I’ve been reading a bit lately about why people follow blogs. As a blogger of nearly two years, I read a lot of other blogs. I didn’t used to until I started Walking Talking. I follow a grand total of 140 blogs and most of them I follow through my WordPress Reader. Some of them I get e-mail updates for weekly, a select few as soon as a post is published. There are some who say that people follow blogs to get traffic for their own blog. I don’t do that. When I used to post photos for the WordPress challenges, I got some new readers that way. Nowadays I get random likes for posts I’ve published, usually soon after they’re published. Some are familiar names, others aren’t. I decide which ones to read, like or follow (or all three) on a case-to-case basis. I have exactly one rule, namely, if I enjoy what I read, then I’ll read more. I don’t follow or like blogs to get other people to read mine. If people like what I write, great. If not, then there are other things out there on the Internet.
Looking through the blogs I follow, there is considerable diversity, blogs about football, Scotland, psychogeography, museums, autism, London, libraries, writing and plenty of other things besides. I spend a little time every day catching up with my Reader and like and follow based on my whims. Occasionally I get ideas from reading other blogs, for example with a recent post called ‘Introverted roads‘ which was inspired by the psychogeography blog Edinburgh Drift, or the monthly digests I nicked from The Glasgow Gallivanter. A post I wrote recently which mentioned a concept called ‘the urban imaginary’ came from a comment left by the blogger behind the very interesting lullueblog. I am a reader and new ideas excite me. Being a human being not all of my own ideas are winners; that’s why other people are worth listening to. That’s why they’re better.
We spend so much time in our days staring at a screen that having a filter is desirable a lot of the time. My sole yardmark is quality. It’s undefinable, for the most part, but most of what makes something good isn’t easy to describe. That’s fine with me.
In that spirit, then, I am off for the next 10 days or so and I’m taking a break from blogging over that time too. In the meantime go out and be in the world. If you can’t do that read a book. I intend to do a bit of both.