Friday, December 4, 2009

I don't follow

I've been messing around with my blogger account today and figuring out how to follow blogs and add them to a reader.  I've been geeking out like this for at least an hour (okay, maybe two hours.)  I tend to investigate all possible settings and gadgets, just to see what they do.

So I have a question.  I used to bookmark blogs that I read.  But now that I follow them, what is the deal?  Is it considered proper Blogger etiquette to follow someone if they are following your blog?  Because I really DO NOT WANT people to follow me just because I follow them.   It is just not necessary.  Please, please and pretty please don't do it.  I beg you.  Only follow me if you are truly interested in what I have to say.  It would feel disingenuous to me and why waste your own precious time?

And so, as I emerge from my two hour techno-trance,  my right brain is tired of being ignored.  Here is my No Follow plea in poetry form:

A limerick:
Please and please don't follow me
If I am not your cup of tea
Life is too brief
So don't be a thief
Stealing time from yourself, what folly!

The old classic:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Don't follow me
just cuz I follow you.

How much time, really?
Do not waste one waking breath
on scattering words

(Okay, maybe my right brain was just tired.)

Original depiction of fictional anthropomorphic rabbit from 

And another thing- 
Please don't feel obligated to leave a comment on my blog just because I have left a comment on yours.  Again, it is just not necessary.  Comment if you feel like commenting. That's it.  And feel free to read along and never, ever comment. That is perfectly fine too.

So does this go against some sort of blogging community rules?  Am I being an online social misfit?  I guess I don't care if I am.  It takes time and energy to write comments.  I don't want anyone to do it out of a sense of obligation, especially if what they are saying has no real meaning to them and they are just doing it to be nice.  Save your time and energy for things that really matter to you.  Engage in a comment conversation when you really are moved to do it. 

I have this whole sonnet in Middle English about commenting prepared....nah...I'll spare you.


Alice in Wonderland said...

I totally agree with you on this! Now this is something that has been bothering me for a while, why should I put my name down to follow someone if I know that I really won't be leaving any more comments? I have 120 followers, but I don't even know who half of them are...and I don't get that many comments back in return! I have thought about getting rid of some of the "dead-wood" that just hang around, not bothering to comment. And there is also the fact that I can't sit around writing to all these people everyday, so how do the people that have 400+ manage? It does get very confusing at times when I look through my blog list and think "Well I've never heard of this person before", so I go and take a look, and they are total strangers! Who are they? Now, as far as I know, blogging is not about how many people that you collect, that makes it sound scary!
But, I know that I would rather have a handful of people who wrote everyday than this whole list of people who don't bother to comment at all.
I totally love this post, and I am glad that I have, at long last, met someone who thinks the same as me! Very well done! I think I'd better follow you might just want to pay me a visit in return!

grasshopper said...

Hi Alice,

I agree definitely with you that it should not be about how many people you collect.

But I think we differ on the commenting aspect. I'm fine if someone enjoys reading but never leaves a comment. (See the little update on my post.) It is great when people are engaged enough to want to respond to what I say - and let's face it - it's a nice little ego boost. But I don't want people commenting under false pretenses.

It's like the chirpy, friendly greeting I get at Starbucks from the bright-eyed, college kids - "And how are YOU this morning?!" Do they really care? DO THEY?! I don't need that kind of forced pleasantness around here. Genuine interest and a real desire to communicate are most welcome.

So thank you for your REAL comment. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

grasshopper said...

It is so weird that you can't go back and modify your own comment...

The first line should say "I definitely agree with you..."

spldbch said...

I don't think you're going against any blogger etiquette -- I'm not even sure there is any such thing:-) I think people simply follow blogs they are interested in and comment when they have something to say.

Bobby said...

Kathy, you're not supposed to comment on your own Blog!!! What's wrong with you??? Don't you know anyting!!!

grasshopper said...

Hey little blogless Dad used to say "My blog, my rules!"

Okay he never said that, but I bet he would if he had a blog.

Hey, since Susan and Moe SUCK at blogging, maybe you can start a family blog that you all contribute to. You can have many people contribute to a single blog. I'll have my people call your people and we'll set it up.

See you soon!

Bobby said...

I'm not sure Dad knows what a blog is?

swallowtail said...

Etiquette, schemedicket... who cares? Your blog is your place!! (a quite cool place, I might add)

As I was cutting up some winter strawberries for breakfast, I found myself grinning and having conversation with you... I like your blog, and would I have found you if I hadn't noticed you in my "follow" place? Maybe, because I click on comments that I find I like on other blogs... I know enough about Life to know that some synchronistic things are going on constantly, so I probably would've ended up here, in this conversation, regardless!!!

Funny how even blogging includes some "housekeeping!" cleaning up the blogroll, etc! Which reminds me, I need to do the same!

I really appreciate this conversation: Of course each person's blog is their own personal expression, as are their comments. I use my "bookmarks" more than I use the blogroll, and I may make some changes there, bringing more active ones onto my list, etc.

And lastly... I could never leave a comment that I didn't "mean" as that would take too much energy! I seriously love this!

Bethany said...

Oh hell, whatabout how I feel obligated to post here because you are my bff and we started blogs around the same time and you were my first follower probably and you get me amazing presents (though not this year, I know I know, no exchanging, dammit. PS my Tivo subscription runs out NEXT year).
Uh yeah. Well first off, you are fucking hilarious with your poems. Thank you.
And you are a social misfit, so don't bother worrying about that.
But I think you are doing the blog thing just right. Follow who you want, don't follow just because you're followed. I think maybe you need to write a "Things I learned in kindergarden" list about this. Things I learned from blogging. It all applies to life too, no? Who do we follow? How do we follow. How do we handle being followed Etc...
I could psychoanalyze the hell out of your post (will do this when we talk on Sunday, unless you don't call)

But you can't control who follows you or if they get their feelings hurt because you don't follow them. It's all very confusing and I wish Ms Moon would come over here and give her two cents because she's got lots of followers and blogs on her blog list AND she comments on her comments and somehow manages to swing it all without getting angry or annoyed or hurting anyone's feelings. I am in awe of her.
But you know this, because you found her for me.
And you know I am in awe of you.
I like a nice balance. It's fun to have followers. But if they aren't ever really reading or commenting, what's the point really?
And I love having a mix of "real" friends and blog friends and aquantences (oh God, I can't spell, they need spell check here too) comment.
You're right though about having too many blogs to read. We shouldn't just read and comment so they will comment on ours. No one should feel obliged. Life is too short, time too precious.
I don't know.
I love you and am glad you said all this. I've been thinking a lot of it too. Though I feel a little differently than you (that's why I have more followers!).

Ms. Moon said...

See- I don't get the follower thing. I mean, let's face it, it's very exciting to get new followers but that very word bothers me. Makes me feel like a Jesus wannabe or something.
I try very hard to read the blogs of people who read and comment on my blog. But as we all know, there ain't enough time in the day to give everyone the time they may deserve. We have lives.
I use google reader to keep track of the blogs I read and I almost get physically ill these days when I find another blog to fall in love with and have to put it in my reader because dammit- another half a hour a week! At least!
And I don't sign up to follow other blogs. Not even my kids'. I don't know why. Okay, I am the "follower" of one blog and that's because she just kills me and she begged for followers and I said, "Okay. For you, I will."
And I do have that blog list on the side bar of my blog but I realize I need to update that. That seems like a courtesy to me. And also, a joy for those who want to find new blogs to read.
And I don't do those award things very often (if at all, especially if they're supposed to be passed on) and I don't do meme's because for me, it's not about any of that stuff. It's about what's in my heart that moment I write what I write and if I need to invent things to talk about, well then, I just don't need to post that day. I love the readers I have. I love to read their blogs. I love the comments I get. I love the little community we've become.
I'm never going to be Pioneer Woman and I know it. I'm just me. And if people find what I write interesting, great, I hope they come back and read more. And comment.
Look- if this whole thing becomes the fifth grade with popularity contests then I am not participating and I feel like that's how some of it is.
I just want to write and hopefully to be read and I want to read the blogs of people I find interesting and who make something in my heart resonate.
I obviously have a lot of thoughts about this and I could probably go on for days.
But thank-you, Ms. Grasshopper, for bring this up.
P.S. I like your poems.

Anonymous said...

I totally get what you are saying. If I like a blog I follow it. But If I read it I will try to leave a comment. Even if it is just to say Hello. But I don't worry too much about how many followers I have.

grasshopper said...

Swallowtail - you are right about following and commenting leading us to people we might not have connected with otherwise. That is how I've found most of the blogs I read. And "Etiquette, schemedicket"- yea!

Yes, there is a whole best friend clause in the fine print. You ARE obligated. Sorry. There's no way out of that. Just like I get to call you Beth and everyone else has to say Bethany.

Ha! I am a social misfit - you're right. That is why you like me. And yes, we will talk on Sunday.

Ms. Moon - Thanks for stopping by! I was actually thinking of putting another add-on to my post describing your blog and the great community of commenters there. There seems to be real and genuine conversations going on there and that is because YOU are so real and genuine with your blog and your readers.

I am not anti-comment or anti-follow. It just should be an organic and authentic experience like the one you have created on your blog. You are so generous with your time and yourself and that is why so many feel such a real connection to you. You've got quantity AND quality, baby!

Like Bethany, I am in awe of you too. Don't let yourself ever worry about followers or what their expectations might be. Give what you can give and save what you need for your own living.

Ms. Moon said...

Ah. Thank-you.

grasshopper said...

Thank you everyone for your feedback!

Anonymous said...

Love your poetry! I think I probably would have even liked the sonnet.

I practice mindful commenting (or something like that): I only comment when I am genuinely moved to do so and then I let it go. Truly no expectations or obligations from me. I am totally with you there!

I haven't become a follower of anyone yet, because the whole thing has seemed too complicated for my novice blogging self. I just remember blogs I like and go back to them when I get a chance. And that may not be in a very timely manner. Once I become a little more entrenched in the whole blogging world, I might just have to start "officially" following you though. Only because I really enjoy reading what you write.

grasshopper said...

Jennifer - mindful commenting - I like that!

You haven't become a follower of anyone yet - that's GOOD! Don't come over to the dark side. Run! Save yourself! It's not too late! Just keep doing it your way - don't get sucked into the blogging's too late for us...but there's still hope for you...