Since I’ve started posting on a regular basis I have really seen my followers grow in numbers. Nothing viral, mind you, but I’m quite happy with the growth at present. Thanks for everyone who’s following. I hope I don’t disappoint 😉
However, I have noticed two trends that I don’t particularly like. The first is spam-liking. What’s this, you ask? Have you ever noticed that sometimes you get likes on a post, but if you go to the stats page, there are no views registered?
Now you ask, why do you have a problem with that? Don’t you appreciate getting likes? Of course I do. If I log on and see that orange star in the menu bar my heart just about leaps with joy every time. But I don’t write this blog to get likes. I write it because I want people to read it. (Yeah, that’s very egotistical. I’ve read recently that blogging by its very nature is egotistical and narcissistic. Deny it if you want to, but you’re not blogging because you hope your blog will change the world. You want people to read your stuff!) If you like my stuff without actually reading it, you’re not doing me any favours. Thanks, by the way, for those of you who do read, like and comment on my pages and posts. I appreciate it.
But something I like even less is spam-followers. By my estimation about twenty percent of my followers are spam-followers. If you don’t know what that is, let me enlighten you.
There’s an online phenomenon known as viral blogging platforms. As far as I could ascertain with a quick web search this morning they are basically pyramid schemes. You pay a monthly subscription in exchange for a blog hosted on your own URL. Then you use that blog to shamelessly promote the scheme (they refer to themselves as “networks”). For every sucker that you entice to join the “network” you earn commission. Then they recruit further suckers, and so on, and so forth.
They all vehemently deny that they’re pyramid schemes, of course. Except that they solicit money without an actual product being sold, return on investment is dependant on recruiting others to join the scheme, and their CEOs all operate from countries that are known tax-havens – the definitive characteristics of a pyramid scheme.
I’ve been followed by a number of these blogs so far. They all tell the almost identical story of how they lie on the beach all day while the money pour into their account (tip for you guys: don’t tell the same story – it’s a dead giveaway!).
So what, you may say. Followers are followers, aren’t they? Wrong! These people follow indiscriminately. If they discover a new blog, they follow it. They don’t care what you’re writing. They don’t read your blog. They just hope to sucker you into their scheme so they can start earning commission. So, not only are they not reading my stuff, they’re trying to rip me off at the same time. As far as I’m concerned these people are the scourge of the blogosphere. If I could make them unfollow me I would.
Of course, there’s a second type of spam follower: people who follow you simply in the hope that you’ll follow back. Many of them, in my experience, promote some religion, or veganism, or something similar. Even if they’re not trying to exploit me, I still don’t like it.
(By the way, I do not follow indiscriminately. With every follow, like and comment I get, I click through to the blog involved and give it a once over. If I like it, I’ll tell you and I’ll follow. If I don’t, I won’t. But I’m not going to waste my time following a blog I’m not going to read – it’s not fair to either of us.)
On a related subject, my post on the broken spambot is still receiving all the spam comments on my site. I seem to have discovered a spam magnet (patent pending – this could make me rich!).
Below is a poll on spamming, if you haven’t taken it yet.
P.S. I promise my next post on spam will feature the canned meat treat.
Update: The first view, and subsequent follow, I received after posting this is yet another site that’s promoting some blog-to-get-rich-scheme. Only difference is this guy’s making money snowboarding instead of the beach. Proof that he didn’t even bother to read the post.