When Do You Stop Following?

A couple of years ago (my, how time flies!), I wrote a rant about the Invisible Reader, those people who follow you but never interact with you in any way. That was coming from a Content Creator’s viewpoint. Today, I’d like to discuss things from a Content Consumers viewpoint.

Recently, Lashaan posted about Who Do You Follow? where he discusses what draws us to various blogs. Listing several broad categories, he goes into more detail about each and how they play a part in how he chooses who to follow. The Orangutan Librarian also wrote a recent post about How Her Reading Tastes Had Changed where she discusses the slow change she’s experienced as a reader in the genres she gravitates towards.

It got me thinking. First off, it got me thinking about how my reading habits have slowly changed and how that looks to someone who follows me. I also started thinking about how much another blogger needs to change for me to lose interest in following them any more. If I follow The Masters of Ironing, because I’m convinced Ironing is the Hot New Thing and I want in and then in 6 months they start posting about knitting and crochetting, should I still follow them? Or what if I start following a Book Blogger because I found an awesome review of a favorite book of mine on their blog, only to find out that they have never reviewed another book in that genre? In my own case on this blog, what if someone started following me because of all the Epic Fantasy I read and this newer trend of more manga, non-fiction, classics, etc isn’t what they want to read about?

At what point do I stop following someone whose content has changed? And not even necessarily the genres of books they read but the output? Say real life has intruded on them and they’ll be offline for the foreseeable future with no idea when they might come back. Do I just stick around hoping I won’t be left hanging in the wind? And if it is content, that doesn’t interest me, do I let things kind of fade away or just make a quick cut?

In many ways, this resembles the quandary people have with real life friends. Are you friends with someone because of shared background or experiences or do you both have a passing interest in the same subject? How well do you get along with each other? One problem is that blogging isn’t actually being friends. Just because I follow someone and interact with them doesn’t mean we’re friends. So the same rules don’t apply.

I certainly have zero problems with this subject. I’ve stopped following people because the comments section of their blog didn’t work and it was obvious they didn’t care. I’m definitely not wracked with indecision and guilt about this subject, hahahaaa.

Anyway, not a lot else from me. Just something I’ve been thinking about and wonder what any of you think about the subject.

104 thoughts on “When Do You Stop Following?

  1. It’s actually a really interesting topic. I find that I have qualms about unfollowing people even if I no longer am interested in their blog contents… Somehow it seems rude to me 😅 But I do get your point; especially when there’s so many blogs and so much content around to follow!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Rude schmude! 😉

      I think personality plays a part too. While I do talk about unfollowing people willy nilly, I actually don’t. I make sure the person stops meeting my criteria and must stop meeting those criteria on multiple occasions. Plus, I need another blogger lined up to replace them.

      Well, there have been times I unfollow someone in the heat of the moment, but even those times have sign posts leading up to the event. I just need to learn to read them better 😀

      Lashaan’s post earlier this morning fit perfectly, imo, with this whole idea of so many blogs, so little time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, exactly! Both your and his posts got me thinking that my current blog following and hopping is not sustainable in the long run… I must figure out a better way of managing it as I tend to have less time these days 😉

        Rude schmude, I agree it sounds a bit posh or whatnot, but there is for me a bit of a silly finality to it, like kids saying “you’re not my friend anymore!” I know it’s not, and I should treat it rationally as simple cost-effectiveness, but I don’t want anyone to feel bad 😂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. My upper limit is now 40 blogs. I’d actually prefer closer to 30, but I have enough that don’t post every week that the 40 is do-able.

          Good luck finding the right balance of everything. I know that I’ll pop on over to people who regularly comment on my blog even if I don’t follow them. Unless they’re into stuff that I simply don’t care about (romance reviews, lifestyle blogs, inspirational quotes), then they can go hang for all I care.

          You could just follow Pio’s route and just like stuff and not comment 😉

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh, so you’re thinking of unfollowing Masters of Ironing? Really? Don’t think that’s going to be a popular sentiment for a public forum. There used to be apps for Twitter that let you see clearly who doesn’t participate so you could remove them….maybe wordpress should have the same?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have no fear, my love of ironing will take me through many a rocky place. If I hadn’t been born in canada, I’d run for President on the platform of returning to the good old days when everyone had to use a T200 iron.

      That sounds like a handy tool. There are some stats tools for free users on wp, but you have to go to a paid plan to get the real data. Totally not worth it to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And when you leave, do you say „goodbye“ or just click that unfollow button?
    I think, following has to do with loyalty and that again with involvement. It’s harder to turn one‘s back to the blog, if I‘ve been in constant thought exchange. On the other side, everything here is mostly virtual, and no one gets hurt when I just loose interest or time.
    It’s similar with MMO guilds: playing together for a time with certain goals can be quite intense, but people tend to get off after a while and that’s just plain normal.
    I‘m still fresh to the blogger community and found out that most followers are the quite folk. I don’t even know who of them really reads my posts (besides of those that comment). Even liking doesn’t mean that one has read the post, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I leave, it really depends on the blogger. Have I had a long relationship with them or has it simply been a following of convenience. Most of the times I’ll just leave. There have only been one or two times where I’ve said something, because I felt the person deserved to know.
      Most people don’t want to know that I stopped following them for X, Y or Z. Especially if they don’t think there is anything wrong with X,Y or Z.

      If you read that Invisible Reader post, you’ll find that indeed, bloggers are quiet. It can be rather a pain sometimes 😀

      Sadly, liking does NOT mean they read it. It would be nice to think that someone had the decency to read what they’re “liking” but as you’re sure to find out, it just isn’t 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, reasoning only results in bad blood and arguing. It could be considered gentler to just leave without a word (we call it the „Tschechian leave-taking“, dunno why 😁). Most won’t notice, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If I think an argument “might” ensue in any way, I don’t say a thing. It’s not worth upsetting someone else over my issues. Now, if someone did notice and asked me, I wouldn’t have a problem telling them. But most people either don’t notice or just don’t want to know.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. If someone views your post through a feed reader (like the wordpress feeder or any of the ones Lashaan mentioned earlier today on his latest post) and doesn’t actually visit your site, they can like your post through the feeder but since they didn’t actually visit your site, you don’t get a view.

          Plus bots. Those rat jackasses do some really tricky things. If I got view for all the spam bot comments I get, I’d be wicked famous 😀

          Hope you have a great friday. I’m already looking forward to the end of Friday and it’s still thursday here 🙂

          Like

            1. It does count if you click on the “visit” but not if you click on the post and it opens up still in the feed. At least, I’m pretty sure.

              If you want, we can try to figure it out. I can’t ask over on the forums because I’m banned other wise that would be the place to ask.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Also, I don’t know if you get a lot of views from Japan. There should be regular views from me, but I have been reading via the Feed more often than visiting the blog site. This is partly down to “time” and also some issues I’ve been having with my browser. It won’t let me sign in to WP on someone’s blog site when I use Chrome. I think it’s a problem with my crappy laptop. I’m never getting a Dell again, that’s for sure😣

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I don’t get a lot from you. Usually a couple a week?

                  As for chrome, there are a couple of things. I have found I have to completely clear my cache of EVERYTHING every 2 months. More than that and wordpress starts acting wonky. Second, if you use any of the privacy controls, some of them can have bad results. The one I’m thinking of (but not sure if it’s chrome or safari) is the do not track across websites. Sounds great but in practice it messes up gravatar, wp, etc.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. I didn’t realize that but it makes sense with how WP works. which is probably why I’ve always hit the “visit” button. My sub-conscious knew 😉

                      And Knowing’s Half the Battle!

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. So. I’m going to expand a bit on this, and then bring it back in. Most of you guys noticed I sort of infiltrated your gravatar icons and follower listings. Yes, I honestly followed around 200-300 blogs right now and my inbox and Feedly is a colorful place. BUT I’m using a promiscuous method to figure out who I want to keep following. I recently I unfollowed a blog because of repeated trash postings, one liner reviews going chapter by chapter in a manga book. I don’t care if your blog is pink or you like dogs and cats mixed with other stuff. I don’t care if you say something that I completely disagree with. I feel like quality content is king. And it doesn’t even have to be quality content 100% of the time. I even do trash reposts occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Using other bloggers followers is one of the key ways to find ones you’ll like 😀

      You’re using the go-wide approach, the dragnet way 🙂 I hope it works out for you.

      Like

        1. It refers to the fishing method where the fisher man drags a huge net through the water and scoops up all the fish instead of just using a single line to catch them one by one.
          Luke 5: 1-11 has a real world example from 2000 years ago.

          Like

                1. How is that kind of moderation working for you? Does it seem to work fine? I’ve never used that option but am always curious how other ways of handling moderation work.

                  Like

                  1. My blog is newer and I’m honestly not the best person to ask as I am somewhat of a resurrected blogger, coming back into the scene on almost a ten year hiatus. My old blog had 500 something followers and got a high volume of comments but I honestly don’t remember much about that experience. I’m thinking that as my site grows I may actually turn that option off and then follow up later since people often are like whisky tango foxtrot after they comment the first time. And what’s the exhualted’s requirements for a following then?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. to make it easier on new people, you might want to put a disclaimer at the end of your posts that you have first time comment moderation enabled. That way when a comment disappears they don’t assume the gremlins ate it 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a good question really. I have always said there’s a limit to the amount of blogs one can follow in the first place. I know there are people out there that just follow, not read the content and just hit random likes (I always have to laugh when I see someone gave 10 of my posts likes in the space of 10 seconds😂) That’s why I put a limit on it. Not because I might not want to follow someone, but because when I follow someone I want to read their posts, and usually comment on them as well😊
    But, as for content…I’m a multitopic blogger myself, which is why I have a lot of interests (which means there also a lot of topics I can follow people for). But…if their content would change to something I’m totall no interested in (Hairstyle products for instance😂😂) I might eventually drop them. It’s difficult when to do this though.
    It’s even more difficult when bloggers disappear and you don’t know if they will be back. Honestly I still have a lot of those that I follow, and don’t see the need to unfollow them. I don’t get content from them, so they don’t take up extra space. And in the eventuality they will return, I at least will get a notice😊
    Other than that…eh it’s always a fine line I guess😊 I once unfollowed someone who had a really good blog, but never interacted with his readers. Every comment people left at a post, didn’t even get a like or an answer. One has to wonder why not just post without comments sections 🤔🤔😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If a blog catches my attention, I look through other posts, the about page and just the general organisation of everything to see whether it’s a blog I would enjoy following. I set my notification alerts to “instantly” (so I get notifications immediately when someone posts). If, after a few posts, I enjoy the content, I stay subscribed, if not, I unfollow. With certain blogs that occasionally post things I enjoy, I change the alert setting to weekly or monthly.

    With bloggers who take a hiatus, if I REALLY liked their blog, then I stay subscribed with instant notifications because some blogs are worth that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. If you don’t mind, how does that work? Say you follow someone and get a weekly email. Does it just list everything post they did and you can click the links for the ones you’re interested in?

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I use Feedly to keep up with blogs, so I’m not even sure if the blogs know I’m following them. So I don’t feel any guilt at all about ceasing to follow someone.

    I just counted up, and I think I follow about 20-25 blogs. There are another 20 or so that I still have listed, but those are personal blogs of friends of mine who may not have blogged in years.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting topic! When I think about it… it depends? I might actually unfollow a blog where I get too much of the same, if that’s more than I needed of a particular style. And if there are changes – I usually stay, sometimes only reading the posts that still interest me. I don’t only follow blogs where I find each post interesting, I only need something nice every now and then 🙂 It’s scary if someone is always good 😉

    As to the frequency… I don’t mind occasional posters. I keep them in hope one day they will go back to blogging and give me something nice to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It completely “depends”. This subject is going to change from blogger to blogger and can have so many outcomes that you’d be surprised both are on the same subject.

      I don’t expect every post to wow me, but when the majority of someone’s posts stop interesting me (and I’m talking 75% or more) then I have to seriously think if I want to keep following them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I try to be really picky about who I follow in the first place because (1) I don’t want to unfollow later and (2) I really struggle with keeping everyone in my head. I like to have a clear feel for the person I’m following – it’s the only way I can deal with it.
    Right now I’m following about 50 and it’s a little too much and definitely time for an edit. 🙂

    I hope this wasn’t your way of breaking up with some of us …? 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I concur. Finding the right people right from the get go helps a lot. But sometimes bloggers change 😉

      I hear you about keeping a clear image about the person. I had 2 people I followed who I couldn’t keep straight in my mind and was constantly mixing them up. It was because they both did a lot of days of the week posts and nothing else :-/

      Go crazy with your pruning. You can always find new blogs to follow, right? 😉

      Nah, stopping following someone and then writing a post on about it would be too gauche for even me 😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🤣🤣🤣 Phew! Safe for now then!
        Yeah, I find too many days of the week posts annoying and usually don’t read them at all. That said, I DO like tags ( as you know) and they’re not very different I guess …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Day of the week posts are like the “special needs” posts of the blogging world as far as I’m concerned.

          I do place tags in a different category though. Now that you mention it, I don’t know why. Hmmm, possible fodder for another post! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  10. For me, I unfollow someone when I notice that I’m commenting on very few of their blog posts. To me, that means I’m not interested in their content enough to interact, and therefore I might as well not follow them.

    Of course, this is only when I have the time to read and comment on blog posts. Every now and then I get swamped (work, NaNo, etc) and don’t have time to comment, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to slash my blog reader to shreds. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hurray, I love when other bloggers are commenters too!

      This week has been a tough one, workwise so I’ve commented a lot less myself. Done a lot of driveby likes I’m sad to admit 😉

      Like

  11. That’s interesting topic. I have unfollowed few blog whose content I’m no longer reading as I don’t find it interesting or they most of the time just narrate the story in review. I don’t follow blogs just because they have posted a review of book I like. I see what genre they usually read and if I find them interesting or not. Not commenting doesn’t mean readers might not be reading my post and I don’t unfollow them based on comments. Many of my regular readers hardly comment on my posts but they like and share them which is another way of showing support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How do you find the “sharing” aspect? I’ve disabled that on my site because I had one spammy blogger who did nothing but repost other people’s blogs and wouldn’t stop even when asked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So far I haven’t encountered person who keep reposting my posts but I have followers who share my post to social media that is good thing for me and I return the favour as well. You can keep social media button if you are using it and disable the repost button that way you can control things.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Following some good advice from one of your previous posts on the topic, I regularly go through my “Following” list to check on the blogs I follow. (Wow! That’s 3 “follows” in one sentence!😂) If someone hasn’t posted for more than 3 months, I usually unfollow them unless it’s someone I really like or know well. If I see a blog I don’t remember following, I will click on the link and check it out to see why I followed them. The same goes for blogs where I’m not sure of their content just by seeing their name. I always have a look at a blog before I unfollow it. To give you a number, I’m currently following 45 blogs. It used to be over 150 this time last year. Out of those 45, I regularly interact with around 20~30. I follow based on content and whether I enjoy reading what they have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, clearing dead wood followers is the best way to keep your numbers “real”. While its great that some bloggers have thousands of followers, does it mean anything if they (the followers, not the blogger) don’t interact? I guess it can affect the views, but I’d rather interact with you all and have less “numbers” and more “people” 😀

      The number I’m seeing here in the comments seems to be between 20-40 for meaningful interaction. I wonder if that is a hard number or a number the kind of person who likes blogging as a hobby is just comfortable with.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. As usual you have given me a lot to think. Just adding to your thoughts, when I write firstly I write for myself. When I start seeking, followers, comments and likes, which I very much desire, it seems to affect my writing and content tends to fail my personal standard. For me I have come to realise, it’s more important to focus on the art rather than the admirers, who are not in our control, and perhaps that’s what makes it beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, writing for yourself and not worrying about others is the only way to stay in the blogging game long term. Otherwise you burn out worrying about everyone else.

      The bleeding block editor gives me enough to worry about! sigh…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. And not just the number, but the size and quality too. This is exactly what I was hoping would happen but didn’t want to expect so I didn’t disappoint myself. But no disappointments this time! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I should not have laughed as loud at your first picture as I did, but here we are.

    I tend to unfollow blogs that turn into sales sites or are basically just start being an advertising agent for something.

    As for other blogs I would consider unfollowing, well it really depends on the content and whether the blogger interacts with their followers.
    Some blogs are just simply great for the comments and interavtion, even if the blog content itself is of little interest to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that first pix really made me laugh too. It didn’t really have anything to do with the post but I had to include it 😀

      Have you ever seen a site turn into a sales one? I’ve been followed by plenty of sites like that, but never followed someone who went down that path.

      I can’t say I I follow anyone like that. Most bloggers who are mediocre posters aren’t that wonderful of commenters either 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I followed a few, not many, that over time wrote more and more product reviews or started doing more and more “new release posts”, where the ratio of review to blurb & sales pitch was heavily biased towards the latter.
        I felt I had to unfollow those.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Interesting points! Just as I have troubles getting rid of books, I also usually keep following blogs I am no longer interested in. Like BrokenTune already mentioned, these have often gone done the road of “new releases” and the like, or if it gets very political. I don’t even mind which side, I just don’t like political posts, there is more than enough of that in the news already.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If a blog was political BEFORE I started following them, then it would be a toss up if I started following them. But if they changed after I started following, I’d definitely stop following them. That’s actually happened this year. Someone decided that their book blog should be a platform. Thankfully, they told everyone it was coming so those of us who didn’t want to be inundated were able to leave before hand. It was very disappointing as I had enjoyed their blog quite a bit.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s good that at least they let you know it was coming. Not that you wouldn’t have noticed once they started posting. Personally, I would never comment on these blogs since all political debates get so heated so quickly. Not really my cup of tea, but each their own of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I always warn if I’m going on a break and try to estimate roughly how long I’m away so I can tell people. If I quit blogging, I’d give notice so everyone knows the score. I tend to stop following if the blogs switch to DISQUS for comments (I won’t join it so I can’t interact). I stopped following one who was putting her political rants into random book reviews which I didn’t like. People slagging me off in my own comments section over my politics or opinions get given what for too! (Banter and light hearted slaggings are fine but not utter disrespect!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh man, yeah, if a blogger starts arguing with me on my own site, that’s definitely an unfollow!

      As for disqus, isn’t that google related? I thought blogger used your google info so it was all connected?

      Like

  17. Excellent thoughts on this one. It’s amazing how much the content of one’s blog can vary over the years without realizing it too sometimes, especially when you’re following those blogs tightly. I have clearly seen many come and go on my blog and often for reasons that is strictly related to their own personal life, other times because of their lack of interest in what I’m posting, which honestly isn’t too surprising considering the number of comic books I read and review. It just can’t be helped. I just tell myself that the blog remains my domain and I’ll post whatever I want, as long as it’s relevant in some way, and let others decide if they want to read it or not, whether it’s for the subject matter or for the thoughts on the person. I think the key is to communicate with your followership and see how they react to new ideas to come, it helps to motivate yourself in even doing things beyond what you’re used to!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, most non-review series of posts never last more than a year. Surviving a bad book, World Book Czar, etc. They all had their run and then I moved onto something else.

      Like

  18. It’s been a long time since this happened to me. It was before I was on WordPress. This blog started out focused on books, movies, recipes, and the author’s garden, with many funny posts. The author started posting their own poetry, which was good, and got some great feedback on it. Then they posted more and more poetry, and it started to go in a more double entrendres, then sexual direction. I just wasn’t up for that. It wasn’t what I came to the blog for. It was a good warning for me. Don’t get so comfortable with your readers that you start telling them every thought that comes into your head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t get so comfortable with your readers that you start telling them every thought that comes into your head.

      Isn’t that the truth. And changing the blog based on your followers feedback just sounds like a recipe for disaster. I want to write things that interest me and make me want to write 🙂

      But no worries, you’ll never get poetry on this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. P.S. I have only unsubscribed one follower, which was a spam site dedicated to selling a certain smokeable plant that I will not name here lest that blog start trying to follow me again.

    I have gotten follows from various food and gardening blogs that are tangentially related to topics I’ve posted about. After posting about cannibalism on Friday, I got a new follow from a food blog, which is disturbing. But I don’t unsubscribe these, because maybe they are written by actual people (in some cases they clearly are), and maybe those people like to read about things besides their blog’s area of interest, so who knows? Perhaps they will visit my blog occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I unsubscribe followers all the time. Selling sites, “inspirational”, people who haven’t posted in a year. They all get cut at some point. Keeps my followers numbers a bit more real and honest.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I have also stopped following because someone didn’t care about sorting their comment section out. Interaction is kind of the point in the whole blogging game. If I want to read reviews and not have a chat about it, I’d buy a magazine 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My blog is small potatoes, and I don’t do/have Facebook, Twitter, Insta or any of the rest, so friending and unfrending, for instance are not-starters for me. While I don’t follow blogs, I do pop in from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

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