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Dear MMB,

HOW DO YOU KEEP UP WITH SO MANY BLOGS?! Motherboard, I'm looking at you. You are so good at keeping in touch with blog friends! I get overwhelmed every time I open my Google Reader and see some ridiculous number like "349 unread items." Sure, half of those are from, BUT STILL. I need your secrets.

Amelia @


{cracks knuckles}

Lets see. I do subscribe to a ridiculous amount of blogs. There I said it. I feel so much better now. The trick is figuring out how to keep up with all the blogs, and maintaining those relationships while running a household. All at the same time. It's exhausting just thinking about it.

First. I have Google reader AND igoogle. Those two things alone are a God-send for people who like to read blogs. I think its really important that you set yourself up with both of those. Initially it will take a little time, but in the long run you will save hours upon hours.

I love i-google because you can see individually what the posts are, immediately when they are posted. Once I have scanned through my igoogle, I can hit "mark all is read" and my entire reader will then be emptied.

When my life starts feeling hectic and the blog posts keep piling up, that little feature is my very favorite feature. I can clean out my reader without getting distracted by all the witty things people are saying. Which is what happens when I try to empty it out just using Google reader.

In Google reader, I have all my blogs organized into folders. Family, Real Life Friends, People I wish Were Real Life Friends, Favorite Bloggers, Famous Bloggers (hello, and blogs I read when I'm bored (for real) are just a few of the folders that I use.

At a recent blogging event, some of the bloggers present told me how they managed to "read all those blogs". Their methods were all a variation on the theme of folders. Some had daily folders (Mon, Tues, Wed. etc), where they put blogs in and then only read the blogs that were in that days folder. If one of the bloggers they liked published a lot, then they put that blog in twice in a week.

Other bloggers had weekly folders where they had certain blogs that they only read on a certain week of the month (ie: Week 1, Week 2, etc). They did the same thing as the daily folder and put their favorite bloggers in twice a month instead of just once a month. I liked this idea, because it then gave them an entire week to clean out that particular folder.

No matter which method you use, I think that organization is the first key to your blogging freedom.

I personally love using folders, because it throws each category at you, and you can see the title and part of the opening sentence. If the title is catchy, and the first sentence is interesting-- then I click over. If not, once that folder has been scanned, I hit that wonderful button "mark all as read" with no guilt.

No guilt is the second key to successful blogging.

Guilt should never be involved when you are blogging. This is your hobby for Pete's sake. If your hobby makes you feel guilty, then some evaluation needs to take place.

Once my reader is empty, then I go and see what it is that I have opened up. If the post makes me think or laugh, I comment. I used to comment on every single thing every single person wrote (because hey! I comment, you comment, right?) ... but that's an arduous task. And time consuming.

I also think its important to give yourself a time limit. How much time, each day, do you want to devote to your hobby? It's pretty easy to let the entire day slip away from you if you don't have parameters that you are functioning within. I like to call that the black hole of commenting. Once you start, its easy to get sucked in. But, like anything in life: Moderation is the key.

But, how? And still maintain your readers?

One way those relationships are forged is not by the commenting, but the responding to the commenting. Some bloggers choose to respond to their readers in the comments section, maintaining the dialogue that way. There are wonderful tools to make that possible; Intense Debate being one. With Intense Debate, you can hit reply in your email to respond specifically to the commenter, thus making the dialouge more cohesive.

If that's not your style, or the question/response would be too personal, another way to respond is via email. That's why we have implored you to enable your email with your profile. If you don't want people to know your real email, do what most of us bloggers have done, and create a blog email using gmail. You can then have that forwarded on to your real one. It makes it so much easier, and you can respond directly to the commenter-- making the relationship a little more personal.

I learned that little trick from the amazing blogger, Scribbit. She likes to respond to each of her commenter's. When she did that the first time to me, I about had a heart attack! It also made me want to read her more. I felt like we knew each other. All because my email was enabled and she could hit 'reply'. Enable your email to make it easier to create those friendships.

The bottom line is that organization is the key to keeping up with blogs. Then, to maintain those friendships, I have to say that its important to email. I share WAY more with my friends I have made blogging over email than I ever do in the comments section. It's either that, or you can do what MomBabe says, and "Just read faster".

Tell us your secrets to reading blogs, maintaining friendships and a household.
How do you do it? What tricks do you use?
Inquiring minds want to know!

Enjoy shopping for quality baby clothing at

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