There’s a very timely post on Ensight about how Jeremy Wright is unsubscribing from certain blog feeds. The reason his post is timely is that I’ve been going through my Bloglines subscriptions and doing the very same thing that he’s being doing. My test for subscription is simple: if I won’t read the posts on a blog after I’ve been completely away from the computer for 2 days or more (i.e., if I just click the category and scroll right past the posts on a particular blog), then I drop the subscription. Here’s the criteria from Jeremy:
If you don’t actually find value here, feel free to unsubscribe. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended.
Blogging’s about relationships, about value, about authenticity and about authority.
If we can’t be honest and only read the blogs where we find value (personal value, professional value or informational value), there’s a real problem.
Just because someone unsubscribes does not mean that they do not like you; just because I unsubscribe does not mean that I won’t ever read your blog; just because you unsubscribe from my blog does not mean that I have you. Blogging has become more mature. As Jeremy points out, many of his subscriptions were to people that reiterated information, but he has risen to a level or found different sources that make him feel like reading other reiterated information blogs are slow. I reiterate a lot of information in my blog, so I would not be surprised if there are people that will eventually rise to the level where they feel I am slower than information they already know — that’s ok, it’s the nature of the blogosphere.
What does everything above mean? It means that to retain readers, you need to attract people that come to you as a source for information that you might be reiterating; it means that we as authors need to keep our original content fresh and interesting enough to keep current readers engaged.