Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Virgin

As you can see by scrolling down this page, I’m new to the whole blog thing. As in "this-is-my-fourth-blog-post" new. I did have a blog about a year and a half ago but it wasn’t the same. I was dealing with an especially difficult situation in my life and had several close friends and family members that helped to keep me grounded and sane as I went through it. To keep them updated, I had been sending them group e-mails but then I thought, well, maybe a blog would be nice. So I started a blog, kept it private, notified them all, and wrote three long posts before I abandoned it. It’s still out there somewhere, I don’t think even I could find it now. Just really not the same thing at all, I don’t even count it as a blog.

So here I am, starting out completely fresh and discovering that there’s more to blogging than just writing something and posting it. There’s a layout to design (I know, mine is lame), a mini-media blitz to launch (“I just started a blog, come check it out!”), and, my favorite part, seeing if there are any new followers or comments to check out. I am one step up from a technological cripple- I did manage to start a blog, after all!- so though I suspect that feeds and such are good things, I don’t really know what they do.

But that’s just my own little blog. There’s a whole blog world out there! No, wait- a whole blog universe out there! At least that’s what I’ve read. According to my google search, there are well over a hundred million blogs in existence, and then think of all the non-blogging people who read them! So it should be easy to find some great blogs to read and connect with. Right?

Last night, Sam, a baseball player, Batman, Tinker Bell, a toilet, and I went to the Harvest Party at our church. We had a marvelous time. Once the baseball player, Batman, Tinker Bell, and the toilet were all tucked into bed afterwards, visions of Legos, Polly dolls, and jewelry making kits dancing in their heads (because those are the things we traded them for the ten pounds of candy they collected at the party), I settled in on the couch for an evening of good blog browsing.

I innocently assumed that pushing the “next blog” button at the top of the page would lead the way. Instead, it led the way to a spam blog. You know, the kind that’s just a bunch of random words and phrases with “buy such and such medication on-line” interspersed throughout. How rude. I indignantly reported it as spam and continued on my way. After I spam reported another four junk blogs I finally clued in that I was out-numbered and tried to just ignore them.

Two hours of blog browsing later, I settled on these statistics. Fifty percent of the blogs were spam. Another forty percent were in other languages. Not that other languages are a problem, I was just bummed that I couldn’t read them. About five percent were genuine blogs but the majority of those, like mine, had just been started this week and didn’t have a lot of content. Actually, on a couple of them, I got a sense that the authors felt that they were just a voice crying out in the wilderness so I left them comments to let them know someone had read their blog. Getting comments just feels so good, and I’m nice that way. A few of the new blogs had posts that said only, “My new blog. This is a test.” The remaining five percent were mainly big ads with a few porn sites mixed in. Nice. I especially love how the porn sites somehow block the bar at the top so you can’t report them.

So I gave up on my blog browsing, somewhat disappointed and moderately disgusted, and went to bed. In the future, I will rely on checking out the “blogs of note” and seeing what other people are following in order to accomplish my blog browsing.

I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this.


  1. I hear you. The first month I only had two followers, my daughter and a colleague. Then I had to go to a social media workshop for work and found out if you want to get readers, you have to read others' blogs and post comments, otherwise you are just having a convo in the corner by yourself. So, I checked out blogs of note and then have been checking out the blogs of those who comment on the blogs of note. This greatly increases your odds of finding something interesting. However, I see you already have more followers than me, so you are doing something right! What I really like about this whole blogworld is that it is like a writers' workshop and it is inspiring me to write, and I am really enjoying a handful of blogs I've found.

  2. You're absolutely right. I feel like I've finally found a forum that has the best of both worlds- I can write whatever I want and, by knowing that people are actually reading it, I get motivation to keep writing. That's why the followers- I've been beating the bushes to get a little bit of a following because I know if I have someone actually reading this, I'll feel more of an obligation to keep writing instead of letting it dwindle off into nothingness... That's the idea, anyway, we'll see how it works out!

  3. Happy SITS day! I stopped by from SITS Shoutout Fest. You'll learn more and more everyday. It is exciting.

    I just follow my followers or find interesting comments or avatars and link back to them. I also ready the blogs that are listed in Blog Rolls. These are how I find interest blogs. And there are a ton out there. I also look through the SITS roll call and read through a dozen or so a day to find some I want to follow.

  4. Hi, Corrie! Thanks for adding my blog and for the tips! I'll definitely be checking out the SITS roll call.

  5. Hi Kristin, thanks for your comment on my blog. Looks like you have figured out this blog thing. You even have ads up! You'll get readers very fast, because you know how to write well :)I look forward to reading more!

    Dagmar's momsense

  6. Hi -
    I wish there was an easier way to find blogs of interest too. Some kind of search engine that crawls through Blogger at least. Maybe it's coming. Nice post. I'm going to read your others too. Have a good weekend.

  7. Haha...I know what you mean. I've given up on browsing through the blogs. I mostly get the spam ones or ones I can't read cause I failed Spanish in high school. xD I just click the people that comment on my blog and their followers. And for the most part I get "real" people. Like you. (:

    Sorry if you get this twice btw. I forgot to sign in before I commented. XD

  8. I just find blogs by reading other peoples lists of blogs they like (down the side of their blog usually). Looks like you've got the hang of it know anyway. Thanks for stopping by. Jill (Today I Saw) x

  9. Hey Kristin, just 'stumbled' (term used loosely) on to your blog via your comment on Jill's blog. Theres irony for ya lol.

    I'd be sure to follow, and hope you'll be able to do the same in return. Oh, and if you ever need help with your blog, feel free to give me a shout! :)


  10. I found you on Kathryn's page, well done on advertizing yourself.

    I find this very funny..The first paragraph of you post is excatly what my blog was about just moments ago, I wrote it last night.

    I also found a few from "Blogs of Note", then through their commenters. You are doing better than me. I've been at it for almost 2 months and only up to 7 followers, but then again I am not a writer just a jibberer.

  11. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I'm starting to realize that one of the benefits of blogging, which I hadn't previously anticipated, is getting connected with so many friendly, interesting people. : )

  12. I LOVE Blog Virgins! I promise to be gentle. ;)
    So cool that you are starting fresh. You'll build it up eventually and find cool people to join you. (ahem... like MOI!) It takes everyone a while to catch on. BUT then it becomes ADDICTIVE!

    Come visit me and I'll be back soon!

  13. Well, for someone who's just getting started, you've got a decent amount of comments/'re obviously doing something right.

    I understand your frustration with that "next blog" button....forget THAT!

    1) When you find a blog you LIKE (ahem)....add yourself as a flwgr, and check out their sidebar for the blogs THEY think are good. Usually, that'll give you some great reads.
    2) Check out's broken down by type and is how I found my first few good ones.

    The best thing is to keep commenting....I know that most will comment's the polite thing to do!

    Good luck!

  14. Oh, no, the last thing I need is another addiction- I just recently had to have serious intervention to break my facebook addiction, lol!

    And, Kathryn, thanks for the etiquette tip- I'd hate to be offending people my first week loose in the blog world! : )

  15. Woah! well for a new blogger you definitely have your fair share of followers and comments. I've been blogging for a few months, and I only have 8 followers, and only ONE of them comments on my posts. (Kathryn, of course). So, you must be doing something right. BTW i;m one of your new followers, and loved your post. Hope to read some more. =)

  16. Thanks for joining, book*addict! Well, the pressure is definitely on now to at least maintain the quality of writing in the first four posts, lol! I'll do my best!

  17. I found you here through Kathryn's blog too, lol. I'm glad I'm not the only one so technilogically disadvantaged to just now start my own blog. I'll be back often.

  18. Well, if there is one thing I learned through my "next blog" venture, you and I are definitely not the only ones just starting out, Tinkerschnitzel! Thanks for joining my blog! : )

  19. Thanks Kristin for the comment on my blog! As you said, it's always fun to receive a comment. I haven't had any inspiration in awhile to write. It's interesting how it comes and goes without any warning. I'll join your blog. I always get excited when that low number of followers jumps up by one.


  20. Thanks, Ryan! I'm glad to see you here. And I agree about the "inspiration phenomenon". I used to write all the time when I was younger, now this blog is getting me back into it. I've only been at it for a week but I already have days where I have multiple ideas for future blog posts (in which case I scribble them down in my "miscellaneous notebook") and other days where I start to feel panic-stricken because not a single idea is coming to mind- and what if I never have a good idea, ever again?!

  21. Hi Kristin!!!!
    Thank you so much for your comment! I was having one of those emo moments!

    Welcome back to the blog world! I'd love to keep in touch and I'll add you to my reader!

  22. Thanks, kayla! I hope things are going better for you. : ) And thanks for stopping by, I hope you'll be back soon. : )