Targeted Following

All of us know that we get followers who are not really followers. They are trying to sell stuff.

This is getting worse, at least as far as my blog is concerned. Here are a few examples. I have not included links to their blogs, as I refuse to give them any publicity.

1) I write a post about acne in old age. It was a reblog from years ago, and I don’t have it any longer.

Next thing I know, I have two new followers. Neither of the blog names suggest anything remotely concerning selling, so I check them out.
One is selling ‘remedies’ for acne, and the other selling miracle cures for any skin complaint. These are 21st century snake oil salesmen.

2) I write a post about my wife having tests to see if she has breast cancer. I get an email from a new follower urging me to check out his site. It concerns the sale of some magical formula made from something like mushrooms. You can bet I spammed the blog comment they tried to leave too.

3) In my alphabet series, I wrote about how much I am disgusted by most forms of hunting, especially trophy hunting.
Tonight, I get a new ‘follower’ whose site is advertising the latest in telescopic sights for hunting rifles, slings to carry them with, and cases to keep them in.

This is the bad side of blogging, and I really don’t like it.

I won’t put ‘Followers’ on my list of things I don’t like though, as most of you are wonderful of course!

4000 And Counting

When I logged on to WordPress this morning, I discovered that I now have 4004 followers. Tipping over the 4000 mark is something to be remarked upon. After all, it is not so long ago that having 100 followers seemed to be an exciting but unlikely possibility. I last posted something like this to celebrate 3000 followers, and it hasn’t taken that long for the extra 1000 to appear.

So, thank you. Thanks to all those who have followed from the start and are still here, and thanks to all of those that joined just this week too. I hope I can keep your attention for longer than a few weeks. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to follow, leave comments and likes, and to engage with the wider community of bloggers.

But. Yes, there’s a ‘BUT’.

I really don’t need any more ‘fake followers’, thanks all the same. Those real estate agents in America who can guarantee to get me a house at knock-down prices in Illinois, or Nebraska. You are wasting your time. I live in England, which you failed to notice, as you didn’t actually pay any attention to my blog. And that Australian car spares company. You keep trying, but the fact that you don’t know I don’t even live in Australia makes me really angry! Then there are all the young ladies, trying to sell make-up and fashion items through their ‘affiliation links’. I am a 66 year old man. I don’t wear make up, and I have never bought a mango-coloured mini-dress, even if it is the ‘colour of summer’. If you actually read anything on my blog, you would know that, and could spend your time more wisely.

Authors. I like to support bloggers who write books, as anyone here can tell you. But if you ‘follow’ my blog by just adding numerous links to your new book or books, you will end up being flagged as a spammer. Be warned. The list goes on, unfortunately. App Developers. Whether or not you follow my blog, I promise you one thing for sure. I will NEVER buy or download your fantastic new App. Even if I really wanted to, I wouldn’t do it, out of principle. And to all you very religious people, who seem to reside mostly in the more remote parts of America, or in Nigeria. I respect your right to believe, I really do. But if you follow my blog with one mention of doomsday, or how your god will change my life, I will just delete the notification email.

At least most of those promising to make me a millionaire in two weeks seem to have abandoned me.

On the plus side, some of the new followers are fantastic people. They read the posts, comment, engage, and seem to really get the idea what blogging is all about. I hope to see them around for many years to come, as they enrich the experience of blogging. If my remarks have upset any prospective followers, I am sorry about that. It is nice to have 4000 followers, but I would exchange that impressive number for just 100 ‘real’ ones, any day of the week.

And while I am on the subject, two reminders. If you do not link your site to your Gravatar, or if you have not posted anything that I can read and comment on, then I am unable to thank you for following. And as I already follow over 100 other blogs, I am currently unable to follow anyone back, just at the moment. So please don’t expect me to. Or ask me to.

Blogging is not Twitter, and it is certainly not Facebook.

**Update** The first four notifications of ‘likes’ I got on this post were all from companies, not bloggers. And some of them didn’t even appear on the post, for some reason. That proves my point quite nicely.

Thanks again, and as always, best wishes to you all.