I am certifiably addicted to blogs. I’ve been a blogger on and off for seven years. As of today, I have 357 different subscriptions in my Google Reader, plus about 15 private blogs I follow (yeah, I know I’m crazy). I don’t read EVERYTHING in detail, and I usually only comment if there’s something particularly noteworthy. I’d do nothing but read blogs if I commented on every post (which I used to do). Some blogs I’ve been following as far back as 2002, and I stick in a few new subscriptions a month.
When I find a blog that strikes my interest, I usually read it all the way back to the beginning. That way I have reference to different family member names, significant events, etc. I spent the better part of my free time reading all of the archives on Dooce this summer. I’ve met approximately 20 of my blogger friends in the last two years in real life. After reading their stories, I rarely have any awkwardness meeting IRL. I call this “reading all the way back to the beginning of the blog” phenomenon blog stalking. When I tell a fellow blogger that I’ve stalked them, I mean it as a great compliment.
A few months ago I stumbled upon a blog of a girl from my ward. She had an interesting story and wonderful humor, and I read all of her archives. She was an acquaintence, we had common friends, and I requested her as a friend on Facebook. She immediately accepted, and we chatted well into the evening about various topics. We had kids in the same primary class, went to the same college, and I was looking forward to getting to know her better. The next time I saw her at church, I told her I’d stalked her blog back to the beginning. After church I went to look at her FB page, and she had disappeared. Not only off my friends’ list, but she wasn’t even found in the search feature. This means she had unfriended AND blocked me. Then I went to her blog…it was changed from public to private. Every subsequent time I tried to talk to her, she acted nervous and began avoiding me. I don’t remember saying anything offensive to her….my only guess is that she was creeped out by the term “blog stalking.”
Another blogging acquaintence friended me on FB this week, and we also had a good instant message conversation. I joked that I enjoyed stalking her blog, and she replied that she liked stalking mine. Yesterday I decided to contact her on FB to ask her out to lunch….and it was like deja vu – off my friends list, all previous wall posts disappeared, and not found in search. I know that being “friends” online isn’t the most important thing…but I’ve been feeling sad about it.
So opinion time…do you think the term “blog stalking” is creepy or complimentary?