I wrote a post a while ago about my bewilderment at the attention a lot of people pay to the minutiae of stats. I’ve been running into lots of posts and comments about the many ways in which people obsess over their assumptions about why someone did or didn’t like or follow or unfollow, etc. I’m even more fascinated that there are now websites devoted to helping you track who unfollowed you.
I’m working on another post for the other blog examining the ways I see potential for spiritual practice applied to blogging and reading. My short mention here will be: I just don’t take it personally.
Lately I’ve been tweaking my subscriptions and changing some habits about blog reading. For a variety of reasons keeping up with all the blogs I follow has been a little overwhelming and I’ve been working on making it less of a burden and more fun.
As I tweak I’m giggling about all the assumptions people make about why people do what they do. Because I can see that my methodology looks mainly like madness and I defy anyone to try to discern a “why” just by noting what you can see from your stats or notifications. I figure lots of other people have a set of criteria equally crazy and baffling and that it’s pointless to try to figure it out.
As I noted in that older post, for me the bottom line–to the extent I pay attention at all– is how many people looked at my blog today and how many followers do I have? The numbers wax and wane and I don’t spend a minute trying to figure out why anyone did anything.
So here’s what I’ve been up to. I did actually stop following a few people. They posted 5-10 times a day, which drives me crazy, and never visited my blog in any way that I could easily discern [translate: I only know you’ve been here if you click “like” or make a comment].
For the ones I still follow, there are those I just love and whose posts I always read. Some of them write in genres other than mine (esp. travel and cooking) and clearly haven’t been interested in what I write (other blog is what they see). I read them every day even though I never get a like or a comment.
There are some bloggers I’ve followed for a long time and who once were regulars with the likes and comments but from whom I never hear any more. Unless I think they’re great, if I’m feeling bogged down I skip their posts. There are some I find uneven in the quality of their posts. If I’m feeling pressed I read the short amount that shows up in the reader and unless that really grabs I don’t read the whole post.
Among bloggers who post more than once a day, I vary. I find few people are stellar even daily (but there are some) and even fewer are good for more than one post a day. Again, there are a few for whom I read all posts — especially if they regularly stop in and leave a mark on my blog — but if I’m feeling pressed, I might only read one of the 2-3. Sometimes I read the one I come to first, sometimes if I’ve scrolled the Reader, I pick the one with the title I like best.
Some days, if I’m really overwhelmed with things to do, I may not read any posts or I may just skim and pick a tiny number.
I generally try to hit the like button only if I genuinely like the post. But there are some bloggers I love so much that I click like for just about everything I read. Sometimes I click like because the post has been up for quite a while and no one else has and I know it makes you feel better when someone does…
If someone new likes or comments or follows I always go take a look at their blog and try to find a post to “like”. If I really like the first post I land on I will usually read some more and I might even follow. But the fact that someone follows me is not a guarantee that I will follow back.
None of those rules are hard and fast and I quite often don’t do everything as discussed above.
So, okay, now do you want to try to make assumptions about why I liked your post or showed up as a stat but didn’t comment? Don’t you imagine most people have complicated patterns of reading, with their own criteria–most of which have nothing to do with you? Why does it matter to you? Or why doesn’t it?