Have you heard of the Blog Bully? I am sure you have heard of the plagiarists and spammers, of whom there are many. But there being only ONE Blog Bully (BB), you might not have heard of it. But it is often discussed in hushed whispers among bloggers. And if you still have no clue as to the identity of the BB, chances are you have not been struck– yet. But don’t be complacent about it because this one strikes at will and at random — either through Indivine or through comments and, of late, even FB. If the BB likes any of them, the blogger had it!
So, which type of blogs does the BB strikes at? There is no particular pattern. It could be the content, it could be the style, or it could be just the fact that the blogger had touched the BB in some way to make her want to connect with them. There are many popular bloggers who collect followers by the hundreds and hits by the thousands, but the BB is content collecting friends – one at a time. The moment such a blogger is found, the BB smells blood! ‘Friend material!’ screams her brain, and she goes straight for the jugular and the poor guy/gal has no clue as to what hit them!
Now these bloggers might have been happily blogging for years without a care in the world. But suddenly their days of joy are over because they have been singled out by the BB. Are you wondering why that should make them quake in their boots? It is the modus operandi that makes it such a harrowing experience.
What would a normal reader of a blog do? They would read the post, and depending upon whether or not they liked the post, leave a comment or ‘like’ it or share it and then maybe subscribe through the Reader and leave. But the BB is not a normal reader. She is a technology-challenged person who has survived blogging solely on the strength of her ‘blog manager’ son’s help. BB has two bugbears: Comments and Subscriptions. She wants these customized to suit her needs and the victims would all testify to it that they are forced to comply. Because you see, BB is not just a bully but a nag to boot!
If a particular blog has Word Verification, especially a complicated one, it would keep rejecting her submissions. And if she manages to crack it, she would hastily edit the comment to add a request to please do away with the WV, for it made it difficult for her to comment. Bullies do have a great sense of importance, don’t they?
Arti was the first victim of the BB on this count. And the poor girl hastily removed the word verification and told BB that she had and made place in BB’s heart. Over the months there were others who obliged the BB so that she could leave her comment.
Corinne has this commenting software that is as gentle as her and apologetically asks you to tick the box testifying that you are not a robot. But if you miss it, it will stubbornly refuse to publish your comment!
Then it was the turn of Srini, the Laughing Gas. He must have rued the day he came to her blog because of what followed. When she visited his blog, she loved it. And you know what that means? A comment, of course! But what did she find? No comment field and only FB comments. So off she shoots him a mail demanding that he add it. And the poor mild mannered guy who won’t say boo to an ant obliges the BB and replies post haste, after doing the needful. Wasn’t she glad she shot off that mail though, for she made a wonderful friend that day. As for Srini, he credits it all to karma!
There is another thing that bugs the BB. Blogger offers the choice of commenting through your Google id, which requires BB to sign out of her own mail and sign in to Google before commenting. The BB prefers the name/url option because it is easy and fast. So now, bloggers who don’t have this option get a mail from her: ‘Unable to comment!’ with the comment attached by email!
Rachna was the first one to be struck followed by others including Sandhya. While the former got it done in a jiffy being a whiz at the stuff, the latter had to get her son to do the needful, much like BB herself. This morning dear old Deepak (Magiceye) was the latest victim. He protested, ‘But I have not changed any setting!’ but not only fixed the problem but also copy pasted her comment! A friend can’t be sweeter than that, can he? Ashwini comments on BB’s blog sometimes but must have got the shock of her life to see a mail in her inbox a few days ago with the same request. She sweetly replied thanking BB for the comment sent by mail and for having put in the added fields for profiles.
Is commenting the only thing the BB wants to do? No sir. She would read a couple of posts from the archives of the blogs and if she liked them, would want to instantly subscribe – not in the Google Reader like a normal reader might do, but through email, if you please! And if she didn’t find that option, she would add it in her comment requesting the blogger to please create that option.
Rahul must have heartily wished he had not set his foot on BB’s blog because she couldn’t subscribe to his blog and sent him a series of mails. After finally getting the subscription going for her, he must have sighed in relief for having got the BB off his back! The same thing happened with Bhavana who made the mistake of straying into the blog on a guest post. BB went to her blog right away to find that she liked what she read there immensely, but could not subscribe. So off went an email early in the morning (BB is an early riser and strikes mostly in the mornings) to her. After a flurry of desperate mails back and forth, the poor girl finally subscribed herself for BB. Talk of willing victims!
When Suresh got a comment asking how BB could subscribe to his blog, he obligingly came to her blog to tell her where to find the button — and to be on the safer side — changed the template itself. Wise chap!
When Shruti has this wonderful blog where she combines lovely anecdotes with delectable recipes of the Maharashtrian kind. So she was zapped by an FB message. Pat came the reply, edged with panic, ‘How do I do it?’ The BB of course didn’t know, but knew how to turn ordinary mortals into computer experts. Soon Shruti sent a triumphant message that she had done it! Psst…the next salvo from the BB is going to target the complicated Word Verification on her blog…
Panchali refuses to be bullied but told BB very sweetly, that she was happy if the BB read her posts whenever she had the time to browse! Now isn’t that a sweet friend?
Of late, BB has discovered a new forum to hunt for her victims – FB. She reads a link and marches to the blog and then finds one of the things missing (refer to above paras) and so contacts the blogger. Maitreyee and Soham are the latest victims of the BB.
Then there are the guest posts. Whenever BB asks a friend for one, the first reaction is one of panic. The objects chew their nails right down to their fingers and hem and haw. Ask Sudha. Only she was too polite to use the word bully and used nag instead, on the link on her blog to the guest post she eventually did. The last I heard, R’s Mom has gone into hiding and Arti is having panic attacks.
Adding people to your network on Indiblogger is an innocuous enough thing. People add you, you add them or ignore the request and that is that. But for the BB it doesn’t end at that. She goes to the person’s blog and demands to know why she has been added. Some of them reply and Sajal was one such. Now that is what I call interaction!
Not that everyone falls prey to the BB’s tactics. Some bloggers just ignore her and go on with their happy lives. Smart ones, those!
Do you think that BB manages to get her way because of the formidable profile she sports on the blog, wielding a weapon capable of delivering a resounding whack, or maybe they are afraid of being nagged endlessly and so want her off their back OR, maybe…just maybe…they do it because they really like her?
I think I should gently remind you of the consequences of disagreeing with the biggest Blog Bully. Well, that was just a very gentle reminder, no need to run away….
Note: The BB might have left out a lot of names who have been at the receiving end, so if anyone has a horror tale of bullying by the BB to relate, please feel free to share the experience. It will be duly linked to the post.
….and some more victims : Giribala is protesting about her exclusion on the subscription count and Anu is upset — to be bullied about the commenting and then being ignored is a little too much, isn’t it? And now for Ruchira, the only one to have been bullied personally over email subscriptions and the visibly upset Ashwathy, who with the long list of complaints against the BB had me scurrying to link her! And Amit joins the band of victims being the latest one….
Image on Homepage courtesy: http://tvtropes.org