WordPress ‘Followers’: Fake News

Posted on August 13, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Occasionally I enjoy commenting on some aspect of blogging. These are usually thoughts I’ve carried around for a while, and am finally getting around to airing out.

Here, I want to look briefly at “followers” and why I regard it as “fake news.” “Fake news” refers to something entirely false, or something that’s not what it’s cracked up to be. In this case, the latter applies.

Bloggers are fond of noting milestones, and thank their readers for “100 followers,” “500 followers,” “1,000 followers,” or more. Currently, I am at 448 “followers” and say “Whoopty Doo!” In other words, I ain’t buying it, and neither should you.

I estimate that about 90 percent of “followers” never read what I post. Recently, I scanned my list of “followers” and realized there are about 400 I haven’t heard from (via a “like” or a comment) in at least a year. Also, whenever I read a blog from someone with 1,500 or 2,000 “followers,” I notice they may have only 250 likes and perhaps 60 comments. That’s nothing compared to overall number of “followers.”

So, what’s the reason for the huge discrepancy between “followers” and reads, “likes,” and comments?

It seems that “followers” fall into three categories. Category 1 is those loyal readers who read just about everything you post. This represents but a tiny portion of “followers.” Category 2 is those who once read something you wrote, legitimately appreciated it, and displayed their appreciation by “following” you. Until, they lost interest. But at least for a time they were sincere. This category represents a slightly larger percentage than Category 1.

Category 3 is the most sinister and largest in terms of number. These are those who “followed” you because they want to be “followed” in return so they can boast how many “followers” they have. This group is superficial and insincere, and the vast majority could care less about the things I write about, that is, Christian content.

I don’t know how you feel about it, but every time I get a new “follower,” I figuratively yawn and say, “Whatever. We’ll see.”

That’s my take on “followers”; what about you? Any thoughts? Always fun to kick “blogging things” around.