Monday, August 29, 2011

Involvement and Loyalty

John Marine | 8/29/2011 02:32:00 AM | | |
(UPDATED: September 6, 2011)

It's rare I go on a rant or be overly passionate, but that is what I am going to do here. Recent times of picking up spammy and suspicious comments have forced me to step up security of who all posts in my blog. A lack of overall involvement from others has also been something for me to frown upon. So anyone who happens to read this post will get a passionate look at trying to expand upon my true feelings about trying to expand upon my blog here.


SEP 6 2011 - added more material to post

--- Involvement ---
I have always said in the past- don't just come in and leave! I want my audience to get involved with my work and show their support. My blog gets sufficient traffic each day. It used to be that I could get 3,000 views daily. These days, I get just over 2,000 blog hits on most days. I get people who actually click on links in my blog posts.

So what am I upset about? Maybe it's just personal for me. Remember my "Not Good Enough" blog post? I've noted that I would get enough support from the general audience to support my work, but not enough in the support of more comments. And most of the comments I usually get are from spam searches who'll just find anybody's blog just to post a suspicious comment. I know this when I gain insight from how people are searching my blog and its posts. More on suspicious comments later in this blog post.

The Disregard Factor.

In addition, I feel disregarded or not getting enough support when I am unable to get as many Followers or subscribers. Think about it like this. If you're on Facebook, you "like" all kinds of fan pages and stuff like that. Why? It's because you love something so much to where you voice your support by adding your Facebook profile to the group of people who "like" the page. If you see a Blogger/Blogspot blog you love, what do you do? Right- Follow it. You use Google FriendConnect to show your support. You subscribe to a blog using FeedBurner (or some other service).

It doesn't add up to me that I could get about 2K daily blog hits, but only a less than 5% of people who visit and don't want to follow, post a comment, "like" my own Facebook fan page, etc. Imagine having a booth at a trade show or a convention. You have a booth offering items that could really appeal to consumers. Trouble is, as much as your wares are worthy of drawing attention from potential buyers, you are not profiting from your work. I would actually like to get a better ratio of visitors and followers than what I have now. Only so few like my work so much as to Follow or Subscribe. Does it mean that more people like my work but refuse to show it, or that I don't have as many people who actually want to get involved with my work?

I don't even get like, you know... "thank you" comments or anything. And the ones usually thanking me for my posts are usually those suspicious spam commenters who come around to John's Blog Space.

Involvement Defined.

These are things that I consider involvement of my blog and its posts:

• clicking on any appropriate links or graphics in posts
• commenting genuinely (whether you like a post or not)
• finding blogs/posts/websites on relevant search terms; not on commenting systems
• posting relevant comments without posting a link to a suspicious website
• showing further support of one's work by Following or Subscribing to the blog/site

Basically, I post all of this stuff for you all to enjoy. The ones who just use my site to post suspicious links and suspicious comments are the ones who drive me insane. I had to step up the security of my blog just to drive away most of the would-be spammers. It may come at the expense of asking for a little more before posting a comment, but it's something I am doing in trying to minimalize the frequency of spam comments.

On the support front, I would appreciate it if you Follow my blog with Google FriendConnect, "like" my Facebook fan page, and things like that. Just show me you care. I love to know if my work means something to you when you visit. I can always improve posts that I think can be of better use to people. Just let me know you care. That's all I ask. You follow other peoples' blogs because you loved your experience(s) there, so why not do the same for me and my blog? You "like" all kinds of things on Facebook. I have my own Facebook fan page, so why not "like" my page too?

One last time... just show me you care about my work. What makes my material any different to follow or "like?" Not too much to ask from my readers/visitors...

--- Loyalty ---
Loyalty is all about genuine people who visit and will consistently visit and support your work. I do all I can to try to market my material and my opinions in a professional manner. The rest relies on the support of my readers/visitors. With the threat of spam and suspicious comments, I really question if some of the ones who DO get involved with my posts are loyal, or if these are suspicious commenters who only jump on to post a comment of a suspicious nature. Time to discuss loyalty.

Loyal Readers/Visitors.

Loyal blog readers actually use and utilize content shown in blog posts. A loyal reader will return to my blog(s), actually post decent comments in regards to my posts, and actually pays attention to whatever is posted in material. A loyal reader loves my work as to actually come back again and again to see my latest posts or see some of my older posts. A loyal visitor to John's Blog Space loves my work so much as to subscribe or follow. There are a number of places where I get some sufficient hits from. I am not saying that such people will come back again and again, but will check in regularly to see my latest posts or any past posts. Sometimes, I note that I have friends who actually love my work and comment accordingly. I'd love to meet more people and meet more loyal folks.

Non-Loyal Readers/Visitors.

So what is an example of a non-loyal visitor of a blog or a website? Here is a picture I once taken online when I visited someone's blog some time ago. Take a look:

spam comment
^ Thanks for the compliment! However, how can you be sure the person who sent the comment is loyal to your blog/site? Or if you are sure it is a person and not a bot?

Nice comment, right? On paper, yes. It's always encouraging to get such support from your audience. However, who's to say the individual in question won't come back to positively support your material in the future? Some people DO visit your blog and comment... with a suspicious link or just seems suspicious as a whole. They are just people (or not people at all) who couldn't care less about your material and just want to use your site to promote some spammy/suspicious site. Not cool, not fair, and just plain dishonorable.

If you actually try to look at analytical information regarding your blog/website, there are a number of things used in trying to track who all visits. I often find (because of using DISQUS) that people only find certain blogs by plugging in a certain word or group of words followed by some usage of "DISQUS" or "comment." Read this carefully- if I need people GENERATING comments to prove my commenting system works, I'll ask for people to do so. Otherwise, I don't need people (or if these are people) who post a well-typed and/or supportive comment... all to find out the person in question is a spammer who'll spread all kinds of comments to sites and doesn't seem genuine at all. It makes no sense to create something so intricate (like a blog post) have mostly spammers post comments. I actually get upset that only friends of mine online post useful comments to my blog posts while most other commenters are mostly spammers.

What I like about DISQUS is much better control over spammers than what Blogger/Blogspot offers. I hate that posts are only found by certain people using innocent comments that link to suspicious websites. You wouldn't want suspicious links to your site and suspicious links to your blog/website. So... why would you attack my site with such links? I recently made an effort to look back at comments I had accepted and decided to eliminate any other suspicious comments I had previously accepted. Pains me to believe how many comments came from spammers I had accepted.

How would you like it if most of the ones who do post comments are spammers? How would you like it if the majority of your audience are people who seem legit, but never seriously care about your material? How would you like it if non-genuine people only find your blog or website just because of its commenting system?

My Wake-Up Call on Loyalty.

I got upset and tough about dealing with suspicious commenters for one reason. One time, someone liked my blog and said he/she will "like" my Facebook fan page in support of my work. The supposed person NEVER did join. And if I had gotten a new Facebook fan, I'd receive an Email saying "(person's name) likes 'John B. Marine.'" Also, I noted that the comment had my Facebook fan page apparently as a hyperlink. If I were to click on that hyperlink, it would probably take me to a site other than my Facebook fan page.

It's rare I discuss these sorts of things, but when a non-genuine person posts a link to some site from a suspicious comment, you're helping the SEO (search engine optimization) of this other site so their ranking can improve online. No- don't give any suspicious site ANY advantage or any traffic just so they can spam the holy crap out of people! I've become weary that enabling comments (or even using the DISQUS system) can actually ENCOURAGE spam comments rather than limit them. Regardless, you just have to be smart in allowing comments.

Loyalty Examples.

A real example of loyalty lies in some of the many fashion blogs I follow. Every time someone posts on a certain blog entry, I see loads of supportive and genuine comments. Actual, believable people posting genuine comments. Even if the person may seem a bit generic with a comment, at least you know that a real person actually posted that comment. Hardly ever (if at all) do I note a spam comment posted when I see someone's blog post in such blogs. That's because the majority of people actually pay attention to and accordingly comment on material. This shows loyalty among the public-at-large along with a showing of respect for what is posted online.

I get upset on the front of loyalty because only so few people actually care to comment on and respect my work. I've felt stupid allowing certain comments from seemingly genuine people. Of course, how was I to know if the posted comments were from a genuine person? I actually feel sorry for posting blog posts sometimes knowing that most of the ones who actually do comment are non-genuine folks who just generate comments to my posts rather than actually post something relevant. How do I know if such commenters actually care about my material and actually will come back to continually read my posts? Loyalty can go a long way in the future of a blog/website.

This was an extended rant for the most part. However, this all needs to be said because I have become very concerned that not as many people actually care about my work so much that they don't Follow or Subscribe. You can at least (on the Blogger/Blogspot interface) privately subscribe to my posts so that they don't show up in my "Shining Stars of John's Blog Space" widget. By the way- "Shining Stars" are what I call my fans, to be consistent with the theme of stars and space.

So please be involved with my work. Don't be afraid to show some loyalty for my work. Just show me you care and that your experience here (or in my other blogs) was worthwhile. Just show some love, okay? Thanks to everyone who have still supported my work regardless. That includes people past and present whom have visited John's Blog Space or any of my other blogs. Also... thank you for reading!

Become a Fan (or Like) my Facebook Fan Page and subscribe this blog (and my others) via FeedBurner (or any other aggregator in the sidebar)! Visit (or subscribe):
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John B. Marine said...

I'm sure many people care about your work on your blog, since you get so many hits, people are obviously interested and enjoy what you post.  I guess a lot of them just don't bother to take the time to subscribe or comment all the time...people don't realize how much it means to someone when they show appreciation for your work.  Those people who post spam comments need a better hobby, they're annoying, is there a way to block them?     If it matters at all, I appreciate your posts and enjoy visiting your blog, so I hope you keep posting.  :)


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