I sometimes see blogs in the Reader, and they have many thousands and even hundreds of thousands of follower statistics beside their names. I know l have written about this topic before; however, Paula and l were discussing the accuracy of these vanity metrics recently with some confusion: ‘Just because A has X number of followers, sometimes the exceedingly low volume of the comments doesn’t reflect the higher follower numbers.
You can’t judge anything anywhere, be this WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and so on by the follower figures alone, well at least in my opinion. Higher numbers mean jack squat today as it isn’t the quantity but the quality l think that counts most.
With the ability for readers to LIKE without any proper depth of focused commitment, a LIKE in itself is, l believe, pretty redundant. Still, l sometimes wonder why social media sites and blogging platforms insist on displaying the numbers following the blog/website and so on – does it matter? Does it influence the Reader or potential follower to a blog or an account?
It was only whilst researching this topic that l discovered the phrase ‘vanity metrics’, and l was fascinated! The core opinion of vanity metrics is, quantity, not quality, reminding me of the old joke, “It’s not how long it is that matters. It is how well you use it! Or rather how you use it doesn’t matter, length is all important buddy!”
Before my own ‘Purge’ at the start of this month, l had 2800 Followers – merely numbers. At the end of the flush, l had 40 dedicated readers, and l was following 57 writers and creators [people not just numbers] – they are the actual figures and not the hogwallash that WP is trying to inform people, which is 103 follow me and 409 that l follow.
Since the purge, l have had a total of 15 new blogs follow me, and last week l offloaded most of those due to lack of interaction from any of them leaving me a brand new figure of 46 – the 6 are merely numbers until they actually interact with me.
Numbers or stats don’t influence me; l care not for them. I don’t care what the numbers of other bloggers are either; it’s always what they write about and their content that matters the most to me. But l can’t help but sometimes look at these higher numbers and wonder WHY they have such low interaction when you consider those numbers?
Of the 2800 followers l had at the beginning of this month – l had regular interaction and engagement over a four week month from 40 people. Since offloading well over 2700 readers, l have enjoyed higher interaction rates from the forty regulars and benefited from a slight rise in new follower engagement.
Although my posts still attract surplus Likes now, they are still much closer to reality. I know Paula has been enjoying the same more efficient results as well. The purging has not hurt my blog or me. If anything, it helped me truly focus on my created content.
Today as both a personal blogger and a writer, l only focus on smaller numbers and spend more time creating more content quality. I appeal to a small audience only, and my popularity is more selective.
Now that aside, to the questions …
How influenced are you by the number of ‘Followers’ a social media site/blog has, or are you not?
Do you think blogs/websites and so on should display follower numbers, or should they be hidden?