Sunday, June 5, 2011
I love to write. I didn't realize I loved to write until I started writing this blog. That was about a year and a half ago, right before we moved to Africa. I didn't really expect many people to read it. I thought maybe occasionally our friends and famliy would check in to see what we were up to. The thing I didn't expect was that other people, people we didn't actually know in real life would start to read the blog too. Then it took on a life of it's own and I was officially a blogger.
The thing about being a writer of any sort, but especially a blogger, is it makes you vulnerable. I'm writing and divulging details of my life and someone out there that I don't know is consuming them. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy people are reading it because I've put a lot of time and effort into writing it. And if someone takes the time to read AND comments on something, well that's just bonus. I mean totally incredible bonus! So most bloggers want to find readers who are genuinely interested in reading what they've worked so hard to create. That is the reward for a job that doesn't pay and makes you completely vulnerable and more than a little crazy. Right?
Validation. We all want it. Every one of us. And the blog world is not immune.
And the blog world for the most part is a super tight group of people who both love to write and love to read. So I've found some really great writers that I look forward to reading their next post almost as much as I look forward to writing my next one. But what extent would you go to get it?
There's this weird blogger phenomenon known as "The Follow Back"....
So this is how it works. A blogger will follow me. I will know they did and that they are a blogger because they will leave a comment on my post and a link to their blog. This is totally cool. Sometimes they are a one time reader. Sometimes it ends there. And sometimes this is when it can start to get weird, they follow. Now a very small, but vocal, minority of bloggers believe that their follow on your blog enters both parties in an unspoken blog marriage and you are contractually obliged to blindly follow them back. So essentially they follow you in order for you to follow them back. My mom taught me it isn't polite to do something with the expectation of getting something in return. As near as I can tell for these hard core bloggers, if you follow back within the hour, you're a followbacker in good standing. If you follow back in 24 hours you're a slacker. And if you haven't followed back in a week or made a flowery, gushy comment on their post, they unfollow you. Thank god. Because I do not want anyone to follow me out of any contractual obligation to read my posts. Please unfollow me now if you are only in it for the follow back. Oh wait, that's right you unfollowed me months ago when I didn't retweet your post. I'm not even sure if "retweeting" is the right word because I'm not even on Twitter!
I think my thoughts on the matter can best be expressed in song...
Welcome to my world! And this is why I can't follow everyone. Most of my day is spent breaking up fights. And I have made a solemn vow to my kids to keep them...well....ALIVE...
My follow back criteria:
1. You must make me laugh! Really this is huge. I have 4 kids that at certain times of the day make me want to cry or kill them. Or both at the same time.
2. Get me interested! I have to be interested in what you write about. So sorry, but nuclear physics is a no go for me, unless you can make nuclear physics REALLY FUNNY!
3. Seduce me! I love a good story teller. I want to forget about my world and delve into yours.
4. Take me away! Take me somewhere exotic like Turkey or Michigan so I forget all about not being able to get pork in Morocco for a while.
5. Surprise me! Write about something totally different so I never know what to expect.
In other words, romance me. I'm not a one night stand. Cause I'm not that kinda girl. This is a relationship. And a relationship needs respect. You need to earn your follow back, just like I need to earn mine. And we all know a successful blogger isn't measured in the number of followers or in the gushy sticky sweet comments. NO. Obviously a blogger's success is measured in how many blogging awards you have! Duh.
You can follow me, but remember I ain't no follaback girl...
What is your followback criteria?