Speed Liking – Click Your Way to Fame

Blogging Question of the month from Virginia in New York:

Dear Margy: I am a WordPress.com blogger. When I publish a new post – within seconds, someone presses the WordPress ‘Like’ button. How can this be? They didn’t have time to read the post, so how do they know they like it? Is it possible they read as fast as Santa Claus travels on Christmas Eve?

Answer:

Dear Virginia – Yes, there is a Santa Claus – but there is no way that someone can read entire blog posts in just a few seconds. I’m afraid you are being scammed by the WordPress Reader. You see, besides showing the first few words of your post (and any pretty picture you inserted), the Reader also lets you ‘Like” and ‘Reblog” that post – without even going to your site!

I know you are going to ask what anyone gains from liking a post they haven’t even read. Virginia, Virginia – your questions just get easier and easier! The ‘Like’ button puts a reader’s Gravatar picture on the bottom of your post and that is the link back to their blog. If you are one of those bloggers who faithfully visits the blogs of those who ‘Like’ your post, then you will go read their latest post!

Now, some bloggers (me included) actually use the ‘Like’ button after they have read a post and they are simply saying “I Like what you have written, and I’d say so in the comments except 43 other people have already said “Nice Post!”  Unfortunately, less scrupulous bloggers are simply “Speed Likers”, and the only way WordPress could thwart that activity is if they take the ‘Like’ button off of the Reader.

Would you like to see another application of Speed Liking? Just watch this tongue-in-cheek video:

Weird is when someone you don’t know goes through all of your Instagram photos and likes them. Then when you click on their profile, there are only pictures of pigs.
– Unknown –

Resources:

The Idea for this post came from a blog called Mostly Bright Ideas. The blog post was titled “Five Thousand Whats”.

If you have read all the way down to this part of the page, and you are interested in more information about Gravatars, Commenting, and Reblogging – here are some helpful links:
Visiting Cards – Yesterday and Today
To Comment or Not to Comment, That is the Question
Comment Etiquette – All or Some?
When Does Reblogging Violate Copyright?
Reblogging and Image Copyright

51 thoughts on “Speed Liking – Click Your Way to Fame

  1. What’s interesting about this (and the latest ‘spam scam’ – auto following) is that there is no proven advantage to it. Even if someone DOES click their gravatar, all they get is a ‘visit’; and if the person who goes to their site does happen to ‘like’ it, they get a ‘Like’ but no monetary or other benefit. It’s a strange phenomenon! (BTW: I ALWAYS ‘Like’ your posts, even if I don’t always click the ‘Like’ button!)

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    • Thanks for commenting, Margo. Most bloggers want to feel like they are part of a community. The size of that community can be determined by the number of ‘views’, ‘likes’, ‘followers’ and ‘comments’ they get. If these numbers are all that matter, then I guess some bloggers will do whatever it takes to increase the number count – bragging rights, I guess.

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          • There are lots of threads on the support forums about this problem. I, too, have gotten almost 100 new followers in the past 3 weeks and the majority are ‘spam followers’ – the sites have little/no content and/or are not related to my blog posting topics at all. This has apparently become a HUGE problem (and there seems to be no way of removing these people from our list of ‘true’ followers). Just another day in Internet land!

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  2. I don’t ‘like’ a post unless I have read it. I thought it odd that the like button is right there on the reader! I rarely actually comment, though. I just enjoy the reading!

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    • I don’t comment all that much either – but that is because I am usually so late to arrive at a post that all that should be said has already been said! I believe in ‘economy of words’ – though I suppose that is hard to believe when you read some of my posts!

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  3. My favorite is when someone ‘likes’ about 100 of my posts in a few seconds. Well, at least they are fast at clicking, I’ll give them credit for that. I was telling Charles that my stats for hits on my posts have not changed one bit since I started out. My ‘followers’ have increased, but the actual reading of my posts? It hardly increases.

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    • If you go to the WordPress Reader and click on the name of the blog, it brings up all the blog posts for that writer. It wouldn’t take long to scroll down that page and click ‘Like’ for every post. Okay, it would take a bit of time for bloggers like you who have a lot of posts, but it would still be a lot faster than actually going to your blog and clicking the ‘Like’ button there.
      That answers how it can be done, but not why!

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  4. Sometimes I wonder what is achieved. I know they get a link back to their blog and maybe it’s to do with stats obsession. I can’t remember the last time I looked at the stats on my blog. It takes up a lot of my time now replying to individual comments, not that I’m complaining…

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    • I can see why you would not bother with your stats if you are getting lots of comments!
      But some people might not get very many comments, so they would use their stats to measure whether anyone is in fact visiting their blog.

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  5. Margie, another meaty blogging bone to chew on along with that most excellent post from Mostly Bright Ideas.
    I don’t check my stats and I have no idea how many followers I have (not that many for sure!) but I am under no illusion that my blog is party central – I like to think of it as an intimate salon although I did get my very first thoroughly foreign follower this morning – Arabic everything!
    BTW, I get Instagram likes from people with 0 photos. A pig would be a nice change!

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    • You have a lot of people who comment on your posts, Patti, so I expect you have a significant number of followers!
      I’ve not tried Instagram – but then I only got a phone with a camera in it last month… I have a lot to learn about how to use a smart phone, but first and foremost I have to remember to actually take it with me when I go out.

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  6. One of my favorite lines from a phone commercial is when a father tells his texting teenage daughter to “quit liking everything”. Ha! I tell myself that from time to time because, I confess, I like the like button whether on facebook, Pinterest, or blogs, but only if I really like the content. I only comment if I have more to say than “nice post” as I hope the “like” expressed that. By the way, I followed this link to your “To comment or not to comment…” post and liked it as well. (There would be a smiley face here if I weren’t inept at such things. The winking one!)

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  7. That video was TOO funny! Buyral. How do I get a piece of that action? Especially the crosswalk button action? I loved the wrist wraps on the clickers. That was a gold star find, Margie! I hope this gets Freshly Pressed!

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  8. Hee hee – great video!
    I never Like a post without reading it, and I agree that WordPress should take the Like button off the reader. I also have people ‘Liking’ my posts when they quite clearly have no possibly reason for liking what I write – so I presume it is just to get their own website seen. Is there a facility to remove Likes?

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    • No, I think you are stuck with the ‘Likes’ and the ‘Followers’, even if they are not sincere. Like everything on the internet, someone will find a way to abuse what is essentially a good thing.

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    • You are right – I don’t think I would like to give people the option to ‘dislike’ something I wrote!
      I remember reading a blog post (but I don’t remember the blogger) that suggested other buttons besides ‘Like’. If you think about all the adjectives people commonly use in comments – ‘love it’, ‘very cool’, ‘Ha, Ha’… well, any number of buttons are possible.

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    • Two ‘really’ likes – why thank you! I see your two ‘reallys’ and raise you a ‘really’ – I really, really, really like you too – especially your photo challenge post titled ‘Change’. WordPress only let me record one ‘Like’. When I pushed the button a second time, it erased the ‘Like’, so I had to push it again in order to ‘Like’ the post.

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  9. Like it ! 🙂
    I have one person in particular who likes every post I do, she’s very often the first. The other day I posted an empty post by mistake and ~ yes you guessed ~ she liked it almost instantly.
    Pity because she used to comment on about one post every month or so and I’d pop over to see her black and white street photography, two things I’ve never quite go the grip of, but I don’t visit her at all now even though she appears on my reader. 😦

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  10. I don’t click on the gravatars of the ‘likers’ Margie (I don’t have time to follow them up!) 😉 But I did write a post a while back about ‘liking’ and one of my ‘serial likers’ actually left a comment saying they ALWAYS read the posts. But then I noticed they had ‘liked’ ten of my posts in under a minute and I thought they must have been some kind of super-human speed reader!

    I love Sallyann’s comment about her ‘serial liker’ liking her empty post! What a classic (and a dead give-away) 😀

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  11. I see we’re all posting about this now! 🙂

    By the way, getting a Gravatar onto a blog (via the Like button or anything else) doesn’t necessarily place a link to the person’s blog as that link only appears in the associated public profile if it’s been put there. Spammers tend to know to put the link there, but unfortunately a lot of genuine bloggers don’t realise that they’re missing out by not including their blog’s URL in their profile.

    Since turning off Likes on my blog, I’ve had just three. One from a possible spammer, two from people who knew I’d turned it off but clicked it out of habit! And of course, only I know I’ve received them (via notifications) but nobody else can see them.

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  12. I have never had this problem although my posts are mostly pictorial and only take seconds to love or hate. I read a complete Blog before I hit LIKE or I keep my fingers in my pocket! I have nevefr heard of this….

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  13. I love that video, Margie. “One day, we won’t need the viewer.” That line reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit from the early ’70s. As a way to make fun of the new double-blade shavers that had just come out, they produced a mock TV commercial that introduced a razor with three blades. It was pretty funny. Of course, in reality we’re now up to four blades. Or is it five?

    Thanks for the mention.

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    • It really is risky to make fun of human inventiveness, isn’t it! Throw in human gullibility, some corporate greed, and Madison Avenue – well, just about anything is possible!

      Like

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