Why do I read blogs?

If you've visited LinkedIn lately, you've noticed their new Answers section. I just finished posting an answer to Al Tepper's question: "Why do you read blogs?"

Al asks:
Why do you read blogs?
What is the biggest draw? What keeps you coming back? What gets you commenting? What gets a blog in your RSS reader? What makes you talk to others about a blog?

I began typing what I believed would be a one- or two-line answer, and the next thing you know, I'd rattled off a couple of things that do, in fact, bug me about some bloggers. Here's my reply to Al:

Before RSS became popular, the number 1 factor for me was frequency of updates. Now, however, I'm far more concerned with quality and relevancy. It costs me nothing to add a feed to my reader, and as long as the author respects my time as a reader, I'll leave the feed in my list.

What do I mean by respecting my time? Here are some things that'll cause me to drop a feed:

  • Lack of full-text RSS. I hate "teaser" feeds.
  • Repeating a link without adding any content. If there's a popular story going around, I don't need another link to it. I want you to add value. Explain why you care. If you want to just share links, use Google reader to share it and publish your link blog.
  • Adding a blog entry just for the sake of publishing something. Some of the most valuable feeds in my list publish very infrequently. If you don't have something to say every day, then don't.

You'll notice I keep referring to "feeds" rather than blogs. That's purely intentional. If you're not doing RSS, and doing it right, you're probably off my radar. That's also how I share with others, by the way -- I use Google reader, and I publish my shared feeds.

Related Links
http://www.fullfeeds.com -- The Campaign against partial RSS feeds
My Google shared links feed