WordPress: The Multiplication of The “Followers” Explained
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Join 2,496 other followers
This appears on my blog as I write this. It truly suggests the idea that 2496 people are following my WordPress blog.
Some time ago, the number of those who “follow” me multiplied from around 180 to around 1600, or the like, can’t remember the figures now. I thought it was a mistake or a technical glitch. It made me feel bad, because it sounded like bragging of a following that is just not there.
The new “statistics” page of WordPress allowed to shed light on the matter. It is clear that WordPress lumps together one’s followers on Twitter, Facebook, email and blog itself, if one uses the “publicize” app that allows automatic posting of one’s blog posts on other platforms. At the moment I have 213 readers who follow the blog directly, and 207 who receive email notifications. To this, WordPress happily adds 1707 Twitter and 370 Facebook followers. Now at least the figures make sense.
It’s a fine line between factual numbers and inflated ones. If I tweet fifty times a day with jokes about the Irish and also post my blog post, what are my followers on Twitter really following? My blog? I don’t think so. They merely find the blog posts on my twitter feed, and they can’t (as far as I know) shut them out if they want to read the jokes.
In practice, my tweets and Facebook postings are actually almost exclusively blog posts; therefore, in this case one can say the one who follows me on Twitter or Facebook does it exactly because he wants to read my blog posts; albeit there would be duplications and triplications here which WordPress might simply be ignoring.
Well, I had posted about this before, so I wanted to close this matter. It still seems a tad fishy to me. If “the Catholic religion has 1.1 billion followers” is counted in the same way, we are in deep trouble.
But hey: who am I to judge?