25 August 2011

Attention Hoppers!! *The Drive-By Follow*

**This is a blog that will be republished every once in a while to catch the attention of people who don't seem to be catching the idea of effective following or commenting. Names and websites have been blocked to protect the commenters, although I don't think they will even read this (though they might, who knows). I will add the repost dates in a paragraph at the end.

This blog is addressed to readers of a certain type. Some of them, in fact, are not readers; in fact, some of them won't even see this, because of the drive-by manner in which they visit my blog. You see, I like blog hops. I've met some great people through blog hops, and I'm glad to have met them. There is one nasty element to them though, one that is helpful, but nasty because of some of the people that participate.

You see, most ask you to follow another member of the hop, and typically suggest you leave a comment that you are a new follower so that the person knows that you are new, and can follow you back. Some of the members have been on the hop so long that new members receive a drive-by follow request- that is, "hi, I saw you on X hop, my website is Y, please follow!! [name]. For example:

Needless to say, the most that was said about my blog was that I have a great blog! Do they know what my blog is about? Person C assumed I would follow back with a preemptive thank you, as did person A. Person B gave me the option of feeling free to stop by and they even gave me their link, name, and website! As a note, none of these people integrated code to sign their name to a comment, which can be done. I admit to having done this, rather than just leaving a link, because blogger does allow you to use the code to do so. Rather, they all left a link, which can also be found with their name by the date. IF commenting from another site, that would be different, but these all actually did have links to their website with their name, I checked.

You see, the thing is, many of these comments can be found in my history. In fact, there was one I found from the same person on separate entries...after I was already following them!!! This leads me to believe they were not paying attention to the fact that I was actually reading their blogs and leaving them *thoughtful* comments. As a follower, this was disappointing. They were also disappointing me as a follower of my blogs, because after I left them thoughtful comments, all they could leave me were identical comments asking me to follow them. Thoughtful? No, they didn't even read, it appeared, even though I read and even commented. I went back to my comments, and apparently, they don't respond to comments either.

Another person did the same. The person came back and "followed" me from two different hops and invited me to their blog, same wording, format, and even including their url, twice. Just in case I, you know, missed it. There was a reason I wasn't following- their blog is of a type in which I'm not interested and I would not regularly read it.

You see, the thing is, there is a reason I don't follow some blogs. I'm not going to follow a blog I'm not interested in for the sake of that person having a large number of followers, and never read the blog. I like to be able to read the blogs I do follow, and I don't like my reader exploding with thousands of blogs each day. There are some blogs I actually do like to read. Those are the ones I follow, and I leave comments.

This is the way that following is meant to be done. You find blogs you like, and you keep up with them. You comment, and you build rapport with the blogs you are interested in. Running around blog hops is an easy way to find blogs you are interested in, but it's also an easy way to find commenters like those above, who only visit your blog because it's new to the hop, and the hop "says so".

It's really not fair to some bloggers, because for bloggers like me, it's not purely the number of followers that we care about, but the number of engaged followers- that is, the number of followers that actually care about and read the blog, those that come back and actually follow and read the blogs, and leave comments about the content, not just the first comment because a hop says so, then just hide the subsequent posts. Sure, I like having followers, but not if they really don't follow.

How many people will actually read this blog? How many people will actually notice? How many people in my audience will actually be engaged? This is what I care about. Going from blog to blog with spam comments "I found you here, please follow me!" will only gain you a number of readers that also only care about the number, or quantity, but not the quality.

Let's do a comparison to something else here. Let's make it something great. Let's say I give you 100 pieces of chocolate. GREAT!! Right? Now let's say it's just pictures of pieces of chocolate- not real chocolate. They'll still be there, and they still look like chocolate, but they don't do anything. They just imitate chocolate. Thus, they have no quality as chocolate. Is this as enticing? Is this as fulfilling? NO! No person I know wants imitation chocolate, they want the real thing. They want quality, even if the quantity is smaller- 1 piece of chocolate is better than 100 pictures.

The same is true of followers for me. 50 true followers, who actually care about my content, is better than 100 followers who never look at my blog. True, some of them are busy- they might interact with me over other forms of media such as twitter, and when I post an interesting blog, they might link to it; that's ok too. They interact. The ones I'm talking about look once, follow, ask me to follow, then never look or interact again.

I'll admit, I'm not the best blogger out there. I'll stand up for myself, there are worse. There are also other categories, if mine isn't the type that you're into. If you don't read, then obviously, my blog is not for you. There are picture blogs. I'm not a mom, so obviously, I will not be a mommy blogger, there are craploads of those too. I'm friends with some of them. Some are not my style, some are absolutely wonderful. I'm not really much of a cook, so I won't have recipes...you can probably find a blog completely made up of recipes. There are some blogs that just do giveaways....I don't know how, but they do. If you're a super coupon person, which I'm not, you can find that somewhere too. Some people have a twitter and blog based only on coupons. I am typically not into those either. Any interest, there's probably a blog for it.

If you're not into my blog, don't follow it, drop a basic "new follower, follow me" comment, and leave forever. It's usually not in good taste, and a lot of bloggers, unless they're looking only for followers, will put them in the spam queue. I'm starting to think this is what I'll have to do. I'd really like for people to like my blog and actually follow and read it, but if your heart's not into it, and you're not going to actually read it, there's no sense in trying to make me feel good by leaving a drive-by comment. In fact, drive-by comments make me feel ignored. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

In fact, I know I'm not the only one. I ran across an article the other day like this, and if I hadn't shut my computer down for the move, so that I could have carpet in my room, I'd quote it here, but I don't have a link, and I had linked to it through another site from another site. If I do run across it again, I'll bring back the link.

Please, think of the bloggers when you're reading a blog. In fact, I'll put it more bluntly- Do it. Think of the darn blogger, and what they want, instead of just dropping by and leaving your number. I'm not here to collect websites to visit. I'm writing because I want people to read. I would not sit here and type on my blog every day for no reason. I put myself into this. It's demeaning when people come in, drop their website, and leave, expecting me to come visit them. Sorry, but it's not going to happen.


Think about it.

25 August 2011,


Unknown said...

I agree with this. I enjoy getting new followers, but not as much as I enjoy actual comments. You know, the type that have anything to do with whatever I've just blogged about and indicate they've read it.

If I find a new blog in a blog hop, I will, on occasion follow. But if over a few weeks, I find that it's not really a fit for me, I'll just quietly unfollow. There are lots and lots of blog categories that don't interest me at all. I'm not that into Mummy Blogs that are ONLY about the kids. I'm not into craft blogs, tech blogs, fashion blogs. I prefer more eclectic blogs that give you an insight into the person. Those are the ones I end up sticking with.

I found you through a blog I love, rather than a blog hop. But it's new and I'm still 'getting to know you'. :)

I do hate those comments you're talking about though.

♥α§ђ£ε¥™♥ said...

And this is not at all a bad thing! I know the quiet unfollow, I've had to do it before, but not often because I usually link through a few first before following to get a feel for the follower. And quiet readers are better than simply ignoring altogether.

I definitely love the eclectic and lifestyle type blogs, because you really see the author themselves.

Maxabella said...

You know I agree with you 100%, Ashley. I'm glad you commented on my 'snap' post because I don't think we've met before. I think it's hilarious that you're an honourary Aussie, complete with spelling... it so often goes the other way!


MultipleMum said...

This is the topic of the week! And while you are all at it, how about having a go at the blogs who ONLY blog hop and when you pop over to visit they have absolutely no content? It is too much for me! x
PS I am Maxabella's sister. There is another one of us too (see if you can spot her!).

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