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Journal Entry 17Part 115/12/21

Why Upvote The Unread?

The average blogger these days can decide within 3 seconds if they are going to 1] read a post, 2] skim a post only, 3] merely LIKE the post but not read it, 4] like the headline or main image on the post and hit LIKE or 5] not even bother with the post BUT might hit LIKE if they follow the blogger and seek community spirit for doing so!

3 Seconds is not much time, yet that is what most bloggers, readers and writers alike are performing these days action-wise regarding the reading of blog posts.

All of you know me by now and more so those of you who, for the better part, DO read my content and don’t just hit like for the sake of it or just because you can. If you are a regular reader of mine, you’ll know all too well how l detest the Mass Liking Pandemic we see quite a bit here in WordPress. You’ll understand that l disabled it for quite a few months on the visible side of the blog as in on the blog itself because you can’t disable it on the Reader.

Then l brought it back again, and thankfully these days, l don’t get as many unread LIKES on my posts from randoms. {But then l follow very few and very few follow me back] However strangely, l do get a few from my core readership. It is what it is.

I prefer the word ‘Upvote’ these days over that of merely LIKE. Irrelevant to the wording, the question that always baffles me is why readers upvote content they haven’t read? More so, l ask myself why l get so upset at people who upvote content they haven’t bothered to read? Not upset as in crying in the corner, more along the lines of frustrated upset.

This question brings me to a great post l read the other day that Renard wrote What Would You Do If Your Blog Got Terminated? In simple terms, l would be very upset and why? Because of all the blood, sweat and tears l have put into my blog. I have an emotional connection to it. I have invested my time into the Guy blog for four and some years.

As l commented on Renard’s post back in November, for me, it would be like almost having a slice of my very soul ripped away from me! As an online gamer of twenty plus years and especially considering how l have invested 17 years alone in one game, World of Warcraft, losing my account would be like losing a valued part of my identity. That’s no different for my blog, even with just four years invested – l don’t do things half-heartedly – with me, it is always all or nothing!

The emotion we leach into our games, our blogs, our whatever of passion is essential to us. It makes us who we are as people, as gamers, as photographers, as gardeners or composters or as writers and as readers alike – whatever we do after which we invest our personality too, and with, it becomes part of us. So if l was to lose my blog suddenly, would l feel upset? Bloody right, l would!

Years ago, back in 2011, my World of Warcraft account was hacked. At that point, l was a multimillionaire gold wise, a rarity in the World of Warcraft community back then, unlike today when there are more multimillionaires in-game. Gold making in the early days was an art, a skill, unlike today, where it is no longer a skill due to the dumbing down mechanics of the game, and anyone and their pet goldfish can make gold easily.

But after seven years of working with my characters, studying their classes, gearing them up and doing everything one does as a dedicated gamer, l was devastated when my account was hacked. A cyber thief nearly deleted my content, stole all my gold [to sell on] and destroyed my stable of characters! Luckily l was able to save it and restore everything with the help of the Blizzard engineers. However, it was an upsetting experience, and that was a game. It was just a game in many eyes, but to me, it was ME! I had emotionally connected to my account and that game.

I am emotionally connected to my blog because l have invested ME into it. My blood runs through every letter and word penned and typed; my heart lies deep in the core, beating daily; my ancestry lies at the beginning! My brain and nerve system course through the pages and categories, and every day, l breathe life into it when l log on.

We all invest time, love, and dedication into our blogs; you might view it differently. I know that some of you think differently because l have read your comments on posts like this and similar throughout the years – l see how some of you feel regarding your blog. But for many of you, your blogs are your platforms to your virtual sociality circles, and you would be lost without those connections. Your interactive society connections are, in many ways, your gateways to freedom. You are emotionally connected.

It is forgivable to be upset when the content you have spent time creating is not appreciated the same way you might understand it. What is the point of writing it in the first place if it is not read? Worse, whilst that can be understandable, what is not is when it is LIKED but not even read. Please don’t get me wrong l know who genuinely reads my content correctly and who doesn’t.

I know today of my core readership who LIKES the content because they have read it and have liked it, as well as those who will not hit LIKE because they never do but still have read it in the entirety and commented and interacted that way and sadly those who skim or don’t read and still upvote it to show support or whatever it is they think they are providing me. Is it like a comfort blanket maybe or a belly rub and a tussle of my hair and a pat on the head to say well done?

I sometimes wonder IF the upvoting of unread content has sadly just become poor behaviour by many readers? We are overwhelmed with data and content these days; l get that you can’t read everything. Do people read too much of the wrong thing? Do people read too many blogs? Do people overstretch their capabilities?

Does ticking LIKE to unread content really support a fellow blogger or merely insult the intelligence of that blogger and make the liker look stupid? I added this because that is one of the answers l regularly see these days.“I tick like to show l was there, or it was a bookmark, or l had nothing to say of any value, or it is expected of me isn’t it, right, or l am showing my support for that blogger even though l haven’t read the content or skimmed it and just ignored it because it’s not my thing!” So that tick is almost like a salute, then? That makes it all right then, like a band-aid on the unscratched knee just in case you fall over and bang it.

I recently read that readers upvote unread content because everyone has much shorter attention and concentration spans than ever before. They have no tolerance for words anymore and more so words that don’t interest them. Okay, l get that ultimately, none of us writes gold all the time – BUT why like it? It’s undoubtedly easier to not like it. I also read that upvoting makes people feel part of the social community. Their little bit of support adds value to the world.

People hit LIKE to a blogger’s written content post so that the author will know that particular Reader was there, even if just in spirit! The very essence of virtual sociality – l came, l saw, l didn’t read, l liked, l moved on, BUT hey l was there showing my support to my friend.

It doesn’t matter whether the blog content is personal, marketing, mental health, blogging, important, unimportant, prompt, photography, or poetry. People don’t have the time to read everything because there is too much data and draining content. I took notice of that and decided to take action myself, so on that note, from today, l am also downscaling the published content l produce weekly on this blog. The comical tease is less content to be liked and not read – there is an upside to everything after all!

I trialled this strategy a few months ago, not long after the transformation break in August. I intend to write content seven days, still a week but split between the two blogs.

I have been making changes to the Guy blog for the past two weeks, reflecting on my new writing schedule and more so for 2022. I wanted to simplify and define my content creation simultaneously for my blog and display more dedicated niche content in the business blog. Some of the once established series here will no longer be read here, with others ending their seasons and being archived whilst others still have simply been erased from the blog itself. Over the last month, l have been re-identifying the direction the Guy blog was to take personally, and l finalised that this last week.

Two distinct changes that l think will be quickly noticed will be 1] the new publishing time of posted content, which will be UK 11.25 am, and 2] the new writing schedule, which will be publishings on alternate days – so Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. By this time next year, Earthly Comforts will also be publishing content on an alternate weekly schedule to the Guy blog.

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36 thoughts on “Journal

  1. I think this is very personal preference. I don’t mind if people like my post and don’t read it. Though most people who like it, read it too. I get your point about all the effort being put into creating the content for your blog. So I was a bit confused by the posting schedule! Are are posting on 3 days a week of 4 days?

    1. Well the truth is that more people like posts than read the content. At the time of my response comment to yours there are 7 LIKES on this post.

      You are the only one to have read it to comprehension to be able to form a response. Of the 7 likes, 3 follow me – you do the equation.

      Anyone who thinks that every like equates to a read on any post is kidding themselves. I think we should mind and we shouldn’t encourage it, making this bad behaviour the norm is not acceptable.

      I am tiring of it and all the other false pretences associated with blogging and more so on non-monetizing blogs especially.

      My business blog will be very separate from this blog and l am already having to prepare mentally for the ton of societal marketing bullshit that will travel with it meaning l want my personal blog to be very selective and not frequented by imbellic behaviour – but that is a big ask.

      7 posts every 14 days is the schedule for this blog and eventually the same for the business blog. Basically 7 posts every two weeks on each blog.

      However, thanks for reading past the 3 second barrier Sadje, always appreciated my friend 🙂

      1. I always want to know what you’re saying here Rory. Many people like my posts and not leave a comment. And I know that they read because they are the ones I interact with regularly. As I said to Di when she was worrying about one blogger following her blog and then unfollowing repeatedly, that if she would stop paying attention to him, he would stop this imbecile behavior.

        1. What am l saying?

          Exactly as you have said above more or less.

          You and l just look at things through differently tinted glasses at times is all.

          You are not bothered by certain behaviours and l am.

          That’s what it is about for me.

          I have always had and taken issues with false sociality in social media, not just here in WP and all that has happened this year is l see more and more of it with regards to personal non monetized blogs – the main difference between the Guy blog and the Business blog is that over there the whole arena is geared up differently to a personal blog – you find you will accept many forms of social marketing behaviour that you might not wrelcome on a personal blog.

          I have therefore decided that over there l will tolerate a lot more than l wish to tolerate here.

          BUT, over here l am now going to concentrate my attentions and focus in a different direction.

          So you see, we are saying exactly the same, but just taking different approaches.

        2. The business blog will go live next year, l am just making sure that it sticks to a business strategy and that’s all it is. Whereas my personal blog will have more ‘personal’ stuff.

          Will l be handling transactions – maybe not directly, but my worm farm hobby will, whilst the business blog will mostly be displaying affiliate programmes and the such like.

  2. I do not care a flying flip about likes, followers or stats. If I ‘like’ a post that means I’ve read it. And liked it. I read more posts than I ‘like’ because, there is some snarky famous quote about not applauding because it just encourages them. I get truly irked by comments that have nothing to do with the post. I hate tit-for-tat liking and commenting – always have, always ranted about – it was SOP in the early days of blogging (I go back 17 years with this format). The only reason I am still posting is for the 4 or 5 people I KNOW read every post and this is the way we stay in touch, and yes, we’ve know each other for all these years, having met through blogging. And comments from those people are often via private email exchanges rather than the public blog comments. Wait! Have I responded to what you are actually talking about ? I know that when you reduced your posting I did miss seeing ‘you’ every day. I have to admit that even when I wasn’t really interested in the topic (worms?) it was always a pleasant something to read with my morning coffee.

    1. What l have always liked about you Grace is your honesty. You say it as it is, you adopt a very good way of directness – l like direct people.

      There is no bullshit with you, l know where l am with you.

      That’s how l prefer things and more so here on this blog, genuine honesty and social interaction with the few regulars l have that l consider friends is what l like about my blog.

      My personal blog for me is going to a coffee morning with friends and staying in touch whereas the business blog is most like a conference – lots of people there for one thing and it’s not always social.

      I want to take time to enjoy my writing again when l am here on my coffee break with my friends. So there has been a shuffle on the series and more reality stories and series will be making a return.

      The gardening series will not be present aside from the social side, and the Stepping Out series will become more of the original series but simply called Nature Diary with another series to join that called Reserve Days – stuff l think you’ll like Grace.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. After a lot of poking around in the WordPress Reader, I’ve come to the conclusion that meaningless likes are purely strategic and transactional. People do this and keep doing it because it “works”, in the sense of getting a lot of return likes on their posts. And by a lot, I mean hundreds. Why they care, I don’t know, but it does “work” in that sense. I suspect that most of this is done within the Reader, so I’d guess that the only way to stop it would be to de-follow people as you have done and not use tags so it’s harder for people to stumble across your posts.

    1. Hey Ashley, yes l was thinking about the tags also recently too.

      People follow blindly and like just as blindly without a concern in the world. A new follower arrived today on this posting alone. just below a 1000 followers, seems to like LIKING more than writing content that is good to like.

      1. That’s the thing, though, I don’t think it is blind. And there is a concern, but that concern is self-interest.

        Take Raghav N who liked this post. This is someone who is clearly accumulating like-for-likes on his posts. The clues: 945 followers, but very high like numbers, including 463 likes on his September 18 post. The only way that can happen is to sprinkle a very large number of likes far and wide across the blogosphere and get some fraction of that back in likes-for-likes. If his goal is to get more likes, that strategy is working for him. It’s a shitty goal and a shitty strategy, but very goal-directed behaviour.

        1. Haha – and there l was circling the bushel and you nailed that very bush directly on the head 🙂

          I was explaining that new followers stats with Suze a couple of hours ago.

          Follower followed me on this post just below 1000 followers = Raghav N 945 followers. Yes, he was removed even quicker than my 10 day policy.

          You are right, it’s not a blind strategy, it is more like a carpet strategy. He was removed alongside one blogger that keeps following with his two blogs almost every day and he has well over 130,000 followers so l am sure you know who he is.
          Raghav N is typical behaviour to this topic – not read, follow, hit like. In my world equals EFFOFF.

          But l don’t understand the point to it all Ashley – purely monetary traffic gain? Checking his accounts and l am at best still clueless. BUT, it’s fast becoming the norm now.

  4. You’re always tinkering 😂 Do you think you’ll ever have it “just right”?
    I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m commenting less. I don’t even go to WP every day. A few blogs I follow by email and read in my browser.
    I’ve never “like” something I didn’t read. I have read some posts and didn’t like or comment🤷🏼‍♀️ I lurk.
    You’re right in that we figure out who does what with the reading, liking, and commenting.
    💌💌

    1. Will l ever get the personal blog just right? Yes, as it is getting closer to being right these days than not which is a blessing 🙂

      Yes l have noticed your absence. I have put it not down to introversion but more as a form of tiredness and needing to recoup because home life is hampering you more and more.

      I think introversion is not the answer as l said a couple of weeks ago, you simply need to take time out.

      Mine was called introversion recently and l told them to shut up and read what l am writing and get to know me more first before saying a, b and c. Mine is mostly caused by social bullshit and trying to find the balance.

      If l am to run a business blog where l know it’ll be filled to the brim with all sorts of social nonsense and sense alike, l can’t cope with two blogs dealing the same cruddy hands.

      So my personal blog needs to be a safe haven whilst the business blog needs to a wild card.

  5. I would hope that those who “like” my posts do, indeed, like my posts because they actually read them and enjoyed reading what I wrote. But I can’t know that for sure, and it is what it is. All I can say, Rory, to those who “like” my posts without reading them is that they’re missing out.

  6. Hey, Rory! Yes, I read what I “Like”, but often do not “Like” everything I read where Blogs are concerned. However, the past month or two I have been compromised in that my “MAC”, which I knew how to use and had an activated voice feature, had to be replaced. I now have a huge learning curve with an HP laptop with Windows, without a functional voice feature (so far) and find myself stumbling through each time I try to access WordPress, or anything else. With my compromised vision, I’m finding it all very frustrating!

    I find your Guy Blog stimulating because you often raise topics I would normally not even think about. 😊 I think that’s one of the things I like most about your posts. For instance, with this particular post I found myself remembering how my Aspie grandson has always been so emotionally attached to his computer and gaming and so detached where actual people are concerned. I found it so difficult to understand and had to educate myself on the condition. Now, I just find it interesting how differently people can approach the same topic, rather than trying to evaluate or form any kind of judgement about it.

    I do still miss some of the series you’ve discontinued and really regret losing all the features of my MAC that made reading them so much easier. I don’t have any interest in your business blog, partly because of my age and partly because I’ve never been interested in business ventures. But I do wish you every success with it and whatever else you may strive to accomplish.

    I will continue to be your most fervent fan and follower as long as you will have me, Rory. (at least as long as I can tolerate this blankety-blank HP!!!!) 🤗💞

    1. Hey Betty 🙂

      First off, l hope aside from suffering with a new PC and the madness associated with that, that you, Bud and the Featherlies are keeping safe and well.

      Secondly, you are always welcome here and l always look forward to receiving comments from you, but you have been a follower and friend of mine for many a year so you are ALWAYS welcome here.

      This line if yours regarding your grandson is spot on to my own emotional scale … For instance, with this particular post I found myself remembering how my Aspie grandson has always been so emotionally attached to his computer and gaming and so detached where actual people are concerned.

      I wish more people could understand at times how autism views things as indeed you know all too well. We see the society aspect of community very differently.

      For me it is purely the social aspect or rather the falseness of socialness that causes me the most angst.

      The business blog is mostly about worm farming and composting, wildlife, nature, gardening and environmental concerns so worry not, it’ll not be too everyone’s taste.

      I have plans to write more thoughtful content here in the GUY blog and in order to achieve that l want to be able to dedicate more time to making it worthwhile for my friends to read 🙂

      1. Everyone’s doing well, thank you for asking!

        I can certainly understand your feelings concerning social mores! I feel much the same. I remember when I was young reading that the root of the word sophisticated is sophistry, meaning phony and it struck me so true I have never forgotten it. 😄 (As we used to say in my youth, “Same old same old.”)

        Oh, if your business blog is about worm farming and gardening, I would find it interesting! I always enjoyed those posts in your Guy Blog.

        I’m sure whatever you post in future will be of interest. But the main thing is that you enjoy doing it, Dear! 💞

        1. It’s funny isn’t it Betty the things that stick with us from young. I can understand all too well how Sophistry would stay and more so how it is so true of today’s jumped up tribes.

  7. I am finding I am much more tired. I am commenting less because I have less energy.
    But I am reading what looks like I will enjoy it. I can tell Ben has unfollowed blogs I used to read. But I am going to go with his choices.

  8. It’s difficult somedays to find the time. I had to cut back but even then somedays it’s tough. WP doesn’t help. Somedays the only way my comments will register is through the App reader, which is a pain in the buttocks trying to get the page to display properly. When I spoke to the service guys, they blamed Apple. Odd that all the other apps work perfectly, it’s just WP the struggles with the iPad.

  9. I had my very first blog deleted when the host stopped hosting blogs. I didn’t do anything about it and I wish I’d saved a couple of pages just to look back on. It’s only curiosity, I’m not too bothered about water under the bridge.

    All my blogging endeavours have had little to do with social media so I don’t mind if people read, like or follow anything I do. I read how the eminent photographer Henri Cartier Bresson said he had no interest in his photos once they were taken and he’d passed them on (only stipulating that they shouldn’t be cropped). I’m a bit that way too.

    1. Hey Ian, being hacked /terminated is pretty annoying. I tend to agree with what Henri says, the only time l would disagree is if idesign is stolen or used, but photos l think are game to be used by others. if they are personal my credo is then don’t post them where they can be used by others.

      If people wanted to use my photographs, l would say as l have done in the past – go ahead, but some credit would always be appreciated.

  10. Well-written and comprehensive post, Rory! My approach is simple – I don’t read what I don’t like. I don’t leave a like if I don’t read the post. I comment if I have something constructive to say. I try to avoid using canned comments such as “well done” or “spot on”. I think it is pretty easy to determine those that have a sincere interest in one’s blog.

    1. Hey Eugenia, Happy Thursday to you 🙂

      I agree with you, l like if l like it, and l read what interests me. I try and leave a comment worthy to the content. But sometimes l can only write how l feel and that might be a short comment, but it is genuine when l leave it.

      Yes l know who is sincrely interested in my blog and to those readers who l also class as my friend, l spend more time with and get back to their content quicker than the others.

      Have a lovely day.

  11. I was afraid to “like” this post. Rory, you must have scored very high in Logic or any classes that value analyzing things. Love you dearly.

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