Follow For Follow?

Do you? Here’s my top tip: Don’t.

Earlier today I got a notification on Flickr that someone had started following me. When this happens I will usually check their page to see their stuff, and if I like it, or it interests me, I might follow back. So, I checked his page. First thing I look at is the followers to following ratio. This guy had over 4 thousand followers, and was following more than 18 thousand people himself.

What does that tell you? What it tells me is that this guy had no interest in my photography. Or anyone else’s for that matter. He is only interested in himself and generating more follows. To what end? Less than 1 in 5 of those 18 thousand people have followed back. How many out of genuine interest? And how many, like himself, are just following for a follow?



If all these people are following each other in order to get and retain each other as followers then they have no real value to each other. Worse than that is that they have no value full stop, and they render themselves utterly indistinct. The rotten cherry on the cake is that it is actually insulting, as they reveal themselves to be superficial and self interested. That’s not marketing or networking, that is just visibly playing ‘the system’ and ultimately losing.

It has been happening on Flickr for quite a while, and the internet generally for much longer, as people seem to think that this is what you do to become a ‘success’. These people are fooling no one but themselves. Far more important if you are ‘marketing’ or ‘networking’ would surely be actual engagement with you and/or your ‘product’. How much engagement do these chumps generate? Very little. How about expending the energy on producing good, interesting photography, or at least attempting to? After all it is a photography site, a photography community, that’s what it’s supposed to be for, isn’t it?

Follow for follow? No. Blocked.

3 thoughts on “Follow For Follow?

  1. I never ‘Follow for Follow’ except when I began blogging in my first week or so. I appreciated that people chose to Follow my blog, and wanted to explore theirs too, to get more experience as a blogger. I occasionally ‘Follow for Follow’ still, if I find another new blogger who is still trying to find their feet. It’s a nice way to support someone when beginning a blog can be very nervous and scary indeed. As a general rule though, I don’t just Follow every single blog I come across in the hopes that they might Follow me back, because what on earth would that achieve? Like you said, all it indicates is there is no genuine appreciation for the other person’s content. I feel like I’m rambling now, so I best stop my comment here! Thanks for this post – it really made me think 🙂

    • I think on that level it’s acceptable, that’s more like giving something back. Mass follow for follows, in the thousands is just ridiculous. Thanks for the comment.

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