Blog views and other obsessions – followers, views, likes and comments

Source: brainsonfire.com

We all say we don’t care about followers, views, likes and comments, but let’s be honest, it’s nice when people show an interest in what we’re doing. For me, it keeps me on my toes and helps me figure out the best way to say things on my blog. I want to post interesting content, so I’d rather know if I post a clunker.

Recently, Facebook, owner of Instagram, announced that they will begin an experimental “hiding” of likes on posts. Account owners will still be able to see the stat, but total number of likes will disappear from Instagram’s main feed, profile pages and permalink pages. I don’t have an Instagram account, and I’m not going to get too into the details, so if you want to read more, check out this article on CNN Business. What I’m interested in is the concept of removing a public view of likes and other interaction on social media.

You can already remove likes and comments from WordPress posts and some of the blogs I follow do that, for all their posts, or just some. It’s easy to do: to remove likes, go on your Dashboard and select Settings, Sharing and turn off your likes. To remove comments, from the Dashboard, go to the Discussion settings and turn them off. If you want to turn off total views and followers on your page, from the Dashboard, go to Widgets and remove those options.

As an active blog reader, I like seeing all the faces of people who have liked posts I’ve read. Is that weird? It makes me feel like I’m part of a group! And I also like to leave comments, though I understand why some posts have the “no comment” status. It’s fun to scroll down and see what other people have said and more and more, I’ve noticed that commenters jump on to other people’s comments, making it a big conversation. That’s really fun!

Now I totally get the negative side of obsessing over your popularity. I think that’s really the case on other social media platforms. I don’t get too worked up if a friend posts a picture of her painted toenails sipping a piña colada on a chaise lounge, and gets hundreds of likes and comments, because that stuff isn’t important to me. I’ve never tried to do that, though, so I might feel differently if I took that risk and got minimal likes. I recognize the trap, especially for teenagers and young adults, so hiding likes on Instagram and maybe Facebook sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t know how brand influencers feel about that, but that seems like a silly career to me anyway (just an opinion!).

As for WordPress followers, I like seeing that number grow, although I’m resigned to a slow, gradual climb. On Twitter, it’s great to look at other people’s followers because it helps me find new accounts to follow.

I think it’s different on WordPress because we’re not trying to showcase our popularity or look beautiful. This seems to be a much more grounded group. I think bloggers are mostly interested in getting their words out, with a side of likes and comments.

What do you think? Do you ever turn off your likes and comments on WordPress? Tell me what you think – comments are turned on 😉!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

54 thoughts on “Blog views and other obsessions – followers, views, likes and comments

  1. I’m with you. I like to have ‘likes’ and especially comments that turn into conversations. I have recently posted no blogs on my WordPress, I was too busy writing my next book. But, I was active on my two FB accounts and Linkedin. Plus, I got very much involved in discussions about the Fall of the Berlin Wall on WWII Authors and WWI Club.

    1. Hi Giselle – I think the discussion part of social media is the best part. When everyone is interacting – that’s the best! Thanks for reading and commenting and congratulations on writing your book!

  2. I have no plans to turn off any likes or comments on WP. Part of the blogging process is converse with one another. I feel the same about Twitter. Facebook and Instagram are another matter. I don’t understand either enough to really care one way or another.

    1. Hi John. I know what you mean. Facebook is a frustration for me. I have a page dedicated to my blog, but it’s difficult to interact on it. Plus, the feed never includes all the people I’ve liked. That said, I still post to the page. I see how FB can be successful for businesses who post information. We post regularly at the library where I work to tell people about different programs we’re having. But it’s rarely interactive. I love the interaction on Twitter. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  3. I like seeing the like photos too, Barbara. I have turned off comments if I know I won’t have time to respond or it’s something that doesn’t really need a response. I’m with you on Twitter. As for Facebook and Instagram, I wouldn’t care if they went belly-up. 🙂 If it weren’t for WP, I’d never know you…or John! I can’t even imagine.

    1. Hi Jill – yes, I think that’s the general consensus for bloggers. FB has always been a frustration for me. It’s so cumbersome and I feel like there’s no interaction, just a bunch of people posting! But I did run a FB book discussion last month with all my hs and college friends and family and it was a lot of fun. So I think it’s a matter of finding what works best where. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Hope you’re under a blanket!

  4. Good post. I don’t turn off likes or comments, but my blog is very conversational…I want to have discussions. I like people to be involved, but not fir eye, but to get the conversation started

    1. I’m with you – I wasn’t that way in the beginning, when I started my blog over 6 years ago. Then it was about getting views, but now it’s about the conversation. Thanks for reading and commenting, LA! 🙂

  5. I like the likes. I also like seeing the faces. However….I am curious to see how the not showing likes would work. It might make things less stressful on the one hand. If I understand correctly the owner of the account will still see likes. I think…. I’ve heard pros and cons for this. I am curious…..

    1. Hi Chatter Master 🙂 – I’m not crushed when I don’t get a lot of likes. I like to think about why some posts get more interaction than others, so for me, it’s just a guide. I think it would be a negative thing to remove the likes (and faces) from the bottom of people’s posts – that’s the fun part, right? I don’t think WordPress will do this since we can do it to our own accounts. I don’t care much for Facebook and I don’t have an Instagram account, but removing the likes on Instagram might be a good thing…mostly curious, like you! Thanks for stopping by!

      1. I can’t see WP taking them away either. It is different ‘here’. I was reading about this a few weeks ago and read some positive about it. But not too much against it. But when I came across it I wasn’t looking for it, just saw it and was curious. We’ll see how this plays out.

  6. I’d much prefer people read my blog because they enjoy it rather than because they want likes on their own blog posts but it’s hard to tell. It’s nice to hear from folks who seem sincere but in the end, you have to write for yourself. To keep from drowning.

    1. You make a great point, JT. I think there are some bloggers who run down the Reader list and like everything in front of them (without reading), just to bait the bloggers. I only like what I like and I only comment when I have something genuine to say – otherwise it’s phony. I agree though, that ultimately, you have to do it for yourself and not worry about the interaction. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  7. Hi Barbara, I have learned a great deal this first year of blogging. Initially, I was not aware I did not even have “comments” toggled on. I likely would not have had comments in the beginning, anyways. Now, I find I learn a great deal from the responses and the conversation. The blogging community is thoughtful and engaged sharing their thoughts and new perspectives. An unexpected, positive part of blogging.🙂 I also enjoy seeing the faces with the “likes.” I understand some bloggers may read a post, although find they have nothing to add to the conversation.

    I look at a blog as if it is someone’s home. If I stop by, I will at least thank them for sharing their thoughts and for letting me enter their home.

    I may interact with Twitter more after reading the comments here. A great post!

    I hope you are doing okay, Barbara🙂

    1. Hi Erica – thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂 I also found that the comments were the unexpected benefit of blogging. When I started my blog, I thought it would just be views and likes, but the comments are gold. It’s great that you leave a comment that just thanks the blogger for sharing his/her views. And thanks, too, for checking in with me. I’m doing okay 🙂

  8. I use my work computer for my roberta writes blog and I am not able to like other peoples posts. It doesn’t matter to me as I always write a comment. There is always something that interests me in a post and sometimes, like now, the comment is quite long. I love blogging as a platform to meet people and engage with them, learn about writing and new books and read other peoples prompt responses. I also find it very communal. This is not the case for me on other social media platforms, except for FB where I interact with lots of blogging friends and often pick up new and interesting blog posts. Twitter and Instagram are just advertising and promotional sites for me. I don’t think it will work to remove the likes from those sites. What is the point if you can’t see what works for marketing and what doesn’t. If they take likes away from Instagram I think people will stop using it.

    1. Hi Robbie – you have made some great points here. I’ll have to talk to you about your success on FB – I can’t seem to get it going and find the interaction is haphazard. My feed is never of all the pages I’ve liked either. I happen to like Twitter a lot, but I agree it’s a lot of promotional tweets in our reading and writing group. However, I get the most success when I post a random idea on Twitter. That’s how I’ve met a lot of people I consider friends (like you!). Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      1. You’re right. When I get busy, I don’t have time to even go on social media for my blog. Especially when I’m reading or if I have work or other obligations. It’s all a balancing act and we do our best.

  9. Barbara, a terrific post exploring the phenomenon of likes, comments and followers! I think it’s a matter of not becoming obsessional about these! Interaction is still key, but it’s interesting for the blogger and reader to see who has liked it, to see followers. This is often how I’ve found others. As for Twitter … I seem to be spending a lot of time blocking strange people on there!

    1. Hi Annika – I think WordPress is a different kind of social media, so removing likes or comments or even followers would not benefit anyone. I would never do it. As I’ve said before, I like seeing who’s liked and commented and who follows who – that’s how you can build your own group/community. I know what you mean about weird Twitter followers, though. I ignore and block – regularly!

  10. I never figured out how to turn “likes” on my blog. I would notice that every once and a while I’d get a notice that someone liked a post but I apparently never activated its showing up on the page. I must say that I’m on Instagram because people told me that I needed to be on it, but I don’t understand it at all. Much of it seems – if you follow me, I’ll follow you – and I don’t see how it does someone any good to be following 10,000 people in order to have 9,000 followers. Yes, I understand that the influencers and the famous people have their million follows on their own, but I think that hiding the number of “likes” is for the regular people who are somehow trying to fit in or to succeed in a crazy situation. Now for a platform to act like they care about something they carefully created is just a way to protect themselves from lawsuits when one of their users just can’t take it anymore. Personally, I think blogs and Facebook foster better interaction.

    1. Hi Karen – I totally agree. As for showing likes on your blog – I ran into the same problem when I set up my father’s website and blog (through WordPress). It’s a paid website and so the features are different. I never figured out how to show the likes. I stay away from Instagram! Thanks for stoping by 🙂

  11. I totally agree with what Instagram and Facebook are doing by removing the ‘like’ button from posts. In fact, shortly after it was announced, I wrote a post about it which generated a wide range of comments and discussions.

    There are several reasons why they are trialling removing the ‘like’ button. The main reasons are because some Instagram users reported that seeing too many ‘likes’ on a post made them feel demoralised.

    In turn, some users went on to delete their account or develop ‘social media envy’ at seeing how well other users were doing compared to themselves. One user admitted that, for them, ‘the number of ‘likes’ was more important than the content’; in other words, they saw Instagram as more of a popularity contest.

    For me, the ‘like’ button serves little purpose. Anyone can click ‘like’ even without opening and reading a post. Some bloggers use it as a free marketing tool in the hope that by ‘liking’ as many posts as possible, they will get some new visitors to their blog. I have many occasions where an individual blogger will click ‘like’ on lots of my blog posts within seconds of each other and without leaving a single comment.

    I hope WordPress go down the same route and remove the ‘like’ button. Comments are far more important than ‘likes’ because most comments prove that the post has been read. Plus, search engines such as Google and Bing rank blog posts with comments higher because they show that the blog is active. Whereas ‘ likes’ do not really prove that a blog is active.

    1. Hi Hugh – thanks for stopping by and commenting – you have some great insights into the liking and commenting world of social media. I like seeing how many people have liked other posts and also mine. I use it as a way of seeing who else is following blogs I follow and learning more about them. But I agree that some bloggers like a bunch of posts and never even read them. I don’t mind getting the extra likes, but I don’t pay attention if they’re not reading my posts. I do sometimes like posts and will not leave a comment, but these are usually posts of bloggers I follow and comment on regularly. It may be that it’s a book I am not interested in, but I like seeing the post, or it may be that I’m really busy, but I want them to know that I’ve stopped by. I think you can be genuine in liking a post and not commenting, if you comment at other times. I know bloggers who do the same for me. There’s a lot to talk about here – thanks for adding so much to the conversation!

      1. You’re welcome, Barbara.

        I agree with you that there are genuine ‘likes’ where people have read the whole post but don’t have anything to say by way of a comment, but I no longer take any notice of who has liked a post. I search for new blogs to follow by entering a subject in the search bar on WordPress and see what comes up. By doing so, it matches me with blogs I may like to read and follow.

        It’s a shame that many readers use the like button for different purposes other than for why it’s there. There seems to be an ever-increasing number of WordPress users who are using WordPress the same way as they do Facebook. That terrifies me, as I don’t want WordPress to be anything like Facebook.

        I much rather somebody support me by leaving me a comment every once in a while than pressing the ‘like’ button on all my blog posts. If I’d wanted readers to press ‘like’ on everything, I’d have never deleted my Facebook account. For me, one comment is worth hundreds of likes.

  12. Great questions and thoughts! I really enjoy having likes and comments. As you mentioned, it makes me happy to see people’s icons when they like a post — and whether it’s a like or a comment, I’ll usually click through to that person’s blog to see what they’re up to. I also feel like “liking” a post is a quick and easy way to show support for a blogger I follow when I don’t think I have a real comment on a particular post (or, I’ll admit it, when I’m having a busy day and don’t have time to read everything!).

    Comments are the best, of course. I absolutely love all comments — even just one comment on a particular post can make my day by letting me know that someone actually read what I wrote and took the time to say something.

    I don’t obsess over my stats, but I do get a boost from seeing responses!

    1. I think we’re the same. I try hard not to leave a vapid comment just to say something, but I like to support the blogs I following with an acknowledgement that I appreciate what they’re doing. If I’m super busy, I might just like it or same something brief. I say keep the faces and the comments coming, they definitely give me a boost. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. Hope you are doing well!

  13. Of course we like likes and comments – otherwise we are talking to ourselves. I never turn mine off; but a phenomenon I know is shared by others is that when we press like on WP this does not register. There seems to be no pattern to it but the problem occurs repeatedly on the same sites. On one that I follow my likes are registered but comments go into the trash. Since I neither like nor comment without reading the posts this is infuriating.

    1. Hi Derrick, I have heard of this happening, but I have no idea if this is happening to me. I know sometimes my regular blogging friends leave comments and they wind up in spam. That’s strange to me. I always check my spam, but I’m not sure how many likes and comments I’ve made that haven’t registered on other peoples’ blogs. I always read the posts I like and comment on. Otherwise, what’s the point of interacting? Oh well, glad to have found your blog and hope my support registers over there! 🙂

  14. I’ve thought about turning them off, but decided to leave them on. Thankfully the spam filter works good. Amazing the volume of bogus comments and links to porn sites that the bots try to post to a literary analysis of Shakespeare – LOL

    1. Hi LInda – I know, so have I. I think the best way to find bloggers is through comments and likes. Doing searches is good too, but I think I connect better when I see others liking and commenting posts I’ve read too. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting here. Hope you’re having a nice weekend!

  15. I’m not sure why anyone would turn off likes. I understand turning off comments and have done it myself from time to time, but only when I felt it necessary for myself or if I thought the post didn’t particularly warrant comments. Make sense?

    1. Totally makes sense. Although I have never turned off comments, I agree that there are times when having them don’t match the message of the post. I would never turn off likes. That takes away the fun on everyone’s posts! Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you are having a nice Sunday. This is my weekend to work at the library, so I’m headed over there in a little bit 🙂

  16. I agree it’s nice getting likes and visits, because it means someone out there is there, reading and engaging virtually. Some of the younger generations get obsessed with social media, but most people are sensible.

    1. I think you’re right, Luccia. Younger people can be obsessed with social media, but I think they eventually move away from that intense connection. I like getting likes and views on my blog because they are encouraging. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  17. Barbara, thanks for the thoughts on this topic. I, like you and others, enjoy seeing the blog “likes” and the faces of those who left those “likes.” As for Facebook and Instagram, I could care less and feel more strongly every day about leaving Facebook and Instagram. The community of bloggers on WordPress is a good community of support, encouragement, and people who love words and sharing them. I’ll hang in there for as long as I am able!

    1. Hi Sherrey – I know exactly how you feel. I am not on Instagram. I thought about it, but felt I’d be spread too thin and wouldn’t have time for it. I use Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends I don’t see much, but I find it difficult to use when it comes to my blog. I agree that WordPress bloggers are the best! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂

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