. . . if a reader you didn't even know you had was about to stop following you?
When I'm not a regular commenter on someone's blog and decide to stop following it, I usually do it quietly. The first time I did it was because I had a very strong suspicion the blogger did a bogus giveaway just to get followers but did not follow through; the second time was because the blogger seemed to be fueling a lot of flame wars and refusing to take responsibility, which just turned me off.
But it didn't seem right to e-mail either of them and say, "I've decided to stop following your blog because ______."
Would you have done this?
I ask because I have a friend who got such an e-mail from a very infrequent commenter, changed the way she blogged because of it, and managed to keep the reader after all. But I'm still on the fence about it, reasoning that I don't really have the right to tell you how to blog if I don't have at least minor "blog friend" status.
That's true, Stephanie.
I know I wouldn't mind if one my readers left quietly--and if my fluctuating Follower numbers are anything to go by, they frequently do, anyway. (LOL!)
Thanks for responding. =)
I think if someone don't like how your doing your blog, then they can leave and not follow you. I think that it matters what your blog is about too. Most of the time mine is how I like it. Whether someone follows me isn't because of what I'm writing but, what I might add next that would bring them back.
I like to keep it a mystery because then they can come and see what's there next. I listen to waht people say, whether I take advice on what i'm doing is totally up to me.
I don't mean to seem harsh, its just the way i look at it.
That doesn't sound harsh at all, Shelly. It's a little like my own opinion on it.
If I got an unsolicited message from someone I barely know telling me what he thinks I should do about my blog, I'll of course take it into consideration and see what I can do to improve my blogging . . . but yes, creative and editorial decisions are ultimately up to me, too, and I might not opt to make any changes. In that case, I hope the reader doesn't take it personally. It's not that I thought he was worth losing: remember that in this scenario, I hadn't even known the reader was there!
Good points! I would respond, too, if someone wrote to me to criticise my blog, because I do appreciate all comments . . . but I don't know if I'd change anything.
That's why I don't write to the bloggers I decide to stop following. I figure that I'd just be annoying them, implying that they should feel obligated to me,but not really making a difference in the end.
I think it could be a good and bad experience...
On one hand, It would be good to get feedback and learn where I can improve
On the other hand, I think it would hurt a bit to have someone dislike your blog so much that they left. Maybe a quiet walk out would hurt less?
(PS- That is also why I would NEVER do a giveaway that required someone to friend you!)
What I didn't say in the first post of this thread was that I got such a message, really looked into a way I could make the change the reader requested, learned that making the change would mean sacrificing what I like to think of as my signature format, and ultimately decided I would rather lose the reader. =S
And the reader has probably figured that out by himself in the weeks following his message, when nothing changed on my blog. In this case, I think a quiet walkout would have been less hurtful for both of us.
Thanks for your reply, KW. =)
I follow and unfollow blogs. I'll usually leave a comment when I start following to introduce myself, also because, as a fellow blogger, I know how much getting a nice comment means.
However, when I leave a blog, I don't see a point in saying goodbye. I mean.. I'm leaving because I don't enjoy following it. The fact that I'm leaving is a strong enough indicator of this, personally I wouldn't really appreciate a comment that went "Goodbye. I don't like your blog." - because you can't respond to it. The person is gone. If it's a mail you can strike up a conversation, sure, maybe get some feedback from the leaving person to find out exactly what you're doing wrong in that person's eyes or maybe it's just a matter of taste/interest. But with a comment left by someone, now gone, it's completely one-sided. It'll just sit there, staring at you and your remaining followers.
Anyway long story short. I don't say goodbye. I think it's pointless.
~ibenBorough of Books
I was nodding my head as I read your comment, Iben. It's exactly how I feel about this issue; you just articulated it so much better.
When I stop following blogs, I don't mean to return and see whether there has been a change, so there's no point in leaving feedback. But I think the reader who e-mailed me and the one who e-mailed my friend were kind of hoping to give us "one last chance" to change before dropping us. In that situation, at least, there's a chance to respond to the feedback--but if the response is not what the reader had hoped for, it would have been better if the reader hadn't written at all.
I think that if people leave for a neutral reason (e.g., you started reviewing a different genre that they just weren't interested in), they don't feel the need to explain why. There does seem to be an element of meanness in revealing a negative reason and then going away to never come back. But in my experience, most people who do pop out of nowhere to give those reasons mean it as constructive criticism, hope that the blogger will change, and still intend to come back.
Most times I leave a blog because the content isn't what I expected. I've never told any blogger why I stopped following their blogs-- a few times I wanted too though. That was because the blog was good but the blogger wasn't sociable--- I felt it would be pushy to tell a complete stranger that they weren't friendly enough to suit me.
When unknown followers leave my blog, I don't need to know why-- I just assume that it just isn't their sort of blog. If they did go out of their way to tell me they were leaving, I'd probably think rude thoughts their way--- so best that they just mosey quietly out the door!