Blogicide? – drowning in excellence?

The problem

Technoratislide00031When I started blogging two years ago, I found a few friendly bloggers who welcomed me to the blogosphere and I slowly added links to other friendly or interesting bloggers.Within a few months I found myself spending more and more time reading other people’s blogs.

Recently, I have tried to cut down on my blog visits, but there are so many excellent writers that it is hard to do, and more interesting blogs appear every day. I visited a marvelous blog yesterday and realized that it has been four or five weeks since I was last there.

If you consider that I add two or three new blogs to my list of interesting links every few days, it is clear that I cannot keep up with them. I am not alone in this. It is a rapidly spreading phenomena and has gotten noticeable in the last three months.

I have been reading posts like David Weinberger’s, "No, I’m not keeping up with your blog", which discuss the overload that he and other bloggers are experiencing. Many are no longer able to read other bloggers. Some say they don’t even read their own old posts!

The cause of the problem

According to David Sifry, CEO of Technorati, the size of the blogosphere is doubling about once every 5 months. It has already done this four times, which means that in the last 20 months, the blogosphere has increased in size more than 16 times.

More important than this, the posting volume has dramatically increased. In June of 2004, Technorati saw only 15,000 posts a day. Today, there are more than 500,000 posts per day. That’s a staggering amount of output! Who has time to read it all?

A possible solution

Even if you use an aggregator, which informs you when a blog has  been updated, you cannot keep up with that kind of growth. You will have to adopt a more relaxed attitude about reading other people’s blogs or it is going to be a duty, like work, and (sigh) the joy will go out of life in still another area.

I treasure my blogging friends and am happy when my visitors surge off to visit you. I feel I am doing my part to get you the recognition you deserve.

I am really grateful for my visitors, especially those who take the time to leave comments, but I will readily understand if I don’t see you as often as before. There is this incredibly interesting blogosphere out there and only so many minutes we can spend online. Until we all wear surgically implanted WiFi systems, our time on the internet is limited and we have to choose the reading that helps us or entertains us the most.

When you blog, the time pressure is even more severe. I often have to choose between reading other blogs or posting essays on my own.

As the blogosphere continues to grow, it will create other changes that I am not ready to imagine yet. I will content myself for now with writing whatever comes to me and sharing it with my readers as long as possible.

There is one thought that keeps coming to mind: Bloggers created this situations and bloggers will find solutions to it.

When in doubt, keep on blogging!

Thanks to Hugh Mcleod at gapingvoid.com for the idea for this post.

UPDATE:  I suggest a solution in a later post, A Solution for Bloggorhea and bloggers using Movable Type have already implemented this solution.

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0 Responses to Blogicide? – drowning in excellence?

  1. David:

    What we are seeing with blogging is no different that what we have experienced in the consumer market. One of the results of Globalization has been the proliferation of choices in products which can be bought by the consumer.

    I can remember a time when you went into a store and only had a choice of several different types of cheeses. Now, you go into any supermarket and you will find perhaps a hundred types of cheese from around the globe. I have a local pub which I frequent here in Atlanta and they have over 40 beers on tap and another 200 different kinds in bottles (that poses a different set of challenges)!

    I guess the short term solution is a combination of focus and knowing what interests you. When I am not traveling for my job, I typically spend at least a half hour reading my favorite blogs. I also find new blogs to read by seeing who is linked to the blogs that I find interesting. While I too, have the “so many blogs, so little time” issue going on, I find that I need to focus on a just a few at a time. Or else, I could wind up like 21st century Robinson: “Lost in Cyberspace!”

  2. Eric says:

    I, too, am suffering from blog overload. There are so many interesting people that I want to learn from, I don’t want to miss a ting. But there are only 24 hours in a day and life takes precedence. Bloglines help with this in that I can categorize must-read blogs, and read-when-I-have-time blogs. I think I have over 500 unread posts in the latter category. My TV watching time has been cut over 80% from 2 years ago though, and I think this is a good thing.

  3. Leah Maclean says:

    It is a challenge to get to all the great blogs there are out there. But just as there are only a small numbers of newspapers we read, or a small number of magazines or books, or the very few musicians we listen to (sorry guys I can’t get to you all), there will only ever be a small number of blogs that you read. And equally not everyone will (or will want to) read your/my blog.

    Overwhelm is a feeling of not being able to make a choice or take an action. Why would the number of blogs being overwhelming if we are still able to make a conscious choice.

    We filter so many things in life already images, sounds, feelings, experiences blogs will be no different. And for our own sanity we must make a conscious decision of what is enough.

    I like Eric I limit my blog reading to 30-40 minutes each day and do this as an alternative to reading the newspaper (much more interesting, insighful and inspiring). My choices of blogs are based on people I feel that I would like to sit down with in person and have a chat over coffee or dinner. Occassionally I follow a link from a much loved blog and find another interesting person with intersting observations and thoughts, and maybe they too will become a regular read.

    Not all blogs are good blogs and not all posts are good posts (IMHO) but I read what and who I trust and enjoy. And David you are always on my daily list.

    Choice is a good thing. The most posts there are the more chance there is that everyone will be able to connect with someone like them.

  4. Da Goddess says:

    I pick four or five blogs to check on each day (that I can get on the computer.) I make sure I rotate that list every time so that I eventually hit all the blogs at some point. It takes forever, but I get around to them. If there’s a blog I find myself skipping more often than not….off of the list! It keeps life simple.

    If I find a new blog I enjoyed reading, I consider it a blessing for the day. If I remember it, actually go back and visit again, and find that to be a pattern, it goes on the blogroll.

    You can TiVO every show on television and never catch up with them all. You can attend the Evelyn Wood School for Speed Reading and still miss out on wonderful literature. There’s nothing that says you have to read every blog out there. You’ll always miss something.

  5. Blogin Idiot says:

    So true.
    My blog list climbed to over 150 regular reads. I couldn’t keep up and I had to cut back. I felt guilty leaving some friends but I had to for my own sanity. I still have 130 that I use bloglines to aid me with but I only read posts that interest me. I have stopped making the courtesy comment as well as the remember me comment.

    Take Care
    Michael

  6. Tom McMahon says:

    Less is more, just like the Charmin Ultra commercial.

    Maybe we’ll see more blogs using graphics instead of words. Charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, etc.

  7. GBGames says:

    I really need to start culling the blogs I skip most often from my Firefox Live Bookmarks. I also need to be more selective in which new ones I add. Too many were promising but then never updated.

    I think I can afford to put more blogs in Thunderbird since it tells me what has updated.

  8. Linda says:

    What works for me is to keep the Critical Few that I love to check regularly at the very top of my blogroll. I will add and delete others as time goes on, but my mainstays are static.

    Then I visit other blogs as blogrolled by those folks, figuring that interests will be similar. That way, the blogosphere stays fresh for me, but I don’t get too overwhelmed and spend too much time reading blogs.

  9. A weekly summary sent out to subscribers is also a good idea. The “Working Solo” blog uses this idea and it works very well.

    Thanks.

  10. Des Walsh says:

    You’ve obviously hit a nerve here! It’s so good to find your blog – following a trackback from a post of mine today about Linkedin. A couple of hours ago I was speaking with a mentor of mine who is one of those people who will only stop being a mover and shaker when he decides he’s done enough. He was expressing concern about 50 something execs being turfed out by the corporate machine and trying to deal with the self-esteem probs in not being able to get snapped up by other firms.
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: My Attempts To Deal With The Ever-Increasing Number Of Worthwhile Blogs
    URL: http://www.tommcmahon.net/2005/07/my_attempts_to_.html
    IP: 66.151.149.17
    BLOG NAME: Tom McMahon
    DATE: 07/06/2005 09:15:46 PM
    Growth In The Number Of Blogs Since 2003 David St. Lawrence had an excellent post about how difficult it is now to keep up with the number of truly worthwhile blogs available. One part of the solution might be
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Illusive Butterflies of Blog
    URL: http://www.fragmentsfromfloyd.com/archives/2005_07.html#003752
    IP: 205.177.120.139
    BLOG NAME: Fragments From Floyd
    DATE: 07/06/2005 10:00:39 AM
    There was a time I didn’t write. But even then, I often had streams of thought with a point of view, a few clever phrases that would make me chuckle to myself. Sometimes my rambling daydreams would even reach a…
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Too Many Great Blogs: Information Overload
    URL: http://www.mykesweblog.com/2005/07/too_many_great_.html
    IP: 66.151.149.17
    BLOG NAME: Myke’s Weblog
    DATE: 07/01/2005 10:02:29 AM
    Once upon a time I read every post to every blog I subscribed to in my aggregator. After recognizing that I didn’t have time to read them all and not all posts are pertinent to my life or even interesting,

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