Pantry Chili and Stuff Bloggers Don’t Talk About: New Blog Reading

I was surprised at how popular my last installment (and first for that matter!) of my “stuff bloggers don’t talk about”. The truth is, there are so many things so I’m happy you guys liked it because it sparks some interesting debate and appreciate hearing all sides.

So today, I’m gonna talk about how to start reading a blog.

There are millions of different blogs, how does one that knows nothing about blogs start to follow one? Its tricky. Most of the time, when you stumble upon a new blog, you feel like your starting to read a novel midway through. Sure, there is usually an “about” tab which if its anything like mine, probably could use some updating. But lets be honest, the “about” section usually doesn’t give us a thorough idea of the writing style and “voice” of the blogger.

Then, there are the other tabs. Like “recipes” which don’t really tell you much, but they are a good reference for when you want a recipe idea. I always like to browse blogs for recipes. But I really would not a judge a blog’s content by the recipes, because if that were the case with me……then oy!

Sometimes, a blogger will have a tab for an index of their most popular or favorite posts. While this is good, its hard to understand the posts if this is your first time venturing into that blog.

So how does one “get into” a blog?

Well, I’d start with reading the very first post. Not that it will neccessarly tell you a lot about the writing style or the blogs, but its a good starting point to see where the blogger was at when they first started. But know this, the blogger has probably grown as a person and their writing has mostly likely changed (and probably for the better).

Then, I’d check out the posts of the last week or so. Β I’d also take a peek at the blog roll. Again, this doesnt say much since most people never update theirs, but it gives me an idea of which blogs they like or have read

I NEVER look at the amount of comments. It tells me nothing about whether or not I’d like the blog. I read a blog that has about 800 comments per post and one that MAYBE gets one or two.


How do you “start” reading a new-to-you blog? What are your methods of deciding whether or not to “follow” it? Are your tabs as outdated as mine (please say “yes)

In other news…..

My dad has been in a lot of pain lately. Its worrying me although its not in his head (as in the brain, because of the hemorrhage. At least I hope not). He’s been complaining that his limbs are hurting which I know could be a number of things but I’m hoping its from the medication. Anyhow, I went over a cooked up some chili with what was hanging around his house. There is not much fresh food, so I’m calling this “pantry” chili, since almost everything was from a pantry. Heres what I used:

-1 can of diced tomatoes

-1 can of red kidney beans

-1 can of pinto beans

-5 cloves of garlic (hmm…the only ingredient that didn’t come from a jar)

-2 tsp chili powder

-2 tsp cumin

-2 tbs olive oil

-1 tbs hot sauce (optional, but my dad like it hot and since he’s not a allowed a lot of salt, I’m dialing up the spice level)

Chop the garlic. Saute in the olive until golden brown (although some people I know like it REALLY brown, so go to the “browness” you desire). Pour in all the cans and spices and let it simmer on a low heat for about 30 min. I forgot to take a final, plated shot, but it tastes better than it looks in the pot.


22 thoughts on “Pantry Chili and Stuff Bloggers Don’t Talk About: New Blog Reading

  1. I recently updated my blogroll (doing it little by little) to blogs I actually read. Nothing specific actually goes into what I read, it’s just if it pulls me in and I want to keep reading (details about personal life always help, good writing, etc).

  2. A lot of it is writing style. I’ll keep reading a blog if I am genuinely interested in what the blogger has to say, regardless of our differing opinions.

    Your father is definitely in my thoughts. I know all I can say is hang in there and keep your head up. It’s a tough situation to be in.

  3. For me to follow a blog I have to feel like I like that person. I’m the same with books, I need to make a connection to the narrator otherwise I find it hard to keep reading. Photos and a generally good aesthetic help too! I recently busted myself for reading a lot of blogs that don’t really interest me. Some heavily followed blogs don’t do a lot for me. I’m adding more design/fashion/real food blogs to my blogroll that give me pleasure to read and inspire me.

    I occasionally go into my tabs to edit the country that I’m in, but I really should re-write most!

  4. I start reading a new blog by the About page. Then I read the post they have up currently, and scroll down to skim through the titles of the other posts. I also skim to see the pictures (I don’t really read blogs without pictures!) Then, I go to a post I like, read what the other commenters have to say, and then comment myself!

  5. When I start reading a blog, I usually start from their most recent, follow for a few days and see if I am interested. I don’t read the first post for the reason that you stated – their ‘voice’ and writing style has probably changed anyway. I just made the first 80% of my blog private, but if you were to read those up front they would portray a completely different person (hence the reason I got rid of them).

    Chilli is seriously a meal that you can make and have it taste awesome with mostly canned stuff… which is what I love about it. My mom turns her nose up at it if it doesn’t include some type of ground meat, but I love vegetarian versions too.

    I’m still praying for you and your father. I hope the mystery pain gets sorted out soon. Stay strong!

  6. I agree with Tat in that I read the past few posts and then maybe the “about” tab. I sure as heck hope no one goes back and reads my first few posts, as they were completely lame and a long time ago. I think it’s like a good TV show in that you want to be interested in the general premise and the most recent episodes.

    If it keeps my attention, I’ll keep reading. If it doesn’t, I’ll move on.

  7. Sorry to hear your dad hasn’t been feeling well. As for getting into a blog, I think it’s just a feel for the personality of the blogger. Some blogs feel very genuine, others…not so much. I might visit those for recipes, but it’s the ones where you feel like you really know the blogger that I stick with.

  8. I usually just scroll through a couple of their blog posts. I can usually tell by their voice if it’s going to be something I dig and want to keep reading. I’m sorry your dad is in so much pain still. He’s very lucky to have such a fantastic daughter!

  9. Yep, that’s pretty much how I tackle blog reading. My only problem is that I can’t remember all the blogs I like to read and for some reason don’t use google reader so that makes for too much brain power…yeah I’m odd

  10. Another interesting topic. I like this series!
    I’m a new blogger, and for a long time wasn’t seeking out a lot of “new” blogs, just reading the same 3 or 4 every day. However, I’ve really enjoyed exploring new blogs outside my own “topic” area. I like to scan the “about me” section first. I’ve found some bloggers who share a similar profession to me, which makes me want to follow and continue to read. I agree with above posters about the “personality” you can glean from reading a few posts. If they seem to have a sense of humor or you can get a sense of who they are, I’m more likely to want to read what they do next. Lastly, I am shallow and am a sucker for bloggers with gorgeous photographs or finds on their posts.
    *sending healing vibes at your dad*

  11. A blog gets 800 comments? I’d love to know which one that is so I can check it out. I no longer worry about silly things like how many comments I get and intsead I just appreciate the ones I do get.

    I’m thinking of you and your dad Eden, hope things are okay for both of you!

  12. What an interesting idea for a post. I think the main thing that keeps me reading a blog is humor. If someone is witty, sarcastic and a good writer, then I’m usually in. I also like people that keep it real. πŸ™‚

    My tabs are updated mostly, but my blog is still new so we’ll revisit that.

    My thoughts are with you an your dad Eden. I hope that the pain subsides soon.

  13. read the part 1 to this and commenting ping pong..such a loaded question…
    i try to comment on all blogs who comment on mine..sometimes i comment daily on that person’s blog, some ppl i get to once a month or once ever. but i try. I also comment on blogs who never comment on mine.

    this post. reading the 1st post…dang that was 700+ ago for me. And they arent just 1 pic and 1 sentences posts. those are 700 action packed, word packed posts. lol

    i have been accused of linking back to old posts too much by some commenters. but you know what, MAJOR pet peeve of mine to read a blogger’s posts and they dont link back and you’re left wondering what reality show you stepped into and there are no cliff’s notes and no link backs and i leave feeling cluelss and may not return. The fact they “Assume” everyone is intimately familiar with all the nuances of their life…umm, yeah. There is a balance between assuming and linkng back tho, I realize.

    Gotta run could write a novel…

    great topics eden!

    • your right, and Im guilty myself of not linking back to old posts so new people can understand whats going on.Linking back is a great tip to help people “start” to follow you!

  14. Again our thoughts are with you, your dad, and your family!!!

    In terms of reading blogs, I know for Lori and I it took us time to really read blogs all the time. We just did not really understand it, but now that we have one we do. We understand what it feels like to get a comment, make a friend, help someone, connect with people in another country, etc. Some things we look for when picking blogs to read: we learn something, we like the person, and it is fun.

  15. i can usually tell within the first few paragraphs of a post if i’m gonna like the person haha. i love honesty and when people don’t take themselves too serious! blogging is supposed to be fun and i love when you can tell that someone is having fun writing their post and not treating it like it’s a job!

  16. I missed this post I just realized. And I also have missed every single reply that you’ve written to my comments as I never check the box to receive follow up comments! πŸ˜•

    Ugh. I really try NOT to find new blogs as bad as that sounds. I simply cannot keep up with the people I already have in my reader. It’s awful. I can’t skim. Or I don’t like to- so I get terribly behind and then jsut move on so I miss lots of posts.

    But sometimes when I’m weak and I stumble upon someone’s blog, I check the about page and the latest few posts. If they make me laugh or think or they are not just showing me their oatmeal, I might continue to read, or if I guffaw and I like their personality, I’ll put them in reader.

    I would absolutely DIE if people read my first posts. In fact I’m horrified when I see that people actually go back and read anything I wrote for the first 6 months because i HATE how I wrote back then (funny, I didn’t hate it at the time). In fact, when I link back (see comments above) I have to go back in and change and edit everything so that it’s acceptable to me now. And that takes for.effin.ever.

    OK I better go check the box now.

    Hugs to Dad.

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