Thursday, April 2, 2009

So let's talk gadgets.


Almost every blogger I know has one of those follower thinga-majiggies. And almost every blogger I know has complained about them.
"I'm thoroughly depressed today; I lost three followers. Oh me oh my."
Don't get me wrong - I totally get it. Really. Nobody likes it when you publicly become less popular. We immediately wonder why. Was it something I said? Someone I offended? Do I smell bad? Am I fat?
Which is precisely why I don't have a followers gadet. As IF I needed another reason to be self-conscious. I really - REALLY - don't want to know how many people like me.
Really.
So why is it that Blogger insists on telling me? Every time I sign in, there is a big fat "35 Followers" next to my name. Cool that it's growing.
Not cool that they tell me.
Because I know a secret. Statcounter.com tells me that I get over 200 visitors a day - with as many as 400 page views. So what does Low Self Esteem Becky think, instead of rejoicing over my fan club?

Only ten percent of my audience is willing to publicly admit that they read me. I must suck.
And people, PLEASE don't follow me just because of this post. Like, seriously. I would die of mortification. This is not a campaign for more fans. This is a desperate plea for IGNORANCE. (It really is bliss.)
The other gadget I want to pick on today is YOU, Mr. Live Traffic Feed.
Whenever I visit a blog with this gadget, I get nervous. It's like discovering a hidden video camera in the house of the people you baby-sit. You're not doing anything wrong, but you suddenly become paranoid. ("Sorry I took so long reading your archives! I swear I'm not a freaky stalker or anything ... I'll just scoot on out then ....")
Also, it becomes problematic when I want to check out the blogs of boys I used to date to see if their wives are prettier than me. (Hi! How are ya?!)
Lurking thoroughly and completely loses its advantages with this gadget. And I can't hide behind some generic city in Utah. When your gadget says you've had a visitor from Jundiai, Brazil, I might as well give you a sticker with "BECKY WAS HERE!" on it. Anonyminity can be a fabulous word.
Of course, there's always the "Michael Jordan's photo of the day" gadget - now THAT might tempt me.
(*And I would like to publicly scorn blogger.com for not understanding the "enter" key. How hard is it to double space?!)

46 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I think that is pretty common with the amount of comments vs. amount of hits.

On any given day, I notice that I probably only get about 1/5th to 1/6th the amount of comments to the amount of hits I get, and I've talked to other bloggers who say the same thing.

And I HATE the Followers widget. I wish I could turn it off from my view too!

Becky said...

I agree. Except I do have a follower widget because sadly, my bloggy self esteem used to rely on it. Now it's at the bottom of the page and I rarely see it.

And you're not fat.

JustRandi said...

I think the follower thing is interesting... but I had to make up my mind early on that I wasn't going to obsess about it every time I lost a follower.


Also, did you know there's a opt out option on Feejit? There's a place you can tell it not to publish your address. I do that.

Deb said...

I use the followers, but I don't have a counter. So as far as I know, only 3-10 people have ever read my blog.

Kazzy said...

Yeah, comments to hits is always a small ratio. The followers thingy is fun because it has introduced me to other people and their blogs, but I could live without it, I guess.

Abra said...

I like my followers gadget - perhaps it's because no one has quit me yet :)
This post reminds me of the friends list in facecrack I lost a friend the other day and for the life of me, when I scrolled through my list, I couldn't remember who the heck it was - so it must not have been a very good friend is all I have to say!!!

janel said...

Luckily I can hide behind my generic Utah city and think "Wow, Becky sure is a great writer. I wish I could think of something clever to comment on about her great posts." Instead I opt for lazy lurker. Admiring lurker, that is.
(Thanks for your warm fuzzy comment. That one's getting SAVED. For a bad day, you know. Or the next "pregnancy" query I get.)

Annette Lyon said...

Here's my theory--if the widget is in a sidebar, I'm likely to click on it and follow. If it's not, I'll still subscribe in my reader, but it won't even occur to me to officially follow.

I don't even remember if I'm a follower here--but you're on my reader.

LisAway said...

Would you believe me if I told you that I read your opening about how you don't have the follower gadget up and I went straight into my profile to see if I'd added you? And then I found that I hadn't and THAT's why I did it, and not to make you feel better or mortify you? :) The blogs I follow IS my blogroll so I need you on there.

I took that widget off my blog a month or two ago. I mean, some of the people who were my "followers" hadn't visited more than a couple of times months ago, and some of my favorite readers don't follow at all! Plus I hate the number on there. I found ONE blog where it doesn't have the number of followers displayed, and I loved that. I might put the widget back up if it didn't have that. Or I might not.

Lara said...

I really resisted adding the follwers gadget, but I decided to do it to make it easier for people to add my blog to their reader. When you don't have it, it's a little more difficult to figure out how to follow a blog. I bet if you put it up you'd get a ton right away. But, don't do it if you don't want to.

I think it's silly when people blog about losing followers. Seriously. I know it's upsetting, but you have no idea why the person stopped following. Maybe they never actually used their dashboard or google reader. Following is a benefit to the reader not the blogger. :)

And I hate the live feed too! For all the reasons you said. Sometimes it makes me not want to visit a blog. I'm cool knowing that there are stat counters and such, but the whole world doesn't see it!

Rocketgirl said...

Um, I don't "follow" you because I already read you on my Google Reader - that's where most people read their blogs, so we don't need to "follow" on Blogger. I just checked for you - and it says that you have 146 Google RSS subscribers. I can't explain what that means because I don't understand technology myself, jsut feel ubergood about your popular self:)

Melissa P said...

I only have 7 followers, mostly family and close friends. I don't really care since I use my blog for personal use. The live traffic feed, I don't get. I have one but I don't understand it. I've considered taking it off. I don't follow you but I love your blog.

Heather of the EO said...

I didn't even know you could "follow a blog" if they didn't have the widget thingy on their page...I'm so clueless. I follow that way because I'm lazy. But if someone doesn't have one, I know how to easily add them to my reader.

I don't know if I like it that I can know part of someone's stats (and that people can know mine) with the followers thing. I mean, it's never the whole picture, but it gives me an idea when I come to a new blog. If they have 574 followers, I don't like that it effects how I look at the blog, does that make sense? You know "Oh, this must be really good." When maybe I'd just like to make my own conclusions. Maybe that's dumb...

templework said...

I love to see the flags in my Feedjit!
Pure and simple - it's neat to see where people come from
(of course - I have noticed that many Google on in - by accident! I'm sure! LOL)

Have you ever bothered to click the various Feedjit links???

You can go into 'Watch in Real Time' and REMOVE your stats (geez I hate giving these SECRECTS/NOT, away...)

also
click OPTIONS and you can turn Feedjit OFF so that your IP doesn't register/show when you visit

The REALLY FUN javascript is the one that recognizes a visitor's IP and calls them by their Username
but
I save that one for my message boards

smile

Actually - the stats/counters you SEE are not the ones you should be worried about...

There is no such thing as a free lunch (blog/website) our service providers all have bills to pay.

So maybe - we just need to relax a little and enjoy the variety of flags and faces that visit our boards
and
not take them too seriously

janae said...

Ditto to the one above. I don't follow because I subscribe on Google Reader as well. I wish you could turn the follower count off as well! We're already so obsessed with how many people visit and how many comments we get, the last thing we need to know is that someone STOPPED following!! (Unless they did it to subscribe instead. Then it wouldn't be so bad. :)

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I have a stat counter and yet I still have no idea how you people get all that information from that! I'm just not very tech savvy and can't figure it out. My husband enjoys that feejit thing because he likes to see where people are coming from, even if it is a random google click. Maybe it will help me to learn the flags of foreign countries?! It's pretty easy to not get too worried about that sort of thing when you're as clueless as I am! ;o)

Fig said...

I also hate both those gadgets. Strongly dislike them, anyway. I ignore the followers as much as possible, and try to ignore that live traffic feed box too. Dumb thing.

I'm not quite as conspicuous as you are, but most of the folks I blogstalk don't know anyone in Tulsa. So I'm pretty obvious too.

The Prices said...

If it makes you feel better, I only have 7 followers. It may also make you feel better to know that I don't follow anyone's blog, just cause I've never bothered to click the follow this blog link because it really doesn't change anything.

Becca said...

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I don't follow blogs. I do read them, and comment on them (especially when I have a teething baby that just wants to hang out in my lap).

As for rocketgirl's comment -> I am one of those 146! I choose to follow people's feeds because I can prioritize reading them. And you should feel lucky you are in category #2 (right behind family exclusively and they never post, so that's practically category #1!)

And, I agree about the visitor log thing, I mean I have a thing that lets me know how many lurkers I have/get a day, but seeing it there for everyone that happens upon my blog to see how scary! Is it paranoid to admit, I avoid those blogs?

kristi said...

I look at a lot of peoples blog, but I have NEVER clicked the "Follower" button. I think I only have like 3 followers, but whatever I mainly do a blog so that I can personally remember milestones of my children. Because I have a horrible memory when it comes to those things.

Also, why would you even write the "fat" comment? If someone stopped reading a blog because they were "FAT" then forget them, they must be a HORRIBLE person.

KC Mom said...

You crack me up. I wouldn't visit you if I didn't want to! Besides...you can lurk all you want.
I lose "followers" all the time! Must be my stinky writing!

Michelle said...

Don't worry Becky I won't follow you because of this post. I don't "follow" anyone through blogger, I use google reader instead!

Jan the crazy lady said...

I remember the first time I saw you. It was on a comment on my blog and you were splashing in those bubbles. I am like, who is this fun creature?

I follow but I use the reader for my commenting. Even if I don't follow, I am aware of most new posts of blogs I like. If I am commenting, it's because they comment consistantly. If I follow and they don't comment, I am okay with that too. It's all good. I lose some and gain some and it's okay. I don't even have stats anymore. I just enjoy blogging with just so many awesome people.

I mean seriously some of the best around. I enjoy them truly.

Love all the neat pictures too you are sporting lately :)

Tessa Nelson said...

What kind of gets me is when you see that the counter is going up, up and up... and there are NO COMMENTS. I want to know what ppl think... well, I think I do. :-/ lol.. I love your blog. I don't do too much w/ the follower thing.. I follow ppl so that I know when they've posted:) I live in Dakota, MN - right on the Mississippi!

Rachel said...

1. When stalking ex-boyfriends blogs always take the scenic route (i.e. try and get there off someone else's list. then the feed says that someone came from that blog.) I don't have any experience with this, by the way. Okay. maybe a little.

2. I know! I tried editing my last post 3 times to get it to double space and it just refused! Drives me nuts!

Jamie said...

Amen!

Tobi said...

I don't get why people lurk. It's a mystery to me. Come out of the lurking closet people!! Comment already!

Also just to bug you I'm going to start following your blog! HA! How you like them apples??

Vanessa said...

I like seeing Brazil on my statcounter. It makes me feel so 'international'!

Jill said...

A little button I DO love: the "like" button on Facebook. I'm just beginning to flirt around with FB and I love to just quickly and quitely give the old thumbs up, especially when I don't have anything particularly profound to say on a subject. Blogger should add somehting similar.

Tamsin said...

I stumbled across your blog from a friend's, and have really enjoyed reading it. However, I always feel creepy and stalkerish if I comment or follow someone's blog when I don't know them personally. Oh. Like right now.
I also just signed up for statcounter.com (on your recommendation) and was flabbergasted to see my little blog get 12 hits in an hour. I didn't think anyone was reading! Thanks for pointing that out :)

Word verification: sunkled :)

trublubyu said...

:) it's a tricky thing. following.

Kimberly said...

Amen, lady. AMEN!

One of the reasons I left Blogger, actually. I do know want to know!

Real Mom, Real Life said...

I actually don't like to follow people that have 250 followers. But I do like the ease of just clicking the button.

Melanie J said...

Funny. I just moved my followers widget down on the page because I was sick of it. And I really don't like the live feed thing.

Julie said...

That is so funny! I have thought the EXACT same thing. So, I too, do NOT have any of these (feel free to lurk away).

And OMGosh!!! I thought blogger only did that double space thingy to me! I thought I didn't know something that everyone else did. WHEW! What a relief that I'm not alone in my stupidity. Thanks!

Erin said...

I think it's funny that when I visit someone with the Live Traffic Feed thing, it tells them I'm from Brigham City, UT. That is about 4 1/2 hours north of where I actually live. What's up with that??

Stephanie said...

I am SO going to hit the follower button right now! I can see through your supposed disdain of the followers gadget! You LOVE it! This is a PLEA for followers.

Ok not really. I absolutely get what you mean. I have the gadget, but I dont pay much attention to the numbers! I do like to look at the blogs of those who do follow and many of the times I subscribe to them as well!!

I dont like the traffic feed either...it always tells where I am...you are right it is odd...

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I just want to say you crack me up. I understand the angst. And I wouldn't admit it out loud, but I totally get the whole ex-boyfriend's wife's blog thing. And for the record, they're never cuter than me.

Melissa said...

Don't worry, you can spend as much time as you want on my blog and I won't care. :)

SO said...

Precisely the reason I don't have that widget. I like to think I'm, like the button says, A Big Deal on my Blog. Sadly I'm not that big but I don't want to burst my own bubble. Let me live on thinking that I have more people that know about my blog and read it than really do. :) Denial is a great state to live in.

Cheryn said...

Okay so I'm officially hooked on your blog! I would love to know how in the world you put in those links such as where you comment and how you decide to label posts. I am in awe! I can see why you are depressed...you are an over-achiever! I too struggle with depression and anxiety so I understand how that goes. I can tell you are an amazing one though! (Be it mom, wife, woman, teacher, daughter of Heavenly Father--cute yourself some slack) Cheers to you! cherynbejar@gmail.com

Sara said...

Okay....so I JUST added the stat counter. Thanks to you! haha! The curiosity is getting the best of me. I am a blog lurker a lot. Not because I don't want to leave comments...sometimes I just don't have much to say. And I read a lot of blogs and don't always have the time to comment! But I have people stop me and comment in person about a blog post and I have had no idea they were following...or lurking! Now I will know!

Shellie said...

I look at my stat counter like once a year. I accidentally got that follow thing on my sidebar without even trying. How do you have followers and not show them? I mostly just ignore it but sometimes it's useful to click on over to their blogs and say hi! Like now.

Bethany said...

I don't mind the follower thing, but I use google reader more. I don't technically "follow" many blogs, but read hundreds on the reader :) One of which is yours! ;)

Shooting Starchild said...

I'm subscribed to your RSS and just discovered/figured out "Following/Followers" a month ago. I thought I had a lot more to say, but everything I write seems dorky. I think your blog is cool, you're inspiring.

My favorite gadgets are the html side bar gadgets (I practice learning code in them) and aBowmans interactive gadgets (aBowman.com) that you can put in your side bar. I don't have any gadgets that I don't like yet .... oh wait - too much animation bugs me. As long as I can control the code I'm happy.

Synergy Girl said...

Well, I may not follow you...but I do follow you...and have your blog address plastered on my sidebar. I like to follow people so that I have access to them to periodically check in on their lives...!! Stalker, I know. And for heavens sake...not only does the enter not work, but how many times do you double space after a period...ever notice it DOESN'T matter?? Oh Blogger