Less than 2 years ago I joined a Facebook group for bloggers. I joined because I wanted to get to know more bloggers and find new blogs to read.
However after joining the group I realised that I was never going to get what I wanted from this group. I had assumed it would be a group full of bloggers sharing blog posts and just chatting and helping each other out, something very chilled and laid back. But in reality the group was full of rules and regulations that had to be obeyed if you didn’t want to be removed from the group
Me being an optimist, I decided to stick around the group for maybe a month or so altogether. I never ended up posting anything other than my initial introduction and I eventually just left the group.
There were walls where you could leave links to your blog posts but in return you had to comment on x number of blog posts, the comments had to be x amount of words long and you had to click around the site x amount of times before leaving.
“…I would know that the views/comments I was getting weren’t genuine.”
As a person not even just a blogger I didn’t want to be regulated like that. What if the posts didn’t interest me or I didn’t have the chance to comment on everything? I knew that if I joined in I’d feel weird because I would know that the views/comments I was getting weren’t genuine.
On one of my previous blogs I used to get the most incredible comments. Strangers would take the time out of their day to read my words and if they liked or connected with it enough they would leave a comment sometimes paragraphs long. It wouldn’t feel the same knowing that someone left a comment because they had to.
I feel just the same way about Instagram pods and even follow trains on twitter. I’m not interested in following up to a couple hundred people in the name of ‘supporting other bloggers’ especially if their content doesn’t appeal to me. Also with follow trains not everyone follows back and the percentage of people that do probably aren’t going to read your blog because they only followed you to get their numbers up.
“…people get so caught up in the numbers game…”
I’m not going to pretend that I don’t care about followers, comment and views because let me tell you, I really do. But sometimes it just seems that people get so caught up in the numbers game that they are willing to accept this sort of robotic interaction, switching optional for obligatory and real for regulated.
For me none of it feels particularly good.
More followers isn’t better and more views isn’t better either. It’s like Seth Godin says ‘It’s not about more people, it’s about more of the right people’. That quote by Seth along with many others really resonates with me because 5000 followers might look good but if they don’t interact or support your work then you are better off with 50 followers that do.
“…we have to put ourselves into spaces where we’re obligated to interact with each other.”
As a blogger I often write about my life and share thoughts, it’s something that I do as a hobby and I enjoy it. Any interactions are a bonus but maybe I feel that way because because I don’t have the aim to become a full-time blogger.
Comment pods and all that sort of thing only really make me question us as a blogging community. Do we really have to set things up to get people to follow and comment? Is it really that bad that we have to put ourselves into spaces where we’re obligated to interact with each other.
There was once a time when we didn’t feel the need to do all of this, so what’s changed?
What matters to you more than the numbers?