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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Please, Stalk Me

I recently read a discussion post on www.20sb.net about "blog stalkers."

Like most discussions that take place on this board, replete with enticing, hard-hitting topics like "Longest You've Gone Without Sex?", "How Ugly Are You?", "I Want to Discover More Girly Blogs!" and, my favorite, "Should Canada's Anthem Become Gender-Neutral?" I was definitely moved and intrigued by a discussion on the burgeoning phenomenon of "blog stalkers."

I have to go on the record at this point and admit that I'm not sure I understand the term. I mean, I know there are people out there who read my blog every day, and they make comments about the things that I write-- personal stuff!-- and some of these people even go so far as to "follow" me.

I mean, skeevy times, right?

Here's the thing: I thought that's what bloggers... wanted.

Maybe I'm wrong, but don't we obsessively self-promote, self-adulate, ardently seek the approval and consistent praise of total strangers? Don't we welcome them into our lives by opening ourselves up like a mid-March crocus? I mean... I thought that's what we did.

So I got to thinking, because no one on that particular discussion board was able to adequately elucidate exactly what a blog stalker was-- what is the difference between a blog follower and a blog stalker.

Well, I thought about this for a long time, and I came to the conclusion that there are a lot of similarities, and only a couple differences.

SIMILARITIES:

Blog followers & blog stalkers...

* read your blog obsessively

* comment frequently

* tell their friends, acquaintances, neighbors, comrades-in-arms, postal inspectors about your blog

* are almost always female

* have a vested interest in what you have to say

* can't squeeze out their morning loaf until they've read your blog at least three times

* more often than not read your blog at least semi-nude

DIFFERENCES

* Blog followers give you positive attention, blog stalkers give you negative attention

* Blog followers may sometimes end their comments with "I love you." Blog stalkers may sometimes end their comments with "Mo' cut you."

If there are other things that set blog followers and blog stalkers apart, I couldn't figure out what those traits might be. Maybe I just haven't had enough experience with blog stalkers. I once had a bunch of people get mad at me for a negative review I wrote about the band, "Hoots & Hellmouth" but they forgot about me after the next time they got high.

I sometimes have followers of My Masonic Apron write me 20sb messages or g-mails about this or that, and they sometimes mention feeling guilty about coming off "stalkerish." And I have to pretty much laugh that off until one of them shows up on my doorstep wearing a masonic apron with my picture embroidered on it and bloody pig's head as a facemask. Because, really-- the internet and the blogosphere has very much blurred the line between fan, follower, friend, stalker and everything in between. These designations just aren't as clear-cut as they once were. My creative writing teacher hiding in J.D. Salinger's bushes wearing camouflage make-up and eating tinned tuna for three weeks? Stalker. I mean, come on-- that's easy.

Someone in Alberta checking your blog four times a day? Maybe they're just a fan with O.C.D. Who knows, right? And maybe I'm a reverse-stalker for checking my blog stats so much. Maybe I'm fucking stalking YOU! Well, folksies... what are you going to do? Bust out a cyber-restraining order against me? That I can't come within five thousand IP addresses from yours? Tell it to the judge, sweetheart.

Do me a favor, though, in the meantime: get me some more stalkers. Or followers. Or whatever. I could use the attention; positive or otherwise.

17 comments:

  1. Nope- there's a difference. ;) Followers comment and are publicly following you. Stalkers on the other hand, are those people who keep coming back but never comment. They just come to read. It's the mysterious group on your hit counter that show up but you have no idea why. OR they can also be followers, but the ones that basically follow and then don't comment. And yes, while it's good to have anybody stopping by, I like to read the comments people leave. Then I like to engage with that person. But what I can't stand, are the people who want you to follow them simply because they follow you. That's dumb. If you suck I'm not going to follow you to simply ignore you in the end. That would make me a stalker. And I don't roll that way. I prefer to have my crazy up front and center. ;)

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  2. Oh, my! I had no idea.

    So, S.A.S., do you mean to say that I could have stalkers and not even know it?

    Jesus-- every day is an education in the blogosphere for little old me.

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  3. Im having a tough time deciding which category I fit in....on the one hand I'm a follower, I'm female and 90% of the time I read your blog semi-nude. But on the other hand, mo' cut you.
    Its a thin line...

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  4. Mo' cut you...

    That's everything you need to know about how I feel about your blog.

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  5. Gosh, the eye-opening discussions you miss out on when you take a brief hiatus from 20SB...amazing!

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  6. I've never commented on your blog, but I think you're hilarious and bloody brilliant. And I'm not even the kind of person who uses "bloody" in a sentence. But there you go. I'll stalk you any day. I need a good laugh. Who doesn't? Great blog, dude. Mo' keep reading.

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  7. There are some bloggers I stalk and some I just follow.

    Your blog is worth stalking! LOL

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  8. I've never had anyone sign a comment "mo' cut you" (I friggin' wish!) but I did have an obsessive blog follower painstakingly find out my real identity by googling clues on my anonymous blog, then google stalk Real-Me and email me:

    "Dear [TKOG's real name]. It's such a shame that you and [The Ex's full name] had to break up. Loved the change bowl you made him for your last anniversary. It's a shame he didn't get to enjoy the Attack of the 50-Foot Woman poster in your new bedroom at [my address]."

    ...yeah, I went to sleep that night expecting to find my social security number and mother's maiden name written on my walls in blood.

    Usually, though, I agree that blog followers are silly when they claim they're acting stalkerish. Nothing creepy about being a fan. Especially if you're a fan of me. That's just plain ol' good sense!

    (ps: mo' cut you.)

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  9. I'm thinking stalkers are the ones you feel watching you, even though you can't see them. And then you find them in your bushes, where they read over your shoulder and leave you gifts, and get very perturbed when you write something they don't like.

    Or the ones who get a tattoo of your banner on their face or something.

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  10. as a fellow attention whore, i welcome both followers and stalkers...

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  11. The fact that I was indirectly referenced in your blog has made me come out of my "stalker" mode and actually comment. :-P

    Personally, I don't care who reads my blog. You're right, we put it out there for everyone to see. Should we really expect anything less?

    Just as long as they stay in the "blog stalkers" region and don't just become "stalkers"... then we're good.

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  12. Wait. So the bloody pigs head... turn off? Just to be clear. Not that I was planning that or anything....


    Cough.

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  13. LOL, as i am the one who coined this term i will try to explain.

    I have no problem with people who follow my blog. Friends, family, random strangers- I put my work out there and i stand by it. The vast majority of those people are "followers." No many how many times they check my site a day.

    The difference for me is, these "stalkers" are people who know me in real life and hate me. They are not my friends; they don't want to be my friends. They are only reading my blog because think i am going to say something about them or their ex- boyfriends, which i find stalkerish. I'm gonna post what i want to post either way and I'm gonna stand by it. But if you are only reading my blog because you worried I'm going to say something about you (and i don't use real names on my blog) or your ex, that's creepy and stupid and stalkerish.

    Make sense?

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  14. OMG ILU.

    There, that makes me merely a follower, right? Not a creepy stalker? Just wanted to make sure we're clear.

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  15. I am here 10 feet behind you.
    Not stalking.
    Following.. with a big sillyass grin. A sinister one, mayhaps.

    ReplyDelete

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