August 23, 2011

Because It Matters...

I know that we bloggers all keep track of the number of "followers" (I prefer "friends") who choose to add our blogs to their reading lists. I've read some bloggers who've said that they've considered removing the "followers" option from their sidebars because watching the numbers haunts them.

I've noticed lately that my numbers are on a downward trend. I say that it's ok for people to choose to go somewhere else. Perhaps they don't like the subject matter of my posts? I'm certainly a likeable enough person in my own right. I tell myself I don't care. We say out loud that we don't care, when we actually do. Why else would we even look at the numbers?

I know that between my own blog writing, studio pursuits and family, my blog reading/commenting time allotment is pretty tight. I don't like to stop by without commenting, because I'd like you to know that I care about what you're writing, your life and your pursuits. Surely, I'm not the only one who has to make decisions about where our time is best spent, so we become more selective about our blog reading. We are attracted to those who share our interests. We, sometimes sadly, have to let the rest go.

Why am I choosing this as a subject for my post today? Well, it's like this...
Thank you, Dawn - The Feathered Nest - for the sweet image.
I have been following LOTS of blogs in the years since I discovered what a blog was and then started my own. I actually have never "un-followed" any of those blogs (with the exception of one blogger who really ticked me off), so I feel like I've been a good friend to those of you who write their own thoughts on the internet.

In the wake of my numbers dropping, I thought, "Alright, ladies (and gents). I'm going back to review those blogs I've added to my reading list over the years and drop some of y'all who I don't really even recognize anymore." (Thinking, "That will make me feel better!")

Well, I deleted my name from one blog (which seemed to take forever), and then POOF! I found that ALL the blogs I've been following all this time have been deleted from my list!! All my dear friends who will see their numbers diminish by one might have the same thoughts going through their heads that I've had. BAAAA! How am I going to fix this?
Another beautiful image from Dawn.
I'm going to start by heading over to my sidebar, clicking on each and every blog that is listed there and re-add myself as one of their (your) followers. Then, I'm going to go through some of my bookmarks on my computer to track down the rest of you. I know. It's going to take a while.

The result of this massive event is that now I'm wondering if my numbers were going down because someone consciously deleted me - or if Blogger did it for them with a mass deletion of all their reading list?

I don't care. (Of course, I do!) Numbers don't matter. (Of course, they do!) I'll change who I am and what I write in order to be wittier, craftier and more likeable. (Is change even possible? I'm 56 years old!) Or...I'll just keep being me, loving those friends who like me the way I am. People with whom I have something in common. Yes. That's what I'll do.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again because it really is true. All of you, my friends, mean the world to me. I started writing my blog for me, to me. I continue to write for me, but now I write to you, too. Thanks for being there, even when you don't comment. I know you're there by looking at my sidebar.

Thanks for inspiring this introspection, Blogger. Really. Thanks.
Photobucket

34 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Sharon said...

Donna,

I'm pretty certain that no one would delete your blog intentionally. You definitely have one of the friendliest and most interesting blogs in "blogland". It makes me sad to see you frustrated about this issue so just keep doing what you do best, being your lovely self!

Jo said...

Stay the person you are, don't chg a thing!!!!

sunny said...

Don't get in too big of a hurry to add everyone back. Sometimes my list of who I'm following disappears, and then it reappears later. Give it some time. My number of followers is small, but I always get excited when I get a new follower. I've never made following a condition for a giveaway, because I prefer a small community to a large number of anonymous followers who don't really read or comment.

T.@WhatWeKeep said...

You don't need to do a thing, Donna. Your warmth, humor and heart shine thru in each post!
Keep being you. : )

Jan M said...

Reading this has made my day! It has been a fight with the computer all day long. I prefer to believe it is due to internet gremlins, and certainly not operator error! As others have said, there are some days where all my followers disappear and suddenly reappear. There are days I log into my reader and am informed that I am not following any blogs! It is just a mystery. Fortunately, I can always happily find my way here!

sjmcdowell said...

Hi Donna,

Was that "you" who dropped off my blog...just kidding!
I have a rather small following and for me that is just fine!! I have many blogs that I follow and probably too many to keep up with. I have noticed a lull in activity in visitors but then I have not posted as much as I use to because of well just my daily life.
Donna you are a lovely person and I enjoy visiting you here very much. We all have our own lives and I think at the end of the day that you do a great job. In life there are ebbs and flows...I am content with that.;)

Blessings and Smiles,

Susan

The Feathered Nest said...

Dear sweet friend....having blogged now almost five years, it IS hard not to look at numbers. Followers will come and go but friends do NOT. We love you and love your creativity! Just keep doing what you're doing, and don't even look at the followers widget. Keep close the places you love to visit, those blogs that inspire and build you up ~ these are the things that matter. You are amazingly talented girl, I love coming here, you ALWAYS inspire me!!! hugs and love, Dawn

By Hoki Quilts said...

Oh Donna, I'm so sorry but I did have to have a little giggle just imagining what you would look like when the 'poof' event happened. I had a problem once that told me I was following no blogs (I knew darned well I was) so chose to find an early post of mine bring it up on the screen and taa daa all my friends were there as blogs I'm following.
Sometimes we all have to take a step backwards to move forwards perhaps.
keep on writing, I enjoy popping by.
hugs - Miche'le

nancy huggins said...

I understand the following thing..I have had some un follow me but I knew who they were and I just delete names on my side bar..I was deleting a name on my side bar or thought I was and poof..I deleted all the bloggers links and still am not sure if I got them all back. I don't really understand the following thing..does everyone that is following my blog check their list of who they are following every day? I know I have bloggers on my left sidebar that havn't posted in months and I really should take them off ...I will have to be very careful and maybe write their name down on paper so I don't delete everyone.
Another thing I wonder about is ...why is it getting almost impossible to leave comments on some blogs..is everyone making it so you have to sign in to google account~or is blogger doing it? Very confusing to me and if some bloggers have it fixed like that then I guess I just won't be able to comment and also can't enter in a lot of the give aways either. Nothing I can do about it so might as well just not worry about it :)

Rebecca said...

Donna~You are so funny girlfriend...you truly make me smile!

Just tonight I picked up my strawberry sachet I won from you and was amazed once again at your talent. God has truly blessed your hands. I love what you do, who you are and what you have to say.

Even when I don't comment, I'm here! Just wanted you to know!

Love to you~Rebecca

Lisette said...

That sounds like something I could have done! I really hope I get spared of doing it.
I sometimes get rid of some blogs I follow because in time I find they are not as interesting anymore. That's life! It's like friends, they share your life with you as long as you have things to share or talk about, sometimes you are just not sharing anymore and the friendship ends somehow.

Carol said...

OMGosh!!
I woke up. Clicked into my dashboard. Scrolled down to my blog roll. "You are not following any blogs" was posted in my blog roll list. OMGOSH!! What am I going to do. How will I find all my friends. I am lost!!

Slow down. This happens every now and then. Find something else to do. Come back later. Ahhhh....there they are.

I new from the short list of updated blogs that Blogger was having issues again.

Donna, peoples lives change. You lose a follower when they remove their own blog and profile. FB have taken many away from the blogs. But I so much prefer Blogs to FB. Just keep posting what makes you happy and all of us that care are here..commenting or not...because we love you and we love your blog.

Happy Day!
xx. Carol

DeeDee said...

Hi Miss Donna

I have had this happen too.. I just wanted you to know ... you are one of the first blogs I followed in blogland.. I have had so many back problems I don't get to blog much anymore but I always come to yours when I do.. I never look at my followers list..not sure why...I write my blog to share my love of crafts not for the love of followers...lol...I hope I inspire people to return to visit, but there is so much competition out there in blogland it would be an up hill battle for me... one little lonely crafter in the stream of things...

I will continue to come visit as you inspire me lots and I love your pets and there adventures lots too... :D

my followers come and go.... I make my day happy with the ones thats show up and hope the others who have left have found a new fun place in blogland......

I hope you find all your lost freinds again soon... :D

Claudia said...

Darn that Blogger! So sorry that happened to you. For what it's worth, my followers list has always gone down by one or two numbers, then it rights itself. I suspect the Followers widget is a little wonky.

I know we're not supposed to care and in an ideal world, I wouldn't. But, like you, I keep an eye on that number!

xo
Claudia

Lee said...

Hi Donna! I don't think I've ever commented here before, but I read here a lot! Some people use "following" to keep up with blogs, but I use Google Reader. I think it's easier, although it doesn't let you (the writer) know that I'm a regular reader.

Don't change a thing. I think that being true to yourself is the key to having a successful blog!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Donna, I can't imagine anyone unfollowing you! I just think blogger has so many issues. Half the time our 'blogs we follow' list isn't on our dashboard. We've learned that's not a reliable place to find all the blogs we like. What I wish blogger would fix is make leaving comments easy. I still have a lot of trouble and it's time consuming to leave comments on some blogs. I'm a big believer in commenting though. Keep being you, Donna, and I hope your list returns! Twyla

Sherri said...

Donna, I will always follow your blog! I love your blog and what you write about. You are a wonderful person!! Have a great day!

Createology said...

Following on blogger is not reliable from what I have learned. Sometimes no followers and no blogs I follow. I do get excited when I get a new follower however I also know from my blog and reading others consistently that not all followers are truly caring commenting "blog friends". Those numbers are a precious few and mean the very most. Quality over quantity is what I wish to remember. Your blog is so you and I treasure YOU Miss Donna. You are such a kind hearted, generous soul who is also extremely talented with needle and thread. Such an amazing combination in this world. Hugs of love dear...

Dani said...

I feel the same way..lost two followers and wondered if it was something I did....but then realized blogger is not always friendly.....I would never unfollow you..your blog is wonderful....
hugs

MosaicMagpie said...

Don't go changing, to try to please anybody! You have a great blog and like DeeDee said, it is one of the first I started following. I had a lot of blogs in my google reader, some I did not really read and wanted to cull some out. It is such an ordeal to take them off and then the next time I log on they are back! Now I am more selective about who I follow and try to keep those to blogs with common interests. So girlie, you stay just the way you are. Some of those numbers droppoing may have thought you were an auto repair blog or a pizza delivery serivce. Those that know you and regularly read your blog will be here!
Deb

Jennifer M. said...

I guess in a way its hurtful to think that someone doesn't like your blog so when we are unfollowed, you can't help but think..."Okay, did I say something wrong? Am I too boring? etc...I think some of us use our follower numbers to decide if we are doing a good blogging job. I don't know. I'm trying to get over it. Plus you have to consider the possibility that some followers are just deleting their accounts cause they don't have the time to read blogs. That could be another reason for the decline of followers.

I do feel bad unfollowing a blog so I will only do it if the blog hasn't been updated in forever or the person has announced I'm closing my blog. Anyways, blogging should be about fun and interacting with like-minded people, it is not a popularity contest.

I really like reading your blog plus its pertty too...;D You won't see my unfollowing it anytime soon.

Jen

Cheryl~ZanyMayd said...

Hi Donna ~ Great post, I dropped a few #'s while I was in Georgia, gee, why do we care what the #'s are, but We Do~ so glad you stopped by, I missed so much while gone, now to take hours sitting here & catching up on Everything~ Have a wonderful week, Don't forget to Re Friend Me too! lol
Cheryl

Quiltin' Sandy said...

I have had some strange problems with blogger- a couple of times, I have tried to look at the blogs I follow and have a message saying I am currently not following any!!! Later the list reappears. ???
I for one, really look forward to reading your blog! Hugs, Sandy. :)

ShirleyC said...

I'm wondering if I was one that you deleted because my followers dropped a number, and I don't see you on my list.
I did delete a few blogs, but they hadn't posted in a year or so, and I just figured they'd quit blogging.

Susan said...

Hi, Donna, I'm sorry for the drop in the followers of your blog. I'm like you, if
I find a blog that I like, I stay with it
and keep it in my list. I only have 29
followers, I just started blogging in May
of this year, and I treasure everyone
who follows. I can't afford to lose anyone
with my little following list. Everyone
has been wonderful and has left sweet
comments, so my confidence has been boosted. I treasure my followers and their comments.
I adore blogging and I look forward to
finding new blog friends every day.
Warm Regards,
Susan B., Western MA
p.s. Do you want to follow my blog?
Hint,hint! www.glenoaksprimitives.blogspot.com

Gail said...

I don't blog (yet), but I enjoy visiting your blog. Your projects are ALWAYS lovely. Keep up the good work.

Michelle May (Shell) said...

You are my friend. I follow your blog because it is you.You can't change who you are and I certainly wouldn't want you to! True friends and followers are there because they love everything that makes you who you are.
For that...I love ya. :)
xx, shell

Shirley said...

Hi Donna, I don't want you changing a thing. I enjoy your blog and you are one of the first blogs that I followed when I started. I loved the tutorials that you do and the new things that you show us as you go. I enjoyed Fez's blog and now I enjoy seeing the pictures of Tag and reading his blog. Just stay the way you are my friend. You can't please everyone no matter how hard you try. Take care my friend. Your Missouri Friend.

Sewing In CT said...

I am not a follower but I do check your blog often. I think your artwork is superb. I'm not a dog person, but I like that you are. I sometimes send messages to bloggers but I don't 'follow' any blogs. I stopped checking on some favorite blogs - usually because the blogger is doing something different than what attracted me to them initially or if they haven't posted anything in a really long time.
I don't think that will happen with yours.
I am looking forward to your FWQAL and I love the fabrics you found.

Karen M said...

Its always nice to stop by here to see what you've been up to. This is an interesting topic. Life has been very busy for me lately, and I can't keep up with the reading. Sometimes all those unread posts feel like a lot of pressure. Maybe others are feelings the same, and reducing theire blog lists? Anyway, to paraphrease, its them, not you!

Susanne said...

keep on being you, I just love your blog, both when you are writing about the dogs and your crafts, your blog is one that I try to read/follow every day.
best regards Susanne in Denmark

GerryART said...

I am reading your posts.
I have not been good at all about commenting. I have a blog - I love hearing from readers.
Perhaps I'd better make an effort to comment.
So, I do enjoy reading your posts and would certainly miss them if I stopped. Thanks for making me aware of this this afternoon.
hugs
Gerry

Rettabug said...

Oh dear, Donna! You had to be sick when you saw you had deleted all the blogs you were following!
I have mine in 2 places....my sidebar AND in Google Reader, too. That way, I can cross reference. The reader lets me scan quickly & see what I'm missing.

I've honestly thought about taking off my followers widget. It can get into your head.
I'm sure it was an accident that ANY of your followers dropped off. I can't imagine why they would leave such a kind, honest, thoughtful creative writer such as yourself.

Hugs,
Rett

Faerie Moon Creations said...

I did indeed notice that I lost one follower - maybe it was you? I'm not sure. I hope not. :) How awful that must have been for you to lose all the blogs you follow! I am always fearful of making some little mistake like that! I hope that you can get back in touch with all who you visit with. :) I love your blog, by the way, and am happy to call you friend. :)

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