Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Invasion of the Comment Pods

instagram comment pods


Comment pods, Instagram pods, Bloglovin links and likes pods, you name it, there’s a pod for it. What is a pod? In short, a group of bloggers get together and, for example, comment on each others blog posts, or like and leave comments on each others latest Instagram shots. If you’re playing a numbers game and looking to drive engagement to your blog, a pod seems like a too good to be true solution, right?

I thought so. 

A long while back, I joined several pods, all centred around blog comments and Instagram likes and comments. Now, pods will differ depending on whose in them and who runs them. Some are pretty laid back, some are like regimented school teachers, handing out citations and reprimands if your break the rules. The rules are usually simple enough to follow - you catch up on all previous left links and/or posts in the group before posting a link to your own latest one. Some people post a lot and some, not so much. Usually there’s rules around this too, i.e you can only share 5 Instagram shots in the pod on a given day etc. 

It all sounded great. Comments on my blog almost tripled overnight, and the notifications from Instagram were just flying through. My traffic saw an increase, my numbers were on the UP! I’d set up a pod folder on Safari so I had all my fellow podders lined up and easy to access. I checked them every morning. I commentated on every new post, I liked every new shot, then I would leave a link to my own, feeling like I’d done my good deed and was about to sit back and reap all the benefits. 

But then I missed a post, it got lost in the pod activity, but not to worry, someone gave me a nudge and pointed me in the direction of my missing comment. I duly commented and received one back. Problem solved. 

Then I didn't open up Instagram for a day, I was off real life-ing. I popped up a picture that night, sent it to the pod, then started working my way through all the posts I needed to catch up on.

Uh-Oh.

That’s a big no-no. Even as I was catching up on the days pod-tivities, I was called out for having sent my link through too soon

Apologies. 

instagram comment pods


I was starting to feel on pins. Double and triple checking my pods links and posts to make sure I hadn’t missed anything before I left my own. I was barely checking out any of my favourite non-pod blogs because catching up on theirs was taking up all my time. 

I had to leave a comment. I had to get their comment in return. I couldn’t be that person in the pod. 

Before work, break time, lunch time, as the tea was cooking, after having tea and right before bed. I had to check. I couldn’t miss a post. I couldn’t be that person!

Honestly, I wasn’t even taking in what people were posting. I was skim reading, I was double tapping with an ‘oh how awesome is that’ or a ‘you nailed this shot girlie’, meaningless comments with a couple of emojis thrown on the end to pad it out. 

My comments meant nothing to me.

My comments meant nothing to them. 

The number it generated meant everything.

I felt like I was in a real life Nosedive (Black Mirror)

The pod-people where not coming to my blog and reading my posts because they wanted to. They were coming to my blog because they had to. 

Comment for comment.

Like for like.

Remember those days? How annoying those kinds of comments were on your blog and Twitter feed? 

It dawned on me that these pods I was a part of were no different to those kinds of comments.

I started to dread opening up Instagram. I couldn’t stand opening up the chats, the thought they might see I’ve been in and not acted on the waiting links and posts. The fact I had become that person. 

It all become so meaningless

I was being called out more and more, why hadn't I commented on their last two posts? Why wasn't I following the rules? Indirect messeges about remembering the rules, but don't forget to have fun.

FUN? This was about as far from fun as blogging has ever been for me. 

I left the pods. I took a much needed break from blogging. I wrote this post. 

Pods simply do not work for me. If they work for you, great! If you want to comment on this post, great! Leave a comment, let's have a chat, hell you can share this post if you want to. No pressure. It'd be nice like, but it's not the end of the world.

Do you have any experience of pods? How are they working for you? 

Until next time, 






3 comments:

  1. This is an interesting topic. I don't like pods. I joined a twitter one last year for a month and I was already following half of the ones that joined in, so it wasn't too much hassle. I also join a comment on my blog pod, well, it's hard to say a pod, it's more like getting a couple of comments on a post. I do that with posts I would like to see what someone that doesn't follow me has to say about it.
    I've been following a few of the comment pods, so happy days. I think the main thing is not too get too involved if you don't have the time. I don't have time for this, so I join the "2 comments from the ones before you". It takes 10 minutes to do and I only join in once a week or even less.

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  2. I'm so glad you cleared up what a "pod" was for me! For furthering your blog, I can see how they help bring traffic, but this all sounds too regimented for me! You would loose the fun in blogging, I think you'd become less inspired, it even sounds like you'd lose time to write your own blog! You made a good decision Sarah, you're now stress free & can write whenever you want! Xxx

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  3. Really interesting post to read and confirmed my feelings of what it may get like. Some days I have a lot of free times, others none and some days I just don't want to read blogs etc. It's all too stressful and uptight for me...I'd be scared that I missed someone and just not post any of my stuff and therefore missing out on the whole point!
    It also does seem pretty unnatural to me. The comments I get I am always over the moon about and they make my day because people have come of their own accord and leave genuine comments. Whereas the pods do feel very 'lik4like' and I'd expect short 'great post!' type of comments.

    Nice to see a post about someone who didn't love them. I mostly see people just saying how amazing they are.

    xo

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