Losing followers

It hurts.

Yesterday morning my simple sidebar stats told me that I had 2,211. When I blearily returned to the land of the living yesterday evening and sat down at the PC, I found an immense number of emails re posts I hadn’t seen, plus something like 6 of them notifying me of new followers. But when I looked at the stats again there on the sidebar, I had gained ONE.

This means that something like five people who had been following me had peremptorily stopped doing so.

I’ve always told myself that I don’t give a rat’s (_|_) about stats, and it’s true. But still, the knowledge that a (small) group of readers has had cause to cut and run is something that causes me to wring my hands. What did I do ? Was I maundering on too much about the talks I give from time to time ? Was it because I’m self-obsessed (shut up Steve !) ? Have I become stultifyingly boring ?

I have NO WISH that anyone attempt to give me an answer, I promise. I am merely expressing my disappointment aloud without need of a solution. Because there isn’t one, of course: you wonderful photog.s can just keep pumping out your beautiful images, and you cooks your wonderful recipes, and you writers your excellent stories, and you craftspeople your admirable objects …

We nothing-in-particular bloggers can rely only on our ability to be as interesting as possible.

And yesterday I wasn’t.

Impossible not to wonder if those people who find themselves listening to me as I harangue them about ATLMD and the writing of it might wish to do the cut-and-run themselves.

Hard not to become paranoid … Will do me best but.

122 responses to “Losing followers

  1. Maggie Wilson August 7, 2014 at 6:34 am

    It’s a tough one to get around. You are correct. There is no answer. And yet. It tweaks a bit when the counter stalls or heads backwards. But hey, there’s a thought – it’s like the stock market. There are highs and lows, but mostly the trend is upwards, yes?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. stvrsnbrgr August 7, 2014 at 6:38 am

    [I nodded off before I could comment on your narcissism…]

    Liked by 3 people

  3. huntmode August 7, 2014 at 6:40 am

    M.R. – your page says you’ve got 2,114, so you’ve gained followers again! Your best friend, Huntie! :)


  4. Jackie August 7, 2014 at 6:42 am

    WordPress has been really wonky lately. It may be WordPress malfunctioning yet again.


  5. sustainabilitea August 7, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Since at any given time about 3/4 of those don’t evrn read or respond and some are looking for business or who knows what, don’t worry , be happy. ;-). Likely those lost never participated anyway. The rest of us are still here.


    Liked by 2 people

    • M-R August 7, 2014 at 6:59 am

      You’re right, of course, Janet – it’s not something to WORRY about. But for a handful to piss off at the same time does seem to indicate that something’s awry.
      I may have to Study my Style. [grin]


  6. nonsmokingladybug August 7, 2014 at 6:56 am

    You know, sometimes less is more. I do have to admit that I started to follow blogs because they interested me at first and then, a few posts later, I found out that I must have been seriously intoxicated…or why else would I follow a blog that puts me a sleep and has nothing to offer -for me. I guess that’s our right as readers, but then, when we (the writers) find out somebody left…then we don’t like it at all. M-R..you can’t be everybody’s Darling and you know that (you are way to opinionated lol). You have a nice amount of followers and readers and they like you and adore you…screw the ones who left. It’s their loss not yours :-)


    • M-R August 7, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Now that’s the kind of language I can relate to, B !!! [grin]
      But it’s true, I am an opinionated person. Comes through, don’t it?! :-|
      Ah well, at least I can send myself up, knowing it. :-D


  7. eclecticalli August 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

    One thing to keep in mind… (which I remind myself of all the time)… there are plenty of follows that are actually spam-bots and spam-blogs… which may get filtered out and shut down. So, a “loss” of followers may not be a loss at all.
    One of the many challenges that I (try) to remind myself of a lot when I am paying more attention to the stats than I perhaps should.


  8. J.D. Gallagher August 7, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Some people just follow a blog in order to get a follow back. I used to follow people back all the time at first and then I stopped so they unfollowed me. See it as removing weeds from your garden so you are only left with flowers.

    Or the next time you see your stats starting to slide just say this Irish proverb out loud: ‘May your obituary be written in weasel’s piss.’

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Silver in the Barn August 7, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Janet’s absolutely right, M-R! And now I have to go check out Steve R. who wrote possibly the funniest comment I’ve ever read.


    • M-R August 7, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Steven Rosenberger is an amazing and delightful bloke, Barbara: I couldn’t do without his wry and sometimes scarifying comments – nor his heartfelt and totally genuine blog posts.


  10. gerard oosterman August 7, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Keep the stultifying stuff coming M-R. It is so much better than a dose of buttermilk or a shifter of Gin and Tonic.


  11. Leya August 7, 2014 at 7:27 am

    I’m with Janet, M.R. And – it might be WP too. I for one is not dropping off so easily even if you are opinionated. That’s one of the big reasons I’m your follower!


  12. Three Well Beings August 7, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Rather often I discover that WP has decided to drop someone on my behalf. :-) I just stop receiving notifications and then I go through “follow” all over again once I realize they were posting after all. I do wonder if my brain is rewiring in a new frantic pattern as I try to keep up with all the expectations that come with blogging. If I think at all about stats I just feel pressured! I enjoy every post, including ATLMD! You are refreshingly YOU, M-R.


    • M-R August 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

      It was just so … odd, Debra. Honestly and truly, stats are not something I think about; but the strangeness of all those advices followed by the single increment … just weird …


  13. eschudel August 7, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Don’t worry – I’m not going anywhere…not anywhere! Hee hee hee…


  14. fightingfatblogger August 7, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Well I won’t stop following M-R you can be sure of that. I reckon it’s those autobot things and people who follow for a follow back and then unfollow. I don’t have anything like your number of interested parties, I wonder how some blogs attract five figure followings. I’d rather people follow because they are interested and not follow if they are not… their loss :D


    • M-R August 7, 2014 at 10:45 am

      As to THAT, M … I’d estimate that about ¾ of my number are people from whom I have NEVER heard, and are there in order to facilitate their appending spam ! :-D


      • fightingfatblogger August 7, 2014 at 11:28 am

        I think some people read but don’t feel compelled to comment, I usually do… never could keep my mouth shut.

        I type fast and usually read while on my lap top so it’s easier to hammer out a comment but if I’m using my phone it’s hell on Earth to comment so I try to like a post and then find it again when I get to a lap top so I can comment. Maybe more and more people access blogs through their phones and tapping out a comment is just so much of a bind they don’t bother.

        This is why I keep on instilling in my students the need to communicate via other means than their mobile phones. I fear communication is going to die otherwise.


        • M-R August 7, 2014 at 11:32 am

          And I tend to agree – although without your personal knowledge of the subject …


          • fightingfatblogger August 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

            I also make my students write with a pen and paper, they think I have lost my mind. I get them to write each day about what they would change about college, their education, their lives… that gets them going alright :D

            The problem is most of them can’t take notes, if they don’t have a device in front of them they are at a loss and if they do have a device in front of them they are sidetracked. By the end of term they are glad they can take notes and write quickly. It really is a dying art… so sad.


            • M-R August 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

              I believe some would call it ‘progress’, M me old mate.
              Thank all the gods there are still some old-fashioned teachers like you still there.


              • fightingfatblogger August 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

                I love tech but I get frustrated when they can’t even take some notes in a class. I noticed my daughter’s hand writing was a bit messy about a year ago and I enrolled her (busy as she was) in some classes. She was so angry with me but went along anyway and she said to me yesterday on the phone “by the way mummy, someone complimented me on my lovely handwriting today… so thank you… as usual” haha. My son has gorgeous handwriting, I just think it’s because he’s artistic and he does write a lot, he likes to pen his lyrics and song ideas and poetry in his hard back note books which he stores in date order for when he’s famous and they’re worth a fortune :P


  15. marc bourbon August 7, 2014 at 8:58 am

    more than 2000 followers ! comment cela est il possible !


  16. bikerchick57 August 7, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I don’t look at stats AT ALL. Nope, I don’t. I will not wrap myself around those numbers. Do yourself a favor, MR, just look the other way.


  17. Sue Slaght August 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Having just read through all of the comments it seems M-R you have a very loyal following. I had to get a snack mid way to get through them. :)
    Yes followers will come and go and some are going because they just can’t manage all of the blogs they signed on for. Different folks are looking for different things in the blogosphere. I’m looking for conversation and interaction, others aren’t. I think I scare the quiet ones off. I’ve lost some along the way too M-R. I figure as long as the numbers are going up overall we must be doing something right. In summary ( finally I know)…you’re stuck with me that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. joannesisco August 7, 2014 at 10:42 am

    So many great comments. I have nothing clever to add :)


  19. helen meikle's scribblefest August 7, 2014 at 11:27 am

    See, it’s people like you who ensure I never look at my stats for fear of falling into deep and abiding depression. Over 2000? Holy cow! Bloody brilliant! Good for you! And don’t worry, Marilyn Armstrong says that stats are a moveable feast that WP plays with in off moments, like playing computer games during boring phone calls.


  20. Andrew August 7, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I explained my absence, ma’am. Please don’t be angry. Weren’t my fault, honest (blubs uncontrollably).


  21. restlessjo August 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Missed you, M-R! How was I to know you were snoozing your afternoons away instead of tackling that Inbox? :)
    Poor old sod!


  22. Master of Something Yet August 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    You have ten times the number of followers I do. What’s your problem again?


    • M-R August 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t think you would.
      I’m not concerned about the number of followers I have: I couldn’t care less.
      What I AM concerned about is that, apparently, five of them decided in some kind of joint action to jump ship.
      And I was commenting on that.


  23. Elaine @ foodbod August 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Well, it says 2219 today! Seems like you can’t hold them back!!! Maybe you needed to lose a few to make way for some new ones ☺️☺️ Either way, I resolve not to think about it when it happens to me, you win some, you lose some xx


  24. Paula August 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Hello M-R. I was sure I was following you, but right now while I was reading this post I noticed I wasn’t. How weird is that. It is very hard to track all the followers with such a huge number of readers. Many people stop blogging whatsoever and shut their blogs. I wouldn’t worry too much.


  25. hilarycustancegreen August 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    It’s not you, it’s them – us. We have all too many places to visit, internet and otherwise, and no time to go. So if you are going on holiday and don’t want to come back to 2000 emails I guess you could panic and unfollow everyone. But you have me hooked.


  26. Cindi August 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    And it’s up to 2221 now. (I scanned your comments quickly and think someone already mentioned that WordPress stats do randomly fluctuate; especially with so many followers I’d think yours would show a statistically bigger fluctuation. And yes, occasionally I’ll realize that someone I know I was following is no longer listed, so I have to follow ‘em again. But if someone has unfollowed you on purpose? The hell with ‘em. :))


  27. drapersmeadow4 August 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    M-R don’t change a THING…that’s what I love about you. As for WordPress…being Irish myself, I can smell blarney a mile away. I have observed certain (ahem) people that follow me only comment if there’s a long thread. I’ve also seen them on “many” other blogs just liking the heck out of everything. While there needs to be reciprocity. (Herein lies the problem) there also and, mostly, needs to be sincerity. And while I understand that not everyone always has the time to comment (myself included) a pattern of likers and commenters can definitely be seen. The people who truly “read” you will remain. :) ~Karen~


  28. bluebee August 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I don’t know if this will make you feel better or worse about the situation, M-R. I’ve noticed a problem with WordPress when reading blogs in Landscape mode on an iPad. If I try to sign out of WordPress, it ignores the fact that I’ve clicked on the Sign Out entry in the dropdown menu and instead activates the Follow button on the “You May Like” panel on the right of the screen. So this may be part of the problem. Rather than them opting out of your blog, it may be that they never intended to follow it in the first place. I have a number of new “followers” every now and then that never click like, leave a comment, etc, so I assume that they must be these “accidental” followers.


    • M-R August 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      It’s a suggestion, and that’s a fact, bb. However, I have more than a number of these – I have a shitload ! And I suggest that lost of people do, as well. It’s my opinion that there’s some benefit to ‘following’ in terms of being able to easily add spam comments; and thus there’s little likelihood of five dropping out on one day and three 48 hours later …
      But you have widened my horizons, and that’s a fact ! Thanks heaps ! :-)


  29. N. Netto August 11, 2014 at 9:19 am

    From someone who struggles to gain followers and doesn’t know what to do to attract more attention to his blog, Even though the net gain is only one, it’s one more in addition to your THOUSANDS of followers! That’s my aim. Even though I, too, don’t care so much about stats, there is still a nice feeling to see that you are writing to no-one. There is always a group of 5-6 bloggers who always read my stuff! Maybe I aim for higher numbers, but if I keep these 5-6 people always coming back, this is the baseline to keep writing!


    • M-R August 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

      I’m often asked about it, Wagner. I have NO IDEA, I promise you – and I can tell you that the majority of these people are those from whom I never, ever hear a single word ! MANY don’t have a site of their own. I am highly suspicious that they’re following me in order to facilitate spamming my site – because my spam numbers are appalling.
      But in regard to those who are genuine about liking to read what I post, I can tell you that they seem to enjoy my writing spontaneously and genuinely: that I write as I am and don’t give a shit about how anyone says I SHOULD be writing posts.
      In other words, I believe that at least part of the secret is to be yourself and let that shine through.
      Sorry if I appear to think I’m hot shit: I honestly don’t !!!


      • N. Netto August 11, 2014 at 10:25 am

        As you can see, I have a small operation going and I have, at the moment, over 200 spams from the last couple of weeks alone, so I know the feeling.

        I don’t particularly know how to write posts and my blog is chaotic at best. I don’t follow any pattern in my writing. Homebrew, politics, personal opinion, food, knitting… hehhehe…

        Yeah, that too… quite a few of my followers are empty sites or reblogging blogs. I am not sure how I feel about these blogs, that every single post are reblogs. These do facilitate spamming, I guess. Also, in my blog, I haven’t heard from 90% of the people who follow me. I try to comment as much as possible and stay present in the blogs I follow. It takes time and dedication, but reciprocation is almost non-existent.

        I often wonder, of the blogs that exist, how many of them actually have real people posting frequently, even if once a month. It’s difficult!

        You also mentioned about the award free thing. I agree with that too… It doesn’t mean anything anymore! As you mentioned, it’s not a competition! It’s just us trying to share a bit of ourselves and if a handful of people are happy to drop by and pay attention, that’s enough for me!


  30. Outlier Babe August 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Let’s see…THAT’s been said… and THAT… and THAT… hmm… yup. That pretty much covers it. So you’d think I would have stopped before I started this comment, but not me:

    After three years of blogging–well, I started on Blogger, and did stop posting for, I think, a year and a half–I have 80 followers. I recently learned less than 20 of these actually read some of my posts. About half read fairly often and comment. (And you are one of these–bless you!) Followers, of course, aren’t the point, but readers.

    I wish my pieces were more widely-read–I think some of them are quite good–but though I am, indeed, spitting into the online ocean, as my blog header says, that does not stop me from writing, for I cannot stop from writing. And I am sure that if most of your Followers left tonight, you would still be writing tomorrow.

    For you are a writer, as well.

    The difference being that, in your case, rather more people agree that you are ;)


    • M-R August 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Tell you what … I know for a fact that of even those I would call my ‘friends’ many don’t read my posts with anything like thoroughness. I have had them asking questions the answers to which lie further down in posts !
      They don’t read me because they think I’m a writer, but because I amuse them. It’s in my grouchy old nature to be wry and jocular, and I love to amuse people.
      (My book was something else: the only story I have to tell, and now I’ve told it …)
      I’ve learned to accept that I’m never going to be able to force thoroughness on readers who have lives to live and tons of other things to do – unlike me ! – and to simply appreciate that they do derive enjoyment, quite often. This kind of acceptance has come somewhat late in life to me ! :-)
      I do believe that what a shitload of people ‘follow’ is a blogger’s being absolutely direct and honest, and NEVER trying to be clever – at least without acknowledging it ! I send myself up because I deserve it, and they like that as part of the honesty.
      My saying this is not meant to be any kind of pointed hint, but simply my explanation of the growth of numbers. Honestly. [grin]


      • Outlier Babe August 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

        Agree 95%: In order to amuse and retain the kind of folk who write the kind of comments seen on your posts, you need the kind of writing chops with which your pen overfloweth.

        Being autistic, even high-end, I don’t understand hints at all, so even if that was intended as friendly advice, it was entirely wasted on me. I think my blog is honest, and sometimes funny even when I want it to be, but perhaps to others it appears I am trying too hard, or the blog is not personal enough, or…eh. Whatever. I write what I’m interested in and I (think I) know how to write, in the way I know how to write it. Maybe I’ll get better someday, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll get more readers someday, maybe I won’t. I’ll probably keep writing, on a blog or somewhere else, until I run out of things to write about.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Lignum Draco August 12, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Interesting. When I get an email notification saying you have visited my post, it lists 3 posts to check out, and this is one of them. Obviously you can’t do anything about it, but interesting.


    • M-R August 12, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Ah, so you’re another like me who doesn’t use the (ugh !) Reader, eh, LD ? When I did for a while, I ended up so confused that I nearly went bonkers.
      So I have email advices, too: and I never gave any thought to those three they list !
      How perceptive of yer …


  32. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. August 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    M-R, I know you said you didn’t need answers or suggestions but could the lowering of numbers of your followers be due to some deciding not to get an e-mail notice each time one of their followers posted a blog. I found myself in this category and going absolutely crazy with 4,000+ new messages each day. I’d gotten to the point I didn’t bother opening my e-mail because I could no longer sort through it. Finally, I turned the e-mail notification off in one simple flick of the button and have since cleaned up most of the e-mail (that’s taken almost 6 months).


    • M-R August 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      4,000+ ???? Christ, Sheri – how many blogs do/did you follow ???!! I will follow no more than 200, which keeps my email manageable (except when everyone decides to post at once).
      As to you suggestion, it would seem you might be right. I have decided that the coincidence of losing 5 on one day and 48 hours later another 3, when it had never happened before, is just a vagary of WP. There are so many of them … :-}
      Thanks very much, m’dear: you already have a very full plate, so your comment is MUCH appreciated !


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