Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To subscribe or to follow? That is the question.

Every blog in the blogosphere (including mine) has a little button that allows people to subscribe. That means you will get every new blog post in your e-mail. I follow several blogs, but I learned the hard way that following is not the same as subscribing. First of all, when you follow a blog, there is the assumption that you will click on it, from your own blog, and read it with some regularity. I am really bad at that. So, when I became enamored with CopyBlogger, I just clicked on subscribe. Immediately, I was deluged with blog posts—as in drowning in them.

CopyBlogger is one of the best blogs out there on the subject of blogging. I never knew there was that much to say about the subject, but apparently, there is endless material. At first, I could picture Brian Clark, founder of CopyBlogger, slaving away night and day, churning out long, expert, information-packed missives on everything from “Don’t Let Your Blog Readers Touch that Remote” to “How to Be the Cool Kid (Even if You Weren’t One in High School).”

Pretty awesome, if you ask me. But, wait … the author of “Don’t Let Your Blog Readers
Touch that Remote” is not Brian Clark; it's Melissa Karnaze. And “How to Be the Cool Kid (Even if You Weren’t One in High School)” was written by James Chartrand. Therein lies the secret of how Brian Clark can drown me and 38,152 other people who follow CopyBlogger on Twitter. He has
other people—really good people—help him. They are either staff members or guest bloggers, but man, they are terrific!

After this little exercise, I was overcome with guilt at all the blogs I follow but neglect; I decided to visit a few. One of my favorites is Remarkablogger, a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is site, post after post. The latest one is called “Why you are not a service provider,” which of course, I stopped to read. What was interesting was that it opened by crediting Chris Brogan with the idea for this particular post. “Chris is so damn productive, I have given him a nickname,” wrote Remarkablogger founder, Michael Martine. “Henceforth, he is “The Broganator.” High praise from someone who is listed on as the blogosphere’s leading blog consultant. Before I went back to my list, I had to check out Chris Brogan. Wow. He’s good. No surprise there. I immediately added him to blogs I am following.

Next stop, writetodone by Leo Babauta, who also writes Zen Habits, which I do subscribe to. There he is, sitting in his favorite coffee shop with his a MacBook, writing “15 Basics of Insanely Useful Blogwriting.” Wait … I have to read it.

OK, that’s all pretty serious stuff, I know. So, I checked my other blog, which, in case you missed it, is called PRISM: Reflections on the many colors of life. There, I follow bloggers who are not writing about blogging but are reflecting on everything else. One is Engel’s Ensights by a former St. Louisan and a guy I truly admire. Marcus Engel is funny, profound, and positively inspirational. I never leave his posts without some new take on life.

Riehl Life, founded by artist, writer, poet, and musician Janet Grace Riehl, defies description. It is just plain beautiful, international in flavor, and mind stretching. You just have to go there to understand what I mean. Janet has enough talent for 20 people and fascinating friends all over the world. All of this is reflected in Riehl Life.

My House History is a charming blog by my charming and multi-talented friend, Kim Wolterman. I have a special feeling for this one, which began as an idea in one of my classes and has matured into a great website, blog, and a soon-to-be-published book (It’s at the printer as we speak). The book and the site were designed by my favorite graphic designer, Peggy Newman, so it’s a winner all the way around.

The newest blog on my follow list is Daysteps, a project conceived by four St. Louis women who are so busy they can hardly breathe. So, they asked themselves and each other, how can we live our best day every day and help other equally busy women to do that as well? Kelly Wagner, Cecilia George, Bobette Kyle, and Laura Thake started a company and created the most unusual, practical, beautiful daily planner I’ve ever seen. I’m a Franklin-Covey girl, but I must confess: I bought Daysteps for 2010.

So, what’s the bottom line here—subscribe or follow? In not sure I have the answer yet, but I am still intrigued with the question and plan to do some research. In the meantime, check out the ones I've mentioned.


Michael Martine said...

Bobbi, thanks for making my blog a regular stop. I really appreciate it!

Laura said...

What you should do is subscribe via an rss reader not email. That way you have an easy way of keeping up, but you can also use one of my favorite buttons, "mark all as read" when you don't have time. It's a lot less time consuming than having to click through your web site. And it's separate from email so it's not getting mixed up with what might be important information.

Thanks for the links. I read many of the blogs you links but some were new to me, so yay, more to add to my rss reader.

Janet Grace Riehl said...


Thanks for including Riehlife in your discussion of subscribe or follow.

I like to subscribe to blogs that I want to follow closely. I've subscribed to others in my RSS Reader (as Laura suggests) that I follow less closely because I don't go there every day.

I see you growing all the time.

Janet Riehl

Bobbi Linkemer said...

Thanks Laura. I'll try that. I did discover something called "Follow," which also seems to work. I may have to call you for more detailed directions.