I sense a disturbance in The Force

I got into blogging as a necessary evil. I knew nobody would ever find my books if I didn't have some kind of online presence. It's as good a reason as any to start a blog. It quickly became my favorite way of interacting online.

Bloggers go into it for all kinds of reasons. For some it is a journal, others want to share travel experiences, etc. There seems to be something different about it recently.

You know me, I'm always trying to figure out what things mean. Maybe I was a Wallstreet guru in a previous life. I love my blog for its own reasons, but some knowledge could help me with the main reason I started it in the first place.

My number of followers is accelerating. I tend to get one here and there, but recently they've been coming in droves. I fell in with other authors, book bloggers, reviewers, and writing gurus. Seems pretty natural, and I would expect other bloggers would gather with like minded people.

Lately, I'm getting bloggers that have nothing to do with books, reading, writing, or anything else you might expect. I've always gotten a few of these, but recently it became a noticeable amount. Here are some of the concepts of recent followers:

  • Building a dream house.
  • Church youth groups.
  • War in Afghanistan.
  • A plumbing business.
  • Several makeup businesses.
  • Several fashion bloggers.
  • News story of the day.

There are more, but you get the idea. It's pretty easy to guess the makeup and fashion folks wandered here because of Lisa Burton. I may even find her next look by visiting their sites on occasion. On the other hand, if Cover Girl or someone wants to offer her an endorsement deal, hit me up.

 

Many of these blogs don't have their sites completely set up. There is no “about” page, and in some cases there isn't even a first post. So why are brand new bloggers finding me? Did I use some magical word as a tag on one of my posts? (You know, because I'd like to do it again.)

 

I'd like to think I'm so popular that my books are drawing fans to follow my site, but I don't think that's what's going on.

 

I get the feeling that we've reached some kind of saturation point on social media. I've read at least one of you unfollowing people on Facebook because of all the political propaganda. (I agree and support you, by the way.) I always use the term “firehose” to describe Twitter, because my feed is like trying to drink from a firehose.

 

Social media of all kinds has influenced the network news. There is less reporting of facts, more opinion pieces, and much more celebrity stalking. I mention this, simply to note the power of social media. Bear with me, I'm freewriting this one.

 

Are people drifting to WordPress because they are tired of pictures of someone's new nose-ring? Are reporters starting blogs to get a voice in what must be a competitive market? Think of the “news story of the day” blogger. Maybe the networks don't want him, because they have to make time for a celebrity who showed up at a protest. Now that celeb is no more valuable than the other protestors, but since he was on Hollywood squares 25 years ago he gets 10 minutes.

 

I understand the businesses. WordPress is a simple format to use, and it's easy to make changes. Small business folk can use the mechanism to make wonderful websites. They can do things themselves that they used to pay people to do. But why are they following me? I'm unlikely to hire a plumber from seven states away.

 

Are people coming to WordPress to get out of the firehose of data on other sites? From my new followers, I see more seriousness than I would find on Twitter. Are they getting lost in those streams, and looking for a more positive experience?

 

I welcome everyone, and try to follow back those who might be remotely interesting, but I can't follow them all. Regular bloggers will understand this.

 

I'd like to think that we're all ready for a governor in our exhaust systems. Maybe everyone won't understand that one, so I'll say maybe we're ready for a filter. We've had years of “look at my doughnut” posts, and the world is ready to move past it.

 

I told you I sense a disturbance in The Force, I never promised to explain it. What do you think is happening? Are we evolving as far as social media is concerned? Could this foretell the next big thing we should jump on? What is the next big thing?

 

Let me hear it in the comments, now I have to go look at my physical mailbox. Maybe there is a check from Maybelline or someone waiting for me.

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59 Comments

Filed under Blogging

59 responses to “I sense a disturbance in The Force

  1. The same thing has been happening to me. I haven’t posted anything in some time now, but I keep getting people onto my site – especially for the post about my colonoscopy. Is everyone getting colonoscopies these days? I doubt it. I suspect it is a bot, that finds my site for no apparent reason, the people follow, but then several days later unfollow. My “Follower” numbers fluctuate up and down daily. It’s weird, whatever is happening. I like your theories better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s funny. I think we all have a post like that. My numbers flutter too, but they are growing. I just wonder if people are looking for something more substantial these days.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t been getting anything like this on WP, but I get things on twitter. Several obviously bogus accounts follow me every day. If I look at their account, they do nothing but retweet articles from the same website over and over. Oddly enough, I can usually spot them before even clicking on them, because their names don’t look like real names (how hard would it be to make a database of first and last names, you lazy slacker-spammers).

      I try to follow back every real person who follows me, and I used to get a bunch of F-list celebrities. They (or more likely some promotion company) would follow lots of people who would follow them back. Then, once they got to x thousand followers, they would unfollow everyone, so they looked “cool”, with thousands of followers, but only following 5 people themselves.

      So, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of these new blogs, once they’ve amassed follow-back followers, will suddenly change their format to be a promotional outlet for something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting theory. I think blogging like WordPress is slowly becoming a new way of reporting news. I’ve stumbled onto articles that I see on Yahoo and end up bringing me to a blog for that magazine, paper, or whatever. Facebook has definitely become saturated by a few big topics and I think their algorithm makes it that you have to work hard to get out of your bubble. They only show you want is related to what you already saw, which doesn’t sound that informative. Not sure about Twitter because that firehose thing means info goes really fast. Doing one pinned post in the morning takes the pressure off though. Weirdest thing is that I got flooded by retweets today and many of the retweeters were new faces that didn’t have anything to do with writing. Most of those ended up having nothing of their own too, so I wonder if bots are out in force over there.

    Going back to the original point, I think people are becoming disillusioned with what they deem mainstream media. Blogging is one of the forums taking its place. A reason for this could also be that people are starting to mistake opinions (a common thing in blogging) for researched facts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The more followers you get the more they will be outside your desirable follower group. Chalk it up to a general rise in followers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Was there a check from Maybeline? I get followed by similar, if not the same people, including the plumber, who I think is only three or four states away from me.
    I don’t know what it is. I know it’s enough that I can’t follow all those who follow me, and I sure can’t read it all.
    I don’t know what the future of blogging is. I now blog to blog, for the love of blogging and to have interaction with those I’ve come to call friend, or at least, blogging buddy. I’ve never developed a brand, although I suppose if I ever finish anything, some people might would read it. Although, I think my fiction is decidedly not what people are expecting.
    I love your firehouse metaphor from Twitter. I think the same. I need to whittle out lists there and use them, I get so overwhelmed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you find out let me know. If only I was able to write such a post “why am i getting so many people interested in my blog” what a great post that would be. Meanwhile if you want to share my link with your followers i would be continually grateful , FOR EVER”. ๐Ÿ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tell you what. I am trying to gather some questions for a segment I’m going to call “Dear Lisa.” Lisa the robot is going to read and answer the questions on her radio show. You can find my email address in the page here called Lisa Burton Radio. I will share your links if you send me a question. No promises what kind of answers she will give.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘follows’ come in bunches on my blog … I’ll get a bunch that are Christian blokes from East Asia, or ‘entrepreneur gurus’, or just WP templates … I reckon someone collated a whole lot of URL’s and sold them to whom-so-ever they could … that’s the only explanation I can think of for most of the less-than-obvious ones. I’m a lesbian shaman SF’F writer for goodness sake!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have had a ton of weirdness, too….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have found similar people following my blog. People from all walks of life are starting to follow me in droves. Sometimes it’s a mass following (they follow popular blogs) with the hopes to gain more followers. Although, it could be as simple as people finding your Macabre Macaroni intriguing.

    My philosophy is the more the merrier. I love WordPress and there’s so many new blogs popping up from news/journalistic/fashion professionals. I can’t follow everyone who follows me but I try to stay current on followers.

    Social media is the Pacific Ocean and each of us is a tiny dingy. But when you’re original and unique, word spreads and thus comes the followers.

    Say, you’ve gotta let me know if the beauty industry wants Lisa as their spokesperson. What a coup! Live off her royalties and put your feet up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I get some different people too. Social media can get nasty sometimes, that’s why I’ve been kind of missing from it for a while. I’ll wait to do too much till after the elections, and then maybe a while after that too. I wish everyone could just agree to disagree. No need for name-calling, bashing, etc.,

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A lot of the blogs might be coming from Blogger, because WordPress is more SEO friendly. Recently, I’ve heard of several bloggers making the switch. As you said, a blog is a fantastic resource for getting your “whatever” out there. More and more authors are finally setting up blogs, too, once they realize it’s power. Not sure if this answers your question or raised more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my research, and after gaining experience, I think WordPress is the best thing going. It easily applies to small business and other things. It could be that some new folks don’t understand that interaction is a key part of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I do agree that WordPress is the bees knees of platforms for ‘proper content’ blogs. I also use Blogger (Google) for my individual book blogs and they’re just basically the roliing ad and review archive shop window for people to find out what they’re about and get the freebie stuff when I can be bothered to do a spring clean for them.
    Blogs are the most cerebral form of social media I believe. You do still get ‘click junkies’ flitting in and out, never to be seen again, even if they did hit follow, but if someone’s connected with you because of the way you think, or likes your sense of humour, or has even read and liked your books (glory be when you get one of those!).
    But my mainstay readers and guests are bibliophiles and writers – like does attract like of course, and belonging to a community like RRBC throws any number of ‘friends you don’t know yet’ into your orbit. I seem to live a charmed online life – I rarely get any ‘duff’ connection, or trolls and some of the people I’ve met, and am still meeting, have gone on to become firm, lifelong friends, simply because you’re sharing yourself so fully at times and vice versa. Blogs are the quality end of online communication! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, Jan. The connection seems to be with like minded folks for certain. There’s no way of knowing until you check out other blogs, so some of that goes on. I’ve made some wonderful friends through blogging, and intend to keep doing it.

      Like

  12. Blogging, to me, is a more focused way of spreading your message, whether that be an aspiring writer or an entrepreneur. The most important thing is that the blog be focused on what it is, and appear consistently.

    Unfortunately, there are those who follow blogs in order to put their spam in your comments, so you do have to pay attention to who you allow to comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ve had the same thing happening to me, with a lot of new blog followers. A few are legit, and I’ve been intrigued enough to follow their blogs but there are others that are clearly just a bare bones platform. I haven’t had too many that are “out there” as far as categories but, like you, I can’t follow them all back. I’ve been selective in those I do and I’ve made a few new friends.
    Twitter, on the other hand is driving me nuts with the giveaway bots. I’m constantly pruning them from my stream! Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We are such video/auditory creatures. I think BookTubers are really cornering the current market. People want to know and the younger ones are Youtubing everything from how to change a tire to what books are similar to what they like. I’m investigating that avenue now. There will always be bloggers, people who like to write and read, but most long time readers are looking into other places to find books to read now. Blog reading is time consuming. It’s nice for us to maintain an audience, but I find myself putting less work effort into it and more into other avenues lately.

    Liked by 1 person

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