Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Validation By Followers

Have you noticed that in the world of blogging there is a huge emphasis put on "followers"?

'Ooh, look how many followers she has!'

For some reason success or failure, happiness or discouragement, 'life or death' seems contingent on how many followers a blog has.

There are countless pleas out there on blog discussion groups:  "If you will follow me then I will follow you".  In other words, the numbers are stacked frequently by collusion and not necesssarily by sincere expression of approval or interest.  Mining for followers seems to be as much apart of blogging as actually coming up with ideas to write about.

I, myself, have stooped to the gathering process.  I have sent out invitations to unsuspecting friends, hoping that they will care enough to "follow" me.  I hope they realize that by following me, they are under absolutely no obligation to even check in on Ardith's Quest (though of course I hope they will).

So why do bloggers even care about their numbers?  Well, of course we all respond to curiosity and to persuasion.

 'Wow, this must be a good blog!  Look how many followers it has'

or 'I sure want to be in the popular crowd; it seems to be congregating here!'

Certainly if any money is to be made in the blogging world, the number of followers begins to hold more importance.  Large numbers naturally translate into clout, and clout leads to opportunity and reputability.

So every blogger must eventually ask themself:  Am I going to live or die by my numbers?

My answer (after much thought)?  No.  I am so flattered when someone shows a vote of support for me.  I love the validation I feel.  I recognize most of my followers probably felt backed into a corner to become my follower.  I'm sorry about that.  I hope they will continue to be interested. 

So if my humble numbers continue to climb a little?  Awesome!  Especially if they are harvested from genuine admirers; those are the best!


Sara said...

I follow your blog and read every post. Y? Not because I was ever asked to but because I love reading it. You often encourage me and lift me up. You tell it as it is from your side and that helps me in my world and helps me be the best I can be.. or at least strive to be! Thanks Ardith!

Ardith Haws said...

Sara, that was the kindest thing I've ever heard. Thank you for your sincere regard. I can tell it is genuine. Bless you!

Sara said...

You are more then welcome!

Unknown said...

Ardith - what's the point of writing a blog if no one reads it right?? Then I might as well just write a diary and keep it locked all the time : ). I am your partner in crime when you stooped for numbers - but the reward I got is awesome. You are right some are just ostentatious numbers but the ones who leave elaborate insightful comments are priceless. Love your thought!

Kim said...

Sometimes I feel like I am just writing for myself, but that's okay. I haven't ventured much into the "friend other bloggers" world more than people I know in person. I guess I should probably break out of my comfort zone.

I enjoy reading your blog and all my other friends as well. Sometimes it gives me insight, sometimes a smile, sometimes a good idea and sometimes a great recipe.

I love to comment on my friends blogs because I think comments are validating ~ someone is reading your blog and has had a thought that they want to share. I think that's great!

Keep going ~ your blog is uplifting and fun to read!

Patricia Lynne said...

I often wonder how many of my followers read the posts I write. I know a bunch were simple follow me and I'll follow back from FB or bloggers and that irks me. It's like they are just following to guilt trip me into following back so they can say 'oh look at my followers - but I have no comments because in reality no one really reads what I have to say.' I dunno, maybe in the end having silent followers who don't look at our content will mean something.