Spam Followers

1,000 Reasons for Thanks

On Tuesday, this little ol’ blog hit a pretty big milestone:

Screenshot_2014-11-25-16-58-00

One thousand followers.  Damn.

Now, as has been previously discussed, a notable chunk of these are likely spam accounts.  Why do I say that?  Here is the short version:

If a new follower has their own WordPress blog, the New Follower email notification I receive lists three of their most popular posts.  The idea is that if you follow me, I should take the time to read your work and possibly follow you back.  Through this method, I have found multiple blogs that I enjoy and now follow.

But over this past year, I’ve noticed that I have gained a large international audience.  The posts listed on the notification emails are often in a foreign language (including, but not limited to:  Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and one or more Asian languages).  I’m going to go out on a limb and say these folks are not following me because of my work, but because they think I’m going to blindly click on any link I receive in my email.

How bad has the spam follower phenomenon become?  A year ago, I had a little over 150 followers.  Certainly, I’ve had a good year on this site (including being Freshly Pressed in May), but when my little site is adding four followers a day (and my page views are increasing at the same rate) I call BS.

All of this said, I know that I am still adding human, English-speaking followers who arguably read some of what I post.  Follower 998 was my friend and former co-worker Nick Maestas.  Nick has a beautifully written blog that covers several topics that I’m too chicken___ to write about.  I’d much rather be followed by somebody like Nick than somebody like, say, Jenia568.  While I’m sure Jenia568’s post entitled “Трудный день”* would stick with me (and my virus scan) for years to come, I don’t trust that Jenia568 is a real person, and is definitely not a regular reader of my site.

*Yes, that is one of my “followers” and one of their top posts.  See why I think many of my 1,000 followers are spam?

There is a part of me that wishes my follower numbers were a little more indicative of the number of people who actually read my work on a regular basis instead of the number of spam bots who want me to click on their site.  But for those of you who do follow me, know that I am very thankful for you.  The number of true readers may be less than 1,000, but in my heart it feels like a million.

 

%d bloggers like this: