Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning - Virtually

There is a lot of buzz out there about Spring Cleaning lately.

When do you start?
What do you do?
How you split up the jobs?

Airing out, organizing, simplifying, tossing, sorting out, etc. etc. etc.

It's a perfectly fine topic, but I have another spin on it.

I'm Spring Cleaning my Virtual Home.

Like the rest of my home, and life, it sometimes gets out of hand.  And like anything else, it needs to be tended lest it out grow the space I have for it.  But I've never read books on Spring Cleaning a Virtual Home, so I'm going to use the Indiana Jones method and make it up as I go along.

Currently this virtual home consists of three 'rooms': social, communal, and informational.  Each has 'stuff' that needs consideration, sorting, thinning and tossing.  And, like spring cleaning a home, there are some rooms that are easier than others.

The Social Room includes Facebook and Twitter.  While I keep a tight rein on Facebook, I have noticed that Twitter needs some rearranging in the 'followee' and 'follower' departments.

I don't like commercials, and many use Twitter as an avenue for commercials.  If I want to read a blog, it's in my Google reader.  But if not, I'm not interested in sorting through your commercial tweets telling everyone you just put up a new post.  If a blogger is into popularity in blog traffic, fine.  But I'm not into commercials, so I'll be thinning out my list of those I follow.  On the flip side of those I follow, are those that follow me.  If someone is following me that I've never heard of, and a quick stop at the profile shows me this is a marketing guru, or someone else with whom I have nothing whatsoever in common, I'm going to block them.  Yes, it probably doesn't matter that Joe Reader reads about a prayer request or a funny observation, but the fact of the matter is, if I wouldn't let this person in my front door, why am I letting them follow me?

Ahh . . . I can see the sparkle already!

My Communal Room has forums in it, a few for home education, and a few for international adoption, and a blogging forum.  While I pray I've done some good in these forums, and Lord knows I've received good council in the home education and international adoption forums, there is a season for everything, and my season for these is starting to change.  As I am growing more and more conservative, my ability to relate to 99% of what goes on in these arenas is lessening every day.

There are some relationships in this room, (forged over years of conversation, prayer requests, new children and academic problems du jour), that I truly cherish and will be maintained.  My accounts in these forums will remain, but my participation in a few have either already or will greatly decrease.  As for the blogging forum, it will be completely shut down, as it's purpose is to drive traffic.  I'm not interested in numbers reading my blog.  I'm interested in quality of reader, those I can trust and that will jerk my chain when needed.

Mmm . . . it's smelling fresher in here already!

My Informational Room has developed a life of it's own.  This room has home keeping blogs, home education blogs, friends' blogs, homesteading/agrarian blogs, cooking blogs, sewing blogs, and religious blogs.  These are like well chosen magazines.  Good for the brain, encouraging to creativity, encouraging the heart and soul, etc.  But there are too many 'magazines' on these shelves.

There is a 5-step plan of attack for this, the most unruly room.

1.  Find the blogs that have been recommended to me but that haven't been subscribed to yet - then subscribe to them.  I know it sounds counter productive, but it's like getting all the magazines in one place before you sort them out.  No use sorting until you've collected them from the bedroom, the family room, the kitchen, etc.

2.  Take a quick tour.  This quick run through the list will be used to quickly delete the blogs I know can be deleted.  They're probably perfectly fine, but they are either vacant (the author doesn't blog anymore) or perhaps my interests simply lie elsewhere.  Also, some are getting very commercial, too much advertising, or use a lot of posts for product review and the like, or I have other blogs on the same subject that are a better fit for me.

3.  Now is the Down and Dirty tour.  On this round, I open every single blog to it's actual blog page and take a look around.  Do I really enjoy this blog?  Does anything about it turn me off?  (For me this would be advertising, world view, etc.)  Does 95% of what this person says either leave me instructed or encouraged in a practical and applicable way?  If it's not a complete 'go', then it's deleted.

4.  With the down and dirty tour complete, the blogs get sorted in to categories.  (Religion, home education, sewing, etc.)  I make a list of what blogs fall under the various categories.

5.  Welcome to the Do or Die tour.  Here is where I pick my top 5 or 8 blogs for each category.

The rest. must. go.

This culling is going to hurt, no doubt.  But I know of this story about the Master Gardener pruning the old and unproductive branches and thus making room for new growth . . .

I'd like to say I'm going to weed out 50% of my Google reader, but we'll see!

Freshly scrubbed floors, washed walls, and rearranged furniture!

So what about you?

Is it time for some Virtual Spring Cleaning?

If you run with it, let me know how it goes!


  1. Sounds like good pruning. I have to routinely prune my blog reading too.

    You're still in ;D

  2. Excellent idea. I'll be following your example. It's time to clean and simplify!

  3. What a great idea! Cleaning and organization are definitely not my strong suit, on any level. So these are some very tangible ways I can clean up my virtual world!


Please . . . Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Eph 4:29