time reading blogs than writing anymore. Which is fine because I truly do love and enjoy the blogs that I read! Or else I just wouldn't go there anymore. And maybe that's why some people don't visit me anymore. I think that most of the time my blog is very mundane, but such is my life!
    BTW, I do , very much, enjoy your blog! And if I miss a post here or there, it is only because I am VERY,VERY busy!
    Love Di ♥
    P.S. Hope you could make sense out of this!

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  23. I follow blogs that interest me, that I want to read. If someone follows mine, that's great, if they leave, I understand.

    I do think there is a little too much emphasis on followers. I mean, my own mother doesn't comment on all my posts. That doesn't mean I don't come home for Christmas! I think when we start reading into people's reasons for why they do what they do, we lose. If they post stuff we don't want to be part of directing others too, delete them. If they post stuff that is not really interesting to us, or isn't well written, or whatever our purpose for doing this blog thing is, then delete them. Otherwise, don't make it into a bigger deal than it is.
    2 cents worth. I hope.

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  24. For my blog, I write what I want to write, without regard of "pleasing" anyone. I am not at all concerned about my "popularity" really. Those that wish to follow fine, if not fine too. Many of my readers are not signed in as followers.

    I guess the question is...do you write to be popular or do you write for the joy of writing and for the outlet of what it might be that inspires you for that blog.

    You will drive yourself nuts if you concern yourself on numbers and stats that in essence mean nothing at all.

    Write/blog because you love what you wrote about. Don't worry about stats and who follows you.

    I am a "follower" of a few blogs I rarely even read exept once a month. So what does my addition mean? Nothing, yet there are some I read with more frequency that I am not a follower of (mostly because they dont have this feature on their blog).

    Write from your soul. All else doesnt matter

    Sig

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  25. I'm guilty of not leaving comments as often as I should, but I love reading a variety of blog posts and I'm probably following way too many blogs. However, Arlee, you're in my blogroll and I'm keeping you there, no matter what (well, unless you start posting graphic gore or something like that).

    As for cleaning house, I'll do that too one of these days. I often follow a new blog based on one post I liked, but then find the blog's focus is on something different. I assume that's what happens with my followers as well, and I really don't dwell on why readers leave. I can't please everyone, so I don't try.

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  26. Di-- I appreciate your regular comments. I've only lost a few followers I think, but I've read about the topic on other blogs and it made me think. I'm just curious about what it is that would make someone leave. But I know what it is that will make me stop following a blog. So I'm just doing some pondering here.

    Ron -- I basically follow blogs the same way. I'm pondering the topic of cleaning blog roll clutter. I don't know that I'm really making a big deal of it-- I'm just making it a topic of a blog post. Your blog is definitely one that will stay on my list.

    Sig-- You are probably pretty aware that I write what interests me and what I want to write. But I'm also very aware of marketing. I don't just want to write a vanity blog. That only interests me any more than I would want to write a book that no one would want to read. After so many years of the businesses I've been in I'm a marketer at heart. Call it popularity if you like, but for me it comes down to capturing a sizeable market share so to speak. Seems really stupid for something I'm not making any money with, but I've been playing and experimenting to find out what works and what doesn't. This post today merely has to do with eliminating blog clutter so I can operate more efficientlly.

    Patricia-- I think you see essentially where I'm coming from. Thank you for being there and I don't plan to do anything here that is graphically offensive.

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  27. I understand where you are coming from! I am behind, seems like life has been different for me, since May 3rd. Hubby on leave, not as much computer time, he goes back to work, school is released, then I get sick, cold meets sinus infection with summer allergies mixed in. I am way behind, still playing catch up on the Dirty Dozen. I have a few blogs I follow that never comment on mine. I agree it is like a common courtesy, but not everyone says, Excuse me, Please and Thank you in real life. It is what you are willing to deal with. I will still follow you; I like your voice, it is unique~

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee