Friday, June 18, 2010

The "Un" Post

Do any of you fellow bloggers ever un-follow blogs?

I recently went through and un-friended some people on Facebook. Not that these are bad people or anything like that, but I accepted almost any "friend request" back when I started using the site. (It was the mid-80's, if I remember correctly.)

After a while it was like "Yeah, [insert female name] was on the women's swim team at the college where I was on the men's team and seemed like a nice person, but she never actually said a word to me... ever. Since being a Facebook "friend," she hasn't contacted me or anything. I think she just wants to inflate the number of friends she has."

I refuse to be just a number!

Well, there were one or two un-friendings because I realized that I didn't particularly like the guys. I never should have added them in the first place, but after awhile it was painfully obvious that they were kind of d-bags.

Oh, and the nosy guy from work got the boot. I never have anything bad to say about my place of employment, but my heart is not into my job and my ultimate goal is to leave -- which I'm working on -- but don't need a nosy, gossipy dude to report on it.

There might have been a couple others for various reasons, but I think you get the picture now.

Anyhow, I suppose that I don't feel the need to have 9000 Facebook "friends" who mostly would qualify as "barely acquaintances," you know? I'd rather have a handful of true, genuine people who have authentic relationships with me.

Well, this relates to my little blogging world. (By "little," I mean "internationally-popular, uber successful and pretty much the single greatest blog to hit the world since the invention of
sliced bread.")

We all have followers, both active and lurkers (still hate the term...), and follow blogs ourselves. In a way, it is kind of like having Facebook friends. Some people want to have thousands. I'll take a few, loyal followers any day of the week. Twice on Sundays. (Never got the whole "twice on Sunday" expression, but the popular kids are using it and I'm trying to fit in, so let's roll with it.)

I don't know how, but I started following this one blog in particular... and I'm not sure if I want to continue doing so. See, this blogger has complained that no one follows them -- yes, I realize that the plural pronoun is grammatically incorrect in this instance, but I am committed to staying gender neutral for the sake of true anonymity -- yet they are adamant about not following others or leaving comments, etc.

I've learned that if you want active followers, you need to be an active follower yourself. I'm not saying that you need to go and leave "empty" comments (well, unless you want them in return...), but if you want people to actually read and leave conversational comments, you should probably do the same.

This other blogger wants to take without giving and I don't think things work out like that.

Does it take time and effort? Hell yeah. I probably spend too much time reading and commenting on blogs I follow. But the ones I keep up with are interesting and I happen to like interesting stuff. (Yeah, I'm weird like that.)

If I comment on your posts, you are doing something right. Keep doing it. ("He's kind of bossy.")

And if I'm commenting, it means I haven't un-followed you. The other day -- I love that term because it could be read as though there were only two days: the one and the other -- Wendy Ramer had mentioned that regular commenters become friends of sorts. I totally dig that.

In life, I'm most concerned with genuine relationships... even here in the blogosphere, which is only "kind of like" life. I'm really starting to appreciate the ones we form in this microcosm of ours.

So, uh, I just wanted to share that. Yeah.

16 comments:

  1. Yep, I've un-followed a blogger or two, but for me to do that there really has to be a strong reason. In these cases those were some people who wrote things I don't agree with in their posts - and I mean things I don't agree ethically and politically (either overly violent, disrespectful or aggressive people).
    When it comes to comments, it is true that people will leave comments at your blog only if you visit and comment on their posts too.
    My blog is a perfect example for that - I have around 4-5,000 thousand visitors every week but only fellow bloggers leave comments. The others are people around the net who read my blog due to its topic and subject, but don't leave comments.

    So, you are right when you say you have to build relationships even here. I do that with both those who comment (by going over to their blogs and commenting too) and with those who just read me (by putting in interesting stories which will attract people to come back) :)

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  2. I'm not on Facebook so I don't know exactly how it works, but as regards the bloggie world I totally agree with your views. I appreciate reciprocity; I read people's stuff , leave comments and expect them to do the same. I think it's basics. Of course, it takes a lot of time, but "where there's a will there's a way".

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  3. I'm a huge fan of this post - for many reasons.

    First of all - my roommate whom I adore to pieces is a tweetard. She LIVES on twitter. No joke - 19 hours a day. She now has 1500 "followers" and is focused on 2000. She just sprung her first single (white gal rapper) and honestly feels this is a fan base.

    I haven't the heart to tell her otherwise - best off letting someone be happy.

    There is no way on this planet that you could possibly keep up with commenting back when you are embattled in a numbers race. Social media is so useful when trying to network your ideas - and you are right....you have to be a good follower and follow back-er. (nice word huh)

    I have only un-followed a couple, as i don't like my mini feed being jammed up with the plights of strangers whom have nothing to say.

    sounds kind of harsh - and I may be slow at it - but I usually comment back on my blog to people that were kind enough to take the time out of their day to offer some insight. ( I did comment YOU back...PS) heehee

    Full time job - a roommate and a boyfriend who is home when i am - makes it hard to devote the time I would like to...but I try.

    You make a world of sense and i would love to be able to blog about this idea as well...but I have some feelings I need to spare. Kind of thinking of setting up a separate blog...but that's a whole other story.

    Anyhow, good job here - you said what i was thinking! Have a great weekend!!

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  4. ......OH

    And I love the side convos in brackets...I email like that...I think I may have to try adopting it into my own posts :)

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  5. I've unfollowed people both on blog and FB. I just don't need to follow people who are only in it for followers. That's not why I do it. I'm looking for friends. And on my blog, that's what I have, friends, not followers, I'm not a cult.

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  6. I agree with a lot of what you've said. I've followed a lot of blogs and after a while, stopped commenting on the ones where I felt like I was always commenting on theirs, and they never returned the favor.
    I always appreciate every effort people make to comment on my blog. I always comment back on their blogs. In my mind it's like a law.
    I haven't un-followed anyone. I think I should though--some people have signed up for my blog and clearly have no idea what I'm blogging about (they think it's a Christian blog about the bible or something, and it's not. It even says so under my blog title what it's about.)

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  7. i've kicking around some of the same issues. on facebook, i wish i had the guts to cull my 'friends' down to something more genuine. but i basically just exited facebook instead, quietly.

    there's just no way i could read blogs i didn't enjoy. and i've had it in mind to cull some alleged followers of my blog, and now i think i will. dead wood good for no one.

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  8. Hah! And even before I saw my name, I was thinking how much I agreed with you. Yes, commenting takes time (and thought), which is why I don't comment on all the however-many blogs I follow. At first, I followed out of obligation for those who chose to follow me. So now, instead of un-following them, I simply scroll the blogroll and go to the names I know will bring a smile to my face or make me think (if that's my mood). Thanks for doing both for me this very early morning. (3:04 am...I can't sleep!!!!)

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  9. To be honest, I never pay attention to numbers -- on Facebook or here. I pay attention to PEOPLE...what they're saying, etc. Anyone who gets caught up in sheer numbers is in this stuff for different reasons than we are, I think!

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  10. Tara's second comment is one of my favorite parts of your blog, the counter commentary you have with yourself.

    I think blogs are easier to un-follow because they are rarely people you know outside of the web. That said, I think it is more of a blow to the ego. This is you out there for all to read and someone choosing to stop actually means something.

    De-friending someone on FB usually can be chalked up to "oh I didn't really like/know them anyway" or "they know what they did" realizations. The nosy coworker is a little dangerous though, you still have to SEE them afterward.

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  11. What a coincidence that I was wondering about this yesterday. I wanted to start reviewing ALL of the blogs I am following, and to proceed to "un-follow" those with no activity shown for months. The "dead blogs", as I call them...hehehe

    Doris
    www.doris.socialworker.blogspot.com

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  12. Fabulous post. And yes...everyone here in Blogville seems to have their own idea of what's acceptable blog-etiquette. And how often they should post...and whether it's okay to post and never respond (anywhere) to comments. (It's not, imho.)

    I completely agree that it takes work! I strongly feel that if someone's willing to take the time to visit, read and comment...then the least I can do is reciprocate, dammit.

    And nothing's more irritating than a vague comment where you can tell they only read the first line. Um. Thanks? Buh-bye.

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  13. Hey guys! I pretty much stayed away from the computer all weekend, but I've read and re-read your comments this morning...

    Not sure if I have much to add. I mean, I think we've covered this pretty well. It is nice to know that I'm not alone in how I feel about this! :)

    Kathryn & Doris - Welcome to the Ducks! We always like seeing new faces. (Also, we like referring to ourselves in the third person.) Go ahead and make yourselves at home. I hope you like it here! :)

    Duta - Betty White summed up Facebook the best when she said "it sounds like a huge waste of time." That being said, it actually IS a way of keeping up with friends and family or reconnecting with others you might have lost touch with somewhere along the line.

    Thank you for the kind compliments, Dorn and Tara! Admittedly, all the "counter commentary" is something I employ fequently in email and that's where I've "stolen" it from. ;)

    Wendy, glad to be of help at 3:04 a.m.! That might become part of the Ducks' motto...

    Ducks Out Of A Row: For when you're having trouble sleeping!!

    (Eh, I should probably rethink that one...)

    Lydia - I know exactly what you mean, but am going to quickly employ it in something different than a blog context. There is nothing worse -- for me -- than being thought of as something completely than that which I am. If someone takes the time to get to know me and makes a judgement off that, it's one thing. But to only take a sliver and decide what I am? Rubs my fur all the wrong ways!

    Ed & Steph - Thanks for swinging by! The "numbers game" that some people seem play is one that I just don't understand. Yes, being social and connected are certainly good things, but without the real connection I just don't see the point.

    Piedmont - I would be the worst cult leader ever. ("I know cult leaders are supposed to be weird, but this guy keeps re-enacting that scene from The Lion King with his cat. Let's go join a more normal cult.") As such, it's probably for the best that I have a blog and not a cult.

    p.s. Periodically, I pick up the cat and hold her up, like when Rafiki (sp?) presents Simba to the world, and sing "Circle of Life" until she is clearly annoyed. Tweak Dog is just glad that she's not one of those "toy" dogs that are eaisly picked up! :)

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  14. Good post. Totally agree. I am not a presence in FB, much. As you say, blogging is work and I feel if someone is thoughtful enough to leave a comment on my post I need to check out their blog as well. Plus it's fun! I do feel I have 'met' an amazing community since beginning...

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  15. I could not agree with you DUTA. I used to have a FB but...FB has been brought to a whole new level these days. And to be honest I want no part of this. I see it as the people that matter most in my life have all of my contact information. Plus, look at all of the hate groups that are out on FB. Do not get me wrong though. There is a lot of good that FB can be utilized for however, that does not always take place. It is a fashion statement so to speak.

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