Where you lead, I will follow…

If you followed my site before December 2019, since my last post I visited each and every one of your sites (where I could) and we are now a close-knit followership of around 180 WordPress.com followers. The vast majority of those who were removed either started their site and then abandoned it after a short while or hadn’t updated their site in the last 3 years. That’s not quite the same thing since not a few of my followers have been subscribed since 2011. Thank you for sticking with me! In that first group of followers, however, were at least 200 “Mayflies” who signed up during a 2-week period in November 2014. Even at the time I thought the influx of so many new followers was very strange. Maybe WordPress.com was testing something. I don’t know.

Who are the most dedicated, long-term bloggers, you ask? Authors and writers take that prize. Even many of this site’s very earliest followers are still blogging. I’d like to take a moment and recognize you long-time bloggers and wish you hearty congratulations on your longevity and determination to stick with it. You’re a rarity.

After getting up close and personal with my WordPress.com Follower list, I’ve come to the conclusion that managing subscribers here needs some serious dev love. I can’t say that scrolling through a long list of 500+ followers was much fun, but WordPress.com made it much more arduous with an “Edge of Tomorrow” loop that kept bouncing me back to the middle of the list, over and over and over. I can’t imagine what happens on sites with thousands of followers. Why not automatically remove followers who have deleted their account or no longer have a website connected to their username? Fully 1/3 of the Followers I removed fell into that category.

The other option to getting some dev love is moving us to a dedicated newsletter provider like MailerLite or MailChimp and believe me when I say that is now a very tempting proposition.

Since I cannot transfer my followers directly, would you be willing to sign up on a different newsletter service to receive updates from this site? Let me know what you think in the comments.

And now a PSA:

While this particular message is linked to the US Voter Registration website, it’s really intended for any citizen in any country of the world that has democratic elections. If you don’t vote, you’re giving someone else permission to decide your future.

Published by JenT

After 4 years hand-coding websites, 2 years setting up and running WordPress sites, I launched my first website on WordPress.com in 2006 and never looked back. Since then, I’ve helped other site owners safely navigate through the ins and outs of the ever-changing WordPress.com ecosystem. Find me at wpcommaven.com

10 thoughts on “Where you lead, I will follow…

    1. One other thing a friend suggested is getting younger folks to volunteer to be Poll Workers on election day. Until now mostly seniors volunteered for that job. Unlikely they’ll be there this time around due to higher vulnerability.

      1. My state (Washington State USA) is 100% absentee voting, they mail me my ballot automatically and I can mail it back or put it in one of the many drop boxes in the area, closest one is about 1.5 miles (2km) and around election time they open more locations to drop off your ballot. I do however think they have observers where they count the ballots.

  1. Would I be willing to sign up to MailerLite or MailChimp? Yes, for sure.

    About “followers who have deleted their account or no longer have a website connected to their username” – some are still interested in what is happening in the world of those they signed up to. I guess maybe it is their gravatar that keeps them ‘contactable’, but I am not sure really what the mechanism is.

    1. Thanks, David. When someone deletes their WPcom account, their email address is also deleted, so they’re not reading either in the Reader or via email. But for those followers who didn’t have a website connected, it would make me wonder why they’d be reading this site to begin with. 🙂

      1. For your subject matter – maybe someone thinking of getting back into WP.com and wants the low-down on what to expect. (OK, I’m reaching…)

  2. I feel your pain re: removing followers; I’ve been through it last year, due to several inexplicable spikes I had about 5000 but of course the number of site hits never matched up. So I went through them all (and like you I got bumped back tot he middle of the list as well). I ended up with about 400 followers, which seemed much more realistic and reflected the interaction on the blog. An interesting experience to see how many sites don’t really exist…

    I wouldn’t mind signing up for a separate newsletter list.

    1. Thanks, Kiki. That really sounds painful.

      I’m still weighing my choices on how to do newsletters going forward. On the one hand, having everything here in one place is convenient, but it lacks some things on the site owner’s end, like management.

  3. Maybe my brain’s a bit off the planet at the moment but I’m not really following why you want a newsletter list? Is it to substitute for your followers getting post notifications by email via the usual way or something else? Or are you moving to self-hosted? Or something else… sorry about my cluelessness…

    I’ve been blogging on wpdotcom since 2011 but, as you know, not all on the same blog… and I did take a break of a year or so.

    As for deleting followers, I do this regularly. Like you I delete ones who’ve abandoned their blogs or never update (though there is one I keep because I know her personally and suspect that one day she may surprise me and return to her blog), also I delete spammers and people (or bots – can’t always tell) who’ve only followed to get ones attention, unfortunately a minority of authors and artists do that, too. I’ve a few followers who return within hours of my deleting them, I guess they’re the bots.

    Voting.. I always vote, but one of these days I’m afraid I might have to spoil my ballot because with the current choices in the UK, well… 😦 If I were American, no way would I not vote because something has to change there.

    1. Hi Val, My site is staying here for the foreseeable future, so if you’re following in the Reader, that won’t change.

      I’m still investigating if it’s worthwhile changing to a separate email service. No decision yet.

      Worldwide voting is going to be a challenge this next time around, here, too. And elections may be sooner than we’d expected. Gah!

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