The meaning of the verb “to follow” has changed quite a bit in recent years — it’s another word that social media has rendered flatter and more transactional than it used to be, not unlike “friend” or “like.” In a recent post, Jeff Cann — a writer based in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — reflected on what “following” means to him in the context of the blogging community.
I won’t trade for follows. I don’t want my reader filled with unreadable content. For the most part, I don’t want to read about travel or makeup or restaurants in a city I’m not planning to visit. I don’t want to read about books I’ll never read. Or movies I’m not going to watch.
I want to read about people. I want to read about goals, dreams, fears, foibles and achievements. I want to read about you. I want to read about real people blossoming and withering. Growing and shriveling. Experiencing life… and death.
I want to read dissent, opinion and point of view. But I don’t want to read about hate. Hate is for Facebook.
Read the rest of Jeff’s post for other thoughts on the art of following other sites.
Do you see value in reciprocal following? What makes you decide whether or not to follow a blog you’re reading? Let us know in a comment.