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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Next blog>>?

Have you used the next blog>> button on blogger? 
I've been obsessed lately.  It started last week, while I was playing around with blogger.  I'm still trying to learn my way around, learn about its buttons and their functions.  I saw the next blog, and couldn't help but click to see what it did.  
"Oh! It takes me to another blog." Is there a specific blog that is always after mine?  We'll just hit the back button, and try it again. 
 "Nope! It is a new blog each time I hit the next blog button."  
So, I figured I would spend some of my time visiting other blogger blogs.  While I will openly admit that my inspiration for starting this blog was to be more like the wonderful pioneerwoman or bakerella.com, and eventually be invited to join blogher, I realize I have a long way to go.  Those sites get thousands of comments per post, and have a massive readership.  They are their own .com at this point!  I realized I couldn't be comparing my blog to theirs, with their sleek functioning.  I had to learn my way around blogging, and I figured the next blog button would help me to visit other amateur blogs to get ideas and inspiration.  I also thought it might help me bring some readership to my own blog.  I could be exposed to blogs that share my interest, but where my comments wouldn't be one of thousands.  
With a mission at mind, I decided that each time I posted, I would visit at least 5 blogs afterwards, using the nextblog link each time.  Last week, I ended up visiting lots of family blogs.  The culmination was a blog I found very touching.  It had just been a woman's normal blog over a year ago, then nine months ago her daughter died without warning of some sort of instant heart problem.  She'd never been sick before, just collapsed at the ice rink and died all of the sudden.  I cried myself through entry after entry.  They were so open, raw, honest, I loved her writing.  I read all the back entries for 9 months, until I got through the entries a week before her daughter died.  But how could I comment?  "Hi, I'm a stranger, and I've just cried through your entries."  I sort of felt there was nothing appropriate I could add by commenting.  I closed out of blogger and let it go.
Cue last night.  Mr. Hobby had gone to get a drink with a friend, leaving me a chance to spend some time at home, nextblogging.  (That's what I've named it.)  As I clicked nextblog after nextblog, I started to realize how it worked.  I'm not sure how they pick the first blog I see after I leave my own blog.  But the blog I see after that is somehow related to that blog.  Say I am on an artists' blog, then each blog I see after that will be artists blogs.  Unless I visit a blog that is, say, art and family.  Then I might end up on a series of family blogs.  So as I was clicking next on one watercolor artist blog after another I realized I should just return to my own blog, and try another series.  I'm sure I've visited a hundred blogs in the last day.  
Since then, I've added three blogs that I am following:
  • A new food blog (not like I need to follow another food blog, but they seem to be my favorites!) Fogg Road Kitchen.  I only sort of found her from the nextblog button.  I was on a different food blog that was talking about her amazing chocolate zucchini cake recipe, and I knew I had to check it out.  I clicked on her blog, and just loved what I saw.
  • The blog of a girl who works for dreamworks, and puts up these sketches I just love: LINDSEY OLIVARES.  My favorite is this picture where two people are carrying a goldfish home on the subway.
  • The third new blog is shabbyblogs. I'm following the blog, but I also added the website to my favorites.  I hope to add some of her free designs to my own blog at some point.  I found her from another blog I had dropped in on, they had a beautiful background, and I noticed the background said shabbyblogs.  I clicked on that link, and found this blog!  
As for commenting to draw interest to my own blog - not a lot of luck there.  I only commented on one blog, this woman had a great idea to use the paper sleeves for CDs to put cookies in as treat bags.  It was a super-cute idea, one I might try myself.  I had to tell her I thought so!  Hopefully I'll get better at commenting on others blogs.  But until then, at least I'm getting an interesting tour around the blogosphere.
Hey! Did you come here using the next blog button?  If so, let me know!

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