Blogged Down

Warning: Rant pending.

SONY DSC

I *like* this, so it is completely relevant

While my blog appears to have plateaued in readership, maybe it’s time I wrote about this whole social media malarkey.  I remain confused by the persistence of the fisher-types.  Why? Why, I ask?

I’ve spoken of this phenomenon before with regards to Twitter, but it was early-blog days and those who read that particular post genuinely followed me. Now I’m getting blog-fishers and I’m increasingly baffled. You see, my blog is young and I have so few genuine followers I can surmise who’s reading it based upon the country of origin. And because it is young, it is screamingly obvious when I have ‘likes’ on my post but zero views. Wow. People take the time to ‘like’ a post they haven’t actually read.

In reality, when you do that thing called ‘conversing with others’, you don’t say ‘that looks lovely’ before you see it. You don’t say, ‘this is delicious’ without tasting it. Even a liar knows if they wish to maintain a facade of credibility, this is the wrong way to proceed. But apparently, because we are only dealing with others in a virtual context – this is OK? No, I don’t want you to lie. I don’t want you to pretend to read this so your pretend liking of me appears more credible. Read it, or don’t. ‘Like’ it if you mean it.

I’m not sure why WordPress allows its other users to ‘like’ a post without opening the link. I assume it is to encourage connectivity. And as irritating as I find this, I irritate myself further by submitting to curiosity and tracing the fisher’s avatar back to their blog. And I guess this is the core of it, they don’t use the ‘like’ button to assess my blog, it’s an invitation to theirs. I guess if you ‘like’ enough people, sooner or later you’ll connect with right people.

I traced a fisher’s blog the other day to discover he started blogging when I did. I can see why people follow him and he doesn’t really need to fish. But he does fish and he now has four-thousand odd followers. Of course, this leads me to wonder about the benefits of having a large follower count if you can’t tell who’s reading it or which ‘likes’ are genuine. Does a high follower count influence a blog’s likability? Are new visitors more inclined to take to the time to read it?

Now. This next sentence is really important, so be sure you read it carefully. There will be a ‘like’ button at the bottom of this post but please ignore it. I repeat – IGNORE it. Even if you think this post is made of awesome, resist the urge. Feel free however to leave a comment, (even if you can only manage one random word) just so as I know you’re participating in my WordPress experiment. Alternatively (and it would be amazing if you could), insert a random instruction into your own blog post in the next month and see who in your readership notices (don’t forget to link here so I can check it out).

Breathe in. Annnnddd out.

OK. My inner scientist is getting all excited. To give this some perspective, you need to know I’m dealing with a pretty small sample size. I have (to date) twenty-four blog followers. My highest ‘like’ count currently stands at eight. So this isn’t going to be a mind blowing exercise (prepare to be underwhelmed).

I want to add too, this is not a judgement on anyone’s following or ‘liking’ habits, I’m aware it’s part of the social media machine – I just don’t understand. And for me personally, I’d really like to know what is real.

So thank you for reading this.  Thank you to all those who support me and my blog.  Of course, you are under no obligation to participate in my zany ideas, I’m sure my husband wishes he had the chance to opt out (HIM: What do you mean you want to put a fish tank in a piano? ME: It’d be amazing! HIM: Ugh).

For today only, I hope you don’t like me *knowing wink*.

 

Any thoughts on blog-fishers? Am I mad not to subscribe to the technique? Check out this post that discusses the correlation between followers and ‘likes’.

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15 thoughts on “Blogged Down

  1. The bit about complimenting other things before trying them made me laugh and it’s right – aside from being rude what if you ‘like’ a post without reading it and it turns out the post is about something horrible or against your beliefs? The whole fishing makes me feel like a phony when I’m searching through a topic I’m interested in and like a post. I always see the same people on all of the posts in that tag that I read and so I assume it looks like I’m just liking everything too. So I always try to leave a comment.
    Thank you for the link to my post, thanks because it sent me to this one! I have been truly awful at reading the posts of people I follow lately. I have possibly followed too many and then there’s too many to read :S
    But this was good.

    • I think we are all guilty of following too many blogs, and with life-stuff thrown into the equation how can we possibly keep up? And that’s OK. As you mentioned in your post, some blogs interest you a little more intermittently than others and sometimes it’s about timing. I strive to ‘like’ posts I have read and liked. I like people to do the same for me. No offence, just honesty. Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  2. Random word.

    There! I did it!

    No, but seriously. I struggled not to click ‘like’ on the end of this post. It’s a really interesting idea, and (I have to admit) not something I’d thought about before. Sometimes, I get ‘likes’ from blogs that are so different to my own that I used to wonder how on earth they’d ever managed to click through to my post… now I know the truth. They were fishers! *dramatic villain music*

    I’m sort of afraid to insert a random instruction into one of my posts, just to see who notices. I’d prefer to continue in the comforting delusion that all the hits I get on my blog (not that there are all that many) are intentional. Plus, I’m really bad at subterfuge. But I’ll do my best!

    • You make me feel so cynical! An ‘interesting idea’!? Oh my God, what if I did invent it? What if no-one ‘likes’ this post because all along they have actually, really, seriously ‘liked’ all my posts. *dramatic panicked music*

      I don’t believe that my meagre number of followers will illustrate this particularly well, but I’ve definitely had instances where I’ve been ‘liked’ but my post has remained unread. If you can’t bring yourself to insert random instructions into a future blog post, I completely understand. Do what is right for you and your blog. Thanks for joining in 🙂

  3. [like]

    I don’t have enough readers for a secret hidden message to cause much of an impact, but I’m amused by the concept none the less. Maybe I’ll try it one day?

    If I come across a post I like (usually via someone who fished my blog, so to speak) I usually just “like” it and head on my merry way. Maybe have a dabble around in the other posts on the blog, but I rarely follow blogs that aren’t dorkishly educational.

    I normally don’t comment, either, because I feel a bit silly, to be honest. I get self conscious about reaching out to a complete stranger and saying something about an isolated, decontextualised moment of their lives.

    But with fishers in mind, maybe I’ll comment more often in the future… cheers for this 🙂

    • He he 😀 And thanks for that! I’m starting to get the feeling I’ve way over-thought this whole fishing-for-followers situation. I’m like a crazy paranoid person except it’s not paranoia, it’s a WordPress conspiracy!

      I hope my blog is dorkishly educational enough for you to stop by again. I’m pretty sure I’ve got the dorkish bit covered.

      Thanks for reaching out to a complete stranger and saying something about an isolated, decontextualised moment of my life. It wasn’t weird at all 🙂

    • It comes back to saying what you mean. Followers won’t always consistently follow (and for legitimate reasons). I follow too many blogs myself to keep up with every single post or find the time to comment. And those who followed me purely for the follow-back would be following so many people I’ll never be seen in their Reader. But ‘likes’ are different, just ‘like’ it if you mean it.

      The ayes have it.

    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to participate . Weirdly the experiment has either gone really well, or really badly. Not one fisher! The skeptic in me says it’s because my tags were probably unlikely search terms and while I did consider adding a whole heap of irrelevant tags, I wasn’t keen on proving dishonesty with dishonesty.

      I’m boring you. And rambling. Sorry.

      Going now.

      • My pleasure! You’re not boring me…I promise. I understand your skepticism I was like that when I first started blogging, like anything there is good and bad in everything. To be honest I have found the positive genuine ones outweigh the fishers. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and keep blogging…you’re very good! 🙂

      • Awww! Thank you for your kind words 😀 In terms of the positive genuine bloggers outweighing the fishers, I totally agree. Not only that, but the genuine positive ones are AWESOME.

  4. Is it really possible to like a post without reading it? I mean, I thought you could like it from your “feed” page (and sometimes the posts are small enough to fit into the feed) but other than that? Wow. But you can rest assured. When I click on “like”, it means “I really, really like it”. I don’t click if it’s ok or if it’s nice. Only when I think it’s really, really nice.

    The reason I do this is because I’ve been trying to fight with useless white lies tendency that I and most of the people I know have. Like saying “You look great” without meaning it, or “Yes, I enjoyed that book you recommended” without reading it, or liking posts/pictures because you feel you should. I’m forever afraid to offend someone but I really try either to tell the truth now or to keep silent and say nothing but not lie. Lies are not cool, even if they are small, and they do no favour to the person receiving them. Do you agree?

    • In answer to your first question. It IS possible (on WordPress) to like a post without reading it, but I wouldn’t advise it! You might be agreeing with something you don’t actually agree with or the ‘post’ itself might be awesome, but the topic might be morally repugnant. People who do this are hardcore fishers. They’re not interested in your site, only you taking a look at theirs.

      In answer to your last question. I personally like people to say what they mean and blog ‘likes’ are no different. But I don’t mean agressive, vindictive, anti-whatever ranting – just the calm simple truth. I say give the truth when you can!

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