Managing Your Google Reader Subscriptions Part II

If you read my last post, you’re probably well on your way to creating and naming your own folders to organize the blogs you read. I think my list is fairly self-explanatory, but I’d like to point out some interesting findings, as well as a couple of other tips, in this post.

You’ll notice I have a folder for Dead Blogs. Of the 602 that I’m subscribed to, guess how many are dead? Six. Do you find that a little amazing? Why do you suppose so few people give it up? I think it’s because blogging is a reward in itself. You get to see yourself published (besides the fact that what you have to say looks quite beautiful, combined with the nifty images you add to your posts); you are read by others. Not only that, but others comment on what you have to say.

Of the six who gave it up, five simply stopped blogging one day. They had anywhere from 2 to 63 to 653 subscribers, according to Google Reader. I’m friends with the person whose blog had only two followers. She blogged for only a month or two. I don’t know why she stopped, but in my opinion, she gave up too soon. I’m not sure if she ever reached out to others, but expected them to somehow find her. Reaching out into the community by joining crusades and challenges is the only way I know of to get subscribers.

The last one also stopped posting one day, D. L. Hammons of Cruising Altitude. He was different from the others in that he left a poignant good-bye post. After two years of effort, he decided to give up blogging as well as his writing dream.

I keep those blog in the Dead Blogs file. In the event that the writers might change their minds and start writing and blogging again, I’ll be the first to read them.

On a different note, if you look at my list, you'll see that I’ve separated my Writer Wanabe blogs into several different folders.

00 Writer Wanabe All Other
00 Writer Wanabe All Other First Tier
10 MG (middle grade) Writer Wanabes
12 Writer YA FanParaSF Wanabes
12 Writer YA First Tier Wanabes
12 Writer YA Second Tier Wanabes

The number at the beginning does not refer to the number of blogs in the folder, but only to the folder location in my List of Folders in Google Reader. The number of blogs in each folder varies enormously.

The higher the folders are in my list, such as those with the numbers 00 in front of the folder's name, the less likely I am to read the blogs within the folders. For the folder, 00 Crusader, I've already pulled out any blog that has to deal with writing for children and filed it in a different folder. All A to Z'ers who write for children have also been put into other folders.

The 00 Writer Wanabe All Other folder contains blogs by writers of everything EXCEPT children’s books. There are probably some amazing blogs in that folder, however I haven't had time (as of yet) to sift them out and put them into the folder below it: 00 Writer Wanabe All Other First Tier.

The 00 Writer Wanabe All Other First Tier folder will contain blogs by people writing for adults, and whose blogs are so exceptional that I will sometimes read them, even if they don't address the particular issues of writing for children. Currently, the only blog in this folder is Wendy Paine Miller's amazing All in a Day's Thought.

I’m not into writing for Middle Graders (10 MG Writer Wanabes), but I keep loose tabs on those writers because they'll sometimes write about something useful to a writer of YA. The same is true of the folder “12 Writer YA FanParaSF Wanabes.” (Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction)

The blogs that I read most often are in the folder “12 Writer YA First Tier Wanabes.” These are by writers who are either getting a MFA in Creative Writing for Children (usually Vermont College), or are agented and/or whose knowledge level (ascertained from their blog posts) and platform-building efforts, prove to me that they are very close to being published.

The blogs in “12 Writer YA Second Tier Wanabes” are where I would place myself. We're all working to various degrees on completing or revising our WIPs, and have built our platforms to various levels as well. I’m building friendships with these people, and with people in the First Tier. It's the people in the First Tier who are more likely to have something to teach me, and so I read them first. But I also read the others, because we're all on the same journey. The First Tier-ers are just a little ways ahead of us.

You might think that I would have much to learn from the blogs in the folders 09 Writer Published; 09 Writer Published MG and all other, but the truth is, they’re so far ahead of me on the path that I don’t spend a whole lot of time reading their blogs … yet. When I begin to face the issues that they're facing, they will become a goldmine to me.

This post has gone on quite long enough. In Parts III & IV, I’ll discuss the rationale behind the rest of my folders, and how or why I read them.

Let me know some of your ideas on organizing your blog reading ... I'm a big-time strategizer, and this strategy works for me, but I don't consider myself an authority in any of this.


  1. Can you lend me your organizational skills for a few days? lol Great info! I get buried under all the blogs I follow, so I really need to take your tips and run with them!


  2. You probably already know but just in case you don't, you can set it so that only blogs with new posts show up in your list. This makes less scrolling when you have lots of subscriptions.

    Another thing you should mention in a future post (although I know how) is how to find out what blogs you subscribe to are now dead.

  3. Your organization system seems something like mine. I keep changing mine though, hoping one day to find the magic formula that will allow me to read everyone's blogs. Really what I need is to be independently wealthy so I don't have to go to the day job. Then I can read all the blogs I want.


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