Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG Post: Hello Followers, Do I Know You?

A lot has changed with blogging since I first began Coming Down the Mountain six years ago. I remember my first follower I didn't know from somewhere else-- Simon Kewin. I was totally amazed how this person found my blog from who knows where and decided to follow it. I still visit Simon's blog and have read several of his books. He's an amazing writer I discovered through blogging.

Many of my early friends are no longer active. It takes more work to get the same results as early on when blogging was new and exciting. Back then it was easy to get followers. You went out, followed people, commented on posts, they'd follow you back. This was a rush since it meant people were reading your posts and liked them enough to click the follow button.

When someone follows me I like when they also leave a comment, so I can identify them and follow back. Anyone who comments regularly on my blog, I add to the sidebar so I can quickly see when they've written a new post.

I feel bad if people follow me and I miss following them back. To me, it's common courtesy. Just like if someone comments on my posts and I neglect to return the favor. From childhood, my mother drilled the Golden Rule into me: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." That sums up my life (and blogging) philosophy.

I often wonder how well I'm keeping up with my idea of blogging etiquette. Do I follow everyone who follows me? Do I comment on bloggers who comment on my posts? I hope so.

If you follow or visit my blog and I never visit yours, please let me know in the comments, leaving your blog's URL, and I will remedy the oversight.

Is there anything about blogging you're anxious about? Or are you feeling carefree and on top of the world today?


This is the IWSG post for September.  Go here to find more IWSG posts!

28 comments:

  1. All good with you and me. I told my fella that your posts have made me want to visit with you in your gorgeous spot. And in case I didn't tell you I really enjoyed Afraid of Everything! I think I did but my memory sucks.

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    1. Jan, I'm so glad you enjoyed Afraid of Everything. I hope one of these days to meet you in Guatemala!

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  2. Hi Karen - yes, Simon's still around isn't he. You've always had interesting posts - about your mother, your extensive family and your recipes and now your move down to Guatemala ...

    It's essential to be polite - as in every day life ... and yes comment back - but you've got a commercial break here .. as I'm not back yet! Cheers Hilary

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  3. I've been blogging for over 10 years and it's changed a lot. People don't follow back like they used to. I try to get to everyone who visits me or follows me, but I'm sure some slip through the cracks.

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    1. Diane, No, people really don't follow back much and of course comments have gone down a lot too. It's been interesting to see the changes in blogging over this time.

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  4. It was easier to gain followers and connect when I started blogging five years ago. Not sure what it is. Social media has grown a ton since then, which means more avenues take up more of our time. For me, a lot of those I began with have grown in their writing careers as well. I've lost track of some I began blogging with, too. Miss them!

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  5. I share your concerns about following people back, but particularly if someone has a wordpress blog, I have not been able to figure out how to follow.

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  6. Like you I too feel bad if I am unable to follow people back or return their comments, for me its a basic courtesy. Though people are blogging and commenting less nowadays.

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  7. I always return comments even if it takes me a few days! I've been blogging a long time, and it has changed. Yet the IWSG community is a fantastic one and I'm happy to be a part of it. :)

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  8. It has slowed down getting new followers. It takes more time than other social media and everyone is in a hurry.

    Susan Says

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  9. You always visit me!
    New followers don't come around like they used to. Some are hooked only to Google+ and you can't find a blog.

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  10. I don't think there is a sure fire way to know if someone is following you anymore. Google Friends Connect has changed so much that it's not useful as a reader -- and now I have to jump through hoops (no G+ for me) to add my picture.

    I always return visits unless I flat out missed the comment. It happens. :) That's part of what I really like about blogging. The only times I don't is if they have Disqus or some other weird app that I have to allow it access to something.

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  11. I've gotten worse about reciprocally visiting those who have left comments on my site. I usually get around to them eventually, but I don't visit regularly as I can't seem to find the time for so much social networking.

    Blogging does seem to have changed since a few years ago, but then again maybe we've just changed.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  12. People come, people go on Blogger. Heck, I don't think that even my children read me anymore. However, the people that I have met through this site have added so much joy to my life,

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  13. Lately I'm insecure about finding material to post about. As you say, its harder to get followers, but even harder to get followers genuinely interested in you and your posts, not just getting you to read their self promotions. Blogging is so much about advertising now. And FB is getting just as bad. So much has changed since I started blogging in 2009.

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  14. Visiting blogs like anything else is cyclical. People come and go.

    For me, a lot depends on the content. As much as I might like someone, if they don't write something I'd be interested in, it won't give me much reason to visit. This is why I encourage bloggers to vary their content.

    Time is precious. If we want visitors (and comments) we have to be more than blog-hop popular--which can be fleeting. We have to be interesting.

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  15. Blogging has changed a lot over the years. Say no more. It's no longer an innocent little blog-feel-good place, sharing lives and photos and writing tips and angst. Now it's promotion. But there are those who are beautiful, not me, me, me, and will be friends till I kick the bucket. Thank you blogoverse!

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  16. I think blogging etiquette can be tricky, especially if you're new to it. I like your using of the concept "doing unto others" as a guide.

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  17. If I had even close to the number of followers you have, Karen, I would be doing nothing else except reading blogs every day all day long had I followed all of them back. You are amazingly industrious and your output is amazing.

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  18. I don't often click the "follow" button anymore - and I don't pay attention to who's started following me. I pretty much let the comments guide me these days.

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  19. I'm super slow about visiting so I miss some of my blogger buddies from the past. I just have to do much like NIcki does and let the comments guide me. When I see a comment on another blog by an old friend, I stop by again. When I happen to think of someone's name or see them on a blog hop list, I stop by. And then, there are people I miss and miss badly. I do always try to return comments.

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  20. I've been very busy the past year and a half with family issues and the job situation. It's been a stretch to participate and contribute, but I've stepped things up a little, and it's better. My slacking has extended to leaving reviews for books I read a year ago and really enjoyed. That includes yours. And no, I don't get upset if someone does not follow me back.

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  22. Blogging etiquette always perplexes me! I read blogs by just going through previous blogs and clicking over from the comments. That seems to keep me from missing anyone! I think you do a great job of being a polite blogger.

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  23. I live at your blog, Karen. That's why I have a rolled-up sleeping bag whenever you see me here.

    But, seriously, I'm a visitor and commentator with fluctuating time pressures, but I exude goodwill, and always enjoy the read even when I don't comment. And I would utterly hate to be impolite.

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  24. I know what you mean. I like visiting back the people who follow me, but I think many people who "lurk" might fall through the cracks ever since they shut down Google Reader. (Because now there's no reason to click on the GFC button, since they're following with some other reader.)

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  25. Hi Karen! Thrilled to be mentioned on your blog. I can't remember how I found your blog either but I'm glad I did.

    I guess I'm more relaxed about the whole blogging thing these days. There's a scattered bunch of folks who offer advice and support and entertainment (of which you're one) and I keep up with them and so hi whenever I can. But I don't worry if I'm quiet for a time or folks don't comment back on my blog. It's all good. Sad when a much-loved blog goes dark, though, isn't it?

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  26. And then you have guys like me who took an unexpected leave of absence to get his act together. Being part of this community takes effort, just like every worthy thing does. I started blogging when you did, and there was quite the wave back then. I'll ride it for as long as it goes. :)

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