Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Unfollowing

There was a time when I stalked my own blog. I would check it, check it again, reload it, click away, click back, etc. I wanted more followers on my blog, and I thought I could unlock some secret code for finding more followers. Maybe it involved not paying attention - you know, a watched blog never boils, right? Maybe it involved following more people on their blogs. Maybe it had something to do with that pesky SEO acronym.

Well, whatever the magic bullet is, I never quite figured it out. But I have acquired a few more followers over time. I certainly would never put myself in the "big leagues" but I'm at the point now where I'm comfortable just writing, getting things off my chest, and making personal connections (well, as personal as a person can be when I've never met them, spoke to them in person, or have any specific knowledge that they're not a serial killer).

I used to get hung up when someone would "unfollow" me. I wondered, Wait!! HEY!!!! Did I piss you off? Did I say something offensive? Or am I boring? Haven't I been posting enough? Or too much?

Then I thought about it, and I realized that I "unfollow" people all the time. My Google Reader changes every week. I will stop following a blog for any number of reasons - content, number of posts, my personal time, my own likes and dislikes - but none of the reasons are personal. Only ONCE have I intentionally unfollowed someone because they made me angry, and trust me: they knew it. Now, if someone unfollows me, I don't sweat it. I know my writing style can't appeal to everyone nor should it. And maybe someone followed me after reading a post I wrote on a good day, that was unfortunately followed by a bunch of bad days. You know I have them - c'mon, don't try to kid me. But, I am wondering, am I taking this too lightly? When I unfollow someone's blog, am I committing a major internet faux-pas? Have I crossed a line in the cyberworld sand that I'm unaware of?

What do you think? Does it bug you when people quit following your blog?

16 comments:

Foursons said...

I have written numerous posts about people unfollowing me. It drives me crazy. I'm waiting until I get to the point that I don't worry about it, but I am still at the point where my number of followers directly relates to my self esteem. :D

McVal said...

I'm at the point where I'm suddenly wondering... did I say puke, vomit or pick nose too many times?? Why did I lose 2 followers in as many days? But then I gained a couple new ones back. I'm almost afraid to unfriend someone anymore!!! I don't want to spin someone into a depression!

Bridgett said...

I don't pay attention anymore, but I did for a long time. What I'm noticing now is that I don't get the number of comments that I used to--but I hear in person (like at my parish) about how many people are reading and liking my blog. Then say something! I want to tell them....ah well.

Anti-Supermom said...

It stabs me right in the heart :)

Seriously, it's such a pain to actually go into your dashboard, manage it and actually unfollow someone that I think 'what the heck - it's easier just to hide a blog.'

So yes, it drives me nuts. This is the first week I haven't lost a follower in a while :) Must be the Christmas spirit.

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.com said...

Oh, it TOTALLY bothers me...but I'm overly sensitive like that. Plus, i only have like, 3 followers, so any exit is huge. ;o)

Jennifer said...

Oh no, are you going to unfollow me?! :( I do wonder if I did something to offend someone if my nubmers drop, but whatever. And even though I do have a giveaway right now to get over 100 followers, I would rather have readers than followers. I know that all the people that follow do not necessairly read, which I think is kind of weird. If I follow, I read. If I don't read I unfollow and take it out so I don't have to look at it.

The Old Geezer said...

Thank you for some very insightful blogging tips. I only started my blog about 9 weeks ago and I'll take all the advise I can get.

God bless you and have a wonderful New Year

Momlissa said...

I have to admit, it does bug me. I'll see my # of followers fluctuate and think "Ok, I must have said something to piss them off." For the most part, I don't worry about it too much as I know I can't appeal to everyone. I wonder if many of the "followers" even read my blog, so I try not to think about it too much. Sometimes I forget anyone even reads it. lol. I do that with Facebook as well. I'll have lots of people in my daily life say "Oh yeah, did you have fun at such and such" and I forget that people don't always comment on status updates, but they do read them.

Gigi said...

So far (knock on wood) no one has unfollowed me (that I'm aware of); and I've unfollowed one person after agonizing over it. I still run across her on other blogs and feel that stab of guilt. It wasn't personal; or because of anything she said. I just wasn't into what she had to say; although she seemed very nice. From that I learned to "lurk" When I come across a blog I think I might like - I'll lurk for a while before making a commitment - 'cause I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

Jen said...

It does bother me a little bit. I used to bother me more. I try to think of it just like you said, my interests changes so I change what I read and so does other people. But I would just like to know that. I wish that we someone unfollowed a blog they had to state a reason. I think that that would be nice.

Frogs in my formula said...

I honestly don't notice anymore. It used to bother me, because I'd feel like I'd done something wrong, but there are lots of reasons to unfollow someone (like you mentioned). Blogging is a lot more enjoyable if you don't think too much about what people think--which of course is easier said than done!

Emily said...

I'm with you...I change around some too. When I follow and unfollow all the time, it's hard to get hung up on people who do that to me. That being said, if you ever stop reading me...J/K! :)

Kathy said...

I don't worry too much about it, but I did just email a faithful reader to ask where he's been. I missed his visits. He said he was way busy lately. I hope I didn't cross the line and get all stalkery with him. But I did want him to know his comments always cracked me up and his absence was noticed.

Jana said...

Followers or not, I like talking to myself.... so will keep blogging no matter what LOL

soubriquet said...

Unfollow? That's a new concept to me. I don't "follow" anyone, but I've got a lot of blogs bookmarked.
Jana, there, sums it up for me, I blog because I blog, if people read it and comment, and say nice things, i like that, but if they read it, mutter "Meh!"or "Bleh!", and wander off never to return, I'm not in the least bit hurt.

I think there's a lot of angst over "Followers" and "Lurkers" that's unneccessary.
I go places, read, and have no need to comment, maybe it's already been said,maybe I have no strong feelings either way. Does that make me a lurker?

However... the business of bloglinks.... Do I add people to my sidebar if they link to me? What if I don't really like their blog? If I revise my sidebar and trim the links will people think it a personal insult? will they cry?
That's the bit that gives me angst, so I tend not to have lots of links, for fear of unintended offence.

Swizz said...

I know this post is older and I'm just getting around to it, but I'm feelin' ya!

Except I don't really have any followers so there's no one to lose. In fact, I took the "followers" off of my blog so I wouldn't have to see it.

ANd those other rules, about not lurking and such...who REALLLY cares? Not me! I'd LOVE someone to lurk. It would mean they care enough to read what I wrote.

All in all, the reason I started a blog was to put it out there. What others do with it shouldn't be why I do what I do.

And getting followers just to have high numbers? It's like those people who get their kids into a good preschool just so they can go to a good private school just so they can get into a good college just so they can get a job making lots of money. Too much pressure. Isn't there a point where good enough is good enough?

Okay, this was a post and not a comment. Sorry!