When I'm reading blogs at home, sitting at my desk with a cup of hot tea, a slab of dark chocolate, and a stack of ungraded essays at my elbow, I tend to read in a systematic way, using a site reader to look at blogs that have been updated, clicking through if I want to leave comments. I'm checking in with my regular readers, my friends. But on MWF, when I am on campus, sitting at my desk between classes, I don't use a site reader or even my own blogroll. I don't like to put my own blog up on the screen because it could be seen by students who come into the office.
Instead, I choose a blog and begin with that blogroll, just clicking and surfing to any blog that looks promising. I don't leave comments because I know I can get interrupted at any moment: I read a few posts and surf to the next blog. Although I do like the community building aspects of blogging, I have to say that surfing blogs this way, especially if I choose ones that I don't regularly read, has its own fascinating appeal. It's like working in a restaurant and overhearing interesting bits of conversation. When I'm travelling by train, I love the glimpses I get of towns and cities as we roll past, sometimes stopping long enough at a station for me to stare out at the people outside who are just going about their normal life. Surfing blogs feels the same way, bringing me bits and pieces of people's lives from all over the country.