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.
Comment Spam Is Dangerous BS!
If you’ve ever wondered why comments on this site, and many other sites for that matter, are held for moderation by a site administrator, the simple answer is – comment spam, and the need to control it.
Without a doubt, comments are an important part of the mix for a technology site. Comments can spark discussion (always a good thing), allow a reader to present his/her point of view, share tech wisdom, or spread the word on a unique piece of software.
But, comments are not without their share of issues; with comment Spam, in my view, being a significant problem. Spam is virtually everywhere on the Internet. In your inbox, on Twitter and Facebook and other social networks, and so it’s not surprising that you’ll find Spam comments. Recently however, I’ve seen a major increase in the amount of comment Spam.
The following comment spam (full of praise – like many are), is just a small example of the type of nonsense Spam I deal with daily. (click on the screen capture to expand to original size – 1280 x 589).
Take a look at this one, and try to imagine the type of creep who would submit this as a comment.
Hard as it is to believe, there are many sites that rely only on a Spam filter to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Unfortunately, this complacency can lead to the posting of comment Spam that contains dangerous links. Links, which if followed, can lead to a malware site – guaranteeing a very painful experience. The comment shown above, for example, contains a number of malicious links.
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Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Software, spam, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)
Tagged as Bill Mullins, comment, compromised, dangerous, Firefox, links, NoScript, plug-in filter, spam, Tech Thoughts, websites, WordPress