Four Views?

image showing a question mark on a plain background
For non-UK readers, this is a classic comedy sketch called Four Candles by British duo The Two Ronnies. For UK readers, I hope you enjoy the re-run.

When I first moved from Blogger, there was an amount of work to do importing my old site to WordPress. While I was messing around, getting the look and feel acceptable, I set the new WordPress site to be private. Nobody could see it. And yet, within a few hours, I had a follower! How could that be?

Okay, I worked that one out, I think. During setup, WordPress asked me what I wanted the blog to be called. It also asked me what I wanted to be called. So I guess that, behind the scenes, WordPress automatically set my personal account to follow my blog. Which would explain the one follower.

I got the new blog into shape, and put it live. Then I noticed I started getting followers. Some real, some suspiciously named as if to entice me into buying something. It’s funny – I have several followers who have the word vitamin in their name. Please, I’ve already had a stroke, so there’s a clue. Do they really think I give a shit about taking vitamin pills?

But I can understand that companies realise that there is a hub of people here on WordPress, so the platform represents a form of advertising which entices unwary bloggers to their site. And maybe they do make money from some of them? Not from me, I’m afraid. I’ve got all the vitamins I need. I always will have.

The other thing I noticed: when I publish a post, I go back to my published list just to check that the post went live okay. After that, I like to quickly re-read the post live on my site, just to give it a final all-clear. I am prone to making typos, plus there are problems anyway with my keyboard, so it gives me a chance to perform some last, last minute corrections.

In the past, I could budget having five or ten minutes before anybody read my post. So, as long as I got in quick, I had that final chance to review it.

Until this last week or so. Now, when I publish a post, by the time my published list updates, my posts – every new post, as far as I can tell – has four views. These “viewers” never interact, never like, never comment, so I’m pretty convinced that they must be bots of some kind. Anybody any ideas?

Don’t get me wrong – there are some people who seem to read and like everything I write, without comment, but but they do at least respond with a like. I am not one bit being critical towards these people, because I appreciate that English might not be their first language, so they may hesitate to leave a comment, although it would be welcome if they felt the urge. I am at least reassured that they are real people – at least by liking my work, these readers are interacting with me.

It’s funny because some bloggers seem to me to be very hung-up on their stats, but I’m more and more concluding that none of it adds up.

Okay, those are the WordPress funnies. Now, one last user funny: this notion of having to pre-approve all your comments seems nonsense. I don’t wish to lecture bloggers who have been on here for years, but it seems nonsense to me. In six months using WordPress, I have had 1,700 comments on my posts. You know what I think about WordPress’s stats but that one seems about right. Of these, Akismet has trapped maybe twenty which it thought were spam. Of those, probably two actually were spam. My settings are to ensure that the commenter has a WordPress account, but that’s all. In fact, I would happily turn Akismet off altogether, except there is no option to do that. It seems to get more decisions wrong than right, and for two bits of spam in two thousand, I’d take my chances. If people want to pre-approve every one of these, that is an awful lot of work they’re making for themselves.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems in finance, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing mainly health-related software from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

19 thoughts on “Four Views?”

  1. We used to love The Two Ronnies, but don’t have a place to watch them. A lot of their better bits are on YouTube. I always liked the musical numbers toward the end of the show.

    The search engines have crawlers that find the entries and catalog them. That’s probably the four views you’re talking about.

    A lot of my spam is written in Cyrillic or Chinese characters…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember I had one that I wasn’t sure, so I followed the link. It was a foreign language but had names like “Real Madrid” so I assume it was some kind of betting site.
      Yes I never realised about the search engines but that seems entirely plausible.


    1. Yes I’ve found people on here with all sorts of back-stories, many of which I don’t really unferstand but would like to learn a little more. Just like me, I guess. In amongst the bloody vitamins πŸ™‚. I’ve found that reading is important, and follow about 30 blogs, many of whom post daily so there is usually something to read. I tell myself “that’s enough blogs”, but still find myself regularly saying “one more won’t hurt”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I try not to worry about the mystery bloggers out there who seem to randomly follow and then vanish into obscurity. There are a great bunch of bloggers who make WordPress very interesting and enjoyable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I must admit I like to comment, if I can think of anything sensible to say. And if I read something I will usually “like” it. And this seems pretty true of the community in geneeral. So when I see views, but neither likes nor comments, on posts that I write, I wonder where they came from. Especially when it is all so immediate. I mean, I can buy that someone reads a post and thinks it is crap so just goes someplace else without interacting further, but just the timescale seems strange.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are a few bloggers who seem to do a kind of quickfire LIKING – sometimes I am sitting with my laptop and blogger will LIKE twenty of my posts within half a minute. It’s the same few bloggers who do it regularly. I can’t let myself worry about that.
        I think you get out of blogging what you put in. However, we all have times when we do not have the time or mental energy that we do at other times.
        I struggled over the last couple of days because I was so busy and my headaches so severe. But I hope other bloggers can forgive me for the days off sick πŸ™‚

        Afterwall, this is a hobby, I have taken no vows when I got involved in WordPress!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree, to “like” without reading…seems weird. I know sometimes when my eyes are tired I just see this wall of text in front of me, and give up. But that’s, like, not reading or liking anything. It’s usually time for bed about then!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I have those Vitamin followers too. It seems to me that it’s always from the same company or source.
    For the immediate views I didn’t notice that happening to me but it is possible. I mostly publish my post and then go on to read other blogs to give people some time to read my post if they want to.
    I follow more blogs than you but I see that I keep on reading more or less the same posts. I’ve had more spam comments than you, mostly it’s some ‘financial’ advice and a while back I’ve had a ‘hair site’ (with all sorts of hair cuts) commenting often or a shady ‘news’ site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you didn’t part with any cash πŸ™‚. I started off quite strict – I only wanted to spend x hours per day on WordPress. That’s still broadly the case but I’m less strict about it. Now I am quite settled but often find myself thinking “one more won’t hurt” and the number of blogs I follow creeps up. John reckons that these immediate hits might be search engine bots, which seems plausible – I must try searching for myself later to see if it made any difference! Caramel says she sees funnies too, I would guess she has about 10x more activity than I do,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no, I keep my cash close to me and part when needed!
        I enjoy WP more when I have – like you suggested – a set amount of time to spend on it. It takes some getting used too and in the beginning it was more overwhelming to me, I felt obliged to check every blog out. Now I’m more at the point of reading and reacting to posts I really enjoy.


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