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Read ALL the FTB Blogs!

Some of you read Biodork because you’re my friends and family, and you read me uncaring of the fact that I’m on a larger, atheist blog network. This post is not for you. I’m writing this for those of you who want to read blogs that are about atheism or which are written from an atheist perspective. This is for those of you who read some, but not all, of the FTB writings.

You may have noticed that we recently had two new bloggers join Freethought Blogs: Non-Stamp Collector (oh my FSM – sweeeeet!) and Avicenna (love A Million Gods, been reading it for several months). I was scanning the comments on NSC’s intro post, and this one made me pause:

Another FTBer to add to the rss feed. Aaaarrrrgggggg.

To which I say: Do you mean to tell me that you’re not reading ALL the FTB blogs???

Okay, okay. I get it: There are currently over 30 blogs on FTB, we’re growing all the time, and many of us post at least one new entry every single day, if not more. That’s a lot of new material to read.

Or is it?

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t read everything that is published here. But what I do manage to do is scan through every new article on Google Reader using the FTB RSS Feed. Right now this is one screen-width of FTB feed for me (click to enlarge):

Represented above are articles by Duncan Deacon (Althenian Worldview), Kylie Sturgess (Token Skeptic), Avicenna (A Million Gods), Jason Thibeault (Lousy Canuck), Ophelia Benson (Butterflies and Wheels), PZ Myers (Pharyngula), Stephanie Zvan (Almost Diamonds), Mano Singham (Mano Singham), Cuttlefish (The Digital Cuttlefish) and Ian Cromwell (The Crommunist Manifesto)

That’s a lot of variety in both author and subject matter, and they’re all under the same feed! I can quickly scan through the articles in Google Reader and choose to stop or not. Sometimes there’s fluff piece or an administrative update that I don’t want to read. Sometimes there will be an in-depth analysis of some minutia of something I don’t care about. Sometimes I’ll not want to get involved in a post topic. *click* Aaaaaand it’s gone. Easy-peasy.

“But Brianne,” someone says, “some of those people make me really angry or bore me nigh unto death and I don’t wanna read them!”

Click right past ‘em. Just keep going. Seriously, you can see a name that you don’t like to see and just fly on by. Because seeing and skipping a post in order to potentially find something else that’s new and exciting is very much worth it. There are such different focuses and interests among the bloggers here at FTB, something that I mentioned in my “I’m moving over to FTB” post back in February:

… we’re all atheists of one stripe or another, and we tend to blog either a little or a lot about atheism, infringements of church and state, humanism, and other related topics. Some of the blogs on the network are devoted primarily to exploring religion or atheism, some have a focus on politics or civil liberties, or diversity, or are more personal (like mine). They are all unique and owned by their authors.

I thought that back when I joined. Nine months after I started, I know it.

I love the diversity of ideas here at FTBs, and not only between bloggers but in the ideas of a single blogger (interblogger vs. intrablogger, if you will). On a fairly frequent basis, a blogger who has a style that I think I know will post something completely unexpected, either because they’ve created something completely different (this is one of the great beauties of blogs; they can change and fluctuate with their authors’ moods, beliefs, and new experiences), or because I’m getting to see or know a new side of a blogger because I’ve been following their work.

As an example of a blogger throwing me for a loop, I offer up yesterday’s post by Crommunist. Here’s an excerpt that made me laugh out loud at work, to many puzzled looks:

Adam: Snake! Right. It was a snake. And it talked. To her (pointing at Eve). And she ate the fruit from the tree. And then she made me do it.

Eve: Okay that’s totally not what happened. Adam came to me with this fruit that had a bite of out it and…

Adam: (Interrupting again) Shut it, rib! (To YAHWEH, laughing, gesturing with his thumb) Look at her, thinking that she can talk. (To Eve) Ribs can’t talk, stupid.

Eve: Oh, but snakes can? (Adam glares at her, she rolls her eyes)

So, my humble suggestion, dear readers: If you like to read blogs by atheists or about atheism, freethought, or lives lived without the influence of belief in the supernatural – follow the full FTB RSS feed. Scanning the new content takes seconds, and you never know when you’re going to find something that really connects.

Comments

  1. left0ver1under says

    To which I say: Do you mean to tell me that you’re not reading ALL the FTB blogs???

    Yes, Mom, I tried everything on my plate. I just don’t like some of it.

    Being stuck in one’s ways and not reading any new blogs is to be closed minded. Who knows what you might find, there might be other people you agree with or those who open your mind (read: kill off your ignorance) to things you never knew, and you miss out because of it. On the other hand, there are blogs that people don’t read because the readers dislike or have nothing in common with the blogger, or the blog is too focused on one topic not of interest. Not reading such blogs is hardly a negative or an insult.

    Not reading a blog is only a problem if someone is disparaging it, especially those who talk without even knowing what’s in it (vis-a-vis anti-FtB loudmouths, anti-Atheism+ trolls, “not-a-feminist” stuff, etc.). Then again, some ex-bloggers on FtB went out of their way to be unpleasant, and there are current bloggers (no names mentioned) who don’t allow any disagreement with their opinion, not even discussion. Why read such people?

    It’s fair to expect people to try a little of everything, but nobody’s going to find everything to their taste. As long as people don’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t like, we all get along fine.

    • says

      Yes, Mom, I tried everything on my plate. I just don’t like some of it.

      This made me laugh soda out of my nose, damn you! Yeah, this post isn’t about looking down on anyone who doesn’t read all the bloggers, or on those who prefer to get their FTB RSSs a la carte. I am preaching the full FTB RSS feed (with skipping posts or bloggers as desired) because though it might seem intimidating to think about reading that way, it has proven to be a constant happy surprise over time for me. But as always, to each their own.

  2. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Aw, now I feel bad about not reading you often enough (and never commenting before now – hi! *waves*). Will try to do better, but there is only so much time in a day and I’m slow in changing habits. ;)

  3. patriciacanon says

    I LOVE Google Reader. It is a way to get all of the feeds I want to read in one place. They are all waiting for me when I get the time to give them the attention they deserve. I love your blog too. You have convinced me to add the other FTB blogs to my reading list.

    Thanks

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