There are quite a few angles that I could take with this prompt. I think that I will talk about “followers” online (use of scare quotes intentional), since this seems to be what I think about recently when I consider the word follow.
But first, here is the song that was the impetus: I heard it on B107.3 after Singing In The Shower.
Following online is ubiquitous nowadays, with Twitter, Facebook, blogs that have a Follow capability, etc. It has spread to TuneIn Radio too, whose interface has changed to look like Twitter. In particular, my dashboard with the stations has a bar which says “8 Following / 0 Followers.” (On that, however, I would not expect to get any followers, nor am I clamoring for any on my TuneIn account!)
On a blog that I follow, Alien Aura’s Blog, she has written several posts about disparity of followers versus views. Essentially, she said that despite having nearly 600 followers, the number of hits she had was an order of magnitude less. As it turns out, there are ways to read the posts without actually visiting the site, such as using something like Bloglovin or viewing the post from the Reader on WordPress. This I would expect to be a small portion of the discrepancy, however.
Some of the comments in that post brought up people who might be spammers that follow, or people following you expecting you to follow them.
The Follow system of sites such as Twitter, WordPress, etc. is fundamentally different from the Friend system of Facebook. Networks can be directed (e.g. Twitter), where “A links to B” does not necessarily imply that “B links to A”, or undirected (e.g. Facebook), where if A and B have a link, the link is mutual. I would not expect, for example, celebrities that have Twitter feeds to be reciprocally following all of their followers.
My blog has about 190 followers through the WordPress interface, but my stats over this year have averaged 20 hits per day. I am not complaining about this, because I know there are some mitigating factors in the stats, such as reading it on a feed rather than my own page.
Not every follower is a Superfan Follower like I tend to be (e.g. Sunny-Side Up With Kristin And Lindsay, The Human Conditioner With Christopher And Bridget, my school’s sports teams, ShireiNU), because reading new posts from a person daily, particularly if they follow other blogs, can be cumbersome.
But, when I follow your blog or a feed, expect me to actually READ it on a regular basis if you post new material on a regular basis! I am likely to comment on or like most posts on any blog that I follow, assuming that these features are enabled. In this way, you know that I truly follow your blog.
If you follow my blog, I will certainly take a look at some of your posts, but please understand that I may not follow you back if your subject matter or writing style is not appealing to me. I do not want in the category “followers,” and yes, the scare quotes are intentional! Padding numbers is a dishonest practice, and does it really help you in the end?
Furthermore, most people have lives outside of blogging! Sometimes I think I have taken too long on individual posts during M.M.X.I.V., given that this is a hobby challenge!
Today is the one-hundred and thirty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes nineteen weeks and six days.
.היום ארבעה ושלושים יום, שהם ארבעה שבועות ושישה ימים לעומר
Today is the nineteenth day of the third round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes two weeks and five days.