How do you determine who you're "following"?

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  1. goatfury profile image90
    goatfuryposted 9 years ago

    I've just reached a landmark of 100 followers (yay, me!), which might not seem like much, but it's built up pretty slowly over time, and I've made sure to interact with everyone I'm following regularly (106 now), checking out new hubs, etc.  It made me consider an interesting question:
    How do you determine who you follow?  I've obviously followed many people back, and anyone I've come across with really interesting posts.  But do you have a specific method for those you choose to follow?

    1. Cardisa profile image86
      Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I only follow people whose hubs I am genuinely interested in reading. It makes no sense to me to follow someone out of courtesy.

      When you follow someone everything they do here is sent to you via email. So you can imagine how many emails one would get when they follow a lot of people, and how frustrating it would be if they weren't really interested in those hubbers activities.

      Currently I'm only following fifty people and most of them are inactive at the moment.

      1. goatfury profile image90
        goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with this concept and fully understand it.  I reciprocate when people are interesting, but I actually find most people who are actively writing here interesting in some fashion, and I'm also learning from many of those I follow.  Thanks for the info!

    2. CatherineGiordano profile image77
      CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I see people with hundreds of followers. There are not enough hours in a day to follow that many people. I follow people who write on the subjects I am interested in and who write well.

      My question is can I see a list of my follower and who I am following?

      I just recently reached 100 too doing it slowly over months.  I am such a little kid.  You get a gold star, er, I mean accolade, for reaching 100 and I'm a sucker for those little stickers on my profile page.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image86
        rebekahELLEposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        There are a couple ways you can see your followers and who you're following.  On your profile page there is a section on the right that includes both.  Also on your account page, you can open the Following tab and there are various tabs that include topics, people you follow.  This tab also lists their latest hub published.

        1. CatherineGiordano profile image77
          CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you. The following and followers on the top right of my profile pae are not clickable.  I tried.  I will try your other suggestions.

        2. CatherineGiordano profile image77
          CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I found it, not on the account page, but on the profile page, on the right, an inch or two down from the count of followers at the top right.Talk about hiding in plain sight.

          1. rebekahELLE profile image86
            rebekahELLEposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            On your account page click on Following and you will see a Hubbers you follow tab.

            1. CatherineGiordano profile image77
              CatherineGiordanoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              You are right. The second row of tabs.  One of my great trials is that I am so unobservant.

              1. goatfury profile image90
                goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Glad you found the follow list!  I may check mine out as well; up until now, I've just used notifications for this purpose, and I definitely have my hands full with the 100 or so I'm following.  Every day I spend at least 20 minutes skimming and reading hubs, and sometimes quite a bit more.  I also am a sucker for the accolades!  Glad it's not just me.  smile

      2. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        You are right, and that's why it's important NOT to feel you have to "follow back".  "Followers" used to be called "fans" and I still feel that was a better name, because it says exactly what it means.  You follow someone because you are a fan of their work - either  because their specialised subject interests you, or their writing is so good you don't care what it's about, you just have to read everything they write.    I have thousands of followers, but I follow a mere handful - and some of them don't follow me.

    3. PegCole17 profile image93
      PegCole17posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Congratulations on reaching that landmark, Goatfury. It is difficult to interact with everyone that you follow if you have your email notifications set individually. Then, it becomes a nightmare. I've set mine to give me a daily list of those who've published anything new. Then I narrow my reading down based on whether the title is interesting or if I know a particular author that has great material, I read and comment.
      Even though I follow a number of people, I find that they do not publish everyday so the notifications don't become overwhelming.

      1. goatfury profile image90
        goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Likewise; my strategy is to go through daily all at once.  It's still quite a bit of reading!

    4. J - R - Fr13m9n profile image66
      J - R - Fr13m9nposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Speaking of criteria it would then be your own. I feel that there is nothing specific other than if your feel these other writers and you have a few interests in common.

  2. Chauncey St Clair profile image60
    Chauncey St Clairposted 9 years ago

    I'm new here, and trying to follow people who have written anything I find remotely interesting, even just one article.  I also devoutly follow the rule of reciprocity in social media, which sadly most people are unaware of or simply don't know better on this site.

    1. goatfury profile image90
      goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The "interesting" part is definitely a prerequisite for me.  I'll check out your stuff!

    2. rebekahELLE profile image86
      rebekahELLEposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      There are many people using social media for no other reason than to gain followers.  That is not the intent of the function.  I have many followers who I'm certain have never read one of my hubs.  They 'binge follow' hoping for the reciprocal follow back. I generally follow those whose hubs interest me, or I like how the hubber contributes to the community.  Can I follow everyone that I would like to follow? 
      It is not recommended to follow out of social obligation because the whole point of following is to support and interact (by reading their work, leaving comments, giving thumbs up, sharing, tweeting, etc) those who follow you.  The same applies to Twitter followers.  There is a section in the Learning Center about how to use the various social media platforms.

      1. Chauncey St Clair profile image60
        Chauncey St Clairposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Wow, rebekahELLE, that's an incredible self-righteous statement for someone with over a thousand followers, not to mention slightly rude and insulting to the people following you.  However, I'm glad you that you have benefited from having such a large number of people following you (even though you are absolutely certain many of them have not read your work). I'll be sure to pass.

        1. Mark Ewbie profile image81
          Mark Ewbieposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I thought she went easy in her reply.  It was measured.

          Reciprocity is a pointless game of acquiring 'followers' who don't follow and 'readers' who don't read.  In return you get swamped with their own spam which is of course the point of the game.

          So here's another one you needn't bother with.

        2. Beaddoodler profile image65
          Beaddoodlerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          She wasn't being rude, just prudent.  I've been on many writing and social media sites.  Yes you get followers hoping for a "follow back" and even some PM's asking you to follow them back.  Following a person doesn't benefit you or the other person unless there's some interaction and visiting each others articles.

          1. Chauncey St Clair profile image60
            Chauncey St Clairposted 9 years agoin reply to this


        3. Cardisa profile image86
          Cardisaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          There was nothing rude about RebekahELLE's reply. she was right and it is not recommended to do binge following.

          There are people on HP and other social networks who do follow people hoping to get a follow back to build their own following. She was being honest.

        4. DrMark1961 profile image95
          DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Dont bother following me either. I am following those people that I want to follow, not using some rule that social media people made up to make themselves feel better. I am not going to follow you just because you happened to follow me.
          Since most of those types do not even read and comment, you can keep to yourselves.

        5. PegCole17 profile image93
          PegCole17posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Actually, it's pretty easy to tell who has read your work by paying attention to your stats per hub. It will tell you by day, week and month those who have visited a particular hub.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I posted, and then realised that RebekahELLE had just explained it far better than I did.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      HubPages is not "social media" so reciprocity does not apply.  It's a writing site which happens to be quite sociable.   The social aspects of HubPages do NOT help you make money, so it's not necessary to participate in them at all if you're here to work not play. 

      If you follow a Hubber, you are committing to reading their Hubs when published - and it's impossible to keep up if you follow too many people.   

      Clicking the "follow" button out of courtesy, then not reading their Hubs, is much worse (in HubPages etiquette terms) than failing to follow.  In fact, "you follow me if I follow you" is against HubPages' TOS.

      Apart from the forums, I don't socialise much on HubPages so I follow very few people.   I do have a lot of followers but I have never "chased" followers or invited people to follow me - and many of the names on the list are people who have not been active on HubPages for years, anyway.

  3. Beaddoodler profile image65
    Beaddoodlerposted 9 years ago

    I look for hubs in categories that interest me and if there's a particularly informative one I follow that author.

  4. firstday profile image60
    firstdayposted 9 years ago

    I read something that moves me to leave a comment and sometimes follow the person.  Then I will read something on the forum and think, wow who is that and click their profile picture.  Once reading who they are and seeing their wonderful hubs, I must follow them.  There are some dynamite people here that blow me away.  I am sure I would probably never meet them in the 3D world.  So what a blessing to be here. It would be a full time job to read everything everybody writes and comment on everyone.  However, I look at it as my personal hub library of people and when I have time I explore their writings and websites.  Talk about learning…whew…sorry to be so long winded.

    1. goatfury profile image90
      goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I agree- I feel very fortunate to be here as well.  I've met numerous people through article writing and reading that I certainly would never meet in real life!  Thanks for the perspective, too.

  5. Kylyssa profile image89
    Kylyssaposted 9 years ago

    I follow writers whose articles I enjoy or find useful.  I don't worry about following too many because I have it set up so that only the digest emails go into my inbox.  It turns out that many of the writers I naturally follow aren't of the sort who publish every day.

    I do not practice reciprocal following.  I do check out the hubs of anyone who follows me, though.  If I discover they write things I might enjoy at that point, I will follow them.

  6. bwhite062007 profile image91
    bwhite062007posted 9 years ago

    I have always been torn by this same question. To follow or not to follow. I have seen many other fellow hubbers who talk about courtesy follows. Courtesy Follows is what I did for quite some time. But the more you follow, the harder it becomes to read/critique/comment and engage on all thier work. I am learning that although I am sincerely thankful for the followers I do have, I only follow those who I find an sincere interest or useful information in what thier writing whether it be hubs or here in the forums.

    It's a tough decision because I would love to follow everyone back and be able to indulge in all thier work. Knowledge is power. And just because I follow someone, I don't always expect a follow back either. I follow because thier work interests me. My work may not interest them and that's ok.

    1. Sed-me profile image79
      Sed-meposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I follow ppl that I can't help but follow... if that makes sense.

      Take Vespawoolf
      Her recipes are so out of the ordinary and so unique yet familiar. She lives in Peru (a place my husband and daughter traveled to on several occasions to help build a church) and so I feel somehow connected to her in that respect. In other words, I am just drawn to her.

      There's bBerean. He has no hubs currently, but we are simpatico in our beliefs.

      Rochelle Frank writes these utterly charming and engaging essays and I find her, as a person, to be someone very... special. Again, I'm drawn to her and her writings.

      In other words, I follow them, b/c I don't want to lose them... I don't want to forget where they were and how I found them and who they were and all they had to offer.

      Sometimes ppl follow me, and I appreciate it, but I forget to go check out their pages, but I figure if it is meant to be, I will discover them eventually. There are many ppl worth following... amazing ppl and writers, but to me, there has to be some special reason, some spark, some... thing... that makes me want to click on that button. Some ppl follow everyone, but to me, it is more fun to make that list somehow have value to you personally, instead of just a big ole list of strangers. That's how I go about it anyway. smile

  7. Arachnea profile image67
    Arachneaposted 9 years ago

    I guess I should preface my answer to this by sharing how my friends and I accomplish interaction. Because we're all so busy, we manage a meet maybe three times a year. Life just keeps us busy. We drop the occasional line. My follow and interaction patterns run similar to that on social media. As time allows.

    So when I follow, it's not with the thought that I be able to check in with said 'followee' X number of times, it's with the thought that something about this person's hub or a recent comment interested me. I visit purposefully in spells. One day I may follow up on traffic to my hubs from a specific hubber. Another day I may follow up on folks who have commented. By follow up, btw, I man visit and read one or more of their hubs. Another I may go through emails with specific subjects, e.g. so-and-so started a new forum thread, or joeblow posted a new hub, etc.

    I choose folks to follow for interest's sake, for the sake of following one or more of their posts, or to ensure I have an update on their activity so on a whim I can visit their recent post/comment/thread etc. I also believe strongly (my opinion doesn't have to be anyone else's) in showing interest when someone has expressed said interest in one or more ways.

    1. Dressage Husband profile image68
      Dressage Husbandposted 9 years agoin reply to this


      This reply of yours pretty much sums up my attitude too. If you go to your feed by clicking on the Hubpages logo then you see all of the stuff from those you follow. I will some times take time out and scan the feed for items of interest. However I do not read all of the stuff written by all the people I follow. I only follow those that have written something that caught my eye either a Hub of the day or a featured Hub that I caught sight of reading another or in the items of interest at the bottom, wherever.

      I follow those that appeal to me or that have written on topics that captured my imagination. If these people choose to follow me back after my visit then I am pleased, but I do not expect it. I do not believe in playing games to gain accolades. However I appreciate the system as it recognizes what you have been doing and it is nice t be noticed for good things that you do.

  8. Shorebirdie profile image73
    Shorebirdieposted 9 years ago

    Right now, I'm following people I knew on Squidoo, mostly.  However, as time goes on, I will be following people whom are either helpful or interesting or share common interests.

    1. goatfury profile image90
      goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That's cool, too.  I had a few friends in my short time at Squidoo (but the import sent them over to revolutionbjj on here vs my goatfury profile, which I wasn't super happy about).

  9. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 9 years ago

    @ Chauncey St Clair -  I don't see my post as self-righteous at all.  Anyone that's been here for any length of time knows that there are plenty of followers who have no genuine interest in our hubs.  If you look at a recent followers activity there are numerous times when the only activity they have is binge following.  Actually I have some amazing followers and I wish I had time to follow more of them. I've also been active here for 5 years.  HP draws in all kinds of people and plenty have come and gone.  I'm glad to still be here.

  10. Arachnea profile image67
    Arachneaposted 9 years ago

    The one benefit I get from following other people is a notification that they've posted. I visit as able. Of course, though the larger percentage of people who follow may do so in the hope of a reciprocal follow, not all do. Since I have a number of friends and acquaintances rl who fall into the latter group like myself, I'm content to take a follow as it comes and not assume it is a request for a reciprocal follow. On the other hand, a direct request for a follow doesn't go far with me. Like when someone asks for a review of something they've written. In most cases I politely let them know that I don't do reviews by request but instead according to my preferences and as time allows.

  11. LindaSmith1 profile image61
    LindaSmith1posted 9 years ago

    I do not get concerned about followers since that is short lived and we need to focus on search engine traffic.

    I do not follow those that come into forums with like me, I need a friend, etc.    This is not bubblews.

    I don't get into poetry, creative writing at all, or recipes.

    I do follow those who write a lot about SEO topics, or maybe only one that I want to go back to for references.  Once in awhile I see a recipe hub that I want to go back to so that person will go on my follow list.      There are a few crafters that I follow and then put links to their hubs when appropriate with my hubs, blogs, web sites etc.  I don't do this as a way of I scratch your back, you scratch mine, but if they have a hub that fits my article and has some great ideas, why not share it?

    I don't do a lot of comments.  Most comments I see are nice hub, I gave you a thumbs up, etc.  Personally, I hate those kinds of comments.

  12. Arachnea profile image67
    Arachneaposted 9 years ago

    LS1, those kinds of comments are not unlike the feedback one gets on stories and books. There's no information qualifying the comment in terms of why, just "great read," or, "loved it". Annoying, yes.

    Agreed, DH, I appreciate more the person who comes right out and says, "Follow me, please. I'll give you my first born dragon," than the person who hints around and pussy-foots around to get a follow.

  13. melbel profile image92
    melbelposted 9 years ago

    I follow fun or interesting people, mostly based on the kinds of hubs they write.

  14. goatfury profile image90
    goatfuryposted 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the feedback, guys!  I really appreciate it, although I'm more or less already taking the tack most of you have recommended.

    1. erorantes profile image49
      erorantesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I read questions and awnser them. I read hubs, and give my comments to people. In other words, I participate in forums at the hubpages community.  If you keep active,  you  let other people  know about you. Good luck with your followers.

  15. chef-de-jour profile image96
    chef-de-jourposted 9 years ago

    I tend to follow those writers who offer :

    i)   good quality writing
    ii)   interesting topics
    iii)   positive contributions

    If someone follows me I won't necessarily follow them BUT I will always check their profiles to find out for myself just what they're up to! If they have all three of the above then I usually reciprocate and follow. I might even send some fan mail.

  16. janshares profile image93
    jansharesposted 9 years ago

    I've always followed others based on the following:
    1. I'm impressed by their work which includes immaculate writing, beautiful formatting, and visually striking images.
    2. I view the hubber as someone I can learn from based on their experience and time on HP.
    3. I see raw talent and great potential in a newbie (this applies mostly to poetry).
    4. I share the same niche with someone, particularly my profession.

    I will follow someone outside of these criteria if I find them to be an interesting or really cool person who happens to write unique, excellent informational articles or poems.

    1. goatfury profile image90
      goatfuryposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm right there with you, Jan.  I agree with all of these criteria.

      1. janshares profile image93
        jansharesposted 9 years agoin reply to this


  17. Availiasvision profile image80
    Availiasvisionposted 9 years ago

    That's a great question.  For me, I follow people for a couple of reasons: prolific writing, friendliness, topics I care about, and the potential to do well on this site.

    People who are friendly and comment on tons of my Hubs, I usually follow and return the favor. It's like building on online friendship.  If people are generally kind, helping others in the forums, and leaving thoughtful comments, they will be my new best hubber friend.

    I love travel, adventure, and personal growth articles. If I see a writer concentrating in those areas, I usually follow them.

    If I see a new writer who has a genuine interest in becoming a better writer, I like to follow them and encourage them.  What I want to see is commitment.  If a writer signed up a month ago and has 12 hubs, I will usually follow them. I know that when I was new many good writers took me under their wing; I'd like to do the same for others. 

    I hate it when the people I follow go inactive and give up.  I like having a constant stream of interesting hubs in my feed. I look for people in it for the long haul.  When I see high hubber scores, a large number of hubs, and the hubber participating in the community, chances are they will keep producing quality work.


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