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Gini Dietrich

How Much Time Do You Spend Reading Blogs?

By: Gini Dietrich | January 27, 2011 | 
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It’s the Arment Dietrich Facebook question of the week time and this week’s question comes from Elizabeth Shelby. Elizabeth is a student at NYU, but is from Houston. All that snow is probably killing her right now (and I’m insanely jealous)!

She asks, “I have a question for your weekly Spin Sucks video post. How do you (Gini, or any of your staff) manage the amount of time you spend reading new blog posts, catching up on Twitter feeds, reading news stories, etc.? As a student, it’s hard for me to find time to be both productive and good at my work AND be aware of what’s happening in the blogosophere each day. I’m sure the same goes for you as a PR professional with your own clients whose needs must be met each day. Any tips?”

My answer is in the video below (or by clicking here). What are your tips for Elizabeth?

Don’t forget…if you have a question or want to pick my brain, go to our Facebook wall and ask it there!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

61 comments
3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@ginidietrich I joke all the time about my "mark all as read" Google reader. Pitiful. Like you I timeshift. I set aside time here, time there for my few must-read blogs. Comment when I have something to say, which you know me and how clever I think I am, is always. ;-) I've started scheduling tweets too, check it a little several times a day, click on those tweets that interest me. My problem is I'm a slow reader, I don't scan well. Truthfully I probably need to cut back but this is fun, chatting with folks like you and @Danny Brown @Griddy . And I learn something almost all the time, which hopefully makes me better at my job. FWIW.

Nikki Little
Nikki Little

Great question from Elizabeth! I can't imagine being a student right now and trying to figure out how in the world you're going to balance a career, life and staying updated on all the blog reading and social Web activity.

I think your suggestion is a good one, Gini. I've amped up my blog reading in the past year. I've definitely learned a lot and established relationships through commenting, but my one recommendation to Elizabeth and others is to not spend SO much time reading that you leave no time for creating content. That's one area I'm focusing on this year - spending as much time writing as I do reading.

If only there were more hours in the day!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

There are way too many great blogs for me to read them all. I don't use RSS very much but I am a late bloomer. I have kind of a core list I find most interesting for Marketing/Advertising. I was pretty smug with myself when I saw in the AdAge top 50 I think I read only 3 or 4. Maybe 8 in the top 100. I need excitement. Something challenging intellectually. I don't want fluff or gratuitous self promotion. Outside of around 10 core and 20 outercore blogs I let Twitter do the walking. People post links and that allows me to dive bomb around where needed!

RandomShelly
RandomShelly

I don't spend enough... I know there are so many good things to read out there...

I spend too much time... because I get distracted easily and end up following links or people who comment, etc..

productive? LOL.

btw, I rarely ever hit 'mark all as read' because I eventually get to it and do a marathon reading on the blog and make comments... sure, it seems like I'm a stalker on that day, but hey... I don't care ;) xo

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Great advice, Gini.

You need to structure your day and adhere to that, otherwise you're just going to get lost and the day will get away from you.

I know over at Bonsai, we schedule the first hour for blog writing/reading, then take on client projects, then lunch/Twitter/Facebook, etc. Check back into client and lead gen work, and then end the day with a strategy meet.

All good fun. And these Bonsai Boys (thanks, @Griddy for the name, haha!) must be something if you read BOTH their blogs religiously, hehe. ;-)

sjhalestorm
sjhalestorm

My biggest tip is to get really good at knowing what you are looking for and scanning for that specific information - keeping up with curation helps (lists, RSS, etc.). Unfortunately, you're never going to have more time to keep up with all of the information the internet has to offer than when you're in college.

For me, keeping up with useful information is productive. So I don't consciously limit myself, but it ends up being about 1-2 hours per day reading through relevant articles/tweets (+scanning past things I don't need) and determining where I'm going to comment and share.

wabbitoid
wabbitoid

I'm very irregular for everything except my own writing, which is about 40 minutes 3X a week. My prospective clients in SM are people <i>not</i> on twitter, so my productive time online is either promoting m'self (ug!) or finding people who need a writer (and I am available!). That's a very different world than what you describe - where prospective clients are already online.

So I think that the goals are more important than the actual time. It's best to ask, "Is this the most productive thing I can do right now?" For many of us, twitter is more fun than productive.

Krista
Krista

Great question! I try to be consistent but also recognize that some days, my blog reading and Twitter might need to take a back seat to work and real life (or in today's case, a snow day!)

I generally take about a half an hour first thing in the morning to go through my Google Reader and open in new windows the handful of blogs posts I plan to read either during lunch or when I have an afternoon break. Those might take up to an hour to get through. With Twitter, I keep my Tweetdeck rocking and auto-updating so I can glance at tweets throughout the day and catch additional posts or articles to bookmark. Then, at the end of the day, usually after dinner when there's nothing on TV, I'll go through my Google Reader again and see if I missed anything from the afternoon and bookmark for the next day.

It's a balancing act some days, and I have to also allow for time to turn everything off to just do normal things and chores, especially on the weekends when I'm almost entirely offline.

EricPudalov
EricPudalov

Hey Gini! Unfortunately, I don't have sound on my office computer here, so I won't be able to hear your response until I get home...but I can honestly say that I spend at least 1-2 hours reading blogs every day, including yours (and often, other bloggers I discovered through you, like nittyGriddy). And I believe at my job, that's acceptable, especially because the knowledge I've gained from blogs like yours has proven invaluable the further I get into social media, marketing, and PR. I shall stop by later (figuratively speaking)!

SamanthaCollier
SamanthaCollier

First things first. I love your hair Gini - it looks awesome! And the makeup artist in me has to tell you I love your lip gloss too, very nice!

Now back to business. I spend about an hour every morning reading blogs, tweeting, updating statuses etc. I usually get up at 5am to do this (before the kids wake up). After I get to work I tweet, post, etc. whenever I get a free moment.

For me it's easy to loose 2 + hours a day to the online world so I really have to limit myself.

Great video Gini!

Beamena
Beamena

I know that doesn't have anything to do but, I think I have a perfect boyfriend for your sock monkey girl heheh I'll send you a pic during the day!.. kisses!

Griddy
Griddy

I heard you say Ingrid Abboud :)))!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @Danny Brown @markwschaefer or the opposite. I just did a count, Of the top 100 read blogs I only know about 15 of them in terms of heard of the blogs. I only read 6 of the top 100! Which you three are included in that 6! How special are you? In fact I have 32 blogs and 3 podcasts listed as must reads/listens on my blog. Sorry I am an underground hipster. I don't do pop culture. Chris Brogan is like Britney Spears. Seth Godin is like Vampie Weekend. Brian Solis is like Beyonce. Blecch! Where is the beef? I know where it is but I keep it only for those in the know! =)

RandomShelly
RandomShelly

@ginidietrich @EricPudalov I LOVE reading things that make me think , or give me ideas, or whatever... so if I hit 'mark all as read' - how will I know I didn't miss something that could trigger something else?? LOL

RandomShelly
RandomShelly

@EricPudalov Well I stalk - I mean love Gini and she writes stuff here! Glad to know you are unarmed! LOL

EricPudalov
EricPudalov

@RandomShelly Oh, you stalk Spin Sucks too? And I thought I was the only one...don't worry, I'm unarmed.

RandomShelly
RandomShelly

@ginidietrich For the ones that I find interesting - YES... I might scan through others... Don't you remember that weekend I stalked Spin Sucks? LOL

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @Danny Brown @Griddy Bonzai sounds like going to summer camp. No wonder you are all in such a great mood all the time. But I must say your blog commenters are a rough and tumble lot. Unlike the very kind and courteous folk here on SpinSucks.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Danny Brown Crap. I've been trying not to drink any caffeine with these long days, but it's clear I need to do something. "Weren't." I mean *you* weren't supposed to. Everyone else can. I thought I'd get away with saying something nice about you without your knowing. @shonali help!

Griddy
Griddy

@Danny Brown A nice breakdown of your daily activities Danny.

And I'm glad you like the name I gave you and Troy :). It seems like the perfect fit - for the Bonsai Boys certainly are something and then some :).

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@sjhalestorm I wish I could spend however much time it took me. But I'm like @RandomShelly . I'll move on to another blog or, if I like a person's comment, I'll go spend time finding out more about them. It's a great ego stroke for everyone else, but hugely unproductive for me. Maybe you can teach me?!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

@wabbitoid "For many of us, twitter is more fun than productive." -- Great last point. This is where I fall into a trap, because I DO find a lot of good content via my Twitter feed (which oftentimes I end up retweeted or commenting on) but then somehow get sucked into checking the feeds for longer than I should. I think the takeaway from Gini's post and most of these comments is to have structure and dedicate an allotted amount of time to reading/catching up, if possible.

Krista
Krista

@ginidietrich I grew up in Southern Minnesota, so when I see 15 inches of snow, it's no big deal. Not so for the city of Philadelphia...

But I digress-- to your question, yes, I actually do at times keep a ridiculous amount of windows open for the various blogs. Luckily, my screen faces away from others, so no one knows what a blog geek I am ;)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Krista Oh sure! You just HAD to rub in the snow day! I AM SO JEALOUS! Seriously. I live in Chicago and we've had hardly any snow. Sigh...

Do you keep a bunch of tabs open in your browser like I do? When I speak and people glance my open windows, they laugh at me.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricPudalov Doesn't the computer have the in-system speakers? That's what I'm using to listen to Pandora right now. Heck! I have an extra speaker. Do you have a PC? I'll send it to you.

EricPudalov
EricPudalov

@ginidietrich Well, to answer your question about the computer: I guess there were no speakers installed when I got here; although I've had the opportunity to buy some, I do have to admit I'm a little less distracted without them. But more recently, co-workers have sent me videos and such, so maybe it's about time I found an inexpensive pair of speakers! :-)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricPudalov That's pretty much what I say so you don't have to watch later. :) But...how does your computer not have sound?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@SamanthaCollier OMG! That lipgloss is from Victoria's Secret. My sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas. It tastes good, too! And thanks on the hair. It's totally lazy, so I don't leave it like this often.

That's me too. I get up at 5 and write and read. Then go to work around 8:30. How do we do all of this without getting up that early?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Beamena I LOVE my sock monkey! His name is Alfred. My mom made him for me for Christmas.

Griddy
Griddy

@Beamena I have Duckie - he's cute as hell, white and fluffy, amazing listener, doesn't move around when he sleeps. Unfortunately, ever since he met the washing machine a few years back - he doesn't quack anymore :(. Do you have a girl friend for him please? lol Thanks

Griddy
Griddy

@ginidietrich There should be a "Love" button on certain posts instead of just "like".

Griddy
Griddy

@joey_strawn @ginidietrich I'm not really loving it - it sort of, kind of, limits me, just a little - but Gini made me do it hahaha. Kidding. I'll crack soon enough though.

joey_strawn
joey_strawn

@Griddy@ginidietrich
Holy Moses, Ingrid. That's a lot of comments right in a row. You're like a comment Uzi.

I had a sock monkey when I was a kid as well, but I don't think he had a name, oh well. I just wanted to stop by and comment on all of Ingrid's comments.

Great video , Gini!

JamesDBurrell2
JamesDBurrell2

@Griddy @ginidietrich www.nittygriddynotes.com is available as an aside. If there were about 4 more hours in each day, I would have found my new hobby (but it seems all these drive-bys would put an end to said hobby), but alas, the rotation of the earth is not about to change. Shucks.

I don't have a stuffed animal so my relevance in this conversation has come to its end. Ciao.

Griddy
Griddy

@ginidietrich Until you and @JamesDBurrell2 publicly profess your love for the "The Gid Length" and write individual Cliff Notes for each of my comments on your blog - say hello to DB (not Danny Brown lol) DriveBY :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Griddy OMG! You're doing a bunch of comments instead of one long one. LOL!! You know I love your blog. And yes, his name is Alfred.

Griddy
Griddy

Drive-by's all the way! Woohooo
(Damn - those were hard to do haha)

Griddy
Griddy

Thank you Aunt Gini.
PS - Does the monkey have a name?

Griddy
Griddy

I'm lovin' ya more and more :).

Griddy
Griddy

In the same sentence as "The Oh, Great Ones" like - Mark, Danny , Troy and Valeria :)).

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