There are any number of ways to measure success for those of us who write for the Internet. The number of daily readers seems to be the key criteria most often used as a yardstick. *
One would expect, that the addition of a substantial number of “followers” (the number of readers following blog posts and post comments), should impact a site’s number of daily reads/visits – in a positive way. I suspect that WordPress had that outcome in mind when, a year or so ago, it introduced a meshed WordPress follow system.
Ostensibly, there are some 8,000+ followers here – at least according to WordPress. And typically, this number bumps up at the rate of 10/12 daily.
Graphic: A slice of the Dash Board from today.
So happy days, yeah? Maybe not.
Despite the exposure which one would expect should be gained by an additional 8,000+ followers – the number of daily readers here has gone down and, continues on this downward trend. A curious state of affairs, no?
This is a quick post simply to fill in some blank time (a rare commodity around here) – so, I won’t get into the mathematics of this puzzler. Suffice it to say (for the moment), that something stinks here. The real stinker is – are these people real, imaginary, spammers/scammers – or, the real McCoy – a cybercriminal?
It’s illogical, at least to me, that a significant number of individuals would take the time to subscribe to a site and then, the majority mysteriously vanish – in most cases never to be heard from again. It’s kind of like throwing a party and nobody shows up.
I should point out that most new followers seem to have a WordPress connection – a blog, or a Gravatar. So, what’s underway here? What’s the scheme – or, is there one?
I’m more curious about this than I am confused. There’s not much to be confused about in terms of the mechanics. But, I’m more than a little confused at the lack of repeat visits from 8,000+ followers.
As Butch Cassidy remarked to the Sundance Kid, as they focused on their pursuers from a cliff top – “Who ARE these people”?
Me? I’m asking the same question.
Update: May 11, 2013.
Good friend (and very smart fellow) Michael Fisher, was kind enough to pass on the following link to an article – Beware the Followers Made of Spam – which proves beyond doubt, that this follower thing is not what it seems. It’s simply a new type of spam. The author has crafted a very funny article and still manages to make his point very cleverly. A highly recommended read.
A quick outtake on numbers: *
Numbers? Followers? It may surprise you to know that I have little or no interest, in either one. Numbers or followers, don’t make me a better IT professional. My self-esteem is not impacted by activity, or the lack of activity, on this site. I write here because it’s fun – as it should be.
You’ll not be surprised to know, I’m sure, that the pack that I hang with on the Net (almost all bloggers), hold a similar view. Despite a seemingly lack of concern for numbers, these bloggers run some of the most successful one person sites on the Web.
Tom Sanders SEO – A Bottom Feeding Specialist
Over the last 60 days or so, comment spam here has taken a huge jump. Not a big deal you might suppose – after all, with one or two clicks the damn stuff can be deleted. With 400 or more spam comments every day, I find that deletion is the only sane solution. Taking as little as 10 seconds to peruse each spam comment, would add roughly one hour of unproductive activity to an already full day.
So, the solution to this aggravation is simple enough (or, so it seems) – but, the downside to hitting the “Empty Spam” button is an increased risk of seemingly ignoring a reader’s comment which has been spam trapped. In terms of “blogging sins” – ignoring a reader’s comment, ranks well up on the list of grievous offenses.
The screen capture shown below (taken from my blog’s Dashboard several weeks ago), shows 259 spam comments awaiting moderation.
I have little doubt, that trapped within these fake comments (such as the one shown below), were bona fide readers’ comments which (as they normally do), would have expanded the scope of the relevant article. The power of reader comments to enhance, and round out an article, is a key feature of blogging in my estimation.
Which brings me to Tom Sanders (if that’s his real name). Tom is in the business of pissing people off. Tom, like so many of his competitors in the search engine optimization (SEO) business, is an unethical twit – a parasitic ignoramus who is content to feed off, and potentially damage, the works of others.
Sanders, and others like him, ignore the impact their SEO schemes (as illustrated in the following email dated October 13), are likely to have on web content providers. Slimy, sleazy practices, such as this, inevitably lead to an onslaught of spam email which the content provider is then forced to deal with.
Tom Sanders email@example.com to me (show details 6:32 AM (47 minutes ago)
Normally, I wouldn’t bother writing an article on what might be perceived to be a “so what” internal issue. Except, my good buddy Michael F., questioned me this morning as to whether I was knowingly rejecting his comments. Which, immediately raised the question – “how many other readers have encountered the same ‘rejection’ issue?”
If you have commented here, and then failed to receive an acknowledgement from me, please accept my apology. Tom Sanders (in reality, just another cyber criminal), and his leech-like SEO industry operatives, have created a bottleneck in the free flow of reader comments. Another obstacle to overcome – created by the marginal morons who slither through the Internet.
Just a passing note – There are bloggers (known to me), who regularly post “edited” spam comments passed off as legitimate comments. Sleeping with the enemy just about covers that. You (and you know who you are), need to give your head a shake.
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Filed under blogging, Comment Spam, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Opinion, Point of View, SEO, spam
Tagged as Bill Mullins, blogging sins, comment spam, content, fake, feed off, key feature, marginal morons, parasitic ignoramus, potentially damage, Tech Thoughts, Tom Sanders