The friendless loser and the pimps.

My daughter and I were engaging in some retail therapy recently when she asked me a weighted question.

“Mom, would you rather have a ton of friends that are insincere and secretly hate you or be a friendless loser.”

I think I recall hearing this question posed on a TV show before.  I didn’t want to brush her off with a half-hearted answer (because I could tell that she really wanted some earth shattering stuff from me) so I pondered my response for a moment.  While I was pondering away, I overheard two women talking about their blogs and I paused longer than normal for my aging brain cells.  Taking the opportunity presented to her, my daughter took off to drool over the newest item of distraction.  Earth shattering stuff from Mom could obviously wait.

Ok, now I don’t know why or how but for some reason I just stumble upon situations that expose me to entertaining episodes or conversations.  I’ve had friends laugh at my ability to attract amusing situations and I often joke about my various mutant powers.  I think bionic hearing (a.k.a. eavesdropping) is a mad mutant skill (not necessarily of the power status – yet) that I possess.  For actual reals.  Just check out The cool moms and I’m not perfect but pretty darn close.  Really.  Check them out.  It happens.

The blogging babes were discussing and comparing their various methods of blog pimping – I think “blog pimping” was even their exact phrase.  They had my full attention (although I never made eye contact) and I semi creeperishily lingered by fondling every single bottle of the 100+ display of nail polish (my engrossed shopper disguise).  Hey, a girl can never be too choosy with what she puts on her nails right? Only….one look at my nails would surely blow my cover.  They don’t exactly emit the choosy vibe but rather scream a pathetic For the love of mankind, just cover me in something woman!!

Thankfully the blogging babes were too enthralled in their pimping conversation to notice the sketchy individual molesting the bottles of polish beside them.  Because I had to hide my surprise at the information I was overhearing (I’m not like Lady Gaga and cannot pull off her P-p-p-poker Face), I reached for some aviators and a scarf.  Sketchy officially turned celebrity bad disguise weird. No, (blushing) I’m not a celebrity.  The weird is open for debate.

What prompted the possibly weird need for masking of the facial expressions?  The blogging duo communicated a well thought out, systematic (ahem, manipulative) approach to blogging.  They even mentioned articles that they read on how to pimp your blog.  I’m only listing 10 of the cold hard facts that they discussed.  Here we go:

  1. Troll other blogs and leave comments whether you feel it (as in the blog and blogger) or not in the hopes of baiting them into visiting your blog.
  2. Obtain a religious following by inferior (their exact word) bloggers  who took the bait and now are drinking your blog’s Kool-Aid. But remember, Pimps don’t drink the Kool-Aid.
  3. Routinely leave comments on the blogs of individuals who have the potential to scratch your back.
  4. Be willing to sing blog praises to the scratching back bloggers whether you mean them or not.
  5. Seldom leave comments or acknowledge a blogger (who may write decently but doesn’t have much to offer you) – Yes they said this – remember they are going for inferior Kool-Aid drinkers or high power back scratchers.
  6. Be a butt kisser.  Whatever it takes cuz after all, they’re pimping (their words).
  7. Laugh at other blogs and not in a “haha, hahah that cracked me up YouAreSoooFUNNY” way.  But in an “omigosh you are so pitiful that it is laughable” way.
  8. Don’t read the entire blog entry but just skim out enough to make it seem like you did.  How?  They just happened to discuss this. Comment on certain points and even copy and past from the original entry (that you only skimmed) to appear as if you read the entire entry.
  9. Establish an inner blog sanctum or clique and keep outsiders out unless of course, they are Kool-Aid drinkers, butt kissers or have something to offer.
  10. Crush the competition…appearently there is blogger competition.

Ok.  I am still at a loss for words and have a bad taste in my blogging mouth.  Do bloggers really do this?  Was I that naive to think they didn’t?  Mmmhmm, I was.

I am guilty of some of their above 10 pimping points.  You see, I visit sites (that I enjoy).  I leave comments (that I mean).  I copy and paste (from entries that I actually read).  That’s where it stops.  I never look at visits to other blogs as a way to boost my own blog’s stats.  I write what I write and if other bloggers stop by well then I am happy to meet them!  I truly love people stopping by but I do not use them for my own gain.  There are no hidden motives or agendas here.

I don’t kiss butt.  I never cared much for the emotional aftertaste.  Insincerity causes me to hurl – chunks.  If I leave a comment or make repeat visits it’s because I really feel a connection with the blog/writer.  I’d even subscribe to my favorites if I knew how (yep, imma loser with a Capital L). And while we’re on it….what is RSS feed??!? Many days around here my nostrils are barely above the rising waters of life.  My time is limited and pimp is not one of the hats I wear.

I thought about asking them their suggestions of how a social blogger like myself (with all of my 50ish twitter followers) could sincerely promote other bloggers. But then I realized that I would most definitely fall into their pitiful, back scratcher challenged, laughable category and they would laugh.  Right there. In my face. And offer me a glass of Kool-Aid while they scratched each others back.

Competition?  What’s that?

Blog clique?  Really?  I already graduated from highschool.  All characters are welcome here.

Kool-Aid? Grape is my favorite so if you’re serving I just may have a sip, but only one.

Inferior?  Puhleeze!  We are all inferior.

Scratch my back?  Well, that’s not why I stopped by but, if you insist.  A little to the left, up, down, over, right…..ahhhh, thanks.

Laugh at other bloggers?  Yes I do – when they write something super funny.  I have been known to spew tea (I’m a tea addict) across my computer and urinary dribble (not on the computer) on multiple ocasions.  Laugh because they are pitiful? Who defines pitiful?  What is pitiful? We are all pitiful…I was molesting nail polish while exercising cranial nerve VII (pulling off some great auditory stalking) in an aviators and scarf disguise.  Pitiful.  Go ahead, laugh. It’s ok.

Seriously.  I am beyond disappointed with this newly discovered information.  So tell me, how do you guys feel?  I think it safe to assume that those of you who stop by do so because you kinda like it here.  I mean, I’m not serving Kool-Aid (not even grape) and I don’t own a back scratcher.

Please tell me these pimps were high on their own scratch-and-sniff and that this behavior is NOT the blogging norm. It isn’t…right?!?

My daughter returned and said “Cool scarf and aviators.  And I like the black polish. Can we get them all?”

Without blinking, pausing or brain cell stalling I replied to her (in earth shattering decibles), “FRIENDLESS LOSER! ”  

I’d rather be a sincere friendless loser any day and it hasn’t hurt my daily blog stats that much either….all 12 of them.

It’s ok.  You can laugh.

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51 responses to “The friendless loser and the pimps.

  1. OMG! THis may be one of your best ever posts!!! I read religiously…just cuz its GOOD STUFF! You need to write a freakin BOOK!

    • Brooke I love you. I really do! You were one of my first followers and are a most sincere friend.

      The kids have been super cute this week. Addie is the question answering master! Man, that girl (for as young as she is) has it going on! Must get it from her Mama!

  2. i love grape koolaid..but never go out of my way to get it…i guess the child hood faves never change…ever . Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good…3 john1:11

  3. Great post! I like the way you used daughter’s question to bring this story out. Here’s my take. I’ve heard all of these “strategies” before and doubt that these women are very established as bloggers. We can sniff out disingenuous people even in the blogosphere. You are the real deal regardless, so just keep doing yo thang chica.

    • Thanka, and yes we can sniff ’em out and I flee. I guess I never thought about the existence of such manipulative stragegies and was sickened when I heard of them. I don’t think like that nor behave in that manner soooo…..I’ll keep my sincere lowly blog stats. At least they’re real.

      I do a lot of PR of other blogs the old fashion way. Word of Mouth. BTW, I sent a slew of movie and pop culture lovin’ people your way. Their feedback is that they love them some educlaytion and they passed it on.

  4. I tried reading tons of blogs and commenting and then I found I couldn’t enjoy it and be sincere. So now I read what I like and comment when I can. I wonder what these women’s goals are and why they don’t just click “like” if they are in a hurry?

    • I’m right with ya Marianne. I love your writing and try to get over as much as I can (because I want to and like to) and the same for my other favs. But some days/weeks heck, months are just insane and I can’t – and after hearing these babes, I don’t like the thought of the pressure of feeling like I HAVE to or no one will come here. Yuck. If they come, they come. If not, I’ll still jot away and maybe hit my own “like” button.

  5. (I don’t know what an RSS feed is either..shhhh.)

    I have never checked my “stats” on Google (is that how one does this? I don’t even know and I definitely do not) and have no idea how to find out any information about my site. At all.

    I come here because I find your voice to be genuine and unique and smart and funny (and also in my age-range – there are a lot of mamas out there blogging with kids in diapers and I haven’t been there in a decade…)

    Fortunately, I think the question your daughter asked (good for her for thinking deeply and good for you for being willing to answer honestly) is usually not so extreme on either end.

    But I’d take the few or the one (or the none) over the masses who were laughing at me behind my back.

    I do not remember how I found you (or if you found me) but I am grateful for the sincerity, Beth.

    Keep it up, lady. (and nail polish is totally overrated.)

    • Whew, I thought everyone knew what a RSS feed was and I have been too afraid to ask. I knew I liked you for a reason! No really, I do. You are one of the most sincere people I have come across in the world ‘o blog and your site cracks me up. I’ve both spewed and dribbled while reading your stuff. In the midst of my oriface leakage, I can feel your sincerity oozing through the computer. Really, I can. From the first time you told me I looked cute in my strapless sun dress (Twitter pic), I knew you meant it…I think that is how we met. The Twitterverse. That is a rare quality to possess – So sincere that the very letters you write with are packed full of the trait. Really, they are.

      Hmm, don’t know about the stats on google but on wordpress there is a stat button you can check. If it weren’t so simple (I can handle clicking a button) I’d never check them.

      I’m all about simple which is why these nails remain underratedly (I make up words) bare!

      One of the few (I laugh with you ’cause you’re funny like that),
      Beth

  6. This is great! I totally understand your disappointment. Sincerity is a quality we grow to love more and more as the years continue. Flattery will get you no where! Unfortunately, people get their self esteem from wrong places. I have definitely given too much time to checking for comments or stats. And then I ask myself, “why?” Why is it so important for me to be heard? And not only heard, but listened to? The answer I get is usually a gentle correction from deep inside. I shouldn’t be looking in the wrong places for value and self-worth.

    • Amen! If and when we truly grasp who we are and understand our identity in Christ then the other stuff falls peacefully into place. However, I think it is human nature to look at things in the natural as a self-worth gauge. Until we do what you did and take a step back from the maddness and ask “what am I doing?” we can stay caught on the hampster wheel to endless striving.

      It is also human nature to be selfish and self promoting. So although I can understand the human reasoning behind these blogging strategies, I don’t want any part of them. Freely you have received, freely give.

  7. Oh my goodness, this actually makes me upset to read. I guess I was naive too… it wouldn’t have even begun to occur to me that people might do this sort of thing. How awful! I have made so many friends in the blogging community that it makes me sad to think of people exploiting this community. 😦 Anyway, I appreciate this post and your honesty. And I have to say, the vision of you practicing your “super powers” while being disguised in the nail polish aisle most definitely cracked me up. 😉 Thanks for being a great blogger!

    • Rach you are one sincere blogger which is why these methods never occurred to you. Keep up the great site and the sincerity and maybe those of us without hidden agendas or manipulative schemes can outnumber the pimps! Actually, I think (I hope) we do!!

  8. This is a great post! As I read your summary of the conversation, I just thought, “Ugh!” It makes me feel a little unclean to even read about it.

    Social networking cliques can make one feel a bit like being back in high school. I decided a while ago, that much like my IRL personality, I’m never going to be the most popular girl in school, but I am extremely loyal to those who earn my friendship. The rest is of no matter. I don’t like manipulating people in real life and I sure the heck don’t want to take it up in the blogosphere.

    • Unclean!! LOL that is truth. I felt the same along with the naive shock. KB, you are right on with your blogging attitude and I enjoy your site because of you! Thanks for being a great blogger in this social community.

  9. In the words of my teenagers, women like that make me want to “hurl.”

    There’s no question that the development of a following for your own blog is a lot of work. For me, I have enjoyed getting to know the amazing people I follow, and love to tell other people about them!

    My stats are suffering since I started my new job (and I don’t have much time to read other blogs any more either), but I’m sure once I can get back to posting more than once a week, my readers will be happier!

    Wendy

    P.S. I eavesdrop all the time…makes for great blog fodder!

    • LOL you daughters and I are on the same page because I use hurl also and, like in this post, add “chunks” when something is really disturbing!!
      Really? You’ve seen your stats altered when you don’t leave comments on other blogs? I guess I can see how that would be but if people only leave comments or visit because I leave a comment…how is that a real follower? Or a sincere visit? I don’t get it. But that’s ok – as long as i don’t manipulate or behave like these women, my conscious is clear.

  10. Beth, I read this on my iPod on a trip to visit friends. I’m telling you, this one really got my attention because it was so good and so well written and so funny. I had a perma-smile the whole read. I’m not even on the web, but still have a private blog so I’m pretty simple and love it when someone comments because I get so few …. but even when they don’t comment I know there are times they may enjoy the blog but may be reading on their iPhone, or be busy, or have a life! I hope people never feel obligated to comment and take no offense when they don’t. Sometimes I even have a life! Love you girl and your writing. I can always count on a smile from it. Looks like you got some great comments on this one … good job! Mary

    • I love you too big cuz! And I love your site..truly, love, love, love. Your photos are AMazing and I feel like a stalker looking at them because they capture so much emotion. I never feel required to leave you comments and like you, I don’t want people to feel obligated either.
      Thanks for your kind words, sincerity and skill!

  11. wow i wouldnt even know how to begin to answer that!

  12. Can I say YUCK! Like you, I read others work because I enjoy it. I can’t believe the conversation you overheard – oh, I know you overheard it, it is just so weird.

    Unbelievable. Or where they actually talking about commercial blogs, perhaps? Many companies are jumping on the blogging bandwagon of late. I just can’t understand everyday type people doing this stuff. Perhaps I’m just too old…………

    • Commercial blog? Could be given that we were in the beauty and accessory isle….maybe they had products on their blog but I only heard their discussion regarding the techniques to increase traffic and I was apalled. It is still apalling but slightly less so if they were selling items because we would expect that to some degree.

      Thanks for the shout out!! I’ve had some good comments as a result. See, that’s what the blogging community is all about. Sincere referral and friendship. I hope to return the love 🙂

  13. This is gold! I have been on the receiving end of this so many times. A guy once just commented with just a “great blog, you are very great with words…” and left three, yes three, links to his blog posts saying I might find them interesting! I was shocked at the bluntness of his ‘blog pimping’. Ever since, I never ever comment unless I really love the post enough, even if it just to say I liked it.

    • Three? Wow, that’s obvious. I don’t even leave a link to my blog when I comment on another blog because I feel like that is too much! I figure if they want to check me out then they can always click on my name and if not, that’s ok too.

      I usually visit the blogs of the people who have left me comments (I will be over to check yours out soon). I have found some of my favorite sites that way. But I don’t do so out of obligation or with any manipulative tactics in mind. It’s just like responding to an individual when they say “hi.”

      Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I have to admit I do kinda hope I get some sort of reciprocation when I comment on a blog that they would visit mine. I think a lot of bloggers do! But I DON’T comment just for that! I enjoy reading other peoples blogs, especially those in my genre! I just think it’s nice to feel some love back!

    • Yep, I agree. I just mentioned in the comment above that I usually visit the blogs of people who have left me comments as I have discovered some of my favorite sites that way. However, I do not do so with any hidden agenda. It’s just like saying Hi back!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be over to share some love soon!

  15. Most of that stuff is Blog Promotion 101, to be found on a thousand nearly identical sites and articles. The comment trolling thing is a particularly popular one, and one of several schemes (such as traffic exchanges and Sub4Sub) that seem really ineffectual. These tricks create little communities in which everyone is advertising and no one is reading. Yeah, they’ll make my numbers go up, but does it really matter if no one is actually reading my content? Those numbers are a representation of my audience, not a replacement for it.

    This is why I’m not popular – social networking gives me heartburn.

    • “Those numbers are a representation of my audience, not a replacement for it.”

      I love it! There I just did a copy and paste but I meant it! You are right on. When I go to a site I actually read what they write and because of this, I am not able to be out “trolling” and I think I would feel cheap it I did. These things take time and I don’t have much of it.

      Another heartburn victim,
      Beth

  16. I’m not going to lie, this cracked me up – people have done some of those things on my blog and I’ve seen them occur elsewhere too. I’m actually really picky about what I read and comment on, mostly because I have limited time which I try to save for the blogs that interest me.

    One thing that I found interesting about this post is that as a teenager, I see those methods implemented by individuals of my age group. A lot. For example, I know this girl who admitted to only liking peoples’ pictures and statuses on Facebook so that they would like hers’ as well. Of course, not a lot of people followed her train of thought (and the few that did probably weren’t genuine about it).

    Great post! I’m following your blog now, you have a great sense of humor. 🙂

    • Many thanks. I feel like my life is the stop watch on 60minutes (is that show still in existence?) I have a life and very little time so like you, I can only read (I actually do read the posts) and sincerely participate to a certain extent.

      Yes, I believe we can read through the insincerity and comments that are self serving. I’ve received self promoting comments before but I never realized that there was an entire method or as one person said “blog promoting 101” to use people.

  17. Okay, came over here to read this after seeing it mentioned in the WP.com off-topic forum by Team Oyeniyi. I figured, “what the heck! If I don’t like it, there’s always the back button & I can stop reading.” But I ended up in tea-spewing mode, myself — I loved this! (And, sadly, have known people like the two Kool-Aid purveying, back-scratching, butt-kissing, self-pimpers. Not pleasant people, and likely among those who would rather have — and do only have — thousands of insincere friends.) But you gave me a good laugh, especially with your aviators & scarf disguise!

    I sincerely enjoyed this post & read the entire thing, and I can’t imagine expending energy engaging in all of those insincere (and ultimately, I think, demeaning) activities. Life takes enough energy as it is. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! (Now I want to browse through the rest of your blog.)

    • Thanks! I’m glad you stopped by. I did end up getting the scarf, aviators and the black nail polish. I figured I had them on long enough that purchase was warranted! Although my daughter quickly claimed the scarf and aviators!

      Ditto on the energy expenditure! I was fatigued just standing there in auditory mode contemplating how much time and effort it would take to engage in the activities they were describing. Team Oyeniyi suggested they could have had commercial blogs and that is a possibility. Product companies pimp us daily and this behavior it is somehow expected when coming from them. But like yourself I have met my share of insincere people and anything is possible!

  18. Nice post, but maybe I am just kissing butt.

  19. Thanks to Team Oyeniyi I wandered over here to take a peek not realizing that I should have put down my glass of water before reading.
    Just curious how old the “bloggin babes” were, they sound like early 20s, and about as deep as a puddle in the middle of a drought.

  20. I found this through the WP forum (thanks, team Oyeniyi!). Having read and thoroughly enjoyed this post, I have to conclude that those ladies are not the sharpest tools in the box.

    I find genuine comments go a long way with me and I certainly try to do so on other people’s blogs. I can’t be bothered to play the blog pimping game. It’s boring, it’s tired and it’s fruitless. I like to spend my time on better things.

    • Yes, thanks team Oyeniyi indeed!

      Glad to hear that you find genuine comments important and are engaging in sincerity….I am relieved to read that this genuineness seems to be the general consensus (unless people are just not admitting that these tactics are more common than we think).

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  21. I came here on a whim from the forum to investigate and I was nicely surprised. This blog post was great, and quite true, amusing and should I say it – ironically daring?
    I think every blogger likes to see their hits rising – I have no shame in that. I have a blog counter for that purpose ‘cos I’m so obsessive like that… 😛 But I never realised – I guess I’m just as naive – that such other bloggers would do these things just to boost their ego-blogs.
    The best bloggers out there don’t write for their ‘fans’ or to reel ‘fans’ in onto their blog pedestal; the best bloggers write for enjoyment. And I for one, enjoyed reading this post. 🙂

    • “The best bloggers out there don’t write for their ‘fans’ or to reel ‘fans’ in onto their blog pedestal; the best bloggers write for enjoyment.”

      Such truth Silvershadowfly. We all need to remember this fact. Thanks for the wake-up.

      I’m glad you followed your whim and stopped by!

  22. Wow! Don’t folks like these ladies realize how much more work it is to be insincere? Eventually, you’re going to crack and humilate yourself or someone’s going to find you out and splash it all over the internet. Even if the idea seemed attractive for some reason, it’s just not worth the effort and the fallout. LOL. I’m much too lazy to do all that.

    I try to keep up with as many blogs as I can because I like reading for people. I like leaving nice comments because it’s so much more fun than being a cranky-pants. 😀 I actually feel guilty when I have to slow down on blog visits and comments but I do have to write, and bathe…and feed my children. LOL.

    I freely admit that I want to build a readership. Someday, I’ll publish a book and I’d love to have folks I already know to share it with. Buuuuutttt…it’s most important just to make friends and build community. If I had to do all the other stuff to “build my brand,” I’d give up. I’d just write my little stories and be happy. 😀 The friendships I’ve found through blogging and Twitter, the encouragment, knowledge, and support have been worth far more than any future book sales. Really really. 😀

    • The work indeed! I was fatigued just standing there in auditory mode.

      I know what you mean about reading other blogs and balancing it all with life and children. You have a great outlook and I know you’ll succeed in your goals! Keep on keepin’ on.

  23. Wow, you came across a “gem” of a conversation! God must have really wanted you to consider the answer you gave your daughter.

    It’s pretty easy to spot when someone took the time to read your post and sincerely enjoyed it, or are just promoters. Words cannot begin to express the adoration I have for the regular commenters on my blog. They are my friends.

    Thanks for a great post that made me both think and laugh.

  24. I wish I could eavesdrop so well AND remember the stuff that’s been said. First time here, enjoyed your writing style.

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