I've just transferred all my RSS feeds to Google Reader instead of Bloglines. Not because I'm unhappy with Bloglines, but just to try out Google Reader for a bit instead. While I was at it, I decided to tidy my feeds up into better organised folders, and minimise the number in my "check these every five minutes because I can't live without knowing what these people are up to" collection.
Anyway, while agonising over who to keep in there and who to demote to the "check these regularly but only after doing some work" folder, I couldn't help but notice the weird factors that influenced my decisions. Just in case you care about increasing and keeping your subscriber numbers, I thought you might like to know that:
I am almost incapable of demoting or (god forbid!) deleting your feed if:
- We have ever corresponded by email, even once or twice.
- I know your true identity (via google-stalking) or know you in real life.
- You write short posts.
- You write hilarious posts.
I will almost definitely NOT keep your feed if:
- It has stopped working and I can't find an alternative easily.
- You haven't updated in a month or so.
- Your whole blog or many individual posts are password protected, even if I know the password.
- You write extremely long posts and/or update more than three times a day.
(These factors don't mean I won't continue to stop by your blog now and then, but they do mean that an RSS aggregator is not the most appropriate way to keep up with your posting.)
On a similar note, here are some factors that influence whether I comment on your blog and/or continue to visit, whether or not I subscribe via RSS:
I won't be likely to comment if:
- You never ever reply to comments I leave. (It makes me feel like I'm talking to a brick wall).
- You make it hard to comment (e.g. I have to subscribe to some other service in order to do so).
- You have a lot of trolls or scary people commenting and make no attempt to moderate the discussion.
Obviously I don't expect people to care whether I personally continue to visit, subscribe to or comment on their blogs. I'm not saying you should necessarily take notice of any of these things. But I thought it might be interesting to see if other people feel similarly about these factors, and if they have other likes and dislikes that influence whether they subscribe to and comment on blogs or not. Presumably anyone out there who is trying to maximise their readership for whatever reason might be interested if it turns out that the above factors do influence many readers' choices.