So… Facebook Groups for Bloggers are quite the thing – there are lots of them around and there are some great ones that put PR folk in touch with Bloggers and it’s possible to get some fabulous opportunities that are well suited to your blog. There’s also the opportunity to chew the fat with a community minded crowd, and put the world to rights over a brew / wine.

Some though – aren’t.

They are just a breeding ground of over zealous Admins, dickheads who can’t Google, idiots who spam links, and my BIGGEST bugbear – Comment / Like / RT Threads.

So, if you’re not really sure what these kind of threads are, essentially you drop a link to your latest post, and then the next few people who drop a link to their post, comment on yours, and you comment on theirs. It’s essentially it’s a great way of getting views and comments on your posts, all of which look GREAT stats and interaction wise.

It’s all bullshit though – because it’s just like a sort of ‘commenting’ chain letter – lots of people get involved, even those ‘BIG’ bloggers do it – and it’s easy to get caught up in it. It’s fantastic to see something you write doing well, but sometimes, blogging is hit and miss, some of the best stuff I’ve spent hours working on gets very few views. The other stuff I’ve written in a 10 minute rage where I should have thought more about it will attract thousands. It’s just the luck of the draw, some you win, some you lose! But if you’re drawing people in to skim read, and leave some soulless comment because you’ll do the same to them for them, isn’t it just a bit – fake?

Those who partake in such threads take it SO seriously it’s untrue, the anger aimed at those who don’t do it correctly is insane, they are named and shamed by the Facebook Group Witchfinder Generals and all kinds of crazy ensues. I recently saw someone losing their shit at a poor woman who hadn’t commented correctly. It all got a bit embarrassing when the person ‘named and shamed’ came back to explain that her child was ill, and commenting on posts wasn’t in the forefront of her mind.

There’s similar threads for Likes, RT’s, Follows too – what’s the difference in ‘forcing’ a load of bloggers to do it instead of paying some chap in India a few quid to do the same? It’s surely just as artificial ?

I know it’s heartbreaking to see something you’ve poured hours of work into not light up the internet as soon as you hit ‘Publish’. Surely that handful of people who will eventually stumble across it and will find it chimes with them is better than a few feckless idiots skimming it and writing ‘Yeah I agree!’ in the comments ?

I have a little Facebook Group of bloggers, there’s one rule – No Link Dumping. So there’s no comment threads, or people shitting links into it each day, it’s just a slightly acerbic look into the blogging world, and you know what – it kinda works. I don’t get pissy about people screenshotting, or upset if anyone disagrees with me – we’re all grown ups (ish), and generally pretty much any blogger is welcome (aside from around 5 people I loathe). People have come and gone, and it’s shaping up to be a nice little collective of people (as well those who don’t really like me, but like to watch what’s happening).

Perhaps we need to start from the ground up – get to know the people first, their blogs second, and then comment and share because we want to, we like it, and not because they will do the same for us?

Or maybe, we should just join the ‘My latest post thread’, dump a link, and step in the commenting queue?

What will it be?

18 thoughts on ““COMMENT FOR A COMMENT?” and other Facebook Group Gripes..

  1. Nickie OHara says:

    I could go into a huge long rant here but this is a nail-on-head blog post. I’ve also queried the “must be longer than 8 words” theory before though however no-one can actually link me to anything that says your blog will be “damaged” if people leave comments less than 8 words.

    I gave up my FB group (and have left many more) simply because it became too time-consuming to admin and none of the others are really worth it. I responded to someone once in a thread and had an admin contact me by private message telling me that this blogger was now in tears. I did a lot of shaking of my head that day and telling people to eff off.

  2. Gemma Mills says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Interesting re the comparison to paying for followers too. I wonder just how many commentators, if any, are converted into long term readers as a result of comment threads?

    If I’m honest, I’m a lone blogger. I don’t go to social events, I don’t religiously read anyone’s else’s shit, I rarely comment (this is the first time in about a year) – I still do okay. I think people take all this stuff way too seriously. If it’s opportunities they’re ever, getting 3 comments per post has feck all to do with it. If you want an ego trip, spam the heck out of these threads and get some apathetic high 5s. If you want an easy ride, consistent money, less stress, half decent reviews… stay well clear of FB groups.

  3. Coombe Mill says:

    so this is where I’m going wrong, I don’t like facebook, I’m only in a couple of groups and there are no comment threads! That said from what you say it sounds like I’m not missing much so I’ll keep stumbling on. Just found your post via twitter by the way, an interesting tweet that caught my curiosity. Well worth the click and read, thanks Kip

  4. Jim - OneDadOneBlog says:

    Love it Kip!

    Generally most blog stats are inflated as its bloggers liking other bloggers in the first instance, purely out of curiousity rather than a general admiration for their posts. I find I will read several posts but only actually take the time to comment if it really resonates with me and probably have a handful of blogs I regularly visit through a general love for their style of writing.

    As for Facebook, I’ve grown to dislike it for a long while now, mainly due to “needy” statuses as well as Facebooks censorship / timeline sorting and other than the odd blogger group I rarely use it… Even then you still get the tools who start something with…. “Sorry/delete if this isn’t allowed….” FML!

  5. Michaela says:

    I don’t see how people have the time to sit there reading and commenting on stuff they’re not interested in, I’m a shit blogger, I hardly ever comment, can’t be arsed/don’t have time to pretend to like someone’s goldfish or whatever they’re on about…I just about find the time to write a post!
    Also, yeah it may improve my stats a bit if I take part as x amount of people will have looked/liked/whatever but then all these other people have just inflated theirs by the same amount…worth it, not!

  6. PinkOddy says:

    Sounds a bit hypocritical really – like you have just stepped away from Facebook to your blog to essentially moan that people aren’t doing things the way that you consider is right.

    Personally I agree with a large amount of this but not all. I DO join in with Twitter retweet threads because it helps reach a larger audience – if I return the favour for another blogger (whether you consider that forced or not) I cannot see the harm. If my readers don’t like it then they will just unfollow me. It is up to me to keep them.

    • Kip Hakes says:

      But it’s not *right* – is it? People are artificially bumping their views and comments by ‘paying’ bloggers in views and comments.

      What’s the difference in you paying some chap in India to RT your tweets across their thousands of accounts. That’ll extend the reach, sure, but it’s bullshit.

      • TheBoyandMe says:

        Actually I’ve found some blogs that I really like through those threads. Granted, I haven’t taken part in a long while but sometimes you do actually gain a genuine audience.

        I see what you’re saying, and yes the militant way that some comment threads are adhered to is quite extreme, but no-one is forcing them to take part. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. It’s simple.

        Let people blog how they want to, they’re not harming anyone. If they want to spend their time commenting in this manner then it’s their business. And as for inflated scores or stats as a result of it? That’s all a pile of arse anyway, but if it makes them happy then let them be I say.

  7. Raisie Bay (@okesanne) says:

    I live in the world where I don’t really care what other bloggers do, I do whatever I want and let everyone else do the same. Grow your blog artificially or not, it doesn’t really make a difference to me If someone has rules in a fb group then you should abide by them, there is always the option to leave if you don’t like it.

  8. Mummy Barrow says:

    I think berating bloggers for doing what they do is just mean spirited. The internet is a huge place and there’s room for us all to do what we want. Or not do do whatever don’t want.

    • Kip Hakes says:

      You could argue the internet is big enough for everything, good and bad. The fact is, people are artificially boosting their figures and interactions, and it just *feels* wrong. It looks very impressive if 30 people have replied to a post, but less so if 28 of them are doing it because they are obliged to because they are waiting for comments on theirs..

  9. Alex says:

    As bloggers we get hung up on an over simplistic concept of payment. Paying someone in India to do 100 comments on your blog is wrong. Presumably because you’re paying him cash. Making a barter transaction with 100 other people that you’ll be part of their comment ring is okay because the payment isn’t cash.

    If it salves your conscience that’s one thing but to me there is absolutely no difference. Payment in kind is payment.

    It’s no wonder most of the metrics that seek to measure bloggers dropped comments a few years ago when these blogger rings started becoming popular. Come up with a clearly defined metric and people will game it. Simple as.

  10. daddacoolio says:

    And tangentially (from what appears to be my WP login too- it’s still me), the whole RT thing annoys me as much, so have a cut & paste from a comment I wrote on a FB thread about your post:

    When I read a tweet or an instagram post that has more hashtag in it than actual words, that depresses me. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but from a personal level I don’t like it.

    Sharing stuff you find interesting naturally is, well natural. My twitter feed at times is probably about 70% RT or RT with comment, as I see a lot of interesting stuff I think others will like or should read.

    But organised sharing as part of a “social media strategy” to “leverage your brand across all available platforms” winds me up. There are some people I follow on twitter, FB, Instagram & G+. I’ll see the same blog post shared across all 4, multiple times via IFTTT, and I’ll feel like I’m being hounded. Social media should be firstly about the social really.If a hashtag is there to let other people share the tweets, I’ll just block that hashtag. Job done 🙂

  11. Jem says:

    I think, for me personally, intent is the issue.

    If a blogger is saying “look at me I have 100 comments on a post aren’t I the most popular blogger of all time pay me lots of money/attention” when the reality is they’ve paid for/traded/bartered/whatever a huge percentage of comments, it’s bollocks.

    If a blogger is involving themselves in the greater community and participating in the comment swaps etc because they have a genuine desire to build friendships with fellow bloggers (which, shock horror, used to be an Actual Thing) then whatevs, knock yourself out.

    I participated in so many blogging fads in the early years (when I was a teenager and had Free Time) – web rings, traffic exchanges, guest post swaps etc and the facebook group things are just a modern spin on it.

  12. sophiesscran says:

    Great post, these groups sometimes annoy me too. But saying that – I found you in one, and you are helping me with my blog! So swings and roundabouts for sure! 🙂

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