Sunday, March 7, 2010
The Sunday Salon: What Makes You Unsubscribe?
I know I am not the only one with an out-of-control Google Reader. In fact, I think my Google Reader is not nearly so overwhelming as some other people's. There is always talk about the possibility of imploding under hundreds- sometimes thousands!- of blog posts to read and catch up on and comment on and all the rest, and it can sometimes be exhausting.
So how do you cull the list?
Some people don't, I know. Those people are more ambitious than me; I crack under the weight of a Google Reader that is above 100. I lose the desire to read very many of those posts (especially the memes!!!). And so inevitably, there will be a time when I think, "Should I really be subscribing to this blog?"
Unsubscription from a blog, for me, is fraught with tension. It's like a break-up. I consider it for a week or more, often. Does this blog really give me what I want? Do we have the same taste in books? Have our reading paths diverged and I didn't notice it until just now? What are the last five books that s/he has reviewed? What are the last ten posts that have gone up? Should I give this another go? After all, a lot of my friends like this blog, and maybe it's me, not them?
I ask this because I have serious guilt over unsubscribing, and I wonder if this is universal. I do eventually bite the bullet and unsubscribe from some, but it's not often that I will do this. Everyone puts a lot of effort into their blogs, and obviously, if I became a subscriber, I must have liked something some time. But with so many blogs and even more posts, sometimes it's hard to remember.
For me, there are various things that might serve as an impetus for reviewing whether I should stay subscribed to a blog or not. The first is whether the blogger has even posted recently. If I notice that a blog is inactive (which, frankly, in Google Reader I often do not notice at all), then I'll often unsubscribe. To me, inactive is no new posts for about four months or so. Sometimes I'll keep a blog on there if I really, really like the blogger, but often, I will unsubscribe to these blogs. If that blogger becomes active again later, that's great! But I won't know unless she tells me.
I also sometimes notice too many memes and not enough original content and unsubscribe from those blogs as well.
And sometimes a blog will just review a lot of books that I have little interest in. For example, if a blog reviews mostly romance or more contemporary chick lit or urban fantasy, I might unsubscribe because those are not genres I have much interest in. And if that's all that is there, then it may not be worth me just going and "marking as read" in Google Reader. That's not to say that I avoid blogs that review books outside my normal tastes or interests. But if they review only books outside my general tastes, then I may unsubscribe.
I have never unsubscribed because a blog's reviews are too long.
What about you? Is there anything that makes you unsubscribe from a blog's feed?