When Do You Stop Reading a Blog?

Screenshot - not an entirely true representation of my reading habits
Screenshot – not an entirely true representation of my reading habits as this is an ill used feed.

Shortly after my son was born in 2009, I was introduced to the world of blogging. The time swallowing, opinionated, photo heavy world of blogging. I’m not talking about blogging like we do at GeekMom, or blogging like Jenny Lawson or Wil Wheaton.

I’m talking about the family oriented blog, the no-longer-confined-to-mommy mommy blog, the craft blog.

I’m going to preface this by saying I do not judge what you choose to blog, I’m just judging what I choose to read! I have been following the exploits of one unnamed family for a while, I have even followed one of her “haters” because I find the sarcastic retorts hilarious. As with most things in my life, I take what I find useful, endearing, or entertaining and disregard the rest. All I see is a snapshot of a life, I know I’m not getting the full picture. I know it’s not important that I agree with everything.

If you blog-hop, eventually your RSS feeder is going to be full of daily must reads. I occasionally have a clean out, people who no longer blog, people who started to blog purely in pictures, or whose interests changed and no longer matched mine.

Recently, I had to stop myself from following the blog I had the longest relationship with, the aforementioned unnamed family for a reason I did not see coming; the consumer evolution of the personal blog.

For a while I have been finding their exploits to be less entertaining, but life changes us all and who am I to judge? It wasn’t anything they did or said that turned me off, it wasn’t even the sponsored posts at the behest of a corporate sponsor. It was the guest blogger, the everyday guest blogger, the recurring guest blogger, the I’ve-forgotten-whose-blog-this-is blogger. The blog was still ostensibly a family oriented blog, but I could see it slowly becoming a brand, and not a brand for which I personally care to allow multiple voices into my head!

Image: Amazon.com
Image: Amazon.com

I remember the first time I realized that The Pioneer Woman no longer authored all the posts on her site. Part of me was excited at the potential of this world we inhabit, part of me was devastated and determined to petition a name change from “Woman” to “Women”.

When I started reading GeekMom, long before I started writing here, I knew I was getting into something with multiple voices, many angles, a virtual cornucopia of experience. It’s one of the things I enjoyed about the platform. Yet this isn’t something I expect from the personal blogs I follow, unless, of course, that person has multiple personalities. Certainly these people owe me nothing, and their decision to stop providing their own content is just that, their decision. It’s just not appealing to me and so off the feed you go.

I’m sure I’ll look in every so often, but no longer will I be alerted to something new. So I’ve found my blogging turn off but it’s hard to define. I still read The Pioneer Women, though very often I choose to ignore anything not written by the glorious Ree.

But this other blog? I’m not liking the blogger-sell-out button they pushed. I’m not sure where my line is but they crossed it. I can’t be the only one with such quirks, what are your blogging turn offs?

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8 thoughts on “When Do You Stop Reading a Blog?

  1. Too many sponsored posts is a big turn off for me. I get that blogging is a source of income for a lot of bloggers, and I don’t mind the occasional sponsored post. But when they get to be too frequent, it bugs me. I come to read stories about people’s lives and interests, not product reviews.

  2. I don’t always mind the sponsored posts. What drives me nuts is people who only publish an excerpt in their RSS feed. I won’t ever click through to read the rest of the post. That is, after all, what I have Feedly (and previously, Google Reader) for. I will occasionally (rarely, like now) click through to comment.

    I’ve found a couple of blogs that are interesting, but for which there is no RSS feed at all (I think because the writers don’t want their content being “aggregated”). Again, I won’t read them. I won’t click a million links every day in the hope that something new has been posted, and I use any one of like 5 different devices to read news, all running different operating systems (work computer, my home computer, family home computer, tablet, smartphone). No way am I going to bother syncing web bookmarks between them all. If you want readers, make it easy for them. If you want to make money, embed ads in your rss feed or use sponsored posts or blog all about the whozit you just bought and include the affiliate link.

    1. I totally agree. If a site does not have an RSS feed, I do not, will not follow it.
      I also find the post snippets annoying (looking at you, Polygon, Lifehacker, CBC News, BoingBoing). That being said, it’s not a deal breaker for me….most of the blogs I follow only post snippets.
      I stopped following Digg in lieu of reddit simply because reddit posts contained a direct link to the content whereas Digg only linked to the Digg page/post.

  3. First off, I love Geek Mom, keep up the good work!

    To answer your questions, I stop following blogs that stop publishing new content and ones that no longer interest me. I must say, I am guilty of moving my blog towards photo blogging.

    On a somewhat related note….Is it just me, or does every ‘power user’/blogger out there use Google Reader? I am still stunned by the decision to axe the service. In the wake of the announcement, it seems like every blogger I follow is a Reader user.

    1. The Google Reader decision has been foxing us for some time now. It seems well used, well liked and the move does not fit with their usual expansion model.

  4. Is is so timely a subject for me, as I a, going through a clean out of my reader. Additionally, I’ve recently stumbled on a snark site and I am morbidly fascinated with the people who are determined to take bloggers down a notch or two.
    I stop reading when it doesn’t interest me, plain and simple. Sometimes that means a mommy blogger is becoming too sanctimonious, too sarcastic, or branching out to much from my own personal parenting philosophy. Sometimes it’s all the branding, giveaways, endorsements….it becomes tiresome.
    Lastly, I’m another who won’t click over if only a snippet gets published. I know that is ridiculous, but I simply hate clicking and waiting, some DIY or craft sites make you click over only to be further redirected to ANOTHER page or site. It seems like grubbing for page views to me, and I don’t appreciate it.
    Thanks for the fascinating conversation…..this topic (looking at blogs and bloggers) really fascinates me.

  5. To be honest, I’m more likely to stop following a blog if it posts too OFTEN than if it posts rarely– the rare ones are the ones I want to KEEP in my feed, so that I won’t miss the odd times when they DO post!

    But I haven’t really stopped following blogs. Twitters, absolutely, but most blogs I had good reason to start following and I still do. There have been one or two that I’ve wondered what inspired me to start following them in the first place, and those I have cut, but in general no one’s suddenly felt like they’ve gone back on a promise or anything. That’s why I like feed readers. I don’t HAVE to read everything. I can delete the posts I’m not interested in — quite a few of even the GeekMom posts get deleted unread, because they just have no application to me– but I always know WHAT’S there and if I WANT to read it, and I read just what I need to. Some I’ll save for certain occasions– I’ve got a Feedly tag folder for Book Reviews that I’ll look at when it’s time to order new books for the library. I like having the ability to both see what IS being posted and read only what I feel like reading!

    To the people who don’t like the lack of RSS feeds– I’ve never had a problem adding such blogs to at least Google Reader before. I would just put the website of the blog itself in, and it would send me updates anyway. I’m not savvy enough to explain or understand this! But while I usually subscribe to the feed page, I have successfully subscribed to Just The Blog before, too.

  6. I definitely stop reading when the sponsored posts take over. I’m just not interested in being subjected to advertising on what is supposed to be someone’s personal blog. I also stop reading when the blogger buys a fancy camera and suddenly there are 876 pictures per post of thumbtacks, dead leaves, and cracked china.

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