The serial liker.

At my tender beginnings in WordPress, I saw heaps of Gravatars piling up at the bottom of posts, and humbly wondered whether one day I would be gifted enough to have so many people  reading my blog. Eight months later, I am reassured to see the same Gravatars popping up regularly, proof that someone comes back because they enjoy reading my blog. So I’d like to thank the handful of people who read my blog. Also, my heartfelt thanks to the bloggers I follow, whose posts brighten my day.

Why the sudden profusion of thanks, you wonder?

Simple. It’ll probably make worldly-wise bloggers smile, but I have suddenly realised how gullible I had been in believing that everyone has actually read the article they claim to like. I thought everyone did it, and still hope that it is the case for the majority of bloggers.

You see, less than thirty seconds after publishing a post one morning, I was astonished to see an email from WordPress pop up in my mailbox : “So-and-so thinks your post is pretty awesome….” My jaw dropped open, and I quickly opened my blog and found the post, concerned that half of it had got lost in cyber space during the upload. It hadn’t. So how on earth had my mystery visitor read through it so quickly? Was he or she the Flash Gordon of the reading world, motoring their way at speed through the entire contents of the blogosphere before breakfast?

Curious, I returned to the WordPress category in question. There was my article, and my visitor’s Gravatar. I  scrolled through the other posts: in the space of minutes, my famished “reader” had devoured not only my several hundred words of personalised drivel, but also the articles published on the three following blogs. So in conclusion, my reader was not only skimming’s answer to Usain Bolt, but also magnanimously appreciated everyone’s style, managing to read and like all four articles in less time than it takes my cat to rip a bin bag open. Or maybe not. What if……

Yes, indeed. The serial liker had struck again, prowling on WordPress with his trigger-happy approach to the “like” button. Chasing through a category, he blindly clicks on “like” for every post he sees, marking his territory like a dog lifting a leg against fire hydrants in the desperate hope that the scent will lead back to his blog.

That was a little coarse, I know, but please bear with me. I may be a little naïve, but I think it’s a little risky claiming that you “like” a post without actually reading it first. There are several reasons for this, but here are a few:

  • If you don’t read through to the end, you will never see that when you to the end get and discover that there no interest or English understandable in the text is really, you may just look like a serious not very blogger, which new readers lead to your blog will not.
  • You could put your enthusiastic paw print on an article which quickly diverts from an innocuous title into opinions that you would never, ever want to be associated with simply because you haven’t read through to the end. It’s a bit like signing a blank cheque, with your reputation at stake.
  • Last but not least, you could simply peeve another blogger because you have used their blog as a springboard for your own, but left tangible proof that you didn’t  actually read anything. However, I can’t help wondering whether these visitors imagine that all the “likes” on their pages are 100% genuine….

I have decided to start using the widget that informs readers about the blogs I follow. Check them out, I recommend them because I have read them. More importantly, I really do follow them. They are all different and all bring me something new. I look forward to reading them every day.

When I click that I like a post, it means that I have read it, and liked it. Every. Single. Word.

If you have read through to the end of this post, thank you.  Just out of curiosity, I’d like to ask you for a little connivance:

Please leave me a comment at the end, even if it’s just a quick “hello” or a smiley, without clicking on “like”. Just to see who actually read this…. through to the end. I will be proud to visit your blog, I’ll read through to the end of the post, and if I hit that “like” button, you can be sure I meant it.  Promise.

54 thoughts on “The serial liker.

    • I have been through WordPress but there doesn’t appear to be any way to choose which Gravatars get published, it’s all or nothing… I’m cheesed off by the idea of giving freee publicity, but I’m reluctant to refuse it to genuine readers…

  1. I’ve read your post, and thank you for visiting my blog (and I am glad I am no longer following Patrick Latter…) 🙂

    • I gave up trying to work out how he found time to take so many photos given the amount of time he spends reading everyone’s blogs…. I’ve popped by on the blog you mention, and guess what? My serial clicker actually liked his post too 🙂 Thanks for signing up, I’m doing likewise 🙂

      • aaah more than one serial killer out there then…… let’s get Detective Columbo on the case…. 🙂

  2. PS: check on my blog I have just re-blogged something along similar lines to yours…. seems to be a common “problem” here on WordPress -maybe “somebody” will get the message.

  3. Hmmm…this made me think. I’m very new at blogging and I have always been excited with people liking my post, never occurred to me that some people are just liking it just for the heck of it. Thanks for enlightening me.

    • Hello! Thanks for popping by. And thanks for reading through to the end! 🙂 I hope I haven’t disappointed you… There are lots of great people writing on the blogosphere, and I like to imagine that they are way more numerous than the spam likers. If I like an article, I generally leave a message too. Now I’m off for a look at your blog…..

  4. I discovered your blog through another blog (Mommy Man) . Saw your comment and wondered why your name was highlighted and my wasn’t. I thought you were a male (don’t know why) , then as I started reading your entries I thought you were a French lady living in the States. As I kept reading i found you are an English lady living in France. I was also glad to find that I haven’t forgotten as much French I thought I had as I was able to understand most of your posts in French, yayyy!! . Anyway, loved reading a few of your posts ; you’re funny and I like your writing style. I have a board on Pinterest where I keep my COOL BLOGS pins. Is it OK to pin your site into my folder?

    • Hello, Serafina! Thanks for your visit and for the elogious comments. I would love to have been able to experience all the possibilities you thought up for me… except perhaps being a man…. 🙂 As for being highlighted, I have no idea why – I just write and post, the technical side of the blogosphere is a mystery to me! I’d be honoured to be inned on your Pinterest wall (another mystery I have yet to discover). Now I’m off for a wander around your blog.

      • I figured the highlighted names are from people that have a blog. That’s why mine wasn’t since I don’t have one. I thought about having a cooking blog but I’m sure it’s too time consuming and I don’t know that I want to spend that much time keeping up with it so I just use FB for my cooking/baking/needlework addictions, LOL.
        Posted your blog to my Pinterest folder, thanks 🙂

  5. I don’t think that posting on a blog would take more time that posting on FB, what takes time is reading all the great stuff other people have posted, but it’s worth it 🙂 Why don’t you leave a link to your Pinterest page here so we can check out your cool blogs?

    • That’s true about FB VS a blog. I think I just feel that I would have to post of the blog every day but I’m still researching the idea and realize I don’t really have to post every day do I? LOL
      My Pinterest address is :

      It’s a really cool site where I keep all kinds of folders of stuff to make/cook/ organization ideas, etc. Later. So far due to Pinterest ( but mostly to the wonderful people that post tutorials ) I’ve taught myself embroidery and crochet and made a few very pretty pieces. I especially like vintage work . Will be making most of my Christmas/birthday presents from now on 🙂

  6. I suppose part of the pleasure of receiving comments is knowing someone has read your post. Commenting on others takes more time so sometimes a ‘like’ is expedient just to let them know you’ve been. I guess one must accept that not everyone sees things that way.

    • I totally agree as not everyone has time to comment systematically. However, I was peeved to see that this person clicked on “like” for many blogs when they haven’t read anything at all. they were simply using other bloggers as a means of publicity for their own blog, which I see as a voluntary form of spam.

  7. This is the bane of blogging. There are many useless likes and follows and stats because of people wanting to earn money blogging, or to get you interested in the latest diet fad or whatever. Personally, I find it best to not respond or get upset to those people. I just don’t follow them and I try really hard not to go to their sites! I wish we could remove followers like you can remove friends from Facebook.

    Have faith. If I click like, I have read your post. And today I have read 2.

    • Hello, and thanks for visiting! It’s true that there are a lot of blogs that aren’t designed for real blogging. I always check out the blogs of those who leave their visiting card, but don’t play ball with commercially minded bloggers. It’s a kind of spam. I agree that it would be great to be able to remove followers if they were problematic – I believe there’s some kind of WordPress blacklist you can send names off to, if necessary.

  8. Ciao MM,
    You have now made me paranoid!! I am shocked and gobsmacked. This means I have to re-evaluate the likes on my post and I am probably back to one follower and one real liker. 😦

    Especially if I discount all the bogus yahoo & hotmail e mail I created to like my own posts- 😉
    Oh woe is me 🙂

    • Don’t be daft, your blog is a real party with a good gang of regulars. As for liking your own posts, there are lot of people who do it, and it has me in stitches. I’m not really that worried about the number of “likes” I get, I prefer to have a good conversation going in the comments section!

      • 🙂

        I have always been as daft as a brush, or so my mum said.
        I have noticed some blogs have deleted the likes button and only accept comments, which is a bold move.

      • Daft as a brush? I vote that we call you Basil from now on. (MM refrains from asking PN if he has a red tail and a friend called Mr Howard). I did see that you can delete the like button, but it seems a bit drastic to me as not everyone is prepared to leave a comment, meaning that you can sometimes feel all alone in the blogosphere…

      • There will be people reading this, who will now be scratching their heads.

        Even when Mrs Sensible goes out I am never alone, because there is Me, Myself and I, (we talk to each other ssshhhh don’t tell anyone)

  9. I’m proud to say I read to the end, I always do… honest! 😉 I used to think it was nice to get lots of likes, but I think you soon work out who actually reads things and who is only in it for themselves. A quick look at their number of followers is often a clue… That said, I’m quite partial to clicking ‘like’ and not commenting, sometimes you can just enjoy something but have nothing in particular to add. I promise never to click it without reading it all though!

    • I click on like if I’ve read it and liked it, but I usually leave a comment because I think it’s more pleasant. It depends on the time I have. I am always perplexed by blogs that have literally thousands of followers, on the other hand.

      • The ones that get me are the blogs that have only been going for two weeks and have a couple of posts and 600 or so followers… how does that happen!?

      • I have no idea; maybe they are fabulous, maybe people throw themselves at the blog and leave their mark there in the hope that it will bring new “readers” their way, or maybe they buy followers in the same way that people buy followers for their twitter accounts. Sad, really. It’s just an illusion, as Imagination says….

  10. Well MM, I hope you appreciate the fact that it has taken me a whole ten months to read and digest this interesting post. I had noticed the phenomenon of the instant like before but never thought to challenge it. I decided to wade through post after post in the humor category recently and noticed the same Gravatar on each post. Aha! Some were funny. Some were not funny. Some were crude and very unlikeable and you wouldn’t want to associate with that person. Well spotted! Beware the serial liker. At least two of us are on to you. P.S. And Patrick Latter? I wondered what happened to him! I guess he’s moved on to greener pastures.

    • Ah, Patrick Latter. He was one of my first followers, and I was so proud…. until I saw his gravatar adorning every single blog I clicked on, and discovered that lots of people had blogged about his serial liking…..thus giving him extra traffic on his blog. Clever boy. There’s a lady who is the female equivalent, and there are a few others out there too who apparently use “robots” to plaster their gravatar on every post that appears. I find it sad, because serial likers and followers aren’t serious followers that are genuinely interested in anyone else’s stuff, they are just using other bloggers as a springboard, I think it’s parasitic and egocentric behaviour….. (MM feels better now, bad fairy mode *off*).

  11. Haha, I would have loved to hit like on this one. I love blogging because it is an information exchange, like slow revealing conversation. I bet the serial likers are one-way conversationalists in-person; people you would ignore in a room…and on the web. Anyway, I enjoy your writing style. 🙂

    • Hi, Stephanie! Glad you enjoyed it. I agree that the exchange is probably the best part of blogging- sharing our experiences, and getting to know people who we wouldn’t have ever met otherwise to an extent that you can even consider them friends. However, blogging platforms appear to be used for many other reasons, including money and self-promotion, and I suppose that it’s part of the game. But I won’t play ball with bloggers who aren’t humain, or sometimes who aren’t even human. Sigh.

  12. Write only for fun do I. Frightened now. Although “there no interest or English understandable in the text,” I fear I understand what you are saying. Could there be an audience for this?

  13. Hello, Beth! Welcome to my humble madhouse. I’m soooo happy you stumbled across my little corner of the blogosphere – please feel welcome to have a wander around.
    Oh, Facebook addicts 🙂 My bugbear is people who post every five minutes, to the point where I end up unsubscribing because I can’t take any more… it’s funny how people can invade your personal space even if they are “just” on a screen.

  14. I was very happy to visit your site again today and to hear about your speed-reading fans… I have only just discovered the “like” button, but will use only with extreme caution, I promise.

    • I find it quite funny now. I must admit that generally, if I ‘like’ something, I’ll generally leave a note to say so, and I can’t resist clicking the ‘like’ button if it starts off something fun like little hearts floating over the page. 🙂

  15. I loved to read this. I was searching on internet, if anyone else have problems with “serial likers” or “instant likers” who like the article as soon as it’s published. I have one of those, I know the person in real life and I would like to inform him that the instant “likes” annoy me as I know that he has not read the article. He is an elderly person and I understand that he is not understanding that instead of making me happy, the result is total opposite. I don’t have heart to say this to him. But it annoys, a lot. He is not the only one who likes the stuff as soon as it’s there. I try to ignore them, but it makes me sad, too. I started blog as I want to write as an (ex) freelance journalist. But those serial/instant likers somehow destroy the joy of writing, joy of the idea that I write something that matters. When they like my articles without reading them, they don’t appreciate me and what I do.I am happy to see that it’s not just me who does not like this.Thanks for your article.

    • Hello, and thanks for your visit! I agree that it is more hurtful to see that someone considers you are more satisfied by numbers of ‘likes’ than thinking that someone has taken the time to read a post through to the end. We live in a society where quick and superficial has become the norm for many. Where self-confidence is based on the number of half-hearted, distracted ‘likes’ are gained in a day and anxious teenagers are glued to their screens hoping to get a tsunami of approval they don’t need for a pouting photo on Instagram. Time is the most precious commodity of all, and knowing that someone has used some of their ‘life minutes’ to not only read but enjoy your article is heartwarming. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on mine.

      • Thank you for your reply. Yes, I guess that the biggest problem is that people are not able to concentrate on anything anymore. The society is too “fast living”. And that’s sad. You have to do this and that all the time. Otherwise you are “nothing”. I guess that’s part of this, too.

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