Please don’t (Dennis Aubrey)


This is a post addressed to a disturbing group of people who seem to make their living by trolling through WordPress sites and “liking” or “following” a blog in the hope that someone will return to their site and learn how to improve their life, make money on the internet, or fulfill their dreams by working less and living more.

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The pictures in their blogs show healthy, vibrant, smiling people relaxing by swimming pools, posing in some exotic locale, or being surrounded by lovely women. They appear confident, buoyant, and fulfilled, and with no more consciousness than a bee buzzing happily from flower to flower.

I ask you a favor. Please don’t do that here on Via Lucis. This is a community of people who think about the world differently. We are concerned with medieval architecture and the remnants of a world whose echoes live in the stones we photograph. Our fulfillment in life comes from thinking about these things, not in living “the good life”, certainly not a life unexamined.

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So next time you pass by this site, move on and leave us undisturbed. We know you mean well, but don’t “like” us hoping that we will come over to you and be swayed by your blandishments. Don’t “follow” us knowing that you will never read our articles, look at our photographs or participate in any of the discussions. All of your thousands of back links can’t obscure the fact that you are an uninvited guest. Please don’t bother us any more.

Please? Don’t!

Note: Please feel free to reblog this to see if the message gets across even a little bit.

33 responses to “Please don’t (Dennis Aubrey)

    • Yes, what Fiona said!

      I can understand the frustration caused by such activity, and I also get the impression that such visitors won’t even stop to actually read any of the blog posts. In fact, much of this type of traffic is probably automated.

      My pet peeve is comment spam. You know the generically applicable stuff along the lines of “Your post Please don’t | Via Lucis turned out great. I will definitely come back to read more. blah blah blah.”

      • Fortunately, WordPress picks up about 98% of those spam comments, Graham, at least for us. But they can’t seem to do anything about the “follows.” I guess it gets me because we try to visit the sites of everyone who follows us, partly as a courtesy but also as a way to see if there is a possibility for interaction on a serious level. We don’t follow many sites because it takes so much work to really follow and read the articles.

    • Fiona, I may have given the wrong impression that these “followers” make up a large percentage of our followers; the opposite is the case. In fact, it is only recently that this has become a problem. It is like a “movement” has arisen that this is a legitimate technique for “expanding one’s reach”. I am certain that the ones who do this have no intention of reading a word.

  1. Gr-r-r-r! Isn’t there some way to stop these stupid jerks before they intrude like this? Or at least immediately after they intrude? They’re stupid because they don’t see that there is NO connection between their hype and the beauties of Via Lucis. All of us who love Via Lucis are very poor prospects for their hyped-up products, whatever they are. Enough already!

    • Sandra, I’ve checked with the folks at WordPress and there is nothing that we can do at this time. They are aware of the growing problem, however. Thanks for your kind words about Via Lucis. We are proud of the community that we have here and of the contributions made by the individuals who take part in the dialogue.

  2. I found/ liked your blog because of a post through Medieval and Renaissance Studies Group, hope you don’t mind. Mutual follows or likes are not required, just love stopping through once in a while.

  3. I see your point and agree that it may be insulting. It’s like phony people “networking” which seems to me to be another way of saying, “if I can use you, I want to be friends”. On the other hand, lots of people have diverse interests and though their blog may not reflect that, it could be they were genuinely interested and possibly inspired by something they saw .

    • Thank you, Cynthia. We have many people who follow Via Lucis and participate in the discussions and they are welcome, no matter what their beliefs. On the other hand, there are others who just are playing a numbers game and post for commercial purposes. The “Please Don’t” post was addressed to them.

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