Who Are You; And Why Are You Following Me?


You, yeah, you, I see you following me. I noticed you slip in, and I’m aware that you’re there, hovering in the shadows. I noticed the abstract name, the mysterious links.  I admit it, it was a little thrill to see my numbers go up, when you walked in. But, then, there’s this nagging question, that follows me around: Why are you there?

I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth (a silly saying, at best) but there’s been a serious influx of new subscribers at Tales From the Motherland, and I’m a little curious… and suspicious. I watch you pop up in my inbox. I look at your gravitar (yes, another strange term), and I notice if you have something to say too. I actually follow that little cue that Word Press sends me:

You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours!

As if I can’t make friends on my own. I’m not exactly clueless, Word Press. When someone introduces themselves to me, I am generally friendly in return; I don’t need a nudge. But, Word Press has been a tried and true friend, so I try to let these little parental like slips… pass.

I'm looking this gift horse in the mouth. Image: factfixx.com

I’m looking this gift horse in the mouth. Image: factfixx.com

I’m anything but anti-social, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. I’ve learned that friendships, like most relationships, take some work. I’ve learned not to rush in, and then find myself stuck. Not to be insensitive, but sometimes when you rush into new relationships, you realize that you just don’t have a good connection, and then it’s too late. You’re stuck with each other. I imagine a lot of the new folks who are following Tales From the Motherland, came along when I was Freshly Pressed two weeks ago. Let me say, it was an enormous thrill, and an honor, and utterly unexpected. The rush of Likes, Comments and Follows was seriously overwhelming… in a really, really great way. But, I sense that some of you followed me on a whim. I’m not sure why you really want to be here. And perhaps I shouldn’t question, or look that gift horse in the mouth, but I am.

My subscriptions have jumped by a lot this week. It’s very exciting. I can’t help but feel a little giddy when I get those cool WP badges that tell me I’ve had my best day ever, or see my graph go up, or that “X” number of people liked something I wrote— Call me vain (but I called myself that, earlier this week, sot that’s old).  I’m getting thrillingly close to 1000 followers, and that is a big landmark for me. To those of you who joined because you really like my writing, and wanted to read more of it, thank you! Seriously, I am enormously grateful for the support. I appreciate that you took the time to check out my blog, and then decided to come along for the ride. I’ll do my best to make it good.

For me, it’s a little different. If we’re being frank here, and I am,  I’m very slow to follow anyone, so I apologize if you thought I might reciprocate. It’s just not in my nature. I like to get to know you; I prefer to really connect. With the big influx of new followers this past two weeks, I haven’t had a chance to check them all out, and still keep posting, or reading the blogs I do follow. And let me be clear, if I follow, I actually follow.  I read every post that come to my inbox… every one. I like to comment, or share some feedback, unless I just don’t have any. If I’ve been busy or traveling, the inbox bursts and I make every effort to catch up and spend time on each post that comes. It’s daunting; I admit, sometimes I have to skim some posts, when I’m trying to catch up. I feel guilty when I do.

Image: wikihow.com

Image: wikihow.com

So I take “following” seriously, and I take the relationship between myself and the readers, who make an effort, seriously. I don’t mean to be cynical, but a few of you just don’t add up: No picture, no web site, no blogs. If all of that goes along with a fairly reasonable name, then I understand that perhaps you signed on to Word Press just to read and comment, and you didn’t start a blog. Kudos for making the effort! However, call me paranoid, but some of you seem a little suspicious.  In fact, one of you came with a name like Facebookscammer. Really? How can we have anything real, if I dont’ even believe you’re a person.  I should probably just let it go, but with names like:  Alixy025, AKA: Alixcrank (related to IBGullible?); industrialtrainingphp (and this industrial training is in what industry?); agoni12 (sounds painful); o23041978 (there’s a name for you!); OSIS SMP PASUNDAN 1 CIMAUNG (is Pasundan 1 your middle name? And are you yelling it?);  dentalzirconiaphil (call me old fashioned, but that name wreaks a bit of dental ads); I feel a little let down. The numbers don’t add up fairly. DO YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS? I don’t believe you’re real.

I can’t help but wonder, what do you really want with me? In case you haven’t noticed, I write a lot about being a middle aged mother; about aging, and becoming a cliché; I write flash fiction; I write about travel; I write about a lot of things, but does any of that really interest you? Did you come to read my clever posts, my heart felt missives? Do you like my photos, or my rhymes?  For the record, to give some of you the benefit of the doubt: if you click on any of those highlighted links, you can go back and read some of my wonderful posts, since that’s what you came here for. Right?

What is it that brings you here? I’m small potatoes. Nothing to be gained from skulking around my small part of the blogosphere, or mucking up my stats. I like the real thing. I like seeing those numbers go up with real names, real faces, people who have something to share back. I’m not interested in fake goal posts. I’ve waited a long time to hit 1,000 followers, and I prefer to believe that the followers I have, are real. But, I can’t lie. In the past two weeks, since my big Fresh Press bonanza, I suddenly have a lot of you questionable followers. And I’m calling you out. I’m letting you know that I know you’re there. I see you hanging back in the shadows; I see you waiting. My security guard, Word Press, may not be able to keep you from following me, but they’re pretty damned fly about keeping you from making real contact. There’s a special file for cretins like you, with your false flattery:  

I was suggested this web site through my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether or not this
publish is written through him as nobody else recognize such designated approximately my difficulty.

You are amazing! Thank you!

As if I believe your cousin either. And don’t even suggest that I’m just picking on you because your grammar is off, or you English is poor… It’s the vagary, the over-the-top flattery, that gets you ever time. That, and those of you who send messages in a mix of English and something else. If anyone knows what these say, do tell. One thing’s clear, there are playboys and Prada to be had.

playboy ジャケット

プレイボーイ シャツ

Or:

prada 新作 財布

プラダ prada

Why does it have to be so complicated people? I am a writer. I blog. My intentions are sincere and real. If I follow you, it’s because I have read your work (more than once) and I like it. I follow you because I’m interested in what you have to say, and I want to connect. I put effort into it. I am not that friend who is there just to flatter, I bring my integrity along and hope you do too. If you send me a comment, that’s real, that’s in English, I will respond… Every time. If I follow your blog, I will read each post, unless I absolutely can’t. It’s called Real. It’s a big part of why I blog: the connection. I take it seriously, and I hope for the same. Admittedly, I’m a big baby, a real softie: I feel disappointed when you don’t make the same effort. I feel let down when you don’t read my work, or comment, when I put out so much effort with you. But I wear big girl panties, and I don’t hold a grudge (mostly). I get it: we’re all entitled to our labor, not the fruits of our labor; but, know this: with me, you get the whole fruit basket. If you are real, I will be real with grapes, pears and kiwi to spare. If you’re not, (and not to beat a dead horse) I’m looking that horse in the mouth, and calling you out. Why are you following me?

Leave me a comment, tell me why you are in fact following me. You don’t have to flatter, just be real. Tell me how you feel about following others, and what you hope for. If you’d like to chat more, head over to Tales From the Motherland on Facebook, and we can take this to another level. Like me, while you’re there; I’ve already admitted to the vanity part.

Note: No real horses were hurt or prodded in the writing of this post. I apologize to all metaphorical horses, for the hurt and prodding incurred. For the record, I love horses.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Blog, Blogging, blogs, Daily Observations, Freshly Pressed, Honest observations on many things, Humor, Musings, My world, Sarcasm, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to Who Are You; And Why Are You Following Me?

  1. Psychobabble says:

    I’m real!! And honestly, it’s a little hard to remember why I started to follow you, but I think it was because you started to post such empathetic comments on my blog, that you made it almost impossible for me not to connect.

    Like

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    There are so many spam follows out there, it’s hard to know who’s real or not. I check each one out, but even then, sometimes it’s challenging to figure out if the blogger’s legit or not. Is there only one post because they’re new, or are the just hoping I’ll comment so they can run away with my email and send more spam my way? Only the shadow knows.

    I follow a lot of blogs now, and unless the blogger only posts once a week like me (or less), I can’t get to all the posts every time anymore ( 😦 ). So if I miss one of yours or simply click the ‘like’ button, please forgive me. You know I always love reading your stuff!

    Like

    • Carrie, you have been a tried and true blogging friend… one of the many reasons I’m determined to share a meal or coffee one day! ( 😉 )

      I agree, hard to know what’s what. I know some people are only on here to read, not post… I try to give the benefit of the doubt; but, Facebookscammer was a dead give away! Thanks for stopping by; whenever you do, it’s a pleasure. 🙂

      Like

  3. shreyapunj says:

    Hmm. The first few lines made me think that this was about me. For a second there I froze and thought to myself “Have I been troubling her?”, followed by “F***!” and the a whoosh of relief on reading how you like being followed on the web. Only.
    I follow only selective blogs. In my one month as a blogger I have gained about 150 followers and I too find WordPress’ slightly nagging e-mail a turn off. I saw you on Freshly Pressed for your cool piece on Dialogue. I liked and commented. Then being the really cool and “real” person that I am, I proceeded to reading other works and voila!, I was hooked. The Follow button was pressed and it has been amazing since then,
    The best part about stumbling across your blog in its freshly ironed glory was the fact that you responded to my praise so genuinely. Not in an air-kiss-mwah-mwah celebrity fashion but like a normal, everyday person. I felt connected. Also, your titles are to die for.

    So, that is my story.

    Like

  4. shreyapunj says:

    then*
    I hate typos in comments!

    Like

  5. I found Tales From the Motherland through another blog (sorry, I can’t remember which one), I liked what I read and have been a regular visitor for several months now. I even put TFTML on my blogroll.

    Congratulations on all the recent success and keep on keepin’ on!

    Like

  6. MissTiffany says:

    Hey there.
    I did sort of start following your blog on a whim. There. I said it. I’m being totally honest here. I saw that you commented on one of my Friday Fictioneer posts, and I like to do my followers the courtesy of checking out their blog in return. When I did head on over to your blog I liked what I saw, and I like supporting fellow writers. I decided to follow you to see more.
    Btw, I totally get your feelings on this. Sometimes I get followers on my blog, which flatters me, but when I look them up, there’s nothing there. Or they’re running some kind of get-rich-quick, work-from-home blog that doesn’t feel real. Which is sad. But for every one of those I have a follower who truly enjoys reading my work (which is why I blog, of course).

    Like

    • Thanks for being honest Miss Tiffany. Let’s be real here, the reason you came by was sincere, and kind at that. The Friday Fictioneers is a fun group, and I try to read every post, each time. Not true of some others, who don’t read mine. So, I’m grateful that you came by for that reason, and equally grateful you stayed. Hopefully, it will all live up to your expectations. As for all of those fake followers, don’t give them the time of day, they’re bound to use it against you! Thanks for sharing; I love this back and forth dialogue. 🙂

      Like

  7. julesagray says:

    I think your posts are great, and I believe I stumbled upon you via Madame Weebles. Sadly, you don’t follow me, so we’ll see what happens here!

    Like

  8. Katalina4 says:

    Ummm, I’m a spambot and
    #(@)**^#(@$@^#_!+@#$^
    Hope that helps!!

    Like

  9. Robin says:

    Hi! I’m real too, and feel the same. I had no idea when I started my blog that WordPress had a community but once I realized it was here, I jumped right in too and the “reader” is now part of my morning routine w/that first cup of coffee….. And now I have an issue because I love reading and commenting on blogs so much, I can only muster a few posts for myself! Just kidding…I write a lot in each, so post a little less often. I am very discouraged about the influx of weird followers. My last one was on women and self-esteem and somehow I managed to get 6 or 7 new guy followers! Really? It’s frustrating now that if someone likes or follows now you have to do a double-check to make sure the person is legit and yeah, it does make you feel down and unappreciated as a writer to be associated with spam like that… Hopefully WordPress will do something about this in the future.

    Like

    • Yes, Robin… it’s exasperating! I hate to worry about whether folks are real or not. If they’re not, the numbers still count, but I’d rather have each number count for a real reader. I think WP does a really good job of weeding out spam comments, but I imagine it would be hard to filter followers. Interesting issue, and I’m really enjoying the dialogue it’s prompted! Thanks for joining in and sharing your feedback. Much appreciated. 🙂

      Like

  10. Well, I wasn’t following until NOW. Found you through your comment on The Waiting. Anyway…I totally think this post is awesome because it’s exactly how I feel after being FP’d. I supposedly have 500+ followers, yet….where are they? I get a handful of likes with each post, and an even smaller, very loyal few actually comment! In fact, looking at my stats freaks me out quite a bit so much so that I think I might change my blog drastically (as in no longer post pictures of my family on it) because I feel like half the people following are actually creepy people. Anyway, I’m real. And, I am following too. Sometimes I follow because I really like a post, but if I don’t click on them in my reader regularly, sometimes I UN follow. Is that horrible and bad? Probably.

    Like

    • I relate to all of that. Funny, I rarely look at Reader… but mostly because I’m clueless and can’t figure it all out. I just go through my emails each day, and read the posts that are there, as I have time. Emily, at The Waiting, is a favorite, and I try to comment or visit each post.

      Like you, the numbers don’t add up. I’m starting to get a lot more comments and Likes, and can’t deny: that feels good. I write to be read, if there are 100 hits but 3 comments, I wonder what I’m doing wrong. Can’t help it. I’ve heard that following the numbers is self-defeating, but hard not to notice those charts and pings. Again, I write to be read.

      As for your photos… my kids are all older (17,21,23) and the eldest has asked me to not use her pictures, and limit my references to her. My middle son is pretty ok with me writing about him, but I am very careful to be respectful of his generosity. My Little Man is fond of saying “That’s off the record,” or “That can not be used in the blog.” I always respect his request… Both of my older kids have pointed out that once I post it, it’s out there… not that hard to find me, or them. That makes me think, before I hit publish. Thanks so much for taking the time to check out TFTM. I hope you come back and share more thoughts. I appreciate the effort!

      Like

      • I love how they can tell you, “That’s off the record”. 🙂 My kids are 7, 4, and almost 2. SO, obviously a lot different thing going on. But, the numbers are fun, but I’m looking at what people are clicking on (pictures of my kid from 2 years ago???) and the search engine terms. I look at those way. too. much. Anyway, it’s enough to make me a crazy person thinking someone is going to come to my house and kidnap all of my kids. But, it’s hard to share a part of myself, and NOT share them too. Because raising them is so much a part of me. And, it’s all my material. But, I’m trying to decide what the next step is. Thanks for the perspective.

        Like

        • I couldn’t really write without including my kids, either. My oldest son has pointed out to his sibs that I’ve earned the right to use the material that provide… I tell them, “If you don’t want me to write about you, don’t give me any material.” As if… 😉 I don’t worry so much about kidnapping (and I was writing publicly before the blog), but I do worry a little about creepers. You have to do what feels right by you, and your kids. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The discussions have been very interesting!

          Like

  11. The motherland speaks sense!

    Like

  12. Valery says:

    Every single post, from day one. You’re the only one for me.

    There are spam followers? This blogdom is a whole new world that I know nothing about. I have a very visual mind and I am picturing a flock of Spam cans with tiny little legs running after my poor Dawnser!

    Like

  13. Laura Lee says:

    I follow you exactly because of posts like this. You notice things like most, but unlike most others you ask “Why?” And I don’t mean to imply that you are asking cynically, I mean the opposite. That the connections and complexities of life and living interest you and you seek to understand. That is why I enjoy reading your posts.

    Like

    • Thanks Laura Lee. I really appreciate that feedback. I am curious about a lot of things, and an observer of the human condition (see, another cliché) and I like to explore it… the dialogue that’s happened throughout the comments for this post, is much more compelling than I anticipated, and I love that! Again, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, and reading this post.

      Like

  14. The Waiting says:

    I cannot remember exactly how I found you (maybe you found me?) but I remember seeing your Gravatar a lot over at Sweetmother’s a lot and since she’s completely awesome, you definitely are too ;D And I enjoy each and every one of your posts. It bums me out that I can’t read all of them, so you’re just going to have to promise me that you’ll still be blogging and writing once C goes to preschool and I have a little more time to myself.

    Like

  15. Julie says:

    I started following you because I’m your real life friend and my sister Mary told me you had a blog and I think sent me a link to read. But- I KEEP following you because you are an incredible writer and I love your posts!

    You are so honest, and funny and your take on life is addictive!! Your writing has evolved even in the short time live been following, your confidence is is growing and it really seems like you’re finding your voice, both the fiction and the real life observations.

    Having made your acquaintance at the ripe old age of 10, I think I can say with complete authority, you have found your authentic niche and have tapped into the motherlode of your creative genius!!

    Like

  16. nantubre says:

    Simply put, I follow you because I like what you write, your style of writing, and how you manage to let your readers see a huge chunk of your personality when you write. You don’t know it, but you are teaching me to be a better writer. Thanks, girl!

    Like

    • You are so sweet! That is really a very flattering thing, to help anyone write better… I’m still learning, but I feel like blogging really has improved my overall writing. The more your write, the more you challenge yourself, the better it gets… Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts, Nan. You’ve put a smile on my face. 🙂

      Like

  17. Mike Lince says:

    I started following you when you wrote about you and your family traveling in Peru and then on the Amazon River. I got sucked into the vortex of your experiences – the visceral, emotional, and often funny stuff that adds up to real life. We started to get to know one another via comments. I liked that you appreciated my homeland the way I do – that it is among the finest places on Earth. And then we met, and I have loved you ever since. Like the fine writer you are, you come through time after time. Your stories are like the sunrise of a new day – always beautiful and enlightening. Simply that. – Mike

    Like

  18. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Dawn,
    I follow you because you’re brilliant and funny and you make me think. And maybe oddly, this post made me laugh-out-loud! Like you, I’m now close to 1000 followers and I had a big jump when I was Freshly Pressed last year.

    I get several new followers every week but these days, I don’t bother with the ones who don’t even click “Like.” I chalk them up as spammers. And ones who comment, I do go over, check them out, and if I like what I see, I will follow.

    I always look forward to your posts and if I’m busy, I leave the notification in my inbox until I have the time to actually read them in depth (like I did with this one). I’m a big fan of your writing and want to give it my full attention. And I love your comments on my site. You take the time to write meaningful and honest critiques. Thank you!
    Cathy

    Like

    • Cathy, I really appreciate this feedback. Having gotten to know you a bit, your thoughts here mean a lot to me. The idea that my work is worth your time is particularly meaningful. Thanks for that, Cathy. I am a big fan of your work as well, and am grateful that we’ve been able to connect through our blogs. Thanks so much!

      Like

  19. Janine says:

    Hi Dawn! I found you in Friday Fictioneers. I kept noticing your image in all the comments and was impressed with how on point your comments were. And I love glasses – so the combination brought me to your blog. After reading some of your posts I became a fan and now you’ve got me following you too 😊

    Like

    • Thanks Janine! I have really enjoyed FF, as much for the other posts as for the challenge I find each week, in creating a 100 word story. It has really gotten me to stop and look at my other writing, to see what I can cut out. I tend to “over state” just about any point. It would serve me well if I could cut most of my statements (especially to my kids!) to 100 words… or less. 😉 Thanks for following along, I truly appreciate the support!

      PS) For the sake of full disclosure, I should say: I don’t actually wear glasses. I was fooling around on my birthday. I just figure they make me look smarter. wink wink.

      Like

      • Janine says:

        They do make us look smarter! I read that in your bio, so I already knew you don’t really wear them. I love the playfulness.

        I enjoy the 100 word fiction exercises especially because I’m in love words and short sentences that pack a lot in a little space.

        Like

  20. Barbara Lupo says:

    Hi Dawn, Not a blogger, but I absolutely enjoy your writings. I love the honesty, the joy, the pain and the gift in which you are able to share your life experiences. Plus I so think you are very funny.. It is a pleasure to follow you. Barb Lupo

    Like

  21. Hi, I’m real, too. I guess you figured that one out, though, since my name isn’t wijkhfoowekndli or something like that, and I have a real avatar. I don’t remember now how I started following you, but I do read most of my emails, sometimes click to read the entire post, although I must say it takes more time than I have so some weeks I delete a lot of what I just can’t keep up with! I don’t know how you manage as many as what is right here in this post to reply to! Anyway, keep up the good work, and thanks for bringing the spamfollowers to light, hopefully WordPress will do something about it.

    Like

  22. pattisj says:

    I found you through Friday Fictioneers and liked your writing. We have a lot in common when it comes to following/reading/commenting. Have a great week!

    Like

  23. Congrats on being freshly pressed! I follow your blog because I’m interested in what you have to say. You also follow mine and I’m a believer in reciprocating. 🙂

    Like

    • While I like the idea of reciprocity, I try to read all the blogs I follow, and that can be challenging. I started following you because I appreciated your journey through publishing. It’s been fascinating to see the process. Thanks for supporting my work as well. 😉

      Sent from Dawn’s iPhone

      Like

  24. etomczyk says:

    Dawn: You’ve changed your page layout. I like it! Well, I follow you and I can’t remember who followed who first. But I think we probably started around the same time. I have a handful of blogs that I am faithful to (you’re one of them), and I try to touch base with them once a week or so, depending on my writing schedule. I too am receiving a lot of random followers, but they seem in it for their own gain, so I ignore them no matter what Word press nag says. Cheers!

    Like

    • I think we did in fact find each other around the same time, Eleanor; and, I’m so glad we did. I always enjoy your posts. It’s hard to keep up with blogs I love, but generally worth the effort! Thanks for the effort.

      Like

  25. Jennie Saia says:

    I’m hoping that bonding over incontinence is enough to get me on your approved list.

    Like

  26. Life Along The River says:

    I there – I’m real and I follow your blog because I enjoy your writing. I follow blogs in which i either like the writing or photos or both. I admire that you try to read and comment on all posts of blogs you follow. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that – I check in when I am able. I have been troubled by the number of seemingly spam followers so very much appriciate you addressing the issue.

    Like

    • I definitely fall behind in reading and responding, but I generally feel “better late than never,” and hope bloggers appreciate the effort.

      I love that you’re real, and took the time to read this and share your thoughts. Thanks! 🙂

      Like

  27. Rebecca says:

    Congrats on your popularity! Of course, it’s no surprise to me. I’ve always thought you were fascinating! 😉

    Like

  28. kp Attman says:

    Hey, your writing is good, and we all are looking for a good read. So don’t be suspicious. The blogging community is big, so there are plenty of us out there that appreciate good writing. Like me. Appreciating you.

    Like

    • Well kp Attman, you have made my day! Thanks for those kind and encouraging words, they mean a lot. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, to follow along, and to share your positive feedback. It’s much appreciated. 🙂

      Like

  29. Pingback: Much Appreciated: On Blogging, Freshly Pressed, Huffington Post, Publishing and Digging In. | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

  30. Pingback: Much Appreciated: On Blogging, Freshly Pressed, Huffington Post, Resolutions and Digging In. | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

  31. Lenore says:

    I like your perspective on things and interesting links sprinkled throughout the posting I read. Reminds me of a web – oh right, this is the web!

    Like

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