You know the story… warm, fuzzy creature, gets wet and fed after midnight then turns into a destructive Gremlin? I’m fairly certain that WordPress must employ Mogwai and forget the bathing and feeding routine occasionally…
And every so often, I publicly tear my hair out over what they get up to.
This time, I don’t even know what they are playing at, but I know they must be Up To Stuff again.
It started the other day. The notifications drop down, up there on the top right? It is not as good as the old one…misses many comments… but it sort of works. Mostly. Until I clicked and it opened complex chat windows with HUGE avatar pics instead of the normal notifications.
It eventually went back to normal and I breathed a tentative sigh of relief.
Then the stats dropped dramatically… never a good sign. It didn’t seem to correlate with the traffic I can see… the likes, shares and comments. They all seemed about normal. But not the stats, which took a huge hit.
Okay, maybe people were just out enjoying the sun… maybe they had left ‘online’ to fend for itself for a while. I approve of that… and the stats themselves don’t really matter. I only worry when they go missing with no reason.It is normally a portent of things to come…
Same as I worry when my subscriptions to blogs get unsubscribed for no reason. I normally get a large batch of notifications in my email inbox every day, as well as instant ones throughout the day. Until they went missing.
After loooong, involved negotiations with the support staff a while back, it had been borne in upon me that they had no idea why it was happening. Meanwhile, I had worked out for myself how to reinstate the things when they disappeared wholesale. I can resolve it in a few clicks…no problem. I can live with that.
This time, however, it was more insidious. Most of the blogs I follow are still down for notifications. Only some have been unsubscribed…and if I had not wanted to check on a dear friend who also blogs, I probably would not even have known….
So now I face the task of going through all the blogs I follow, individually, and making sure they are all switched on for the right level of notifications.
And while I am about it, I daily release the regular readers who have been sent to spam….
It wasn’t all bad, though.
I noticed with a certain amount of gobsmackedness that my followers had crept well over the 14,000 mark the other day. I was, you might say, quite chuffed…
…except that a couple of days later, at one fell swoop, I lost over 300 of them.
Now, the whole followers count fails to reflect the true readers of a blog and the numbers alone are of no importance, especially when compared to the people you meet through writing and reading.
We all know that there are followers and followers…the ones who actually do come and read stuff, and the ones who only click in the hope of a follow back and never, ever visit a blog. There are many Twitter followers only after numbers and, if you don’t follow them back and promote their products (it is usually about products), and sometimes even if you do, you will be rapidly unfollowed.
We get that.
It is perfectly normal therefore to lose a handful of followers every day… and you usually gain a handful too. Fine. I’m down with that.
But three hundred in the space of a minute? Without even posting anything controversial?
I don’t think so…
I have to wonder if they have, or are planning to unlink some social media sites from the followers count. I can think of no other explanation…
…unless someone left the Mogwai out in the rain then fed them after midnight…
On a personal note, it was during all this kerfuffle, when I was tearing my hair out over the problems, that my computer, with a full complement of sparks, smoke and noise… exploded.
Now, I would never dream of suggesting WordPress may have overwhelmed its limited capacity for stress, but it does make me wonder if Gremlins got to it…
The practical advice here is simple:
Check your spam folders daily for genuine comments.
Check you are still getting notifications for the blogs you follow.
Brace yourself, WordPress are playing again….
…and never let your Mogwai get wet.