Sunday, June 5, 2011

Follaback Girl



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?

19 comments:

Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA said...

Loved your criteria.
The only one I would add: Use proper grammatical rules and spelling. Otherwise, it's like that chalk screeching on the board!
Loved your four towheads, too!

The Loerzels said...

Wow, thanks! I couldn't add correct grammar because I can't hold myself to that one. But in theory, yes....I'm totally down with grammar...

Carrie said...

Wow - glad you adressed this. I just put you on my blog roll - not in hopes of getting a follow out of it. I had no idea these kinds of blogging protocol exist but it doesn't surprise me.

Just wanted to say though, I subscribed to you (not even sure if this is different than following) because I always enjoy another outsider perspective on life in Morocco and I found your what was it...belly derby, roller-belly post hilarious. Keep up the good work!

The Loerzels said...

I've never seen your blog and now that I've found it and I don't see a place to follow back! Where in Morocco are you and where are you from?

Christina Lucas said...

Amen, sista! Couldn't have said it better myself!

hocam said...

Well said! I keep telling my children and my students not to be sheep and follow blindly. Make up their own minds and do something because you want to, not because you are obliged to.

Carrie said...

SO I guess subscribing IS different than foloowing. I will look into getting a follow button...I follow blogs on my google reader.

Anyways, I am in Casablanca - Tamaris (the beach town outside of Casa. In my third year here. Have twin girls that are 20 months old.

By the way - you totally got that damn song stuck in my head since I saw your video! :)

The Loerzels said...

Carrie I have no idea how subscribing and following are different. And I don't see a way to do either on your blog and I will follow you, subsribe to you, like you whatever when I know how. Which gets me to, I'm a total technotard! There I said it. Seriously it's bad. At least it's not that Kylie Minouge (sp?) Lalala song. I f*(&*O(g hate that song!!!

IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY said...

well said,I've noticed this too.at first I just thought I was getting followers,till the dropped off again lol. I'm like you, I follow the ones I enjoy reading regardlees if the follow me or not.

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hayley j said...

haha, this is too funny, and i completely agree. if anyone were to ever write a "follow back?" comment on my blog, i would feel compelled to delete it. i follow people that have great photos, and funny in a sarcastic and inappropriate way, and also people that do things with their life. i'm not interested in 15 cat photos, lo siento!

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Karen said...

I think you should mass produce that cap, with Rock the Kasbah sewn into it and open your on-line RTK paraphernalia shop. :-)

Joy Page Manuel said...

You couldn't have said it better! The worst are those who would comment with something like "Following you from so and so and I'd appreciate a follow back". Bwahahhaha....ignore, ignore, ignore.....Sorry....

cath said...

I spent the first paragraphs saying "that's me, that's me!" and the last part nodding and saying "I agree, I agree".

Why follow a blog you won't ever read again? I found at first I was sucked into that mode until it dawned on me that eventually I would have a 1,000 blogs I follow, and how could I ever possibly read that many and have any sort of life. Now I read for a bit, then follow if I like what I read, and try to visit when I can. We all have favorite blogs, and visit those more often. I am always glad for comments, but never expect a follow. Those happen serendipitously (is that a word?) and if they don't, well, I'll keep blogging because I love doing it.

Great post and insight Marie!

Sine said...

Agree with all your criteria. I'm a very picky follower too. I also have four kids and it's almost impossible to write my blog and put food on the table, so if I spend any extra time on SOMEBODY ELSE'S blog, it has to be rewarding. Rolling on the floor laughing kind of funny and inspiring me to become a better writer by stealing ideas. Yes, I don't just follow you, I steal from you!

Oh, and one more criteria: You absolutely cannot spell it "definately."

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