Why Do You Unfollow Inactive Blogs?

Why do you unfollow inactive blogs?

Sometimes I see people talk about cleaning out their Feedly or Bloglovin’—which I totally get. I quite often prune my own Feedly and remove blogs I’m no longer interested in. But one thing I never quite understood was people who took the time to remove blogs who haven’t posted in a while.

I totally understand why you’d remove blogs you no longer read, but why take the time to remove the inactive ones?

The way I see it: inactive blogs aren’t doing me any harm. They’re not clogging up my feed since they’re… well, inactive. And unless it’s a blog I’m no longer interested in, I’m not going to put in the effort to remove it when it’s not affecting me in any way. Plus, maybe they’ll come back one day!

It seems like extra effort with no benefit.

Pruning an RSS reader takes time, but it often feels necessary in order to maintain a relevant and interesting feed. Removing the inactive blogs feels like an unnecessary effort if it’s not actually going to affect how your feed looks or how you interact with it. So I guess my question is: why do you do it?

Maybe I just can’t imagine the workflow properly. When I decide to prune my feed, it pretty much works like this:

  1. I open up Feedly.
  2. I start going through the new posts.
  3. Any time I come across a blog post that doesn’t interest me, I click over to their blog and scan the last page of posts.
  4. If nothing in their post list interests me, I unfollow them.

So based on MY workflow, I would never even have the opportunity to see the inactive blogs, since they wouldn’t be in my recent items at all. My process is like a normal day scanning my Feedly, but instead of skipping the posts I don’t like, I make the extra effort to unfollow that blog entirely.

If I were to remove the inactive ones as well, I’d have to go through my entire list of subscribers one by one AND pay attention to the date of the recent posts as well as the content. That’s more subscribers to sift through and more work for me. When it comes to tedious tasks like pruning a feed reader, I’m all about making it as quick and painless as possible for me.

Have you ever taken the time to remove inactive blogs from your reader? Why or why not?

Tell me about your profess for unfollowing blogs.

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23 comments

  1. For me, the reason I’ll get rid of inactive accounts anywhere (RSS reader or elsewhere) is if they add visual clutter.

    For example, I have my Feedly pretty foldered out, so not much is hidden behind “and X other sources” or whatever it says. So even if a blog isn’t posting, it’s showing up in my sidebar adding visual clutter to my dashboard. I’d get rid of that.

    However, if I used Bloglovin, (from what I’ve seen – not a user myself) the inactive feeds wouldn’t be in my face as much, so I doubt I’d notice or care.

  2. I do it occasionally. It’s not so much a have to do thing, as it is I was probably already doing something in Feedly (or I have something to do and I’m procrastinating). I removed a bunch the other day that hadn’t been active in over a year.

    You’re totally right about it being pretty much pointless, but I have my Feedly OCD organized and it bugs me that they’re there. Lol.

  3. I do remove inactive blogs from time to time, and it does make me feel bad because I know the blogger will most likely come back, but I guess I just don’t like following a void? It’s hard to explain, but I do do it – like you though, I prune my feed every few months and do as you do. Maybe I just like following active blogger that keep me inspired and blogging, who knows. This is great though Ashley!

    Amanda @ Nellie and Co. recently posted: 10 Authors I've Read The Most Books By
  4. I unfollow inactive blogs pretty regularly. Probably every 5-6 months I do a really thorough cleansing of my Feedly. Sometimes, when it takes up time, I DO have the thought of “why am I doing this? It’s not making my Feedly feed more cluttered??” which is true. . . but for me, I don’t FEEL organized until I unfollow the inactive blogs, and I hate feeling disorganized(even if it isn’t really).

    Stormy recently posted: Annual August Hiatus
  5. I regularly clean out my Feedly (and Twitter). I go through these phases where I follow a bunch of new blogs, put them in their own folder until I decide if I want to follow them for the long haul, at which point I’ll move them into the correct type of blog folder. I never have too many blogs in my “permanent” folders, so I actually do go through blog by blog when I’m purging, so it makes sense for me to delete the inactive ones since I already have them selected.

    I have definitely asked myself why I’m removing them since they’re not cluttering my feed or anything. But when I see that the last post was over 6 months (or even a year! I found one that was like 750 days ago!), I do wonder if they’re ever coming back. I’ll usual visit the actual blog to make sure that I didn’t miss them moving, because that has happened a few times. I’d never have known if I didn’t check! But I like the list of blogs I’m following to be short and tidy, so those inactive blogs do cause clutter in a way for me.

  6. I never really thought about this before now, but I’d have to agree with you. If they aren’t clogging up my feed then who cares? Now, if I’ve lost interest in a blog, that’s a different story. Plus, most inactive blogs I follow are blogs I’d like to see come back. I’d also think it’d take a bit of digging to find the inactive blogs since they’re… you know, inactive.

    Stephanie B recently posted: Control is an Illusion: Iteration Three
  7. I always go through the list of blogs I follow on Bloglovin’ and when I stumble on an inactive blog I have two options: if they haven’t posted for >1 year I unfollow them, otherwise I put them in a special map I’ve made (in the hope they will return) It doesn’t take extra time for me when I’m cleaning my follow-list 🙂

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: Monthly recap July.
  8. I have my Bloglovin’ set up the same way, if they’re not posting, I see nothing so I don’t bother. They may be sick or some crisis, whatever, I stopped blogging for almost 4 years and came back with people still following me who were leaving comments within days.

    Elizabeth the Evil Overlord recently posted: Most Read Authors
  9. Once in a blue moon (maybe once or twice a year) I’ll be in the mood to reorganize my Bloglovin’ feed categories and remove blogs that are inactive or that I’m no longer interested in. For me I think it’s just a weird desire for accuracy and/or to keep things tidy. It might just be my type A-ness but I don’t like appearing to be following hundreds of blogs when in actuality many of them aren’t active any longer. But it’s also a pain and not something that I would do on a regular basis.

    Lauren recently posted: Everyday Makeup Summer 2015
  10. I’m one of those horrible people who is technically subscribed to a whole bunch of blogs on Bloglovin, but the only ones I really “see” are those I’ve subscribed to via email. Because I check email compulsively. Other stuff not so much. So I wind up “cleaning out” blogs more like you do. If you’re inactive, I don’t get an email, so I won’t do anything. If you send a ton of posts/emails in a row I don’t care about, I may unsubscribe.

    Kel recently posted: Updates: BookitCon Recap
  11. I don’t remove them from Bloglovin or Feed, but the blogs I visit daily are blogs that I subscribe via atom feed and bookmark them on my browser toolbar. If the blog is inactive I delete them from my daily list so I can replace it with a blog that is updated. 🙂 I only use Bloglovin to update my daily lists, if that makes sense. So I never bother to de-cluttered it when I don’t use it for reading posts 🙂

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted: TBR Thursday #1
  12. Since I started using Bloglovin’ I’ve only ever removed blogs that I am no longer interested in. For the obvious reasons of course, but if there’s an inactive blog and I realized I am no longer interested in what they had to say – that’s when I’ll delete it!
    – Krys

  13. Well, if the blog hasn’t been updated in over a year they probably aren’t going to be posting anything any time soon. Therefore, it’s just taking up space in my RSS reader, (I don’t use Feedly or Bloglvin.) It’s the same thing with Twitter, if they haven’t tweeted in over a year, they probably aren’t going to tweet again any time soon.

    Noelle recently posted: WOTW: things.
      1. Yeah I do unfollow those who haven’t tweeted in a year or more. This happens usually when I’m going through the list of people who follow me to clean out any spammers/fake followers.

        Noelle recently posted: WOTW: things.
  14. I do, not on Feedly or Bloglovin or anything to do with my blog really but on Tumblr. I like to keep my following to a certain number (200 – 300) otherwise it starts getting too cluttered. If I go through my following and I see that someone hasn’t posted in two days (It’s harsh but it’s the way it’s always been) then I’ll unfollow and that frees up space for me to follow a blog that I’ll actually see posts from. I recently when and unfollowed blogs from feedly, though, because I wasn’t interested in them anymore and then I went and searched for some more. For this, I used the same method as you.

    Natalie @ Flowers in my Books recently posted: The 'Find Me' Tag
  15. As a blogger myself, I follow a TON of other blogs, so I do a biannual clear out of my Bloglovin’ list. I look at each blog individually and think, “What am I getting out of this? Is the content intriguing? Do I learn a lot? Is it funny? Have I connected with the blogger on a personal level?”—stuff like that. I almost always wind up axing inactive blogs, since it’s hard for me to get anything new out of them if they’re never updated (and it’s hard to connect with the blogger since they rarely comment back). The only exceptions are when I’m super interested in the content and reeeeeally hope the blogger will make a comeback.

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