Saturday, April 10, 2010

On Doing What We Can

Ritratto di mia moglie For a few months, I’ve seen tell-tale signs of social media burnout at some of my usual haunts—on different blogs, Twitter, maybe a little on Facebook. Mostly from bloggers.

I think those of us who are big into the blogging world really like it. We’re hooked. We like reading other people’s blogs, commenting on blogs, visiting our friends on Facebook or Twitter, and writing our own blog posts.

And because we enjoy it so much, we keep doing it. Or we find it really hard to cut back when things in our non-virtual life get busy with family commitments, holidays, work, etc.

But our online friends are friends, too. We want to keep up with them, support them, and generally just stay in the loop.

How much time does an active blogging and social media life take? It depends on how wide we’ve thrown our net online.

Those of us who have a lot of online friendships and connections probably spend 30 minutes writing our own posts (times however many days a week we blog), 20 minutes responding to comments on our own blog, maybe 30-45 minutes commenting on others’ blogs (this number can go way higher, though), and maybe 30-45 minutes on Facebook or Twitter, whichever our poison of choice is.

So…maybe 2 hours a day or more for a really dedicated blogger?

Then, though, life gets a little wild for all of us. We just don’t stay suspended in our routines for all that long before something comes along to trip us up.

But we’ve established our routines online. In fact, I could do spin-the-wheel, pick a commenter’s name on this blog, and tell you the time of DAY that they probably commented, without looking at my blog. And most people know that I usually comment at about 5 or 5:30 a.m. EST, unless I’ve got craziness in my house getting the kids to school…then I comment around 8:00. I do a second sweep in the late afternoon. I’m a big routine nut.

I’ve been very erratic the last 4-5 weeks as my deadline approached. And I hate being erratic.

But I want everyone to know (and I think you know) that I love your blogs. And your tweets and your status updates. If for some reason I’m not there some days, believe me, it’s not because I don’t want to be. It’s because I’m juggling more things than I’d like.

And those of you who need to take a blogging break to focus on work or family or for just some rest time or writing time—we’ll all be there when you get back from your break. Don’t worry at all about it—I’m guessing most of us just browse blogs through our Google Reader and when your blog is back up, we’ll be right back to visit you. Because I’ve seen some anxiety from bloggers about what will happen to their blog and readers while they’re gone.

Although…if you could maybe do a short post to tell us that you’re taking a break from blogging for a week to rest up or to devote to writing or whatever? Otherwise, you’ll likely get a “Checking Up On You” email from me (don’t laugh---some of you have gotten one from me before. You know who you are.) :)

And if you can’t run by and comment on my blog some days…believe me, I understand. We’re all doing our very best to juggle so many different things. We’ll still be friends! I’m sure most of us feel that way.

We all do what we can. Sometimes we’ll need to cut back on visiting, or cut back on posting, or even take a blogging vacation.

We’ll all be there when you get back.