October 19, 2009

Settle an Argument

A question for you, based on a recent conversation in which someone may or may not have been accused of being a curmudgeon:

Let's imagine there is a blog you enjoy that's built around a certain topic or theme. That topic is what drew you to the blog in the first place--you loved the recipes with their gorgeous photos, say, or reading about what it's like to live in a wee log cabin on a mountaintop.

Now the blogger, whether from boredom or distraction, is veering off topic. The recipe blogger writes about politics and her new kitten. The log cabin dweller offers movie reviews.

A blogger can write about whatever she likes in her own space, of course. But how do you react as a reader? Are you annoyed or bored by the shift? Do you keep happily reading?

Feel free to explain your vote in the comments.

ETA: Forgot to mention that the actual question at hand was is it better to post frequently and give visitors fresh content, even if it's off-topic, or post infrequently but have a clear theme.


Brenna said...

I think it really depends. If the new posts are interesting to me then I will keep reading, if not I will probably stop.

Rachie317 said...

Tough choice... I'd probably keep reading... mostly cause i'm too lazy to clear out my Google Reader. But I'd probably start just deleting them quicker.

Thanksgivingmom said...

My blog is an "adoption blog" but recently I've been writing about a lot of things non-adoption.

Because most of the time, there's nothing going on in my personal adoptionland. As the non-parenting parent, I don't have a constant influx of adoption related material. And it's depressing to write about a lack of information all the time.

I can write about topical things relating to adoption, and sometimes I do....but I can't always.

I've actually come to really appreciate the OA Roundtable because it reconnects me to adoption sometimes when I'm pretty far off course.

For me, I know the blog is an adoption blog, and that adoption is something that I'll always come back to. Maybe because it's the one thing in my life that will never change. But every now and then, a break - a breath, is necessary for my sanity - but I keep writing so that I keep the habit :)

If others do something similar? I guess I just let them take their break and see if they come back. If I'm not interested in a post, I don't read it - and eventually that might mean I don't read the whole blog....who knows.

Lengthy response, but there you go!

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

I would say it depends. I think it can be interesting to get to know them as more of a whole person...but if they start to take over a lot then, I'm less likely to keep reading them.

Anonymous said...

It totally depends on how good a writer she is. If I like her as a person, I'll keep reading...but I'll usually skim boring posts, or skip them altogether.

My Word ID is defrone: how a 3 y/o describes the process of taking someone off your feed reader...

Anonymous said...

Well I voted for Yes I'll keep reading but it really does depend.

As TG mentioned above she writes an adoption blog but also talks about other aspects of her life. I read every single post she writes. (wow i kinda sound like a stalker) However there have been a few blogs that I haven't read the non-theme related posts. I don't think I've ever stopped reading a blog altogether because of a shift in theme though.

For my own blog I try to keep ThereapyIsExpensive to adoption related material and KatjaMichelle to non-adoption material of course things overlap so much its hard to determine where to put it. For instance my dating life is chronicled on KM but when my status as a first/birth mom effects my dating life where does it go????

Yondalla said...

I voted that I skip those posts, because I often do, but that is the case if the only reason I was reading the blog was for the recipes. Often I begin to feel like I know someone, and then I read more.

I have the same issue with my blog. Part of me wants to keep it on-theme, and part of me doesn't...especially when I have little on-theme to write about.

Dawn said...

It depends. I'm like Yondalla, if I'm reading a blog specifically for THAT, then I read for that. But recipes or movie reviews -- that's not about the blogger. Most of the time I fall in love with a blogger's voice and most of the time I want to hear what else she has to say.

I DO NOT LIKE the stark categorization of personal journals anyway -- I think they're silly. So if you, for example, were to write MORE, I would be thrilled and I wouldn't give a darn if those posts weren't on adoption at all because I read for YOU and more of you, to my mind, is a good thing. And if you can enlighten me and inspire me and entertain me about adoption, likely you can enlighten me and inspire me and entertain me about other things as well.

(Oh and I've found that I have people who read me for some things and not others and so I have a really diverse readership, which I like.)

junebug said...

I vote it depends. Partly because I tend to be all over the place myself.
If they do one political blog I probably just ignore it. If it becomes a habit (either side) then I will probably not go back as much especially if they are disrespectful to the opposing side.
I read a lot of IF blogs and once they become pregnant I tend to avoid them for awhile as it becomes all about baby but just because it makes me sad for myself. I keep the links because if I get lucky I hope to go back because I like them and their voice.
Every blog I read has put up blogs I wasn't crazy about but I keep coming back several more times in case it was just a fluke. I know I've put up some terrible ones and I wouldn't like to be judged by them alone.
I don't stoop reading a blog just because I disagree with their stance on something. I think it is good to hear the other side even if I still don't agree. I have actually found blogs a nice way to really hear a more personal spin on something I disagree with or even things I do agree with.
This is a great topic for discussion.

cindy psbm said...

I noticed some blogs are only about one thing and it bugged me like crazy.
If a blog is only about one thing, I stop reading it.
I LOVE reading blogs that are 'real'!
That show a diverse sampling of what life is like for the blogger.
Otherwise in my mind that blogger becomes one-dimensional.
Which is a very very bad thing in writing, as I was taught in school anyways.
I will always love it went I get a sneek peek into the real lives of bloggers. Be that through what they like to eat or who they vote for or their pets or whatever!!!
Knowing these kinds of things always makes me have more respect and interest when they do post things related to the actual purpose of the blog.

For me, I know I should kind of have a purpose for my blog, but I don't.

Actually it's because I feel a little pressure to conform to the pattern of only writing about one subject that I rebel and write things totally out of left field because I can't stand to be just like 'everyone else'!!!

Guera! said...

Well, I consider some bloggers my "friends" now after two years of reading their blogs. I feel like we have conversations in reading and commenting on each others' blogs and that we've gotten to know each other so in that regard I keep reading even if a particular post does not interest me just as I would still listen to a friend talk. There's more to the words that are being written...there's their personality, their quirks, their sense of humor, the way they approach life and deal with disappointment and adversity. It's a relationship and we all have off days but we are still there for our friends. That being said, there are blogs I read because I am interested in the topic just as I would read a book I was interested in. If the book wandered way off course I would probably put it down and not finish it. I can see both sides.

mama2roo said...

sorry, I couldn't vote because there was no option to "sit on the fence." I have had it go both ways depending on the topic/blogger.

For those people that I was drawn to for a specific topic, and eventually feel connected to, I find myself wishing they'd veer a little so I can get to know "them"--not just them in relation to the topic, but a little about who they really are in their real life.

For others, where there's not conenction other than the thing, say a more technical blog, then I skip the other stuff but check back often to see if they got back on course.

Personally, I feel liek my blog should be pretty adoption focused and I feel a little weird posting extra stuff, but do occasionally, with the realization that peopel likely don't give a crap that I now have kittens or got a new washer or what have you. AND I feel weird if I don't have anything really adoption related to post for so long that I lose all my cyber friends.

Ginger said...

I like some extra stuff because I get curious about the other sides of the blogger...but I don't like it when the blog completely loses focus. If the "other" posts out number the ones I want to read, I clear it from my reader.

I'm pretty strict about the amount of time I allow myself to get lost in blogs. Since I mostly just lurk, I don't feel disloyal if I wander away.

Deb said...

Depends on how off topic. You also make me wonder how off topic I get and if people stop reading because of what I post.

I have tried to post frequently or rather daily but have started to feel that people can't keep up so I've only started posting actual posts maybe 3-4 times a week. Rest of the week I might post pictures.

Valerie said...

This is exactly why I have two blogs. One is specifically for adoption issues (and doesn't get updated as often) and one is for ME.

If the posts continue to interest me, I will continue to read the blog. That's what it comes down to!

Anonymous said...

I voted 'no', but now I think about it, I've never actually stopped reading because someone veered off topic. If it kept happening though, I guess I might. It depends on why I read the blog. If it's become one I enjoy reading simply for it's style & voice (like yours :) ), then I'll probably stick with it whatever, but if it's one I read simply for news, reviews or education (like most of my work related ones), then I'd stop pretty quickly if it stopped being useful.

Heather said...

@everyone - This is all so interesting! I'm seeing some patterns emerging. Hmm......

Marta said...

i don't read very many blogs any more, but the ones i do read i read because they are well-written and say something unique, or at least say it uniquely. so i'll read whatever.

Thanksgivingmom said...

I think I definitely started veering more off course because I was blogging every day - and there just isn't enough going on my OA to blog about it daily!

I don't write daily because I think the world (aka my tiny little corner of the blogosphere) has some intense desire to read my not so profound ramblings on a daily basis - but because I like to write a little bit (sometimes a lotta bit) every day!

But if people don't WANT to read that, my feelings won't be hurt if they decide to drop me from their reader, etc. Well....maybe just a little, haha :)

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