Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday 13 - Blog Keepers

Esme’s Mommy here.

I came across this post from African Kelli – one of my “keeper” bloggers. She just arrived in Mozambique on a short-term health project, and her experience so well describes the quandary, the dilemma, that is Mozambique. If you’re short on time, please read her post instead of mine today!

Yesterday was Independence Day here in Mozambique, so we celebrated with a potjie at my sister’s house around the block and down a ways. Here is a photo I snapped on the walk – just to give you a visual for Kelli’s blog post.

Sudden change of topic and on to my Thursday 13 – specifically for bloggers.

When I first figured out Google Reader back in March, I started subscribing to feeds at a crazy rate. I knew I was in trouble when I went on vacation for a month and had limited internet access. Within the first week, my inbox had 1000+ items in it. Now that I’ve been home a bit and started working through it, I’ve been unsubscribing from a few blogs. Not as many as I should, but a woman’s gotta start somewhere.

And it’s a TERRIBLE process. I feel like I’m saying goodbye to good friends, just so I can have a real life. Selfish, isn’t it?

I’m no SheSpeaks seminar speaker, but I’ve been analyzing what makes a blog a keeper and what annoys me, and thought my very amateur perspective might be interesting to some.

Trying to see the glass half full, I’ll start with the keepers. Next week we’ll do the (more exciting) pet peeves.
  1. People I Know. This trumps all. If I know you personally, I’ll read your blog. Period. It makes my life more interesting if you’ve got the other things going for you, of course, and thankfully all my personal friends do!
  2. Similarities. I like people who have common interests. In most cases, that means kids. I love mommy blogs! Ones with a spiritual emphasis and wholesome lifestyle are even better. And Africa-related blogs are awesome, too.
  3. Human Tragedy. I find myself drawn to others’ stories of personal tragedy. I’m sure there’s a happy ending somewhere, so I keep coming back to read more.
  4. Regular Posts. I need to feel a part of the blogger’s life. This means at least a post or two a week. More than one a day on a regular basis, though, and it gets overwhelming.
  5. Comments and Replies. If I get a reply or a comment on my blog, it makes me feel like you’re listening. That means I’m more likely to listen to you!
  6. Personal Stories. I want to feel a part of your life. The more stories, the better. Intimate details are cool – though not too MUCH information, please.
  7. Jumping In. I like blogs where I don’t have to go back to the beginning to figure out what’s going on. Photos help with this, as well as details on the sidebar. (Gotta work on my blog in this area – I know . . .)
  8. Giveaways. I’m a sucker for these, especially where all ya gotta do is comment! Shameful, but true. Though I haven’t been winning anything . . .
  9. Good Writing. That had to be on the list somewhere, right?
  10. Humor. I prefer writers who don’t take themselves too seriously. Or ones who thoughtfully leave a smile on your face.
  11. Lessons and Hints. If I can walk away feeling challenged to change or having learned something meaningful, I’ll read you.
  12. Easy Reading. I have an MBA and can certainly read at college level, but when I’m speed reading through 101 posts, I prefer the eighth-grade level. Short sentences and paragraphs work for me. Big words that challenge my ever-shrinking mommy vocabulary are splendiferous, though.
  13. Appropriate Use of Photos. Run-on blogs with no photos get tiresome. Related photos keep my attention. On the flip side, please give me some words to provide context to those photos.
So that’s what works for me. Oh shoot, it’s not Wednesday, is it?

Yeah, my own blog needs lots of work. I’m learning!


Always Been Different said...


Picturing of Life said...

i love ur shot

Visit me in here

Pam said...

I too need to go through my reader and pick a few to stop visiting so frequently....that is hard to type much less do! I love your list! I will have to use it to help me!

Midlife Mom said...

Great list with good suggestions! Now I can't wait for the other list!

My friend is getting her paper work in order so that she can go to Afirca. She went a couple months ago on a short term missions trip to Senagal sp??? and just fell in love with it there. She will have to raise support so it may be awhile before she goes but she is working on it! Are you anywhere near Senagal?

Faith said...

Great thirteen....i loved your list and i am so needing to weed through my feed-reader,'s so easy to bookmark all the ones that catch your eye....and then next thing you know....whoa. *grin* thanks for sharing your list!

amy said...


Since you love give aways, head over to hubbys (

hes giving away prizes from our Disney Cruise!

Mines up as well!

Peter Plum said...

That's a pretty creative list-- and it's about time to start weeding out my reader and adding new people.

Happy TT!

Midlife Mom said...

Yes, Senegal has a huge problem with poverty. One family shared a meal with our missions group (four people) and it was a huge sacrifice for them but they wanted to do it. It was very moving to say the least. One lady gave my friend a small bag of peanuts that was to be several meals and my friend cried when she told us about it at church and she has kept the bag of peanuts as a reminder. Lots to do there for sure.

angie said...

Love, Love, Loved this post. I've found myself trying to whittle down my blogroll as well. It is so much harder than it seems. I love how you made a list of criteria that you look for, too. I have a few blogs on my roll that I almost cringe everytime I read their posts, but we have history so I can't cut them.....oh, it's so very, very hard.

Kerry said...

Just recently found your blog - wish I could remember how. But I understand about deleting feeds from the reader; it's hard! I tend to go in waves of adding feeds and then after a few months, I reevaluate and delete those I'm not reading.

Some I don't want to read everyday, but want to check in on occassionally, so I've bookmarked them eventhough they aren't in my reader.

I'm really enjoying your blog - your daughter is adorable and a grea writer, too!

Lisa writes... said...

Popped over to say thanks for your visit and comment at my site and am now a little insecure about the lack of pictures (not to mention humor) in my posting! (*smile*)

All "humor" aside, great list and I heartily concur! Look forward to the pet peeves next week!

And thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sandra said...

Having been born in Mozambique, I can totally relate to what Kelli said in her post and it saddens me. This is my home, this is my country and it's hard to think of the daily struggles happening there.