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How RSS Killed My Blog

About a month ago, I very, very belatedly hopped the Bloglines train, putting together a tidy pile of feeds and using them to keep up with all my favorite blogs. It was a bit of a struggle at first, as I mentioned then: half of blog-reading for me is about the aesthetics of individual design choices, something almost tactile in effect. But the sheer speed of using Bloglines to get caught up was seriously attractive, particularly as I was in a moment of organization and streamlining, and needed to minimize the amount of time I spent reading blogs. For that — and also for making sure I kept up with sites that don’t ping — Bloglines has been genius.

However. There’s an unintended effect, one that’s got me reconsidering the switch, at least to some extent. Prior to getting up to speed with Bloglines, I was primarily using my own blogroll as the link farm from which my reading began. What this meant was that I spent some portion of the day staring at my own site, and if that site hadn’t updated in a while, I began to chafe a bit. So I’d write something, and post, just to keep things moving along for me, as well as for anybody else out there who might at this point be reading. Now, however, it is entirely possible for me to go days at a time without loading this page. I don’t feel quite the same pressure (or is it desire?) to post. And so I don’t.

At least that’s what I woke up thinking this morning. It’s also possible that the last week’s non-posting has far more to do with what week it was — that is, the week of mad commenting on term paper drafts, which also included a super-fast weekend trip to DC — than with my shifted blog reading habits. It’s hard to have a coherent thought right now, much less write it down.


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