Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Concern about followers

Dear blogging buddies,
I'm coming out of my retreat to talk about something I find concerning. I haven't posted anything since I posted about taking a retreat till after New Year's and yet I've lost 11 followers this week. Over the years, since 2009, I've lost a follower here and there, but never this many at one time. I'm trying to understand what could have caused this and the only thing I can think of is that something I've posted or perhaps my novel, is the reason.

Following a blog is a statement that you like what that particular blogger has to say and want to hear more. I've chosen to follow hundreds of blogs over the years for that reason. But it's impossible for me to visit all the blogs I've chosen to follow. Still, I've never "unfollowed" anyone, even if I don't visit their blog anymore.

What I would wish is that someone who has chosen to follow me and then finds a reason not to anymore, would let me know why. Perhaps we could dialogue about it and come to an understanding. So often in my personal life, I'm afraid to confront someone about something they've said or done, but I've learned over the years, that it's better to say something than nothing at all. Because if I say nothing at all, I usually end up pulling away from that person, which is what "unfollowing" is.

I respect everyone's right to choose to follow a particular blog. But if someone chooses to unfollow, it would be no nice to know why.

If my novel has offended anyone, I'm deeply sorry for that. That was not my intention. If something I've said here has offended or upset anyone, again, I'm deeply sorry. I post about my own life journey and my own lessons. There's a wonderful slogan from Al-Anon - "Take what like and leave the rest."
I love that. It's so non-judgmental.

Anyway, please share your thoughts about following and unfollowing. Perhaps some of your ideas will help me process what feels like a mass exodus.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Blessings,
Karen

21 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I only unfollow someone if they've unfollowed me first. Or if their blog has been inactive for a couple years and I never visited them anyway.
Sorry you've lost so many followers. Maybe it's end of year house cleaning for people and they are unfollowing a lot of people. Or following in a different way, like with Google+.

D.G. Hudson said...

I have also noticed a couple of unfollowers this week, so I chalk it up to the cleanup some bloggers do at this time of year. I don't worry about why, since we can't please everyone. If something we have posted offends someone, then that's life. Take it with that proverbial grain of salt.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Alex and D.G. Helpful.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It's not you, I think it's something Blogger must be doing to clean up inactive blogs or something. I just went on my site and am down 23 followers practically overnight!

Karen Walker said...

Karen, really? Oh that makes me feel so much better. That's so weird though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - Blogger have been fiddling around ... and I've lost some followers - so I guess it's that scenario as Karen mentions. Blogger lives its own life .. cheers Hilary
PS You too continue to rest up and have a peaceful Christmas and happy New Year ...

Karen Walker said...

Hilary, thanks - it's nice to know it wasn't something I've done. Whew!

Sharon Lippincott said...

Karen dear, surely it's end of year cleanup. I go through and unsubscribe from a lot of things now and then. But then, although I have occasionally "followed" someone, I rely on email subscriptions rather than my "follow" list. The only people I feel sensitive about unsubscribing from are people I personally know. That does not mean I read all of them.

My interests evolve and change. I get to feeling overwhelmed by the massive tide of incoming stuff. There's lots of reasons I unsubscribe and it has NEVER been because I found something offensive. I have unfriended people on Facebook twice because I was offended by their posts. Only twice.

I have never thought to check how many follow me. I blog because I have something to say. The past couple of months I've been too overwhelmed with a move to blog. So be it. I probably have lost followers or subscribers. Que sera, sera.

Wishing you all serenity and joy for the rest of the season and the new year.

Stephanie Faris said...

In some cases, people delete their blogs, which will make them disappear. So it isn't always personal. But I tried using the follower list for a while and found it led to me reading people's blogs for months when they weren't reading mine anymore. So what works best for me is to go through the comments of the last blog I posted and read all the blogs. Then I sometimes add new blogs by looking through their commenters and seeing if there's anyone interesting to read. (Or I get them from blog hop lists.) That way I'm always paying back any new commenters who find me and making sure I'm reading those who read mine. There have been a couple of instances where I've supported an author in everything she does and she doesn't support me and I stopped following/reading forever...mostly because I'm most interested in reading blogs of people who support other authors, not those who are just here for themselves.

Karen Walker said...

Sharon and Stephanie,
Thank you so much for these thoughtful comments. I do similar things to what you both describe here. I've really never settled on a system for following blogs that totally works for me. I think the lesson here for me is to fine tune the way I'm blogging and following others so that I don't do what Stephanie describes. I want to be supportive of others, particularly those who have supported me.

Suzanne Furness said...

Hi Karen, I too seem to have lost five or six followers this week. Maybe it is an end of year clear up for some or something via blogger if a few people have noticed this.
Merry Christmas :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm down two this week, so it must be what the others are saying - bloggers cleaning up.

Robin said...

Hey Karen, when I logged in today it seemed like I was down followers. It is entirely possible that blogger is deleting inactive blogs or it's end of the year housekeeping (as has been suggested) above. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. I'd only worry if my comment section dried up (regular readers quit reading). The others were just numbers and not real readers anyway... Hope that helps!

Karen Walker said...

you guys rock - thanks so much. It's funny my go-to place is still blaming myself for something I have no control over. Yikes.

Nicola said...

I am glad you tackled this entity in your post Karen. Just to prepare myself for the apparent 'clean-up'. I too would be concerned if I lost followers - especially as I only have 47. However we mustn't take these things personally. And don't worry, there is no way your book could offend anyone so you can put that out of your mind immediately :) It's a great read! I suppose bloggers are a little like friends: they come and they go but that is just life's invententions. I have friends that I only speak to once a year and that's okay. Wishing you a lovely holiday season and hope that 2016 will bring you continued good health, success and joy. All the best, Karen. You deserve it!

Richard Hughes said...

I noticed my blog lost a few flowers too. Something's going on.

Karen Walker said...

Nicola, thank you so much for these words. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear that.
Richard, yup, something sure is.

Liza said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I lost 8 followers this week too, and was wondering if it was my post (a poem). I'm glad to know it is just blogger doing some cleaning up. Like Alex, I unfollow if the post is no longer active, and rarely, rarely if the content doesn't meld with my expectations.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - here's a link to enlighten more:

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/12/blogger-followers-google-friend-connect.html

Cheers H

Karen Walker said...

HIlary, you're the best!!
Glad I posted it as well, Liza. It was nice to learn it wasn't something we did!

Misha Gericke said...

I think it's a blogger glitch. Around that time, I lost over 20 followers and on Facebook, a lot of my blogging buddies had the same experience.