Do you remove your followers, or are you just happy to get some kind of interaction with others?
There are some pretty weird people on WordPress – some guys who’ll do whatever they can to sell their products, people who float around doing whatever (normally they’re storywriters or infrequent contributors to their own blogs) and “people” who might just be spambots in disguise…
So when a blog about finance (I believe it was called “ForEx Trading” or something of the sort, off the top of my head) decided to follow the Spellbook, I gave them the boot almost as soon as I knew. However, in the aftermath of removing them, it made me wonder what other people do with their own cases of blogs like these…
Obviously, treatment of followers should be different depending on who your target audience is. People who review a range of media will garner followers with that very same range, with the problem that they cannot figure out what content followers came for sometimes (some of the previous blogs I had were “multifandom blogs”, so I’ve run into that problem before). On the other hand, a blog with a specific focus will often attract followers who have the same focus (e.g. the Animanga Spellbook having followers whose main focus is anime and manga) or somewhat tangentially related focus (e.g. the Spellbook having followers who are anime and book reviewers), with only rare cases being ambiguous in intent.
So, what should you do with ambiguous cases, such as storywriters who don’t give much attention to anime (in the Spellbook’s case)?
- First of all, you need to ensure they are actually of this category – if the owner of the blog shows up with a relevant comment, that should be enough to say it’s okay to keep the follower. Of course, if you’re familiar with the blog through interacting with its owner before, then that’s good enough to keep as well.
- Make sure to check out your new follower’s blog, just in case you’re wrongly accusing them. People with broad non-media topics (e.g. self-help, travelling, fiction writing) may accidentally lead you to believe they are of a category you can get rid of.
- If you have the heart to let go of followers who don’t follow the focus of your blog and clearly do not have any intention (aside from maybe publicity of their own blog), then that should be when you kick them out. For instance, I removed the finance blog because it clearly only had a focus on finance and I couldn’t fathom any reason why a finance blog would have an interest in my blog…except for how the Ode to Anime Studios seems to keep attracting the business side of WordPress on rare occasions, but even still, that’s not the main point of those posts. That would be clear if there were a person reading the posts and the Spellbook’s blog pages.
- For cases you don’t know what to do with, leave them alone. Unless they have a malicious intent (such as trying to flood your comments with spam to feed Akismet), they shouldn’t do you any harm.
By the way, it’s the same case with likes, but likes have less of an overall impact and are harder to trace back overall (since they give you a blogger’s Gravatar, but their Gravatar may not be properly connected to any blogs/accounts).
Sidebar: The Sunrise post for the Ode to Anime Studios – arguably the most business-like of those posts I’ve put out so far – once got linked to by a website that aggregated posts into newsletters…and the post appeared in their finance section! I managed to track the blog responsible back to Twitter and block them, because the main point of gathering all that studio info is to better appreciate the work anime studios do through learning more about them.
Now that I include information on an anime I liked from the studio though, the finance side of WordPress hasn’t been annoying me anymore…
Maybe I’m just kind of paranoid because of my past experiences with computer security and anecdotes about the strange kinds of followers people get, but that’s why bloggers need to be vigilant about suspicious followers.
So back to the question from the top of the post – do you remove followers or take any kind of action against suspicious likes/follows?
Alternatively, what’s the weirdest blog you know about, either from having them follow your blog or from reading about other people’s followers? Maybe we could even have a “Weirdest Following Blog Ever” competition…