I’ve been fascinated for a while now by posts I’ve seen in blogs and on Twitter in which people self-righteously tell us they’ve deleted a bunch of people they followed who didn’t follow them back. I think of it as the “Follow Me or Else” syndrome. I get kind of a kick out of it but I don’t actually care whether they keep following me or not, so I rarely obey.
On Twitter a lot of the folks who do this obviously follow me just so I’ll follow back and they can plaster my Tweet list with their sales pitches. Nothing else. Just sales pitches. Can’t get why they figure that would be appealing to me.
Same thing sometimes on WordPress. People follow or comment so they can sell their coaching business or their “sure-fire money-making” internet business. Why do they imagine I’d want my Reader filled with that crap?
There are others who follow me and fall into my complicated — and VERY subjective and erratic–system for deciding whether to follow.
My main blog is about my spiritual journey and, for the most part, I’m only interested in following other blogs on that topic or that are related to that topic. However, since I like travel in Italy and France and enjoy cooking and art there are random other blogs on those topics and others that I also follow.
Since most of those folks are not interested in spirituality they rarely follow me back. Don’t care. That’s their business. As long as I enjoy their posts, I’m indifferent about whether they read my stuff.
I respect everyone’s right to choose topics and interests and to read and/or follow only those things that interest them. As far as my blogs, my feeling is: if you like the content of my blog by all means follow. If you’re following just to get me to follow back, don’t hold your breath unless you’re blogging about your spiritual journey.*
Every blogger or Tweeter who follows me gets a look. If I’m interested in their content I follow back. If I’m not, I don’t. Simple.
Then there’s another complication. if someone follows me and regularly interacts via “likes” or comments, I will not only keep going back to read posts on their blog, I’m likely to eventually follow because I enjoy the interaction. If I’m not that crazy about the blog I’ll probably skip past most of their posts in the Reader…
What I won’t do is automatically follow someone just because they followed me. This stuff takes up way too much time. I’m not willing to add more time reading things that don’t interest me.
How do you feel about following? Do you have a “follow me back” policy? If so, why is that important to you? Do you follow only if you’re really interested? How do you feel about people who follow just so they can sell stuff or services?
* Another quirk is: regardless of topic, if it’s full of typos and grammatical and spelling errors or really bad writing, I probably won’t follow…