This stuff is still pretty new to me. I barely have a grasp on real-time, face-to-face etiquette, there’s just no way I can be up to speed on blog-site manners yet.
When someone clicks the “like” box on one of my posts (it’s happened to me a few times – VERY gratifying), I’m notified of it, and gently urged by WordPress to return the favor and look at the blog of the “liker”. It seems genteel enough. A polite gesture which, if followed, will increase readership and broaden everyone’s blogging horizons. If someone is nice enough to follow me, I mentally applaud their impeccable taste and usually follow them in return, as it would seem likely to me that they might have something interesting to say.
More often than not, this strategy works pretty well. Many of the blog writers I follow put out consistently interesting, enjoyable work. Once in a while, it doesn’t quite work that way
As an aside, I must say that I was surprised at the home page of WordPress. It seemed that most of the blogs which are featured were photographic essays. I’m all for taking photos, and I know enough about the art form to know that I may take pictures, but I am not a photographer. Still, taking photos of the foliage of Borneo hardly compares to say, writing a humorous piece about ones wife being traumatized by early TV exposure to Vincent Price in a bald cap. I mean, let’s face it, the biggest challenge of taking those pictures is getting your ass to Borneo without forgetting to pack the camera. Still, to each his own. Since the likelihood of me getting to Borneo is pretty damn slim, I’ll enjoy the pics and let that subject go.
Anyway, the other day, yet another blogger “liked” my post. Then they decided to follow me. Not one to turn my nose up at a disciple, I returned the favor. Big mistake.
It turned out this person just cuts and pastes anything and everything they find interesting onto their blog. It may be a photo they saw online, or a piece of shiny metal they found on the sidewalk. Occasionally they post written words, which appear to have been translated to English by someone who doesn’t speak it too well. It’s kind of like walking on the beach with someone who’s never seen a bivalve before. You can’t take two steps without being stopped and shown the new cool clam shell they found. Only we’re not talking about something as limited as the thousands of genus and species of shellfish found on the Eastern Seaboard of North America, we’re talking about the entire internet and anything anyone has ever posted ever about anything. If you think I’m exaggerating, consider this. This blogger posted more than 23 blogs in less than 24 hours. Some were single photographs, one was a memorial about Davey Jones written by someone else, still others were essentially bad, old jokes.
Since I’m notified via email when the people I follow post blogs, my email box was blowing up. At first I was excited, thinking there was feedback for things I’d written or comment give and take. Instead it was post after post after post by this person. They had seen a sports car they liked and posted a picture of it. No description, no editorial comments, just a picture of a car. The photo looked professional and was doubtless taken by an actual photographer in some exotic locale. The usual excitement I experienced when I see the little envelope on my phone quickly changed to dread.
What is it Skippy? Did you find another oyster shell?
When I got back to my laptop, I unfollowed this hyper-blogger.
I recalled a fairly traumatic unfriending episode on Facebook with a co-worker. I saw her daily, but when she annoyed me one time too many online, I unfriended her. She ignored me in person for at least a year. Not a huge loss, as she may have annoyed me in person a few times too.
I’m hopeful that this “unfollowing” doesn’t have similar repercussions. Regardless, I can’t have people sending me knock- knock jokes, it interferes with my creative process. No offense I hope.