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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?
One of the reasons I like WordPress is what seems to me a commitment to protect typically American freedoms, particularly the freedom of speech so relevant to their work (but also, say, the privacy of anonymous bloggers, which is the other side of the coin).
I run a blog with rather strong words in it, or with photos comparing Sebelius and Obama to Hitler. I use (and so should you, by the way) words like “faggot” or “whore” to make very clear the time of senseless, self-harming “sensitivity” must end and things must be called with their own proper name again; I compare entire Countries to the evil of the past as I did it with Norway, and so on.
The only time WordPress expressed a “concern” about my blog (and stopped me from posting new material for a couple of days) was when the not very smart PR man of a English bishop, probably not having better to do with his time, threatened legal action because I had, by a Google-induced mistake, posted the photo of a different bishop than the bishop indicated in the caption, and who was the employer of the above-mentioned genius.
After that, I never had the slightest problem with WordPress, and I must say all in all they make an excellent job at no cost to either you or me.
Twitter seems,on the other hand, a different matter. I read more and more frequently about accounts being suspended, and those strange backup accounts I see every now and then seem linked to at least the possibility of being suspended. From anecdotical experience, it seems the reasons for suspension become more and more linked to simple grounds of political correctness, as Twitter becomes the watchdog of all those who think there’s nothing better that silencing their opponents.
The last episodes has now made It to the press, with comments critical of the liberal, pro-murder of babies stance of the NAACP leading to the suspension of the authors of the remark. For those of you who don’t know, the NAACP is the official megaphone of Democrat America among the US Black community, and is clearly at the service of the social engineering proposed by the Democratic agenda. This includes the genocide of unborn Black babies according to the ideology of Margaret Sanger, the racist (and whoring) founder of that other pet of liberal America called Planned Parenthood.
Small as my blog is, it isn’t minuscule anymore; rare are now the days below 1,000 page views (at least when I do post), and I cannot imagine that my robust writing style – far more robust, by the way, than the tweets leading to the account suspension – has not led the one or other activist homosexual or abortionist to complain with WordPress about my blog. My blogging activity, though, goes on undisturbed.
Twitter has a very strong position now, and very many – including yours truly – enjoy the occasional jump into its 140 character-rows. Still, they – and I – do so because we think we will find a free exchange of opinions there, and take into account the inevitable unpleasantness that goes with it. I have received – and, honestly, given – my dose of fancy names and adjectives, and the thought of asking that someone’s account be suspended because someone offended me never entered my mind.
Twitter must pay attention not to squander the biggest asset they have: freedom of expression. If they don’t, it’s only a matter of time before more intelligent competitors come along and Twitter goes the way of MySpace.
WordPress sends me an email from a Mr. Barry Hudd. With this mail (that I do not publish lest Mr. Hudd should have another funny moment), Mr Hudd informs WordPress that he is the Press Secretary To Bishop Moth and that my blog post has the wrong photo, namely of Bishop Moth instead of Bishop Burns.
Subsequently, he addresses a “legal warning” to me and informs WordPress that he will send “lawyers (sic) letter and subsequent legal service if this photo is not removed”
My reflections on this episode are as follows:
1) Mr. Barry Hudd is, if you ask me, more than a bit overzealous and trigger-happy. I really think that he should relax and try in a gentle way first.
If he had written a (nice, if he can) comment introducing himself and asking me to remove the wrong photo, I would have done it immediately and with many thanks. To write to WordPress in the way he has done indicates in my eyes a certain lack of, well, pretty much everything. By the way I had been already alerted to my mistake by an anonymous commenter and had removed the wrong photo very early in the process anyway. But the anonymous commenter called me “silly blogger” for that, so I certainly didn’t acknowledge his – factually right – correction.
2) It strikes me as odd that the press secretary of Bishop Moth should consider it something defamatory ( or anyway deserving of “legal service”) that Bishop Moth be confused with Bishop Burns. Now I can understand that we are all human beings and Bishop Burns might not be Mr. Hudd’s (the Press Secretary of Bishop Moth) favourite Bishop, but this seems to me to go a bit too far. It was not a post about Dr. Rowan Williams, after all.
3) I do hope that the photo now posted is the photo of the real Bishop Burns. Should I, by mistake of mine or of my Internet source, still have the wrong photo, i am sure that Mr. Hudd (the Press Secretary to Bishop Moth) will be so nice as to send me a comment introducing himself and politely pointing out – if he can – to the mistake. I think this way it’s not only more pleasant, but faster.
4) Someway I think that Mr. Barry Hudd doesn’t like my blog.