Blogs with Soul…

…Or: Mrs Bossa Bigs up her Fellow Bloggers!

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I’ve just checked my blog roll, and I’m signed up for over 80 feeds. That’s a lot – maybe less than some, but still a lot. Lately I discovered more blogs I want to subscribe to, but suddenly it felt a little overfacing. I’ll be honest: it stopped me enjoying it so much – like having tons of clothes, but feeling like you’ve nothing to wear. I know I chose to subscribe to all these, and that I don’t have to read them all…but if I received 80+ emails a day I think my brain would go into some kind of topspin.

Something needed to be done, my friends.

When I first started blogging, I subscribed to the ‘Biggies’, what I saw as the blog ‘style staples’…you know the ones I mean – the ones with VIP invitations, and hundreds of comments. It felt like an exciting foray into the world of fashion blogs. It was! Then one day it didn’t feel like enough – I felt as though I was ‘dressed’ like everyone else. I needed more interesting cuts, more quirks and colour. I started looking more closely at the people who were commenting; their blogs and the people who were interacting with them. (I discovered Make Do Style while scouting for Jess Cartner-Morley outfit pics!) My web grew. I signed up for International Fashion Bloggers, and it grew some more. Friend Friday introduced me to still more talented and entertaining people…and it continues to do so. 

Yet now I find that my interest in the bigger blogs has waned. This is no criticism of them, might I add – just that I’ve started taking real pleasure in reading posts by people I can relate to, people whose lives and size of readership feel a little like mine. People whose blogs I comment on, and get a response from – even if it’s a simple “thanks for visiting!” I suppose I’m talking about the interaction; those cyber-conversations I never anticipated but which bring the most enjoyment – the ones that really make me think, often make me laugh…and even give me styling tips.

Ok, pull it up a bit, Mrs Bossa!

I’m afraid I might be veering onto slightly sentimental terrain here, but I really want to get this across. When I read through the posts written by my fellow Links à la Mode-rs, I got a jolt. The world would have it that the net is flooded with identikit bloggers, but in some ways this is misleading: in the 77 total entries for LalM alone, the array of styles, topics and voices was damned impressive. Pearl from Fashion Pearls of Wisdom summed it up perfectly on Style Eyes’ comment page: she said she ‘liked blogs with soul where you can get to know the blogger‘, and I have to say I agree. (Pearl’s, of course, is one of them.)

So I had a Blog Cull. Sounds brutal, and it was. It was almost like clearing out my wardrobe, only When did I last wear this? Does it still suit me? became When did I last look at this? Does it still interest me? Some were ditched altogether, some were put on the ‘review’ pile. Sentimentality held no sway. I went for quality, not quantity. And what do you know? As soon as I did it, I felt better. I may be a streamlining geek, but it’s paid off: my blog roll has nothing on it that I feel I should read, and everything on it that I want to read. It feels like there’s enough room for new acquisitions. I look forward to clicking every link, knowing that I’ll have an interest in the post that appears  – and unlike a wardrobe overhaul, I have been able to keep certain ‘items’ just because I like them

So this unashamedly earnest post is to some of my fellow bloggers – a virtual toast, if you like: thanks for being like the ‘one-offs’ in my wardrobe, the cunning finds, the surprise fits, the statement pieces and the beautiful bargain buys… It’s great to feel I always have ‘something to wear’.

Here’s to Blogs with Soul!

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35 thoughts on “Blogs with Soul…

  1. Awww what a lovely post!! I have to agree this is why I have two blog rolls. I would never want to loose track of all the blogs I have visited as they wouldnt have ben put in the list if there was nothing I liked but I also do not have time to read hundreds of blogs. So I have a second smaller blog roll which has my current favourites, this does change from time to time as my interests change. I also have some blogs just in my favourites as they dont update with blogger. I would love some sort of folders system for them all. I must have a sort out you have inspired me!
    p.s I will keep my eye out for a batwing jumper for you, I am convinced 😉

  2. great post, Mrs. Bossa! I totally know the feeling. I have had to do some serious purging as well over time, and guess what.. the bigger blogs got the boot first for me too. I think it has to do with being unable to forge a relationship with these women… all but one… and that is Love Maegan and that is because her blog is not about fashion, it’s about life. Fashion just happens to be a big part of her life. I still check out the other big blogs because they have damn good pictures, but I don’t keep them on my reader anymore. So on that note, Cheers To You!

    • Thank you! I will have a look at Love Maegan. The relationships you forge, as you say, are the most rewarding part of blogging – for me at least. Lovely to meet you!

  3. I have learned over time to review the blogs on my list about once a month. I eliminate those that no longer speak to me and add the ones that do. In many ways, I have followed the same path you describe here to discover my blogging community. There are times though where I wonder if I shouldn’t get rid of the blog roll altogether.

  4. I am going through something similar just now. I think you’re doing really well with just 80 – I have 210 just now and that is with some unsubscribing in the last week.

    I totally agree that the smaller blogs are more fun, and it’s so nice to have a conversation with bloggers, I am just sad I can’t do more of this – I know I haven’t been commenting as much as I could have (though I am reading!). So just soming out of my reader to say this!

    • 210?! My god, woman. That makes me feel a little less overwhelmed. What’s interesting for me is how it brings out a competitive side – it makes you strive to be the best you can be, because you know people have to be brutal. I’ve been a little caught up with life in the last few months, but am looking forward to interacting a little more in 2011 – and reading more of Oranges and Apples of course!!

  5. What a great post and I couldn’t agree more. I do like some of the more well known blogs, but it’s more like looking at Vogue magazine. I really can’t relate. I want to see someone that I can feel like, “Wow, if she lived nearby, we’d have a blast!”. It’s interesting I want, not cookie cutter. You now have a new follower! and thanks for the follow on mine!

  6. I feel like I have reached the same stage Mrs Bossa. I am subscribed to so many, and much of these were the ones which I read because everyone else was reading them – like music, or tv shows. I also feel guilty if someone follows me and I don’t follow them back, I know it shouldn’t be a problem because bloggers don’t always have the same interests of course, but I do feel as though I’m being a snob unless I follow people back. I might have to do the same as Pearl and have a ‘secret’ blog roll!

  7. Goodness – I am doubly honored to be newly Google-followed amid a purge!

    I never did follow many Big Names — thank goodness for Independent Fashion Bloggers, which brought me early to an array of newer, more personal, less commercial blogs. But indeed, I have dropped a couple of the biggies I did follow. I admired The Glamourai’s photos, for example, but I began seeing outfit shots just as delightful from smaller blogs, and often by women with lives more like mine, wearing styles more appealing to my own aesthetics. And these bloggers might notice and reply if I made the time to leave a note!

  8. What a wonderful analogy & I really know what you mean! I figured I can only have ‘an intimate relationship’ (how weird does this sound?!) with around 20 bloggers. I might go and visit more and I’m always happy to discover new ones (like you. How lovely is your blog!?!), but 80… that is, as you say, too full a closet. xo

    • Bless you, Sabine! You must let me have the URL of your blog.
      I’m the same – I seem to have a (fairly) regular dialogue with a handful of people, and then flit around the rest when I get a bit more time. Otherwise it’d be a full-time job! Hoping to have a little more interacting time in 2011 – hope to hear from you again…

  9. This is a great post, discovered on the “Links a la Mode” post on the “Coveted” blog. I too have found that when I stumble onto yet another cool indie style blog I add it to my blog roll, but the list gets longer and longer, and I can’t possibly give each of them the attention they deserve. I joined Independent Fashion Bloggers to connect with other bloggers, and hopefully draw some new readers to my own blog, but I can’t find the time to be able to do it…sigh. Somethin’s gotta give, and I think you’re paring down idea is a good one.

    • The beauty of IFB is that you won’t ‘lose touch’ with any blogs – one of the concerns for me when not reading a blog every day. It’s a fantastic network. Links a la Mode has put me in touch with some excellent blogs – and of course has brought me readers like yourself. Following you now – all the best to you for 2011!

  10. Yeahy! to soulful blogs indeed! I do refresh my blog lists now and then, there is so much out there. Some we can relate to others a tad less. Some of them are really high up in the realm of celebrity bloggers and some are less popular. I guess it’s like buying fashion magazines. Yes you can buy them all, Vogue, Harpers, etc, but in the end you only get a “kick” out of specific ones. Why buy a certain mag just because everybody else is? why stick to the same novelist (except for JK Rowling, that’s a book series one must fall into)?
    We need spice and soul in our life’s right?

  11. Love this post! I did this a while ago – realised that there were so many blogs that I never read that I was signed up to and was missing those ones that I did want to read. I think another “cull” is in order again soon. Totally agree with what you said about losing interest in the “big” blogs – those blogs where I get something back when I comment are much more likely to stay top of my reading list than those who have hundreds of readers and comments and don’t need to return the favour!

    🙂 xx

    • Thanks for your comment, Emily! I’ll always have my favourites – I love Karla’s Closet but have never commented – but I just wanted to write something that expressed how much I’ve enjoyed my blogging adventures this year. Mine’s still growing, and it’s so inspiring to read the original writing of so many talented people. Looking forward to reading more of Sugar and Spice – hope to see you back here in 2011! xx

  12. Thanks for visting my blog and giving me a mention. I am just the same as you, I started out reading the bigger blogs but I always felt I was missing something, I didn’t always understand what they were talking about. I do still sometimes visit my ‘old favourites’ but my regulars are much more like me, they really hold my attention and I can understand and relate to everything they say.

    • Exactly. And kudos to you for your post on fashion blogging and psychology – I loved the angle and it was a genuinely unique post. Looking forward to reading more in 2011.

  13. I somehow didn’t see this one when it went up, but thanks for the compliment of including me in your pared down list! I’m already having trouble keeping up with all the people in Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday as that grows, so I’m probably going to have to do a similar weeding. Sad not to be able to pay attention to all, but it would take a lot of time.

    • I know – it has mushroomed! All anyone can do is set aside the time, and go for the ones that speak to you. I still struggle to read them all, and have so much admiration for those who manage to comment on every post; it’s a real time commitment. I’m determined to get a firmer grip on it in 2011!

      A happy new year to you, dear Cynthia…

  14. Mrs. Bossa – Not sure how in the world I missed this post a couple weeks ago but BRAVO! I have to agree with you, we need more bloggers with soul and personality. People who are real and look it. I went through a similar culling process several months ago when I realized I skimmed a lot of blogs I felt I was ‘supposed’ to read but really read a lot of the smaller but more sincere blogs out there. Thanks for writing this! – Katy

    • Bless you, Katy, and thanks for your comment! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reminding ourselves that sincerity and a real relationship with your readers is the best any blogger can wish for. And how can I not thank you? Friend Friday has put me in touch with some fabulous blogs on both sides of the pond. So you get an extra chink of the glass for that 😉

  15. I do feel similarly regarding the many blogs I subscribe to. Thank you for including Devilishly Pleasurable in your blog roll too. . here’s raising a glass to you too and hope to see many more great posts from you in the new year. Happy holidays!

  16. Well said 🙂 I may peek at the big bloggers but I never comment. Blogginf instills a sense of community in me and if i’m unlikely to get a response i’m unlikely to bother.

  17. Such a good, soulful post, Mrs. Bossa.

    In fact it is indeed one I needed to hear (never you mind my mixed metaphors..) and read. When my pal Angeline tweeted that she regularly unfollowed without guilt, I couldn’t even imagine that! I worry, I fret: they have only 24 followers, I don’t want to abandon them! The big ones, I’ve stopped reading looooong ago as I never related to the FashionToasts of the world, and let’s face it Style Rookie’s been off her game since well, since she was 13 (sorry Tavi).

    But I am overwhelmed by my blog-roll, and it feels like duty, and I am always, always waaaaay behind in reading, and it exhausts me like a job to read it all. Which some, like you say, lacks soul. So perhaps your well written and earnest post will remind me to make room for blogs like this, and Pearls, and Vahni’s and trim the dead weight. Ah, shoe, I loved once.
    the Citizen Rosebud

    PS: this of course is being submitted to LALM right?

  18. Love this! I constantly go through and add and take off blogs from my blog roll. One of my common practices is the put blogs I like but am not “into at the moment” is to put them in a different category and then “mark all as read.” It works fairly well.

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