Traffichacks: Can I press the “dislike” button?

September 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm 8 comments

Today I logged on to WordPress to see whether there were any pending comments and to check my stats, basically to see how well my last post had been received. I was happy to discover that it had 5 likes, which is pretty good for me. Now, it’s my policy to check out the blogs of people who like my posts out of curiosity and out of a kind of sense of returning a favor: you give my blog a chance, I’ll give yours a chance.

So when I saw that a new person had liked my review, I followed the link to their blog. What I found there frankly upset me. At first, it captured my interest by saying that it contained tips for increasing traffic to my blog. As I’m new to blogging, I’m all for getting as many tips as I can, however, what followed was not what I had in mind.

“This cool tool by Traffichacks automatically presses the ‘like’ button on a HUGE amount of posts in wordpress (Basically as many as you’d like). Than, the owners of those blogs get a notification about a new like via mail or through wordpress notification. Than, they want to see who ‘liked’ their post and get back to your blog – bingo. And that’s exactly what happened with you now, this is how you got here.”

Here I was, happy that someone had read and enjoyed my post, and now I find that same person did not even lay eyes on my blog. They just want to use the “like” option on my posts for free advertising. And they assume that I will now want to do the same.

If there had been a “dislike” button, I would have pressed it in a heartbeat. Is this a way to increase traffic to your blog? Undoubtedly. But it’s also dishonest and hurtful.

You might wonder how such a policy could hurt anybody, but just stop for a moment and think about how the ripples spread. I’ll tell you right now that I am hurt. I’m hurt that this person stole away the happiness I got from thinking that they liked my post. But at least this person freely admitted to using “traffichacks”. I immediately wonder how many other bloggers are using this. How many of those little avatars underneath my post have popped up there only as a result of software playing tricks on me? Are any of them real?

And if I am having these thoughts right now, how many other people are? Can you see now? Using “traffichacks” undermines the credibility of the entire system, so that whatever good purpose the like button was created to fulfill is either greatly reduced or undone altogether. Honest people who use the like button as it was meant to be used receive diminishing returns. People who receive likes on their posts are robbed of that little pleasure that comes from receiving a compliment and even the ability to see true feedback. I know that I’ve used the number of “likes” I get on a post to compare one against another and try to get a feel for what my audience is interested in or how well each one is written.

So, no, I will not sign up for this. I would rather have no likes on my posts at all than have 10,000 fake ones. I would rather have honest criticisms than fake compliments. I want the truth. And what I want I will give to others, just as I always have. If I enjoy a post, I will “like” it. If I leave a comment, I will tell you what I really think, the honest truth. I will not be using “traffichacks”.

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Entry filed under: Blogging. Tags: , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gpicone  |  September 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I agree

    Reply
  • 2. frontrangescribbles  |  September 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I agree with you, I’d rather have no likes than a bunch of fake ones

    Reply
  • 3. geo williams  |  October 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    That was my immediate and overall reaction as well, but…

    … the point that more people are bound to see our work is well taken.

    I found you by googling traffichacks, as my experience has shown that many things like this are just scams. I could easily have read you by checking back on a ‘like’ you never gave, or worse, not found you at all.

    I guess it depends on what our goal is. Mine is for people to read what I have to say, because I think that some of them need to hear it.

    I don’t like tricking people though, and I’d rather not like sites that I don’t like… so I don’t expect to use that method either.

    Reply
  • 4. aaronwest  |  October 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Completely agree. I received a very similar ‘Like,’ and encountered your blog after searching for this ‘service.’ I get a lot of random likes on my blog, and that is how I’ve found many interesting sites, but I also get the occasional like from out-of-nowhere, from someone who does not seem like they would be interested in my topic. I wonder if they find me from a service like this.

    For what it’s worth, my ‘Like’ on this post was from a real person clicking a button.

    Reply
    • 5. dste  |  October 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Good to know. Thank you!

      Reply
  • 6. Liz  |  October 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I like this for real, In fact I responded to one just like you did. That I really thought that not only did people actually like my post but that they READ it. This is a very disappointing development. I also wonder about the page hits from countries all over the world. Anyone know what that’s about?

    Reply
  • 7. dysfunctional literacy  |  August 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I appreciate the “like” button because it helps me get an idea about who is (and like you said, sometimes who is not) reading my blog. I’ll use the “like” button because most of the time I can’t think of a good comment that hasn’t already been made.

    Reply
    • 8. dste  |  August 7, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Then you’re one of the ones using the “like” button as it was meant to be used, and I appreciate it! I get what you mean because often I can’t think of anything worth saying, either!

      Reply

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