Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Girlfriend is Gross

I've picked up a lot of new readers lately. There are couple of reasons for this. A few months ago, it occurred to me that I am always reading the same blogs. I remember when I first started blogging the triumph I felt when I found a new blog I enjoyed. However, after several months I got comfortable with particular circle of bloggers and didn't move any further.

This wasn't a conscious decision. It just sort of happened. I liked the group I was in. These bloggers all popped up in the comments of each others' blogs and I think I gained a few legitimate friends. I even met my girlfriend through our blogs. Regardless of the great people and fantastic writers I was becoming familiar with, I was growing frustrated with the plateau my blog seemed to have hit. I can remember when I was gaining a few new followers every week and how cool it felt to see those numbers climb.

For the past year, however, my followers have hovered at right about 110-115 people. I couldn't figure out why the growth stopped. I was still writing. In fact, I am writing more than I was before. Something had to have changed. Then I figured it out. I had stopped reading new blogs.

Since I was only reading the same writers week after week, I was not exposing myself (hee hee) to new audiences. I started visiting the sites on the blogrolls of some of my favorite bloggers to find some new content. I picked up about 40 new blogs to read and made sure to always leave comments.
I soon started seeing the numbers rise again. I was thrilled to see this, plus I had discovered even more great material out there that I love to read.

One night, I mentioned my new followers to Red (my blogging girlfriend - for my newer readers) and she mentioned that she had never followed me…WHAT?!?

I was following her and had been for the last year. Why was she not following me and boosting my numbers? Apparently, Red reads her favorite blogs by bookmarking them and checking on them periodically. I just assumed everyone used Google Reader like me.

Google Reader makes everything so easy. Every blog you are subscribed to is right there. I just go to that one page once a day and anyone who has posted something new is in bold. With one click, their new post is in front of me and I don't waste any time visiting blogs that don't have new material up.

It's a ONE STOP BLOG SHOP!

Say that three times fast.

Now, with the news that Google Reader will no longer be around after July 1st, I am learning that there are a lot of people who weren't using it.

Red had no interest in starting to use Google Reader, but she did want to start following me. Being the math geeks that we are, we tried to decide at what point she should jump in. I had 112 followers at the time and she needed a nice, mathematically sound number that meant something.

I told you we were math geeks.

She decided she wanted to be follower #144

144 = 12 x 12 or 12 dozen or a dozen dozen
Also, called a GROSS

I vowed to keep an eye on my followers, so she could jump in at the appropriate time. Soon after, I started visiting the other blogs and my numbers started to move, but slowly. Every time I got a few more followers, I let her know. Soon, the numbers really took off and we thought we might miss it.

I signed up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For this challenge, you post every day in the month of April except Sundays. Each day has a theme.
A is for ___________
B is for ___________…and so on.

Part of this challenge is visiting the other bloggers (there are over 1,200) who are doing the challenge as well. Since there are so many, I have started early and I leave comments on every one introducing myself and telling them how this is my first year. Due to these visits, many of them are coming back to visit me and are following as well.

My numbers started climbing again. I told Red one night that she needed to be paying attention, because I was up to 139. The very next night, I checked in and I had jumped up 4 followers. I was sitting at 143. I sent her a panicked text.


After a few nerve-wracking minutes,


I had to refresh my blog page once again to be sure we hadn't missed the window. There she was, the beautiful #144.

She's the blinking Darth Vader.

Since then, I've picked up a few more, so we got her in there just in time. I expect once April gets here and the challenge actually starts, the numbers will jump very quickly. If we had missed the 144, I don't know what number we would have settled on. I told you we were math geeks.

Plus, after all this trouble, we now know that Google Reader is going away. As far as I know, Google Reader is connected to Google Friend Connect, so I don't even know if any of our efforts will have mattered in a few months.

35 comments:

  1. Google reader is going away? What? Why? That's just a terrible idea.

    But, I liked the post! Its adorable that you two can be math geeks together like that. And this is coming from somebody who avoids math at all costs.

    Congrats on being gross, Red!

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    1. Google says Reader is only used by a specific niche market of its users and it just isn't making them enough money. They have decided to move on.

      And thank you. We enjoy being adorable together.

      Delete
  2. From what I've read, Google Reader and Google friend connect aren't connected so loosing the reader won't effect your follower numbers. But I'm going to be sad when it's gone, I use it every day.

    I got a little comfortable in the circle as well and have been sneeking fingers out into other posts. There's so many good posts out there, I wish I had more time to check some of them out..

    I hadn't even noticed that Red wasn't on your list. I wonder, are you going to mark every major event by having it fall on a significant number? That may take a bit of planning!

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    1. I have found about a dozen new ones that I really wish I had been reading the entire time. There are some great writers out there.

      Red and I DO put significance on numbers. I can think of several conversations where numbers have played a key role.

      Delete
  3. I'm on the fence with Google Reader going away since I'm one of the people who didn't use very often. Still, it's not like I never used it so... Like I said. Undecided.

    Anyway, congrats on the increased fame & followers!

    Um... I have to ask... Why is my blog's name the only one in red in your screenshot? Have I been flagged for something? What did I do?

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    1. I had to go back to Google Reader to figure out why one would be red. Your blog was the one I had up when I took the screen shot, so it was a different color.

      Delete
    2. Oh... Well, at least I felt special for a little while anyways.

      Delete
  4. I use Google reader - so I'm one of the ones that will have to figure out something else. Congrats on the girlfriend making Gross.

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    1. Thank you. So far, I am quite happy with Feedly.

      Delete
  5. I read blogs on my blogger blog roll. Is that the same as Google reader? I'm so confused!

    You two are cuter than ever, in a math nerd kind of why! I love the urgency you used in your text! That is completely awesome and shows why you two are meant for each other :)

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    1. No. That's not the same. Google Reader is a tracker for RSS feeds that you subscribe to. It's one place to check in and see what's new. If you read a lot of blogs, this makes it much easier to keep them organized and not lose track of any.

      I am the real math nerd, while she is the geography nerd, but she is very comfortable in the math world. We enjoy being nerdy together.

      Delete
  6. I live on Google Reader, so I'm sad it's going away. Now to find a half-assed substitute.

    Also, I'm glad to see that we're listed under "Humor," and not something like "Do Not Respond" or "Those Two Drunk Assholes."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Humor seemed to work the best. I had subcategories for a while, but them it just got too complicated.

      I downloaded FEEDLY this morning to give it a go. So far, it's very similar to Reader, but seems to have many more options.

      Delete
  7. I use Google Reader for some blogs on IE, but I bookmark other bloggers on Firefox. Gah, I'm so disorganized.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I would lose track. Plus, I hate Internet Explorer and do my best to never use it. Everyone has their own system. As long as it works for you.

      Delete
  8. I'm trying out two new readers, Bloglovin and Feedly. I like them both. I'll figure out which one I will use shortly. I have loved Google reader from the get go.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

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    1. I just downloaded Feedly a couple of hours ago. It is ranked as one of the best out there. I'll give it a go for a while and see how I like it.

      Delete
  9. some people might call that math nerdery and some might call it a number ocd affliction...i myself get inordinately excited when i get a store total of 12.34, or one glorious occassion when i got 10.04 on 10/4 but the lady behind the register looked at me like i was bananas when i said roger that, good buddy! anyway, i kept going back to the top to laugh at your horse picture so it took me like 20 minutes to be able to awwww my through this. i do, indeed, love this post...

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    1. For myself, I have a number OCD affliction. Numbers get sucked into everything that I do. I am always doing equations in my head and breaking every number I see into its prime factors. I can't help it.

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  10. You guys are funny with the math thing. I'm not a math geek, but my husband is, so he'd probably appreciate that. If you do Bloglovin' you're gonna have to come up with a new number. Or, I suppose stick with 144.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh, yeah. She put up a Facebook status last week on 3/14, because it was pi(π)day.

      In high school, we used to celebrate Mole day on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m.

      1 Mole = 6.02 x 10 to the (-23) power

      Comment HTML won't let me type it the way it should look.

      Once again, NERD.

      Delete
  11. I DO NOT use Google Reader. Never have. I sign up for email notifications for those sites that do that (mostly WordPress sites I think), and then have all of the blogs I visit bookmarked, and every couple days I will run down the list. I also will go to certain sites and see THEIR blogroll list, and see if anything is new. It is not a perfect system by any means, but it is mine.

    I always suspected that Red was indeed gross. ;)

    Also . . . I'm stealing that Post picture above. That is brilliant, and I will keep it for my arsenal. It will be used. Oh yes, it will be.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Do have have a folder full of potential future pictures for your blog too? Mine keeps growing and growing.

      I have loved Google Reader because it made the whole process so simple. I think I am going to be switching to Feedsy now.

      Delete
  12. Yep, I know that feeling of staying comfy with the blogging friends we already know. That's why I like blog events like A-Z so much. It gets me out more ;)

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    1. I am a little nervous, but also excited to get started with this challenge. I have already met so many new people and look forward to what will be the outcome.

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  13. I signed up for the A to Z challenge too... I'm already having anxiety about it!! It's great to have a list of blogs to follow tho!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. I am nervous also, but very excited to get started. One week away.

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  14. hahaha - very funny. Love the panic going on and texting about #144. I'm trying to decide where to move all the blogs I read, once Google Reader goes away. Any other readers you recommend?

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    1. I just downloaded Feedsy and am happy with it so far. I've only been using it for a few days and it is very similar to Reader.

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  15. ohh I'm one of your new people :) yeay!

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  16. I'm glad I found this blog on the A to Z Challenge! I LOVE tracking the number of people who have read my posts--it gets addictive. I'm signing up for yours--wonder what number I am? :-)

    I look forward to reading more during the A to Z Challenge!

    I'm blogging at www.nebraskafamilytimes.blogspot.com and www.achristianmomsguide.blogspot.com.

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    1. I'm happy that you can relate. I have written a few posts on numbers. I watch those stats like a hawk. I have tried to give it up, but just can't do it. I love the numbers.

      Delete

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