Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being a Follower


As a blogger, have you ever felt the hurt of someone unfollowing your blog? If you’re like me, you felt rejected, unliked, and then guilty for feeling that way over something as “trivial” as a loss of a follower. Or at least I know many of my friends have felt this way of late. (I even see it on facebook statuses.) And I know I feel that way. I admit it.

Though it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have something interesting to say, I take it as such anyway. I automatically think it was something I said or didn’t do. I feel like I’ve let them down.

Though some people only follow blogs when they want to be notified of every new post, following a blog means something different to me.

When I click on that follow button it means, “I support you. I support this little space of internet you’ve made for yourself. It doesn’t mean I’ll get to reading you all the time, or comment all the time. Or that I expect you to be able to do the same for me either. But if time allows, I like to read what you have to say.”

Now I can’t get to all 483 blogs I follow, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support them. Just like I can’t talk to all my friends and acquaintances in a calendar year, I still care about them. Blogging friends are priceless. And it does hurt to lose one. I accept that. I wish I could visit and leave comments all the time, but I can’t and neither can any of us. But we support each other, are here for each other.


We need each other. We need to see the words “I support you” in action. Really, following in real life is not much different than following in the blog world.

Writing, trying to get published, and putting yourself out there is hard enough, blogging shouldn’t add to our wilting morale … but that’s just my opinion….

Q4U: What does following mean to you? (Feel free to disagree with me.)

49 comments:

  1. You said it. I REALLY wish I had time to go to all the blogs everyday, but rarely do I get to half of them in a week. But I try. I think that's all you can do.

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  2. I agree. When I become a follower it's because I've found a connection with that person in some way shape or form and I want to support them. It is hard to get to all of the blogs I follow but I do my best. And I feel the sting when someone unfollows but I try to accept that it probably isn't personal.

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  3. You've brought up a really good subject, Jackee. Like you, I try really hard to keep up, not leave anyone out, but there are only so many hours in the day. I do the best I can and hope for the best.

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  4. Ditto everything you said. :) I'm forcing myself to feel guilt or shame every so often when I lose a follower, because really, there are only so many hours in the day. I love your feelings on being a follower. :D

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  5. I agree with what you said. It's hard getting around to all the blogs out there, but following is a way of saying "I support you", even if the time for getting around to blogs is short.

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  6. i admit it hurts a little, but i never know who it is (even at 126, i can't keep track). plus i know that sometimes i've followed a blog thinking it will be relevant and then i realize that their subsequent posts don't resonate with me anymore. it's not personal. but i never un-follow a blogger i've connected with thru email or someone who comments frequently on my blog. those are the real friendships i've developed and i'll keep those. i feel kind of guilty when i can't comment on every blog i follow at least once a week, but there's only so much time to network.

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  7. I've felt the sting, but I don't worry about it anymore. There are many reasons someone could stop following. I try hard to keep up with the blogs I follow, but there are some that I started following that just aren't really my cup of tea. I haven't unfollowed any of them, but I don't read them anymore either. I figure there are some who feel that way about my blog too. It's okay. We just do the best we can. I appreciate the support you give to my blog!

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  8. I agree, following is supporting. I really wish I had time to comment on every post, but it's just impossible. There's not enough hours in the day.

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  9. I recently did a major purge in Google Reader b/c I was finding it hard to keep up with all the blogs I subsribe to. Obviously, I kept your blog in my rotation. Don't doubt your content- I think you are fantastic.

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  10. I'm totally with you on why I follow blogs. But I know not everyone feels the same way. When someone unfollows me, it hurts a little. But they may follow me for a different reason, and maybe that reason no longer applies, and that's okay.

    After all, I still have all my other awesome followers and followees. :)

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  11. I totally agree - it is about support each other - anyway that we can. And yeah, I love it when I see good track, or extra comments, or just a nice thumbs up from time to time!

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  12. I'm like you. I try to get too many/most/all periodically, and I have my core blogs I visit. But I support them all. They either followed me and/or they had something interesting to say.

    When someone unfollows it makes me a little sad too.

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  13. I love how you put it--"I support you."

    Yes, that's how I feel too.

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  14. So true. I agree with everything you said. I try to comment on as many blogs as I can but it's never enough. I support everyone I follow.

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  15. Awww you are just so lovely!!!!

    I have to admit I have a great fondness and loyalty to the very first few hardy souls who followed my silly blog when I started blogging. They're just beautiful!!!

    Followers are great!! I get all sorts!!! Some follow me and never comment, some don't have blogs but are able to follow?!? Most are lovely though and I've gotten to know a little bit more about the person behind the blogs a little bit!

    I've had (touch wood!!!) two bloggers unfollow me so far. One just deleted her blog completely. One followed me, left a comment and links to her blog then when I returned the comment (I was very nice!!!) she unfollowed! LOL!!!

    Oh but I'd be devastated if anymore left! LOL!! But I'm also finding it very hard keeping up with everyone's blogs - I tend to follow if bloggers follow me and so far I've not returned this complement to the last 8 or so bloggers who have recently followed me cos I really am struggling keeping up!! LOL!! But I hope to get to them soon.

    It's addictive!! and I'm rambling now!!

    Take care
    x

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  16. Simply by pressing the Follow button, I think you're right in that it shows support. I follow blogs both for raw information and because I feel a connection with someone. And sometimes I follow a blog that's just getting started, because people showed that support to me. Even if I don't get to everyone's posts, I truly appreciate and empathize with the act of maintaining a blog. It's a village :)

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  17. What a timely post - I lost a follower just today. I think I heard before there was some sort of limit on Blogger on the number of blogs you can follow. I don't know if that's true or not, but it helps take the sting away when someone unfollows, so I guess I'll just go on believing it. :)

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  18. I never noticed anyone unfollowing me before, until last week. Suddenly I went down by 2 in just a few hours ( I was just over the 600 mark, so it was obvious)...and I hadn't posted in 2 weeks (over holiday break). It didn't hurt my feelings, but it did make me worried. I worried and wondered if I'd hurt someone else's feelings. Maybe I didn't make it to their blog or visit them in a timely fashion and that upset them? I worry that sometimes someone with 100-ish or less followers doesn't realize how much harder it is to get around to hundreds of followers and those we follow. I hate the thought of hurting anyone else's feelings.
    That said, I only have so much time, and most of it needs to go to my family, pets and responsibilities. I hope everyone knows how much I adore them. I TRY SO HARD to get around and visit everyone, but it's a losing battle. I only do a blog post once/week, and the rest of the week I try and stop in a visit everyone else...it's impossible. I try to visit those who comment on my blog first, after that I scroll through my google reader and...well, I do what I can. *sigh*

    I will say this: I have never unfollowed anyone. (I'm not even sure how to do it) I love supporting my fellow bloggers, especially writers.

    Hugs,
    Lola

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  19. Oh, and by the way, when I 'lost' those 2 followers, I found out later that one was a friend who deleted her old blog because she switched to a new blog with her new nom de plume. So I hadn't lost one. A few hours later she re-followed w/ her new blog. So I worried for nothing.

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  20. YES! I totally agree! I feel connected to each of the blogs I follow and try to get to them as much as is possible!

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  21. I love this post! As writers, we tend to be on the sensitive side (mostly), and unfollowing is hard. Absolutely, most of us can't get to all of the blogs we support each day, but we should still bind together as the community we are.

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  22. I wonder why when someone unfollows, but I don't fret about it.
    And I love this supportive blogging community of writers! There's no way you can visit every single post of those you follow without hurting your own precious writing time, so I make sure I try to visit blogs a few times a week.

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  23. I actually hate that little follower widget thing or whatever it is. I wonder why I have it sometimes. In reality, I blog because I want to...not to get anyone to follow me. I love comments and I try to go to the blogs of people who comment because I love to be part of that conversation...you know, the writing: we-are-all-in-this-together conversation.

    I have sometimes wondered at the random unfollowing...but then I remember that there is no way that I can get to all of the blogs that I follow, let along comment on them all. If someone is trying to simplify their life by following less blogs, I have to cut them some slack.

    Interesting topic!

    Shelley

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  24. I also have felt the sting of being unfollowed. But I didn't let it bother me for long since I just like to assume that maybe that person deleted their blog account so they unfollowed everyone?
    regardless, there's no way i could get to all my followers blogs either, but when I have time, I like to go through them.
    I take the attitude that as long as blogging stays fun and I don't stress myself about doing too much, I'll keep doing it.

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  25. Following can be a complicated thing, can't it? I've no idea why someone would unfollow someone. It could be any reason, related or unrelated to the person who gets unfollowed. I really can't say.

    But I do agree with you that being a follower is saying "I support you". It's a lovely thing to do. I know that I'm always delighted when I log onto my blog and find a new follower that I can then look up and learn about. It's such a great way to make a friend and create another connection.

    Jai

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  26. I agree. When I follow a blog it means, "I support you."
    I never unfollow unless the blog owner stops posting for months and months and months without saying why. I assume they've abandoned their blog and I move on.

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  27. Yes it hurts to see that one less follower number. Silly as it seems, it still hurts. I have no way of knowing who unfollows me when it happens, or knowing why. I'd like to, but why? No reason. Just that little nagging thought of "Why?" I've had many people unfollow my blogs. Maybe sometimes I'm controversial in what I post? I maintain 3 blogs, and one day over the holidays each of them had one less follower LOL! I thought, Wow I really did something to make someone upset with me!!

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  28. When I follow someone I always leave a comment. I find it very strange when someone becomes a follower on my blog and never says a word. When someone new follows me I hop over and follow them and leave a comment, whether they left a comment on my post or not. I'll do that a few times, but if they never come to my blog or have any interaction with me I'll hang it up. But I don't think I've ever stopped following someone. I don't even know how to do that.

    When someone comments on a new post, I first go to their blog and comment on one of their posts then I reply to them via email if I can.

    I have to say blogging makes me feel less alone. I moved two years ago to a new state where I didn't really know anyone. My bloggy friends really made a huge difference in my life...

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  29. It's hard keeping up on all the beautiful blogs out in blogland. It's hard to know why some people follow, but never leave comments, some leave comments, but never follow, some stay, some go. It's hard not to take it personally but you have to try not to.

    If a person uses their dashboard in blogger to keep up with their favorite blogs, it does get challening keeping up with them when it starts getting too many in there.

    As long as you are happy and feel good about what you write ~ that's the most important thing I think!

    Happy Wednesday Jackee!
    Warm hug,
    xo Catherine

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  30. I couldn't agree with you more! Following shows support. We are all in this together. I've lost a few followers and I have wondered why, but I've realized I can't please everyone, so I move on.

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  31. Jackee,

    I completely understand what you mean. But I think it almost hurts me more when people follow and leave one comment and then I never hear from them again. I usually follow back if people follow me, so when it's a one-comment-see-you-later kind of thing, I feel a little used, like they were just following me to gain followers. *sigh* Complicated. :)

    But really, I can't talk, because lately I've been having a horrible time "keeping up." And sometimes I think I've followed a blog (and am excited to follow it) and then I can never find it in my google reader so it drops off my radar. Such is the manic life! We do the best we can, I guess. :)

    Amy

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  32. I love the photo. Ducklings are adorable.

    Maybe the followers who disappear are people who've decided they don't have time for blogging. I know I keep telling myself I don't, but I enjoy it too much to give it up.

    I know I lost two or three around the beginning of the year.

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  33. I think you've brought up a great point, Jackee. At first, for me, "following" someone only meant that I found their blog interesting and wanted to keep up with the information you posted. However, as I created online friendships, it became more than just a reading list.

    Personally, if the following is reciprocal, I treat it like a friendship: I try to read and comment as much as I can. "I support you" is putting it perfectly.

    However, others (i.e. agents' blogs), I tend to cut back and unfollow when my Google Reader's unread post count is perpetually in the thousands and I feel guilty every time I open it up.

    So it really depends. It definitely hurts when somebody unfollows you (I had several at the beginning of the year; they really stung), but I think it's less about what you post or don't post than about their time management.

    At least, that's what I tell myself to make myself feel better. :)

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  34. Well said Jackee! I know that sinking feeling when a follower is lost. I wonder what makes a person click on that unfollow button. I would have to be very bothered and upset to do that. I follow because I enjoy or connect with a blog. I have even followed one or two because they are just so damn pretty! I have found so many wonderful blogger friends. It is hard to get around to all the blogs, but I too try.

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  35. I wish I had time to comment on every blog I follow everytime a new post appears. But it is impossible. I try to limit my following to those blogs I feel a connection to, either as a writer in a similar genre or in life experience. And, yes, it does hurt if you lose one.

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  36. I agree with you. When I follow a blog, it's definitely supporting! I comment on very few posts, but I glance through many, many more. It's tough to keep up with so many. When you get up to as many followers as you have, losing one probably just means one of the ones you never noticed or never commented before deleted their account. :)

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  37. You can thank Michelle Gregory for sending me over here on a day I wasn't really blogs at all. I'm glad she did! :D

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  38. I know how you feel. I've had a couple of people unfollow me. I didn't know why. I've had to unfollow a couple of blogs, because they were not what I originally thought they would be, so I've been on both sides. I try to leave comments on most of the blogs I follow, but if I get several days behind, like I am this week, then I have to let the subject dictate whether I stop at a certain blog or not. I try to be a good blog follower.
    : )

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  39. I agree with your assessment of what following means but I have to admit I've unfollowed several blogs and have several others under consideration.

    Mostly they were blogs I shouldn't have followed in the first place. Either I did it because they followed me or I read one post and thought it was great...but after subsequent visits it became apparent it was too negative / political / religious / whatever.

    I hope no one is out there feeling bad because of it. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean thousands of others won't be delighted. In fact, I will NOT unfollow if I feel my defection will be noticed. If they only have 17 followers or are frequent visitors to my blog, I tough it out.

    I have lost several followers before, and I don't take it personally. Life is way too short.

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  40. Only a blog writer can truly understand how you feel. That little number on the blog dashboard means so much to me - out of all proportion to the importance of my blog. I've never unfollowed anyone. I sometimes don't visit too often but I feel that once I've made that commitment I'm there for the duration.

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  41. For me it means I support you. Sometimes I'm a regular and other times I only visit once in a while. I have only so much time. And it's probably not personal why someone unfollowed.

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  42. I like what you had to say and I totally agree. There are some blogs I read every time they post and others I read one in every 20 posts, but I follow because I like what they have to say and how they say it. It's hard to lose a follower, I always feel like maybe I've offended someone, but more often I try to tell myself that they just closed their account for one reason or another so it's not that they "stopped following" but they just don't have an account anymore, so it wasn't really their fault :)

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  43. hi miss jackee! i didnt ever know you could get unfollowed. when i got blogging i didnt think even 1 person could wanna be a follower for me and mostly i just hunted around and got to be a follower on ones i liked what they said. then whamo i got bunches of followers. for sure i do a email on a new follower saying thanks for being a follower and that i couldnt come at their blog much cause of school and lots of other stuff but for sure im gonna try when i got time. now ijust go at some blogs every day. what the most hard for me is getting round to the ones that do a new post every day. yikes its like i just did a comment. now im spacing out my visits so i could get at a blog maybe just only one time in a week but some i go at every day cause we got being more close friends. i love all my blogger friends and i hope they could know that.
    ...big hugs from lenny

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  44. "Supporting" is a perfect way to say it. I second that!

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  45. I agree, when I follow someone I do it as a show of support, I may not visit regularly but I figure they probably won't visit me regularly either; we only have so much time. But it does mean I'm fine with them adding me to their contact list when they need promotion and I hope they'd be okay with me doing that, too.

    It doesn't bother me much when someone unfollows, probably because its only happened a couple times. I have noticed lately that I'm getting a lot fewer new followers, and I wonder about that. I'm still visiting new blogs at the same rate and leaving comments, nothing has changed on my end. Odd.

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  46. I agree with what you say. I've never been "unfollowed" (to my knowledge) but I can see how it would hurt. Of course we can't get to everyone's blogs all the time, but following them is a nice show of support.

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  47. I so agree! I find I'm trying to get to everyone's blog, but I can't always, even though I really like them.

    When I follow someone, I do it because I want to support them. =)

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  48. I agree. It's definitely about support, even if I'm not always able to visit all the blogs I follow.

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  49. Hi Jackee,

    I'm visiting from the Sites to See posting. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was wondering if anyone felt the way I do about blogging and following others' blogs. Yes, following means supporting others. I don't get a chance to visit all of the blogs I follow. Although I do visit my favorites. It's tough because you just don't have time to visit everyone, and I hope people don't feel slighted because I don't visit often.

    Anyway, I invite you to visit my blogs. I have a devotional writing blog and a photography blog.

    Blessings,
    Judy

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