Monday, September 27, 2010

i'm sorry, did i hurt your feelings?

you guys wouldn't stop following, right?

i'm having a bit of a blog crisis. and by crisis, i mean minor issue. (c'mon, exaggeration makes things sound better).

i'd like your advice actually. especially fellow bloggers.

see that little box on the right? come fly with me is where the followers of this blog live. i am hugely chuffed that people follow this blog. when i see that number go up, i smile. and in a funny way, i feel as though it validates all the crazy words you can find here.

that said, i am thinking about getting rid of the 'follow' gadget.

there are a few reasons but it's safe to say the thought process started last week when four (FOUR!!!) followers stopped...ahhhh...following me.

it felt awful.

all i could think is that i had upset someone, written something they were offended by or, worse, had been consistently boring the hell out of them over time.

what i know is, the reality is probably much less dramatic.

what i also know is, even if someone was bored and/or offended, i must learn to accept that because this is my blog with my words and i shouldn't second guess it.

but anyway, that's not the reason i am thinking of booting the follow tool. it was the catalyst for the thought, but there's more to it.

the whole following concept, in my opinion, is (in many cases at least) manufactured popularity. to reiterate, i am stoked people choose to click camelshoes's follow button. but i am quite confident plenty of those followers don't actually read camelshoes. and if you're reading this, i guess i am not talking about you, so that gets me off any potential offending :)

don't get me wrong. i know we're all busy. i often find it hard to sit down and catch up on the blogs i truly enjoy reading too. and i am in no way suggesting followers should read every single post. but do you ever get the feeling people follow you just so you'll follow them back? great trick, i'm sure, but i don't want to play that game.

on the other side of the coin, there are a lot of people who follow camelshoes in the legitimate sense. people who i know and love in the real world. people like this mean the world to camelshoes yet they're not captured by some 'follow' button.

i guess the number in that corner is unlikely to be an accurate indication of who really follows camelshoes. there might be 50 followers, there might be 500, but i will guarantee there aren't 105* (or, in week-old language, 109).

so, get rid of the icon.
yeh, but i don't want to lose those who stumble across camelshoes and would like to stay. well, stop caring about 'unfollowers'. you don't even know them. yeh, but i am kind of neurotic.

help! what are your thoughts on the follow concept?

ever had a similar confidence hit?

got a winning solution?

*a warm welcome and thank you to lazarus who became follower 106 while this blog was sitting in drafts. i certainly needed the confidence boost :)


Megan Leslianne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alexis said...

i had the same problem a little while ago. i decided to take the followers widget off my blog. that being said, i took it off because i use wordpress and the widget was no longer performing the function i wanted it to, which was to automatically put my feed in people's google readers. and like you, every time i could see that someone had unfollowed, it drove me nuts. so i took it off. but in reality, when i want to subscribe to someone's blog, i look for the follow button first.

sorry, i just realized i didn't really help at all. just know you're not alone.

what if summer... said...

I know I get a lot of people following me who just want me to follow them back. I give them a chance, but if their blog bores me to tears then I will stop following it. When I lose followers it hurts my feelings, but the people who comment and give me feedback are more valuable to me than the number of people who follow me. I sometimes wish I could just have 10 followers and count on them to comment like they already do. Popularity doesn't guarantee a meaningful connection to anyone.


jprp said...

wow! I probably think about this issue almost every time I log in to my blog! It never crossed my mind to remove the gadget. Like you, loosing "followers", much like facebook "friends" hurts, and makes me ask why, on the other hand, theres probably only five or so of my "followers" that actually ever comment. My blog, in the end, is for me and (though I'd be very disheartened) I'd probably still update it even if I had no followers at all. I think (??) that you view your blog in the same way, so really, however many people follow it or stop, doesnt really matter in the big scheme of things, if the follow gadget annoys/ hurts you, get rid of it... after all this is your little piece of the world where you can do what you wish!

hmmm, i'm rambling!when all i really want to say is that i'm a very loyal camelshoes reader and would be here to see every new post whether i could follow you or not :)

jprp said...

btw, I meet people all the time who say "I read your blog" and none of them "follow" me.... so I guess it's a fairly pointless gadget to have :)

Melissa@Suger Coat It said...

I go a little batty about the follow/un-follow thing. You and I have lamented this before.

And now I say, do whatever works. Add a subscribe button if you wish or let people use the follow on the toolbar.

Just make sure people can find their way back to this wonderful place if they wish.

Megan Leslianne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McGriddle Pants said...

I feel the same way. Apparently half my real life friends read my blog, but NONE of them "follow" me.

However, keep in mind that at the top of your blog page, there is a "follow" link that people can still click on. Right up there next to "share" "report abuse" and "next blog>"

So you'll still get followers, even if you remove your box!

Just remember we love you, and ignore the numbers! Write for YOU and no one else :)

E. said...

Like you I actually wonder how many people who follow me read my blog. I currently have 52 followers. I have seen that number go down a few times and it makes me a little... sad I guess.

It's really weird though because I don't know many of my followers in real life so it's not like I actually have a realtionship with them.

I think perhaps I just want approval or acceptance or validation. Maybe I should get out more...?

kate said...

can't tell you how much i apprecaite these comments. kind of quashes that 'unfollowed' feeling.

and i didn't know you could follow without the follow icon so i think that's the solution.

@megan thank you. you totally summed it up. and you didn't miss that bit of the post. neurotic me felt like i didn't wrap the post up sufficiently and added that part after your first comment.

@E. it's about validation for me in many ways too. i don't like that, but i can't deny it.

but then, as @mcgriddle pants and @jprp say, i often have people i know mention something about my blog and i didn't even realise they read it.

once again, thanks for the feedback. you've all totally helped me out xx

Miss Ruby said...

I don't have a followers button on my blog - if people want to follow they will follow but I don't need to see that number go up and down, after all I write for me, no one else, the fact that I have readers and followers is just an added bonus, one that I may add I'm very grateful for.

For the record - you now have another follower ;-)


Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love said...

I love following blogs so that my list of wonderful blogs is kept safe on my blogger dashboard. If my computer ever decided to 'die' like it has before & I lost all my 'favourites lists' then I would still have my blog list available!

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