Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Followers and The BlogRoll

I recently came across a blog that stated the "etiquette" of following. Apparently, if you get a new follower, you are supposed to immediately start following their blog regardless of whether it's on a subject you are interested in or not.

I have two problems with this (not necessarily in order of importance):

  1. It can be a pain to figure out who this new follower is. Google doesn't announce it to you, so unless the person left you a comment, you have to comb through the list and try to recognize who is new. This is especially hard when half your followers don't have profile pics.
  2. Does anyone realize how insanely full your RSS feed will get if you follow everyone you get? I mean, when I had five followers, no problem, but whenever I see someone with over a 100, I wonder. I "follow" about ten blogs, with about 15 or so more in my feed that I'm not "officially" following for various reasons, plus a few bookmarked ones that I check on occasion when I'm bored or need something specific. If I go a couple days without checking my feed, I can easily have 30 or more posts staring at me, awaiting my attention. So, should I clutter up my feed with blogs I may not want to read just to be polite?
All right, now that I've said all that and lost a few followers, I want to say it for the record: I'm not going to follow your blog just because you follow mine. I will check it out if you leave me a comment, and I might decide you rock and add my name to your fan club, but then again I might not. If this makes you not want to read my stuff, well, you obviously weren't that interested in the first place.

Moving on to the blogroll. I have decided it's about time I work on a little blog design, and this includes the blogroll I haven't changed since about two years ago. I may not be too into committing to following everyone, but I am happy to give you some promotion if you want it (and I don't find your blog offensive or against my own personal values). Feel free to leave me a comment here or send me an email if you'd like me to list your blog whenever I get around to fixing things around here. Hopefully that won't take another two years to complete.

13 sonar pings:

The Wifey said...

I follow blogs that interest me. I have done the uncool thing of not following all of the ones who follow me and lost followers because of it or unfollowing blogs because I wasn't interested anymore. But the ones I read I really like. That should be the important thing right?

Anonymous said...

ya know.... i'm not following you anymore cause you don't follow me.

just kidding. but seriously, that sounds like high school.

I agree, that not everybody who follows me, writes things that I too would like to follow and read their posts. It's not the end of the world, it's just a difference in tastes.

I also don't do a lot of things to encourage people to read my blog. I write what I know, what I love, and what interests me. Not to gain popularity. I for one am not trying to sell anything, and certainly not trying to get the most followers to make myself feel important.

end rant. lol

Mrs. 2nd Lieutenant said...

yea... i just found that out too, recently and... too much work? lol, first of all, i only have like 20 followers (which, honestly, is a surprise to me! :-p), and some of them don't even have blogs!

but the blogs i read are for a specific reason. i already spend WAY too much time on the internet, and don't need more "commitments."

luckily, not very many people care about my blog, so i'm not offending too many! just do what feels fine to you and people will get over it.

Anonymous said...

Huh. Interesting. I didn't know there was blog etiquette like that. I read the blogs that I like, comment when I feel led, and write on mine on occasion. I wouldn't want someone to follow me just because. I would hope that they like what I write.

Carrie Stuart said...

LOL, if you are wondering who your newest follower was, it's me...and only because I just decided to start following blogs at all...I hadn't ever "followed" any before last night...I just add the ones to my own personal blogrolls that I check out regularly, arranged so that the newest one pops to the top. I bookmark some others I check out from time to time (read: that one in ten times I will find something of interest, but not enough to spend time on every day) I prefer it this way (as opposed to the feed). But there were a couple of people who had made mention of the fact that "followers" were important to them, so I just thought, "What the heck" and followed everybody in my blogrolls. I wasn't aware of any etiquette, either...and steer clear of anything that reminds me of high school, anyway...so maybe I should have held out on the "following" thing?

Good luck figuring out all the rules, lol!

Ana said...

Lol, all this obsession with following reminds me a bit of how much everyone gets worked up how many friends they have on Facebook. When did blogging become some sort of popularity contest? I actually added the follower widget because I discovered I could change the name to something that fit in with my theme. I'm weird like that.

Keri said...

Anna, you know I am SO bad at commenting now (it's that whole 3 kids thing! lol) but I'm always reading along with you, and I have to chime in now because I've been thinking about this exact topic lately.

This is exactly the kind of thing that almost makes me want to quit blogging all together. I'm very seriously considering going private (you'd get an invite of course, if you wanted one). It's only the fact that my parents and grandma have my blog posts directly mailed to their inboxes (knowing that they'd never figure out how to do it any other way) that has kept me from it.

WHO CARES if someone decides to "follow" you or not? If they do, great! Maybe you've made a new friend in the blogshere. If not...you're going to delete them off your own list?? Really?? I agree with your other comments here- it reeks of high school pettiness. And it seems all of a sudden everyone is desperate to become the next MckMama. You can spot it a mile away.

I guess there's a whole explosion of Mommy-blogging right now and it's becoming lucrative for some...but personally, that's not what blogging is about to me. I'm not much interested in pages that are "all about the numbers" or into promotion, etc...

Here's a little story that illustrates my frustration at the direction blogging is taking perfectly:

A few weeks ago I submitted my name to a new military "blogroll" of sorts thinking it would be fun to meet a few new mil-spouse bloggers that I haven't run across before. I shared the link on my blog's Facebook page with my (360-some) "friends" there but was still DELETED off the blogroll by the end of the day because I wouldn't put the girl's blog button on my front page. If you look at my blog you can see I don't do buttons AT ALL. If I were to include every button of every person who's ever asked me to display one on my page it would be nothing but one giant spam-fest. (Not to mention, back when I used to do buttons and blogrolls on my personal page I'd have people with hurt feelings all the time because I included this one's, but not that one's...you get the picture. I couldn't keep up with it! I mean, at some point you don't have room left, ya know?)


It really left a bad taste in my mouth. Not keeping me up at night or anything. But really. It's ridiculous. It also bugged me that she then added a "disclaimer" of sorts insinuating that if you won't add her button then you aren't welcome because you're obviously more interested in adding subscription numbers than interacting with the community. Umm, I have 725 people subscribed to my blog already and sadly there's no way I can even keep up with all of them. I dont need help with any "numbers". Give me a break. I felt that little addendum was really uncalled for. (Not to mention it seemed a case of the pot calling the kettle black in my opinion.)

Used to be you'd ask people to share a button (or "follow", or add your name to a blogroll) if they felt so inclined, and they usually *would* if they genuinely liked what you had to share. Never heard of it being a requirement that absolutely had to be met or you'd be deleted off a page. Wow. Am I in the Twilight zone? ;)

[Next we'll be forcing people to "follow" us in order to enter our blog giveaways. Oh wait! That already happens now too! lol]

So I'm feeling very "over it" at the moment. I love my little group of regular commenters. I feel like I've made some friends and have so enjoyed the conversations blogging has opened up for me with women I have much in common with across the globe. But outside my little bubble? It seems I just can't relate anymore.

Jaded. That's the word for me right now. Boo.

Mrs. 2nd Lieutenant said...

ohno keri, don't go private - i love reading your blog! (lol and so does my mom. she's internet clueless, but will look through the ones i link to in my sidebar and is always talking about how much she loves your pictures - "you know the blog with the cool picture of the shoes at the top?")

Carrie Stuart said...

Really, you can change it? I'm SO going to think of something to change mine to...if I can come up with something Scottish and/or royal that's non-lame. It might take awhile.

Ana said...

I would totally want an invite if you go private, Keri. And I totally agree with all of what you said. I also steer clear of blog buttons. The only one I have is the site I contribute to. I don't like the cluttered look of so many blogs. It seems a requirement if you want to make money to have a cluttered, ugly blog, or be constantly doing giveaways and dubious product reviews. I did look into it at first, but I'm kind of a purist (snob, maybe?) about my writing, so I just said no. And MckMama, wow, that woman creeps me out a tad. I do wonder how her son will feel someday when he realizes his entire medical history is on the internet in intense detail.

And Carrie, it's not too hard to change the Follower tag. Just open the widget and there's a box for the title. You can change it there.

sues2u2 said...

Ya know its not just follower's etiquette, it's also how to write a blog that is floating around in the blogaverse! That one cracked me up. Um, shouldn't a blog be a personal extension of what you want it to be? Just saying...

antimony said...

How backwoods would I be if I admitted that I don't even know how to figure out if I have followers? (don't tell me how to do it though - the scared junior high student permanently lodged in my neuroses would feel slighted if I had none)

Not so Molly Mormon After-All said...

I totally agree...I am not sure if I follow you yet...but trust me when I say I know where to find you...