I only posted an explanation because a couple of bloggers warned me, pointing to the existence of a possible technical glitch. No, there wasn’t any. I just took a decision that I postponed for a long time.
I asked for your opinion and advice though. I hadn’t expected, however, that the post would trigger so many reactions and comments. So many, that deserved a proper collective answer.
First, I want to thank you, for taking the time to think about the theme and comment.
Second of all, I would like to reiterate that none of you are the ones I was referring to, as Ghost-likers. I know who they are. I know you, and that we have countless times connected either on mine or your blog. You are of a different fabric.
Most importantly, I am grateful for your comments, for it gave me the opportunity to stop and take stock about my blogging experience. Almost one and half years later, doing a few courses, and being a member of the WP community, led me to ask myself again: why am I blogging?
As I read the first replies, I decided to wait before answering individually to anyone. I sensed that I was in for a good listening session.
It paid off to wait a few days, ponder and come back to you now.
There was no voting on WHY I did it, and if there had been one, it would be fair to say that no one would support Ghost bloggers, who are after followers to inflate their stats or egos. Thanks for confirming my thoughts.
There were interesting remarks, and I will share the most common ones:
1) ‘Like’ first and read later. Motivated by low internet speed connection, lack of time, etc.
2) ‘Like’ to say ‘Hi, for lack of time, for having nothing to add to what has been already said, or just to say they appreciate the blog. ‘Like’ when finding difficult to comment on photos. And finally like to like, like to be liked, not minding if they don’t get comments.
3) Others never like a post before reading. Some want to also remove the ‘Like’ button.
I cannot forget to say that some reblogged the post campaigning for Long Live the Like. A good rant and a good laugh. Thanks.
Here is the point to stop and make a few conclusions.
The first one is that I have included the ‘Like’ button in the list of taboo subjects (sex, religion, race, politics, money). I don’t aim to convince anyone of my beliefs, but simply make mine known.
If you read all comments to the post or just my wrap up, you will conclude that there is a difference of opinions here. We could spent the rest of our lives arguing about it, or justifying our personal preferences. Difference of opinions is a fertile field for learning, though.
After a few months of discussions with myself, I followed Soren Kierkegaard advice. “Do it or no do it, you will regret both.”
I regret to not make some of you happy, as you like the “Like’ button. The only thing I can tell you is that I know that you like my blog, and that you have been very successful in letting me know that with every interaction we had in the last months. Being it on your blog or my blog.
As I had said in the earlier post, I didn’t expect a like from you, nor a comment, every time I posted, and hope you didn’t expect that from me either. We cannot humanly possibly have time to do all that and still work, have a family, friends, travel, etc.
But… I don’t regret to disable the ‘Like’ button. This is not an emotional decision, and I am not upset with anyone, nor sad. Why?
- I get twice more ‘Likes’ than visitors. And twice more ‘Likes’ than comments. The notification of ‘Likes’ occupy the limited and precious space for notification messages of the mobile app, which is where I blog the most (as I am not often in front of a computer).
- Therefore, I miss to see and reply to the comments, unless I am using a computer and can go to the dashboard. ‘Likes’ are making my blogging habit of replying to comments, very inefficient.
- Worse than that is to miss the replies I get from bloggers, on comments I made in their blogs. Those are the ones I don’t find in my dashboard, as there is a limited number of messages available in “comments I made.” If you know where I can find them back without having to look for them blog by blog, let me know!
- For the same lack of space, I can’t see who has recently followed me.
- I was told that ‘Likes’ are connected to Facebook stats, and if you have a Facebook icon on your blog, you are sending data to FB. If I can disallow FB to do this, by removing the Like button, I am happy.
- I hardly ever check stats. I did it now to be able to say this to you: there is a huge difference between ‘Likers’ and ‘Visitors’. After eliminating the button, I think that looking at stats will make more sense, as it will give me a cleaner view of what I am doing, and on how that was received.
The above are my objective reasons to disable the ‘Like’ button. Now comes a more important one, which is the foundation of my decision. My revised answer on WHY I blog.
Blogging is one of the ways I use to express my thoughts, share my experiences, and my experimentation with photography. I do that though, not as a monologue with yours truly, but through the valuable connections, dialogues, and interactions I have with other bloggers – followers or not -, because that is what makes blogging worthy.
I have made friends here. I have met fantastic human beings, and learnt loads from their happy, sad, funny, insightful experiences, and stunning photos. I have often been in awe for their talent to write and photograph. I got richer with every connection made.
Britta said in her comment that “blogging should never be a popularity contest”. She made me want to share with you, key thoughts from my about page:
I use my real name to name this blog – not for being world’s famous – but because the only thing I am famous for is my preference to openly voice what I think and stand for… what sometimes gets me in trouble.
You will find here not only mine, but other people’s perspectives. You may add your thoughts; you are welcome to differ, ponder, enjoy and hopefully have a good laugh as well.
It adds diversity and depth – making this blog more interesting – and more important, making it worth your while.
Feel home, and stay longer, by joining me here.
The ‘Like’ button communicates different things to each one of us. I accept that.
Rest assured that you don’t really ever again need to press that “Like” button in this blog.
Each time you connected and reached out to me, you left your mark. Your appreciation is imprinted in my heart, and for that I am grateful to have crossed your path.
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