Blogging oddities

For the past few weeks, my post from last September about making Super Tonic has been getting regularly hit, a few times a day, every day, which has inched it up into the top five most-viewed posts on my site overall. And nearly every day, it also gets at least one random spam comment, written in broken English and barely comprehensible, about how they’ve been searching for this information for so long and this is the best blog they’ve ever read and other such empty flattery (which is mostly how I can tell the messages are fake, ha). The links provided by the commenter are to non-working email addresses and sketchy commercial websites, a couple of which I visited out of curiosity until my anti-virus software notified me that it had blocked a Trojan horse from one. Then I stopped clicking the links.

I wonder why this particular post has drawn so much attention from all over the world–not only the U.S. and Canada but also places such as Bolivia, Pakistan, Hungary, Egypt, Thailand, Philippines and elsewhere.  Also, because I am a naive soul sometimes, I wonder why anyone would bother spamming a little blog like mine, and why they seem to have targeted this particular post (all the spam messages apparently come from different sources; I can see no pattern to them). Maybe it has something to do with the fact that people routinely search for terms such as “dr. schulze” and “schulze super tonic,” and this post comes up high in the results. Also, spamming is a numbers game–they spam all the blogs and hope to get their comments posted on a few so that visitors to the blog will click on their links and propagate their bugs. You just can’t be too careful out there.

Fortunately WordPress spam filters are spot-on, and they’ve never let a bogus message through. I won’t do anything with spam messages in the future except delete them, which I should have been doing all along. Because you know what they say…


Unrelated bragging here, just because I can

Total views on Going Forward passed 10,000 over the weekend! W00t! Thanks again, everyone, for reading! 🙂


Feeling disconnected

I read in the career advice columns that one must maintain an active social media presence in order to be considered legit these days; in fact, if you don’t have a profile on every site with multiple pictures of yourself, people are likely to suspect that you aren’t actually a real person (see: Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax). I’m a real person and I make a real effort to actively participate in all the several social media forums of which I am a member. But lately I feel as if I have become essentially invisible across the board, and it’s distressing me.

I’ve been on Facebook for coming up on two years, and I still have only 36 friends (if I could friend every person I’d like to, I’d still probably have fewer than 100, but most of the others are people who I wish were on FB but are not). Two of those friends are my own dogs. Of the rest, only about 8 ever comment on or like anything I post. Comments on my posts are rare, and tend to be back-and-forth between me and one other person when they happen at all. I have friends who can post something as profound and thrilling as “meh, it’s Tuesday” and get 20 comments from a dozen different people inside of an hour. I am on FB every day and I am a copious commenter and liker. My posts–from WordPress as well as status updates, shares and other links–go up day after day with no response other than an occasional like here and there. Half of my FB friends have little or no interaction with me on or off FB. Another 30% will respond to me if I comment on their posts, but we have no other interaction unless I initiate it.

I’ve been on LinkedIn for so long I can’t remember when I joined. I’ve received less than a handful of invitations to join other people’s networks; every other connection I have, I initiated. Nobody contacts me through that site. The few times I’ve tried to tap my network for small favors such as in introduction to a mutual link, I’ve gotten promptly shut down. I called one guy in my network, a web designer, before my website launched and offered to pay him $50 to sit down with me for 30 minutes to review my site and give me his professional opinion of it. He accepted my price with alacrity, but then declined to meet with me and asked me to email him what I had so that he could “get around to it” whenever he could find the time over the next week or two. We did not end up doing business together because he made it so clear that he didn’t have the time and/or didn’t want to.

I’ve been on Pinterest for several months, and I follow everyone whom I know either in real life or from FB. Not one person I know has ever liked, repinned or commented on anything I’ve pinned. The few interactions I’ve had on the site have been with strangers, and those have been all repins. If that’s a “social” media site, you sure couldn’t tell it by me.

I have a business page on FB for my photography business, and I’ve asked my FB friends and my blog readers to “Like” it because until it reaches 30 likes, FB doesn’t recognize Shaw Pro Photo as a legitimate employer or let me customize the company page (which is different from the business page). After four months, only 20 people have liked the business page.

This blog has 168 followers, which is actually a fine number for being online less than a year, and I am pleased and flattered that so many people are interested in reading what I have to say. But my spam comment count exceeds my legitimate comment count, and my daily viewership is routinely in the single digits. I do have a couple of regular commenters, whom I dearly appreciate, but I wonder where the rest of you are and if you’re even still reading this.

The numbers do not lie. I am a member of multiple social networks that are neither social nor networked, at least not for me. I’m starting to feel as if, except for those 8 FB friends and two WP bloggers who do respond to what I post and whom I appreciate deeply, I am wasting my time trying to maintain social connections with people who just can’t be bothered to reciprocate. Where is everybody? Why do people join social networks and then just disappear?

I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad and I’m not looking for sympathy or pity. I’m looking for interaction, for connection and for a sense of community among my peers. I want more social in my networks. As my sister likes to remind me, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So here I am, asking, even though, frankly, I am afraid that this could blow up in my face because you might think I’m a crybaby/whiner/attention whore/drama queen for even bringing this up. What I think I am is somebody who tries really hard every day to reach out and stay connected to other people and who would really, really like it if those people reached back to me a little more often. As I’ve said before, I favor dialogue in all instances.

There. Now I’ve said it.

Responses? Anyone?

Related: Still not connecting.

And now that I’ve written about it twice, I will retire this blog topic.


A grand tour of WordPressland

My second Freshly Pressed hit-fest is over … the stats graph has flat-lined for the past several hours and everybody has moved on to the next new thing.

I told a friend recently that the FP experience is like throwing the Best Party Ever that was attended by every person I ever knew along with hundreds of interesting strangers from around the world, then waking up alone the next day. It’s sure great fun while it lasts, though, and I want to say thanks again to all y’all out there, especially the folks who have just started following me. Welcome! 🙂

So, I have spent several hours this afternoon and evening returning the favor to many people who visited me and have been going through the recent “liked your post” emails and clicking through to the links on your blogs to see what you are writing about. I didn’t get to everyone, but I have enjoyed a grand tour of this little corner of the blogosphere and have been much entertained by it. If my eyes and fingers were not so tired now from all the reading and clicking and commenting I’ve been doing, I’d give you a full summary with links and examples, but you’ll just have to take the tour yourself one of these days. There’s so much to see!

I’ve taken a peek at blogs by teachers, ministers, journalists, poets, photographers, professors, students (lots of students), moms and dads, senior citizens, teenagers, Christians, Buddhists, dog lovers, cat lovers, crafters, beer makers, travelers and cooks. I haven’t seen every possible angle and topic yet, but I think I got a good overview, and found a few new ones to follow as well.

It’s quite impressive, this community of brave people who put our words and images out there to show the world. It’s nice to meet you on your pages and I hope I will see you again on mine.


Thank you, WordPress

Many thanks to the WP Story Wrangler who selected yesterday’s post to be Freshly Pressed. Of all the posts I’ve written so far, this is the one I am most pleased to present to the FP audience because it comes so truly from my heart.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has viewed, liked and commented on that post. You have made not only me feel special today, but also the two most important people in my life. I know they are as touched by all your kind words as I am, and I am grateful to you as much on their behalf as on my own.

You all comprise an amazing, supportive, welcoming blogging community of which I am proud to be a member. Thank you so much for reading.