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Are We Not Supposed to Talk About This?

The email notification pops up: this new person (who you don’t know from Adam’s house cat) is now following your blog! You, the email encourages, might like their blog as much as they like yours—go see what they’re up to!
As instructed, I mosey on over to their blog site.
Sometimes the blog actually intersects with mine. I write about homelessness; they write about homelessness. I write about God; they write about God. Sometimes we have more randomness in common, such as my post about my church having more LGBTQ members than straight folks. With that post, I got “follows” by bloggers writing about coming out, etc.
When my perusing of the blog is finished, I give the blogger a “follow” right back—unless the blog is basically selling services, which I consider a fake “follow” and don’t reciprocate. I then proceed to my blogreader and update my settings to “notify me immediately” so I receive copies of the new blog’s posts (we’ll return to this later.)
After I’ve received posts for a while, I determine whether or not this blog actually interests me. Not whether the blog is good or bad, mind you, but whether I want to read it. Sometimes, even for interests we share, the blogger’s take just doesn’t appeal to me—there are a million ways to write about God and homelessness. If I decide the blog is not for me, I “unfollow.” I do not keep following but simply delete getting notices of the posts, which is an option: “following” a blog but not actually reading it.
Isn’t that odd?
Of course, you can individually visit blogs, checking the latest entries. But most of the blogs I run across are following a lot of other blogs. Daily flybys seem almost impossible.
So, here’s my question: how many bloggers “follow” blogs but never read them? Is it normal to use the “follow,” as it were, to garner followers, but that’s about it? Is this simply the way the blog business works—we support one another by trading “follows,” and if any of us is pursing a path where that’s important, we more or less have each other’s back? Is it something I shouldn’t find odd, much less talk about?
Oh, well. It’s really not a big deal. I am enamored with many of the blogs I follow, blogs I never would have found without their “follow” on my blog. (N.B. there is a downside to following these blogs: you grow to care about people you earlier could dismiss as folks you don’t know from Adam’s house cat).
In the end, what does it matter whether other bloggers are reading my posts or not? The important thing is, I’m reading their posts. And really, really enjoying them.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

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Comments (7)

  • Well, I for one read your blog, though I haven’t quite mastered the whole following thing. I do it the old fashioned way with bookmarks. I think this probably makes me a non-following sneaky blog-lurker (NFSBL). Also, Adam always struck me as the dog type. Maybe a Labrador.

  • I think a lot of people simply rush through “following” but I think you made a great point. Does it really matter if people “follow” you but don’t read you when you still enjoy blogging? It doesn’t bother me. I appreciate any follow, and I truly try to connect with those who also seem to be working hard at following in a trustful, rather than spamming, manner. But I’ve also had people think I “spammed” them because my blog wasn’t about the same topics my blog is about when that’s not the case. Just because I write about writing and reading, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy photography or travel blogs or any kind of blogs.
    ~SAT

  • Ellen, I can’t speak for others, but I follow a blog because I want to “bookmark” the blog because something about it appealed to me. I don’t yet know if it’s one I want to read a lot, but how will I find it again if I don’t click follow? I had assumed (yeah, you know how that word is formed) that a lot of people followed for that reason, but maybe that’s an idiosyncratic pattern?

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