Thursday, August 31, 2006

How Do You Decide...

…which blogs to read?

A couple of posts on this topic have gotten me thinking today. Beanie Baby has been posting lately on the subject of Blogging Across Boundaries – an effort to make people more aware of the tendency toward homogeneity in our blog-reading habits: in essence, we tend to read within our demographic categories. And while that may be natural, it also stifles the potential of the Internet to broaden our thinking. I’ve been mulling that over all afternoon, and then I came upon a post from Crouching Mommy, Hidden Laundry, arguing that the blogosphere is infected with a high-school politics of name-dropping. So that has left me wondering – what factors determine the blogs that you read? Do you read – and comment on and link to – the "popular" bloggers in hopes of being noticed by their legions of readers? To what extent does your blogroll reflect an increasingly narrow niche of people exactly like you?

True confessions time. When I poke around the web looking for new blogs, there are certain criteria I bear in mind aside from pure quality of writing. Here are some of the factors I consider:

  • Geography: I do read blogs from Arizona and Australia (among other places), but the shameful truth is that I almost always take a second look when I find an Ontario blog, which, in almost all cases, means a Toronto blog. Yes, as I have admitted before, I’m nothing but a shameless Toronto-blogger wannabe (and I’ve got the nails to prove it!).
  • Myers-Briggs Personality Type: If you leave a comment telling me that you’re an INTJ, I will immediately subscribe to you through Bloglines. There are lots of other good personalities out there (and the mommy blogosphere appears to be dominated by INFJs like myself), but I shore do love me an INTJ.
  • Jane Austen References: If you’ve got ’em, I’ll be back!
  • Tear-Jerkers: Everybody likes a funny post, but I’m most addicted to the blogs that make me cry.
  • High-Needs Children: When someone writes honestly and movingly about parenting a quirky child, a high-needs child, or a child facing some kind of handicap, I am always riveted. But this category is a strange one. I have been lurking for awhile on some blogs by mothers of autistic boys, but I don’t feel comfortable yet poking my head out to say hi, perhaps because I don’t really know how to introduce myself. "Hi, I’m the mother of a son who probably isn’t autistic (but might be)!" Seems insensitive at best and doltish at worst.
  • Irritation: There is a very small minority of blogs that I keep reading because they irritate me, but in a good way. I often disagree with what the writer is saying, but I always come away feeling enlivened and stimulated.
  • Small Potatoes: I don’t bother with the really big-name bloggers (the last thing they need is more readers!), but one of my favourite blogging treats is to find a brand new blog and leave the very first comment.
  • A Partially Completed Graduate Degree: Okay, so I don’t actively look for that, it’s just something that happens to be shared by a surprisingly large percentage of the bloggers I love.

So what about you? How do you decide what to read?

50 comments:

Jaelithe said...

Hmm, I read a lot of bloggers in my area, too, as evidenced by my having created a whole separate blog roll for them. I don't think there's anything particularly isolationist about that; I think it's just fun to read about people you might actually be able to meet IRL someday without having to get on a plane.

I also read blogs that sometimes irritate me. I read some people whose politics are completely opposite mine (I'm a liberal in case there was any doubt), and sometimes things they say really annoy me. But I've always had real life friends with a diversity of opinions; life gets boring right quick when everyone around you agrees with everything you say. And one of the things I love most about blogging is that it lets you discover things you have in common with people who you might never have imagined you could relate to if you'd just met them briefly in person.

I do have a strong bias in favor of blogs written by parents (not just parenting blogs, but blogs written by parents). I think this is because I got into blogging precisely because I was feeling so isolated as a parent. I was in my early twenties when I got pregnant, and no one in my group of friends had yet had children. They found it very hard to relate to me once I couldn't drop everything and run out to a movie the minute someone called me, or stay out till 2 a.m. at bars with them anymore. And I had no one to turn to for child-related sympathy or advice. So for me, my foray into blogging was really an attempt to find other parent-friends.

But now that I HAVE found parent-friends, I think I need to start branching out a bit more . . .

Jaelithe said...

P.S. I'm glad you like to read blogs about quirky little boys, because otherwise you might not have started reading mine, and then I might not have discovered how much your blog rocks.

Peter said...

How about a link to one of those personality tests? Please. I would love to know what letters I am.

bubandpie said...

Jaelithe - Well, you get in on the quirky kid ground AND the make me cry ground (that one in spades! - finding Coral indeed).

Peter - There are several quizzes, but here's my favourite:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

Once you've got your type, I recommend the descriptions at typelogic.com (as long as you come here right after and tell me your letters!).

Mouse said...

I have very purposely tried to keep down the number of blogs that are on my Bloglines, though I do enjoy following others' links. I feel a mix of joy and regret when I read something that entices me, as I know I will need to read it regularly.

My Bloglines choices are diverse and yet homogenous. I read a couple of the "popular" blogs (or what I think are decently popular--I would put Amalah, Her Bad Mother, and BitchPhD in this category). My wife turned me onto the first two; I found BitchPhD because of a link from Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For (because the former reviewed the latter's book). I do know that a couple comments, particularly on HBM, have increased traffic to my site, but I don't comment as much on the other two because I feel like I'm more on the periphery of the audience.

I follow one blog that is really just a collection of news in my field with occasional other comments.

I keep track of a friend and a sister via their blogs (the friend knows, the sister doesn't--should I feel guilty about that?).

I have a couple lesbian mom blogs. Mombian is really good for a mix of political updates and parenting tips from a mother of a son about the same age as mine. The blogroll on Mombian is extensive and I've looked at a number of other lesbian-headed families; Name That Mama is one that I now follow regularly simply because the writing drew me in.

Otherwise I really like a couple of blogs I found via the Toronto Mommy-Blogs site (which, of course, I found through HBM). That is where I found yours (and, yes, you are on my Bloglines).

As for the qualities you search out, I truly appreciate that you look for the smaller, newer blogs; you were my very first comment. What's interesting is that I fit a few of the other qualities, obviously the partially-finished graduate degree, given that I have talked about grad school. But, did you know that I am an INTJ? To be fair, just barely a J and I sometimes move over to P, depending on the day. But maybe you've already figured that out.

Rock the Cradle said...

My collection of blog sites I visited came about primarily through a scavenger hunt-like process.

One day when I was feeling completely alone and particularly stupid, I typed in "motherhood" and "braincells" into the google search engine.

Motherhood Uncensored came up. I nearly cried reading it, not only from laughing, but at the relief at FINALLY finding a door to smart, funny mothers.

From there,I jumped from interesting post to interesting post, and found sites that I truly enjoy. I tend to stay away from sites I know will push my buttons...right now all the energy I have has to go to the Impling and occasionally creating a post.

With more time will come the sites I disagree with. It's fun and exciting being warrior woman weilding the pen of justice, but not now.

Re Myers-Briggs Somewhere I have a ten year old test with my name on it. There were definately an I and an F in there. Can't remember the others at the moment.

Today, I am an INTJ. Before I was INFP. Effects of Motherhood? Or 12 years in Philly? Hmmm.

Christina said...

Well, I guess I know why you read my blog, then. (INFJ, likes Jane Austen, sorta small, and I have a partially completed graduate degree) Well, either that or you find me irritating. ;)

Like you, I really enjoy finding a blog from someone in my area. Otherwise, I tend to read blogs written by people like myself. I enjoy mom blogs, but I read a few non-mom ones, too (Like Red Stapler). If the voice coming through the writing seems like someone I would hang out with in real life, I'm generally hooked.

I do suffer from the problem of too many blogs to read, and not enough time. I've had to limit myself to reading some every day (usually from bloggers who I can count on to update nearly every day), and everyone else a couple of days a week.

Veronica Mitchell said...

I think the homogeneity comes from a desire for support. I read mostly parenting blogs, but not all. And many of them are from widely different ideologies.

I will not read consistently angry blogs, and I hate most political blogs.

I have noticed that most of the blogs I read are from white or asian moms. That feels a little weird, but I'm not sure how to correct that. It would feel creepily voyeuristic to search for and read blogs just because they are written by someone who is black or latino or whatever.

And the last time I took one of those tests (ten years ago), I was an INTJ.

bubandpie said...

Mouse - So many interesting things. I feel the same way about commenting on the bigger blogs - perhaps it's a reversal of the Skimpy effect (Skanky effect? I can't remember the terminology) Beanie Baby described - if links beget more links, comments do not necessarily beget more comments. And to clarify about the Small Potatoes - I don't visit a blog JUST because it's small: it has to be small and really good. ;) I'm also an indefatigable archive reader because early posts have certain qualities that I love (lots of back story, and often very well-crafted). As for the MBTI, I hadn't made any diagnostic efforts, but the IN and J are all very clear - I don't know if I could have pinned down the F/T though.

Veronica - Yay! I had you pegged as an INTJ, based on how rational and well-organized your Christianity/evolution post was (qualities my response was totally lacking!).

Em said...

Blogs I read:

1. Blogs that are well written. Good writing is a must... beautiful, amazing, touching, funny writing is even better.
2. Expatriate blogs (having been an expatriate for 9 years myself).
3. Parenting blogs - especially bloggers who have large families or special needs kids (again because I have an affinity with them).
4. Blogs which give an account of lives completely different to mine (I love "walking a mile" in someone else's shoes).

Couple of observations: just about all the writers I read are women, I don't read any local bloggers (and only a few from other parts of Australia).

Katrinka Bobinka said...

Well I stumbled into the blogosphere just a few weeks ago. Once I caught the bug, I got curious about the possibilities for subject matter so I started "collecting" blogs.

I have an extensive list of blogs on my Sage reader but I have to say that some I read every day (yours) and some I don't. I'm whittling the list a little every day.

I find I am attracted to those that are well-written, no matter the subject. Poorly written blogs get deleted. I don't think I have the chops (yet) but I'm a harsh critic of bad grammar and spelling.

I read specifically to broaden my thinking so I'm trying to include bloggers I don't agree with along with those I do.

I started out with Toronto/Canadian blogs but it ocurred to me that I wanted to know what else was going on out there so I've rather unsystematicly tried to search out other sites, writen by people I don't really have anything in common with.

I've also branched out from the "personal blogs" to those which confine themselves to certain topics: politics, crafts, food, comedy.

I'm mostly relying on links and just random clicking on that "next blog" button (on Blogger.)

I've pretty much stopped reading the "big" blogs. After the initial thrill, I don't really see what all the fuss is about.

BTW, I just took the quizz and I'm INFP --but I don't think that's exactly right. Maybe I'll take it again in a day or teo and see if it changes.

Mayberry said...

I read 'em because I like 'em ... sometimes because of the writing, sometimes because of things we have in common, sometimes because they have a dramatic story I can't let go of; and sometimes even all three. Most are moms, simply because one leads to another, and another, and another... and before you know it you have 68 feeds in your reader and about 60 of them are moms.

Kvetch said...

I read blogs that grab me. I have over 50 on my Bloglines -- and others that I have "stored" away that I haven't added yet. Honestly I do a lot of clicking and reading and if I'm hooked, I stay - if I'm not - I don't. I comment as often as I can if I feel I have something to contribute. We tend to read those like us because many of us are here for connections in addition to readership. I read anyone who makes me laugh, cry or think. I like well-written blogs that do not always just diary a day in the life. I sometimes go into someone else's blogroll, then into that blogroll, then into that one...and so on. I feel like I get really deep into the blogosphere that way. Does any of this make sense? I am not necessarily looking to broaden my horizons thru blogging. I want to write, I want to read and I want to connect. If that's the same thing, then ok.

metro mama said...

I like well written, funny, and local. They don't have to be all three.

Beanie Baby said...

This is interesting--thanks for the extra feedback. And hey, I'm an INTJ! And from TO-ish! And I like Jane Austen! And there was another one, too, but I can't remember it. Oh, yes, special needs.

I think my primary criteria is a clever title. If it shows some humour or a spark of originality, I'll click through and give it a shot.

cmhl said...

hmmmm. I like your list!

I like the parenting blogs, that aren't preachy. I like the ones where you can tell that the parents are "real" and even if everything looks perfect, they aren't afraid to say that everying isn't ALL perfect.

I am a total 100% sucker for any kind of organizational tip blog. LOVE it. Not that I am necessarily a neat freak, but I in my mind I am. ha.

I like legal blogs, obviously, especially attorneys that are working parents.

I love homeschooling blogs. Now, I do not and probably will not ever homeschool, but I find a lot of inspiration from their posts, and I think it helps ME be more patient to read about what they are doing @ their home.

My favorite all time thing on a blog? the "parade of homes" @ Boomama's. It is so FUN to peek in everyone else's homes. http://boomama.blogspot.com/2006/07/come-on-in-yall.html

Antique Mommy said...

For the record, I am an ENTJ (heavy on the J), but with ridiculously-timed I tendencies.

What an interesting topic. Now I have to be all introspective...

I look for blogs that are consistently well written. I like someone who can tell a good story. I like posts that are original, smart and have a point. They can funny or sad either one, but they must have a point!

I like to find bloggers who are opposite me politically/socially/theologically and can talk about these things without degenerating into mockery and name calling -- insulting rhetoric. I seldom consider the race of the writer.

I don't much care of a blogger is "popular" or not. Finslippy is as big as you get in the blogosphere, but I love her writing. There are other big-name bloggers out there that I don't think have much to say and I wonder how they get 139 comments on some of the stuff they write.

I only have a few precious minutes for blog reading in any given day, and I don't like to waste them so I avoid rants, mean-spiritedness in the guise of humor, bitching and endless memes.

bubandpie said...

CMHL - I've been resisting the urge to click on the Tour of Homes because those things make me really jealous of other people's nicer houses. It's not a pretty sight - I don't look good in green.

Beanie Baby - Titles are strange - every once in awhile I remember my initial title-based impression of a blog, and it's almost always way, way off.

Kvetch - That habit of clicking your way deeper and deeper into the blogosphere? HBM called it "going down the rabbit hole" the other night - the perfect metaphor, I thought (don't know if she made it up first or borrowed it from someone else). I almost never do it though - I'm a slave to my systems.

Katrinka - The INFP descriptions are messed up (especially the ones that describe the type as a "Healer"). Most of the INFP's I've known are as tough as nails, despite their deep empathy (maybe because of it).

Aliki2006 said...

Hmmm...everyone's already said so much! For me, it's the writing that grabs me--the individuality in the words and language that come through and enable me to get a glimpse of the person writing. I look for people struggling with unfinished degrees, too, and I *wish* I could find other bloggers in my area, but haven't yet. I like quirky kids, too, since I have a 6 year old one of my own...I like the "down the rabbit hole" metaphor, too--the blogisphere is so like that!

Kristen said...

Okay, wow. *I'm* an INTJ! And you know about Bryce, right? (The quirky intense one who also causes me to read autism blogs??) And I love me some Jane Austen, but it's unfortunately been way too long since I've read any of the dusty books on my shelf (sigh).

Anyway, I just thought all of that was pretty funny!

I also tend to read Oklahoma blogs since we're in Oklahoma, I like blogs of people with quirky kids, like you mentioned, moms who work outside the home since that's my current lot, and some "obligatory" blogs that I've been reading since I started blogging and seem to have trouble letting go, even though I question their quality and purpose in my life.

I think about this a lot, though. And I have several (including yours, and I'm not just saying that because I'm leaving a comment) that I need to add to our site but just haven't done yet.

Minnehaha Mama said...

Hey, I'm an INTJ! That's never been desirable before. Usually it's those annoying Es that have it all over the Is.

Here's my list of desirable blogger qualities:

1. Children at similar ages to my own.

2. Irreverence and/or self deprecation.

3. Mom-101 appreciators.

4. Montgomery/Austen/Alcott readers (how I got to you)

5. Pop culture referencers.

Now, I am embarassed to admit that I am too easily turned off by christian, conservative homeschoolers. It's the J in me that comes out despite my best efforts to stop it. But I'm working on not making these snap judgments and opening my eyes to the content.

I also think that one beauty of the blogging community is that you can get right into the head and heart of a "kindred spirit" who might appear so different from you on the outside that you would never get to know each other on the street.

Gah, what is it about your blog that inspires these long comments!

crazymumma said...

i tool around and find lots of things that interest me. Definetly Ontario bloggers, questioning life and relationship bloggers, opinionated bloggers, and funny man bloggers are my favorites...
irreverence is pretty key...humour, and a self scathing attitude helps...I am also drawn in by beautiful writing.
we had fun in the park today...to bad you could not be there...

Pieces said...

Love your list. I'll have to think of a list for myself. I find myself returning to blogs because they have something I want. They write the way that I wish I could. They think the way I want to think. They take photos or read books or craft crafty things the way I want to do those things and either can't or don't.

Wow. That is an epiphany for me. I'm going to have to think about this some more...

Blog Antagonist said...

Wow, interesting topic, especially to one who is relatively new to the blogosphere. I actively seek out blogs that are different. I actively seek out blogs that are intelligently written. I actively seek out blogs that have a point to make.

I actively seek out blogs by writers. There's a difference between a writer who blogs, and a blogger who writes.

I actively seek out blogs by women who are well read and seek out new and interesting literature.

I actively avoid the popular blogs/bloggers because I think when you get that big, you lose yourself and you're writing becomes about your audience.

I usually avoid uber Christian blogs, but recently I've read some really intelligent and open-minded things and I'm rethinking that stance.

I actively avoid political blogs. I have zero interest, and most of those people are just regurgitating the topic du jour anyway. There's rarely an original thought on them.

Funny, bitchy, irreverent...I'm there.

Maudlin, whining, my life is so awful...pass.

There's a difference between posting about a life changing event or crisis, and habitually blogging about every little problem in your life.

And sometimes a blog just gets me for no particular reason. I've got a few like that on my blogroll.

Pieces said...

Oh, and thanks for the test website. I am an ISTJ although I'm not entirely sure what that means.

something blue said...

I love to read blogs written the way that I think. It is a talent to be able to express yourself this way. So if it makes me feel warm and invited, I pull myself up with a hot cup of coffee and all of a sudden I have all kinds of imaginary friends.

I heart blogs!

Mommy off the Record said...

Very interesting! I would love to say I'm an INTJ, but I'm really an INFJ (no surpise there, I guess!)

I don't read any of the big name bloggers because I don't think they would have the time or interest in developing a blogger relationship with me. It's not because I want their comments per se, but rather because I feel that much of the fun in blogging is in the back-and-forth communication and the really getting to know someone part of it. That's not to say that I wouldn't read a big name blogger if they really spoke to me, but I'd be more inclined to read bloggers who are already getting 200 comments per post by the time I stumble upon their blog.

I also love finding those blogs that are undiscovered but whose authors are excellent writers and whose posts speak to me. Every now and then I come across one and I get this "oh, goody me!" feeling like I've just discovered a treasure.

(By the way, congrats on your Perfect Post Award!)

Mommy off the Record said...

oops, that should have been: I'd be more inclined to read bloggers who aren't already getting 200 comments per post by the time I stumble upon their blog.

bubandpie said...

MOTR - Exactly. Every once in awhile I spend a month or so lurking on a big-name site, but when it's time to do a cull, they're the first to go because there's no relationship there.

Something Blue - One of my very first comments was from Marla, who talked about making herself a cup of tea and then sitting down to read my blog. It's such a cozy image. I like the blogs that are like that too.

AC - I am so jealous about the park! (wannabe, wannabe)

Minnehaha Mama - As much as I was inclined to deny commenting on big blogs for the sake of popularity, I do notice that everytime I go over to Mom-101's place I find new blogs to read! You and your hubby being prime examples...

Aliki - You know, I think I should just do a search under "unfinished dissertation mom blogs" and see what comes up! Lots of goodies.

Antique Mommy - Okay, I think that's one too many recommendations of Finslippy for me to ignore ... got to go check her out. Along with a few more funny dad-blogs...

sunshine scribe said...

Fabulous post. Its a good thing that I am local, small potatoes and irritating because I am an ENFJ (sometimes P) with an easy kid so you may have run away otherwise.

I personally read blogs that make me laugh or cry or really think. I also have blog crushes on a few that are extraordinary writers that I feel very inspired by. I want to start to read outside of the Mommy blogger world even more than I already do.

AND ...Hey you ... CONGRATULATIONS ... I just saw that one of my favourite bloggers (that would be you) got TWO perfect post awards today ... and one from a supa star blogger. They couldn't have made a better choice!

Ali said...

wow. good question.

i am all over the place in the blogs i read.
i read some of the well-known blogs (even though they have no clue who i am)
i read a lot of Canadian mama blogs.
i read blogs written by women who write about things i would write about, only better. funnier. smarter. wittier.

Peter said...

ESFJ it says, seems about right. I guess.
Thanks.

penelopeto said...

once again, your thoughts echo my own. It's been as much fun to scroll through the comments as it was reading the original post.
I'll post my list at my place, rather than write a huuuuuge comment!

Mamalooper said...

ENFJ here.

I read a variety of blogs - some relate to what I may be experiencing at that time and others satisfy curiosity or voyeuristic needs. For the former, I read many infertility blogs when I was going through that journey myself. When I did fall pregnant long after giving up hope and while on the verge of adopting, I moved onto pregnancy after infertility and mommy blogs.

The voyeuristic or personal interest blogs are screenwriters, graduate students, academic, and jazz. I would read many more but I just don't have the time.

The ones that I stick with are well written and provide a sense of the writer's personality.

Lisa b said...

I just love the last criterion. Partially completed graduate degree.
I wonder does that just remind us that so many mamma bloggers are white and middle class or is there more to it?

I'm not on that list anymore bc as of yesterday my MA papers are signed! free at last.

Oh, The Joys said...

I read a lot of mom bloggers. I read people that read me- I think that is about establishing a community with other bloggers. I read some of the popular ones, but don't often (if ever) comment because it seems ... I don't know, like I'd be lost in the sea. I blogroll everyone that visits my site because I read somewhere that I should be generous with linking...so I am. I think the posts that I READ closely are ones that capture me with good writing. I am new to your site (through Blog Antagonist) and I am usually pulled into your posts...

mamatulip said...

I read blogs that grab me. That make me think, laugh, cry, that I can relate to. I like to read blogs that are well-written, interesting, creative -- I can't stand reading stuff that isn't properly punctuated or that is written in "kre8tiv" slang. And I try to always check out the blogs of people who post comments on my blog as well. I like snarky blogs, but I really avoid blogs that are just downright mean and political blogs...they're just not up my alley.

Great topic, great questions.

nomotherearth said...

I took the test recently and I am an INFJ! The book says they are "rare" but it seems there are a lot out there...
I just got into the blogging world, and right now, I am drawn to the "mommy bloggers" - being one myself. I look for people who seem to think the same way I do and seem to be going through the same things. I am looking for validation? Support? I don't know. I love (and of jealous of) the blogs that say all the things that I want to say, but by people who are obviously far better writers than I am. Bub and Pie - you are one of them. Thanks for reading my Blog!

Her Bad Mother said...

I just go down the rabbit hole (which I *think* that I made up. I also think that I made up blogtard. But one never knows with word-maker-uppers - whether the words come from some dark creative recess of the brain or from some hidden file of 'words heard somewhere and reserved for future use.')

Anyway, yeah. Rabbit hole. Mostly parenting blogs, some not. I actually don't seek out other blogs written by academics or almost academics because I actually like so few of them in real life. But it's always a nice surprise to realize that someone who grabs you online has made some of the same life choices.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Um, I don't fall in any of those categories unless I irritate you. Oh, wait! I'm small potatoes. Mashed or fried most days. But tasty. :)

If I enjoy reading a blog I'll put it on my list. Unfortunately, my bloglines does not accurately represent my reading preferences these days. I haven't added everyone I'd like to just yet but I also feel wrong deleting someone. It's not politics, just decency. And I also have not yet included all the non-parent blogs (or all the dad blogs) that I read. But I will be soon! My reading represents my loves: parenting, dogs, entertainment, and current events.

Piece of Work said...

Oh this is such a problem for me. There are too many good blogs that I want to read, and I absolutely cannot keep up. Not to mention, there are several blogs that I read--not because they are particularly good, but because the authors have become friends of mine. In the beginning whenever ANYBODY new commented, I'd add them to my blogroll and start reading them but I just can't do that anymore.
However, I definitely read blogs by mothers most often, and I love stumbling across other SoCal blogs.

bubandpie said...

HBM - LOL on the unlikable academics. I have consciously avoided the academic blogosphere because I suspect it would do weird things to my head to spend too much time there.

Mama Tulip - I try to turn off my grammar-police sensors while reading blogs (and have deliberately chosen a comma splice over a semi-colon several times on my own blog - though not without an audible gulp), but I MUST have capital letters at the beginning of sentences. If there are no capitals, I won't read it.

andrea from the fishbowl said...

I read Beanie Baby's original post, and I have to say that I never really thought about what kind of blogs I read.

But if I look through my Bloglines it can be neatly divided into a few categories:

1) parenting - I read to be amused. For the most part I like funny/witty blogs.
2) crafty - paper collage, swaps, tips and ideas
3) local - I'm from Ottawa and I like keeping up with what's going on in my neighborhood

But there are days that I give up on blogs entirely. And then I'm sucked right back in. It's hard to keep away. ;)

Nancy said...

I read lots of blogs on different topics -- some of which I browse for the "news/item of interest/cool stuff" factor (Blogging Baby, craft blogs, ThisNext, etc.) but don't comment on.

I am initially attracted by a blog with a nice site design. I have a hard time getting into a blog that's full of crazy animation, weird pictures, unusual colors, or strange writing styles. (Call that the wannabe artist in me.)

But what keeps me coming back is the writing -- if I feel a connection with the writer, if I find myself nodding or smiling or tearing up at what they write.

I've found I like a lot of blogs by moms and by women about my age. I do read the occasional dad, but seem to favor mom blogs. I like funny, but not all the blogs I read are funny. I love bloggers who can tell a story of their life and make it transcend so that I can relate, even from a different perspective and place.

And of course, there's now a small set of bloggers who I have met in real life. I consider them true friends, and connect with them even more through their blog since we have now met in person.

I think I'm a wannabe Toronto blogger, too. Oh, and I'm an ISTJ (on the cusp of ISFJ.)

Terri B. said...

What an interesting list! I've been enjoying your blog for awhile now. I picked up your link through aseveremary over at Life, the Universe, and Everything. We also happen to be related and have many interesting conversations as she is an E-something-something-something and I am an INTJ (apparently a little too "I" today). I'm from Arizona and in my heart I've never left. I live in the L.A. area now and often wonder why.

Stop on by Tip of the Iceberg sometime. I'd love to have you over!
http://the-iceberg.blogspot.com

Marla said...

Well, you asked. And I've been back twice to read this, and the comments before deciding to answer. Because I want to be truthful.

I read some blogs because as I often say, blogging makes you care about people you don't even know, and so some bloggers have taken up residence in my daily thoughts. "Big" or "Small", they have voices that I long to hear and stories I savour.

I read some to be polite, because it is the greatest compliment to be read, and I like to return the compliment whenever possible.(ThankyouBloglines!).

As you were kind enough to reference - I like to treat every post as a visit. As in life, some are wonderful gifts, and some are obligations. They both have places in my life. For me, it's not the deciding what to read - it's the deciding when to comment. Just as I believe some posts inspire remarks and conversation, I believe that sometimes the hit on the traffic counter will have to do. You know, just as sometimes you run into someone and decide to grab a coffe, and sometimes you smile and wave and keep going.

So I'm having my tea with lots of cream and sugar tonight.

owlhaven said...

Hey, I'm an INTJ--now I want to know what you find so fascinating about us..? Then again, maybe you'll try me and I'll be the only intj you don't like. Hope not.

Anyway-- how do I choose?

Some for similarities. I have a zillion kids so I love reading about other big adoptive families. Extreme overuse of profanity turns me off, though I have no problem with occasional language.

I LOVE variety. One of my bloglines categories is 'window on the world'. Here I read people from Africa, New Zealand, Korea, Hawaii, Trinidad, etc. I adore seeing a part of the world I haven't experienced.

Of course humor draws me in. Also lack of cliche and freshness of writing. Excellent writing will draw me in whether or not I agree with you or have much in common with you.

As far as 'big' bloggers-- I actually resist them. I don't read dooce. Rarely Suburban turmoil. Finslippy proved herself to me with her humor. But I made the decision for myself, and not lemming-like.
I'll shut up now

Mary, mom to many

Ovation Leader said...

Even though you have 46 comments on this post already, I couldn't help but add another. I discovered your blog with a search for "Myers-Briggs." What I didn't expect to find was such a lush garden of mommy blogs.

I admit, had the blogosphere been created when my high school and college age children were born, I would have been on a billion mommy blogs. The community of caring doesn't get better than moms across the globe meeting for a virtual playdate of smart talk, silly stories, and sad reports.

If I were creating a mommy blog today, I'd name it WAHMmy Mammy. W is for Work, A is for At, H is for Home, and M is for (you guessed it) Mother. I left the publishing world behind when my kids were babies, and began writing and consulting from my home. My home studio is still in view of the family room and I still watch my kids like I did when they were little.

So getting to the topic of your post. I didn't go looking for a mommy blog, but I was looking for a blog outside my normal blogroll of authors and publishing pundits. You put out a good read and I'm stunned by how many comments you get. Bravo.

Just one more thing: I went to a convention in Toronto last December and now I heart your city.

bubandpie said...

Ovation Leader - A Google search that turned into a regular reader! I'm amazed (though every once in awhile I see what appears to be an especially on-point Google search and think - hmmm, that person should really stick around and read the post!).

Owlhaven - Veronica's post on evolution is, to me, the archetypal INTJ post. Deft categorization of abstract ideas; logical, dispassionate analysis; careful avoidance of overstatement. It gives me the shivers just describing it! (And though I have a well-developed T side, my post on the same topic was totally different - impressionistic, personal, imaginative.)

Anonymous said...

there's a great free resource at www.INFJ.com