Oh WordPress, don’t be… gullible!

Dmitris played a very interesting trick on his WordPress followers by writing a book review of a non existent book – he went the whole haul of designing a fake cover, flashing it next to his handsome face and writing a 2000 odd word summary to see if his followers actually read his posts. As you can see from the blog, I am one of those people who are guilty of ‘liking’ it (Do click on the link to the review post and check it out, it is quite genius and somewhat twisted).

I repost it here to have a debate on what you think a ‘like’ means. Sometimes I write a long article and get a like 2 seconds from it being published. I assume people ‘like’ for a variety of reasons – a) Support b) We like the pictures c) We like the writing style d) We agree with what they’re saying e) We just want to keep our ‘followers’ happy f) We like the gorgeous face of the author (Dmitri has one of those faces. Truly!) g) We want publicity for our blogs etc etc!

I know we are all guilty of all of those reasons at one point or the other. My question is, what does a ‘like’ mean to you? How often do you read someone’s posts? (I am aware that some of you follow over 500 blogs) Would you take offence if you found out that people aren’t really reading your posts? Or do you only care about the number of ‘like’s you receive?

63 thoughts on “Oh WordPress, don’t be… gullible!

  1. I likr when I can relate to a post, if it made me think, made me laugh, wonder or if it made me see things in a different perspective. If I was following that blog and saw that post, I would have liked it too (Especially if the book really got my interest) then mentally note to check amazon later. Honestly? I would be upset if I found out I was made a fool for an experiment. I follow blogs because I feel that the author is an expert/experienced on his/her niche.

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    1. Thank you for being honest. I do like posts for all of those reasons. I often pick the next book I’m going to read based not on the review (I like to make my own decisions of what is good and bad) but on who recommends them. I do hear you though, I think a lot of people would be upset. However, Dmitri does mention mid post that it was a made up review. I do wonder how many people take us for a ride without us realising it. I suppose we implicitly trust fellow bloggers. There was a blogger I followed a few years ago who wrote a diary of her struggling with an incurable disease. It later turned out that she made all of it up (her disease and a few of her love relationships) as an experiment. After getting so many people emotionally invested in her, people found out and she shut down her blog. Now that sort of misleading would really upset me.

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    1. I suppose no one really thinks twice about it – considering you only follow blogs you like/appreciate etc and therefore you trust their content explicitly. Dmitris did make me rethink this premise though. It’s a good development.

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  2. Perhaps some people are too cynical, rather than too gullible. I know that most of my “followers” never read my posts, but that’s partly due to the fact that WordPress has two levels of follow – sometimes I follow a blog only to discover later that WordPress isn’t sending me emails when there are new posts. I don’t know why that is.

    I also notice that the number of likes I get is far less the the number of page views. I assume that many people read posts but don’t click the like button unless they are really engaged in some way.

    Comments are perhaps the best a blogger can hope for. They are proof of engagement and also move blogging from a numbers game to a relationship.

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    1. You bring up very interesting points, Steve. I’ve never really looked at stats in the same way. Only notice when there’s a drastic amount of likes and follows. You’re right though, comments = relationships!

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  3. That is really a nasty trick(that is why I never read book review :p)…I would like if it is good…comment if it is too good…And reblog if I want keep a collection in my blog(reblogged category)….I would read and close the tab if i don’t like….As everyone I too wish to get likes but low number of likes never concern me…. I don’t believe More likes= good posts concept….As above comment says I would love to have comments than likes…

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  4. I only “like” what I’ve read, I don’t take a glance and then hit the button. As such, I “like” very few things. I also follow very few blogs as I find most bloggers following each other are just numbers, who can be following 926 blogs? I consider my audience to be mostly my email followers and the very rare fellow blogger.

    Thanks for introducing this topic, interesting!
    Cheers! Darren

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  5. Haha…that’s a good one! And of course, one can easily make out which readers are genuinely reading your posts and the ones…just “bulk liking”! πŸ™‚ Which is why i prefer to comment on some aspect of the post which i found interesting…which makes it evident that I have read the post…though in my case it takes lesser time to go through the post, since I mostly follow photography related blogs( yours is part of a exception) which is easier to skim through! And yes, I am also guilty of occasionally “liking” posts..just for the sake of liking! πŸ™‚

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      1. On the contrary, majority of people still like it for the content( at least I believe and hope they do)…but yes, I can make out the 2 second “likers” but I honestly don’t mind because:
        a) I just love getting “likes”(prefer comments though) πŸ˜€
        b) “To each his own” is my life’s strong belief/principle!

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        1. “Good points, well made, as always” – Ana Steele (Take a photo of your face and send it to me when you google it – I know you will – and find out the reference)

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          1. ummm…don’t you realise how insecure and fragile we indian men are!!! πŸ˜› and you still go ahead and quote from books I have not read! Do you realise I can sue you for shattering my ego to bits!! πŸ˜‰ What i am trying to say is…i understand the compliment part( thank you πŸ˜€ ) but am not clear what I am supposed to do with a photo of my face( how can I can Google my face!)? you should know that I sometimes compete with my home tubelights! πŸ˜›

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            1. Dude, come on, haven’t you used the google images option? Where you can upload a photo of your face and shows you similar photos. It’s an ingenious invention! Truly! And I mean what I said, they’re all good points but that book has ruined my life by making me think of it everytime I say “good point” – Woe is me!

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              1. Now I really feel like a dinosaur!! 😦 And i go around proclaiming myself to be the modern age Peter Pan!! πŸ™‚ But, yes I did try out the option, and boy, it seems I have too many look-alikes…at least as per google’s computers! You decide if they look like me! πŸ˜€
                https://www.google.co.in/search?tbs=simg:CAESaRpnCxCo1NgEGgYIFwg9CEIMCxCwjKcIGjwKOggBEhScB5oHnwe2B50HugaeB7wFzwa6BRogoGtYuIyVvUenIwrkx3egR6uQg3pkOJbL9wZLrZiKRHkMCxCOrv4IGgoKCAgBEgSr5H6IDA&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=dBInU6OoNMSHrgfeyoGoDg&ved=0CEoQsw4&biw=1366&bih=604

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  6. I almost did a post on this. The same thing’s happened to me the moment I publish. Annoying. One day it hit me: mAybe…it’s bc they (if they’re following) already know they’ll like it. They’ve come to trust me. LOL

    Eh. Sigh.

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    1. Haha. Well, I do imagine that we all are trusted to write quality stuff. And I suppose we shouldn’t worry about how many people are reading it, if our true aim in life is to write for writing’s sake. But I know what you mean.

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  7. I visit a lot of blogs, and I skim mostly, but thoroughly read now and then. I have had some comments that pertained nothing to what I wrote about, but I understand, we’re all busy. At least they made the effort and must have thought they knew what they were talking about. I find I get more likes on my poetry because it’s short and less consuming than my other posts. I always assume not all of my posts are read, even the longer ones. But I appreciate the likes as support, like you said. I think in most cases that’s what the likes are and I’m ok what that, and I’m guilty of that from time to time. I think we all are. It’s why I stopped going through my reader though because it’s complicated to go through the reader to so many blogs, as the reader only posts some of what is written. I go through my email and like the posts on the blogs who have liked mine, through those email notifications.

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    1. I have, in the past, used the wordpress reader which makes it so easy to “like” without actually reading through the whole thing. But then I felt it really took away from the effort that everyone puts in to write, or to compose that perfect photo. Therefore, I now have put the blogs I like on another reader and go through it when I’m free. You are very understanding – it’s so interesting to see so many different points of view about the same issue.

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  8. Correction to my above comment, I get more comments on my poetry. I used to get more likes, but I find I don’t now since the days I post the poetry, I don’t visit other blogs. So there’s definitely a reciprocal factor that I notice.

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    1. There is that huge reciprocal factor, it’s true. I’ve been blogging for nearly 5 years now but I’ve never been more well received that I was last year. I think part of the fact is cause I made an effort to read and follow bloggers whose posts I have loved.

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      1. Absolutely, that’s why going through my email like notifications works so well. I get to read the original posts, and I’m reciprocating. Then the other benefit from that is the sense of community, which I like. Because then you really get ‘to know’ fellow bloggers. It took me over a year to develop that system though lol

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        1. It came easier to me because so many of my friends and family were reading my posts. But what happens when it gets to the point where your blog family is, say 500 member strong?

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  9. I like posts sometimes without reading them but mostly bcause they show up as “likes” in my reader so they are easy to find and read later.

    I alsi like posts I don’t actually like but dislike quite a bit. Again, I do this so I can find them later and comment.

    As far as likes go for people who read my blog, I have no idea what their reasoning is. I have had posts that get thousands of hits with few of no likes, likes on lengthy posts withing seconds, and several likes on posts that few people read.

    I like it when people like my posts regardless of what their reasons were but the true test of whether they read or what they thought is in the comments.

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    1. I agree. A comment lends you more food for thought on how your writing/subject matter is being received. I have recieved more likes on articles I haven’t put much effort in, whereas the ones I really ache over, not many people ‘like’. I do like that you could go back and read the articles in the like section. That is a feature I didn’t know about till you mentioned it. I think I might try doing that now.

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      1. For the most part I think short, catchy, clever, or contrversial posts get the most attention.

        I have put a lot of time and effort into posts that got few ‘likes’ too.

        I don’t think many people have the time that would be necessary to read and comment on every long post in their reader, I know I don’t.

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    1. And, about your question. I have become indifferent about they why and how of people ‘liking’ my posts. Does it really matter?

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  10. I like reading before I ” like” a post. As for getting likes, I’m like most folks, it feels nice to be liked but comments are better. Unlike most, I write my blog for me more than anyone else, so it is Okay to get the comments and likes, but I don’t live and die by them. I do go read the blog of the ” like and comment ers” seeing as, l don’t get that many. If I was getting several hundred a day, I know that I would not.
    I think that was a neat way of checking it out πŸ™‚

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  11. Ahahaha, that is fantastic! I always wondered about those likes that come up way too fast after posting. Personally I like to like a post to let the blogger know I was there but didn’t have anything to comment on. As much as I try to leave comments, I just don’t have anything to say sometimes.

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    1. Yeah, I am sometimes in the same dilemma. And for book reviews and such, I usually don’t read it because I like not knowing about anything about the book when I pick it up. So I like it because I trust you’d do a good job. But then Dimitris made a good point, you never know what you’re endorsing!

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  12. I notice this on my site too. Frequently, I will post a long story and receive Likes within a couple seconds of publishing it to my site. I also will notice that I will have more Likes than I do views on my site. Some people will Follow me, and then Like every post I’ve ever written in a matter of a few minutes. I suppose that I do not mind too much, because I understand that they are trying to support me. I currently have over 530 people that follow my blog, and I follow more than that. There is probably a hundred of them that I talk to regularly, and less than that who take the time to talk to me regularly. I have interests in all of them and their projects, but not the time to read/comment on every post that they make. I generally will Like a post to tell the blogger that I am there, and I support them – but do not have anything to add to what others have already said.

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  13. Personally, I ‘like’ the post if I really enjoyed it. I would hope that people would do the same for me. And then there’s Facebook. Ugh!! I could spend hours working on an article (and I try not to make them too long), and I’ll get 1 ‘Like’ if I’m lucky. But if I share a simple picture from another page, it will get dozens of ‘Likes’!

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