Blog Hygiene - reading other blogs

The summer bloggy clean up continues. Hurray for getting organized! And being more effective. And efficient. More fun all around, people. Forget this thing of something that's meant to be FUN starting to feel like a CHORE. The chore part for me is not only when I take on too much (I talked a bit about that over here) but when HOW I am doing things gets in the way of executing my NEW and CREATIVE ideas. 

I tidied up Twitter. Now it's time for all of the blogs that I wanna read.

Want to see what some of it looks like - my blog roll, that is? Well, you have some on the sidebar. And I have some scribbled in my journal that I have been dragging around since Alt Summit. Scribbled is the operative word.

Think I have got to all of them? Some of them? How about, BARELY some of them. Add in the ones that I keep in my head and you have a whole lot of disorganization. 

What do I want to get out of reading other blogs?

Laugh? Be entertained? Learn something? See what my friends are doing? Be inspired?

First, building friendships and community. That was one of my main objectives in starting this blog - to meet other people who shared similar interests. Some of them have become friends and I want to see what they are writing and creating. 

Second, learn something new. I write in the creative/artsy/lifestyle/design-y niche but I don't only read blogs in that category. I think it's better for my blog and for me to branch out and read something completely unrelated to what I usually write about. Stretch myself.

Third, write and blog better. Too improve my posts I read other blogs and dissect what makes their best posts work. Figure it out. Break it down. And then see what I need to do to improve my own writing.

Fourth, be inspired. Creative inspiration. Inspiration for photography, for design, for art.

Let the clean up begin

My blogroll is a mess, the little there is. I made a half-hearted attempt to set up Feedly. And haven't been back. But relying on scribbles and memory and a sidebar and Twitter and Facebook just isn't THE most efficient and effective way to follow other blogs. I KNOW that I am missing your posts. And that means that I'm not able to comment either. 

So back to Feedly it is.

And in the evenings I'll pull out my journal AND sneak off with the man's iPad to check out all of those scribbled down URL's from the ALT classes that I attended.

I'll organize Feedly into categories but I don't know about organizing blogs by how often I will check them. Some have recommended doing that - the ones you read daily, weekly and monthly. The part of me that loves the real time of Twitter also loves to comment WHILE the post is fresh fresh new. 

How about you? Can you wait to catch up on some blogs a week or two later?

Blog roll resolutions

Find new blogs. A great source of new blogs is to snoop through the comment sections of blogs that I already love to read. If someone is charming and insightful, I zoom over and see if I want to follow their blog. And of course I read YOUR blogs!

Monthly tidy up. I'll zoom through the blog roll each month and see what still fits and what doesn't.

Meaningful comments. I've always enjoyed commenting and I will continue to do so. I promise, my friends, that I will do my very very very best to say something that shows that I have actually read your blog post. And I'll also respond to your comments here either on the blog or via email or preferably both.

So any ideas from you? 

Blog Hygiene - twitter

 

It's time for a social media house cleaning here at the blog. Some tidying up. Some paring down and getting a little leaner and little more effective. Something that I call, "the lazy man's way". How can I get to where I want to be with the least amount of work? Not saying no work - we're not slackers over here - the least amount of work over HERE so that I can do more over THERE.

I was scribbling away yesterday at a coffee place while the girl was at a birthday party and decided that I REALLY need to make this happen. I know it's summer but I want my proverbial ducks in a row before fall hits. I'm not going to go crazy with it - I want to enjoy the sun and hanging out with the girl and the man and friends and family. That's actually one of my motivations for Blog Hygiene - I wanna live my life AND have that charming blog for all my bloggy friends. So let's get started.

First up, it's twitter, baby.  

What do I want to get out of twitter?

Like anything, I figure that I'd better know WHY I am spending time doing it. That'll drive HOW I use it.

First, building friendships and community. Twitter's probably my favourite social media thingy. Maybe it's a bit of ADD but I love the banter and the back and forth. Love the quick check in. It moves fast.

Second, the business-y side of things - blog promotion. I use twitter to promote my most recent blog posts. I use Timely to schedule regular tweets during the day for that day's post. Because you can only schedule them once your post is live, I am considering switching to Hootsuite instead. Then I can set up tweets ahead of time.

Third, information that I might otherwise not find. Some of the people that I follow are gate keepers for me - they are fab curators of all sorts of links and articles that just don't have time to keep up with. And they aren't necessarily in areas that are directly related to my blog - I follow all sorts of people.

Fourth, support my bloggy and real life friends. When my friends have a blog post that I think my followers would find interesting, I retweet away. 

Let the clean up begin

Right now I am following about 750 people on twitter and have almost 400 following me. It's that 750 that I am curious about - that's a lot of tweets to read! Since it moves in real-time, I am sure that I am missing a lot too.

Keeping in mind WHY I am using twitter, I want to pare that down. Do I really need to follow corporate tweeters? Or how about those whose tweets I regularly scan and skip over (not yours of course, never yours).

Melanie of Inward Facing Girl pointed me in the direction of Twit Cleaner. I used it yesterday to clean up who I follow and also to analyze my own tweets. 

I'll also sit down while watching tv and zoom through my "following" list and make sure that each of them fits within my own twitter goals.

Don't know if I am going to make sublists or not. Do you? Why or why not?

Twitter resolutions

I need some to stay on top of twitter. And to manage my time on twitter too - of all the social media, it's my biggest time waster. See me procrastinating? That'll be me hanging around on twitter.

I'll start by limiting my time on twitter to 15 minutes three times a day. I'll let you know how that goes of course - I think it'll be a challenge but I KNOW that I'll find more free time.

First of each month I am going to zoom through my pared down list of "following" and see if I am happy with it. Anyone to add? Anyone to delete?

Do you have any twitter resolutions that I should consider?

Twitter etiquette

Ah, yes, how NOT to be annoying on twitter. Be kind my friends, as although I aspire to these, I don't always hit the mark.

I don't zoom my tweets to FB. I know, some of you do but for me, I feel that there's enough overlap between the two audiences that they don't need to see my tweets once...and again. Also, twitter is more of a cocktail party/link/banter medium and FB more visual, more dinner party so I like to keep the two separate.

Golden rule of retweeting. I try and only retweet what I would want someone else to retweet to me. You want to be visible and you want to add some value to your followers but you don't want to drown them in retweets.

Thank my followers. I am embarrassed to admit that I only recently started doing this. I know - how rude! But it only takes a few minutes once a week to thank them.

Add value. In addition to the retweets, when I do tweet, I do try and say more than just, "thanks" or "great post". Like with commenting on a blog post, stop before you tweet and see if you are adding to the conversation. At the same time, be you. Don't hold back and second guess and fuss over the tweet til it has no life at all. Show your personality.

Don't inundate. Try to have a reasonable number of tweets - too few and you are invisible and out of the conversation. Too many and your followers will be drowning in your commentary.

So, are you going to join me in some Blog Hygiene? Any other ideas for twitter that I have missed?

More Blog Hygiene to come over the next few weeks.