I had a spare ten years or so while in a doctor’s waiting room this afternoon. Having finished reviewing the parshah (not too hard for Behar, but I could have done Matos-Masei there and still finished…), I drafted this post about my Jblogging troll.
I’m not one for popularity contests (rabbis who worry about those are in deep, deep trouble), and I almost never looked at my JBlogCentral listings until I learned of my troll... but I was glad when my blog cracked the Top 20 on JBlogCentral. It meant more people would see my site, and I hoped that would translate to a bigger audience.
I also hoped that people would now refrain from rating my posts at all. My posts tend to be 400+ words, so I get an automatic 5 for each post, so my average would improve if people just left my posts alone.
Unfortunately, I soon discovered that once a day, or every couple of days, some troll would come through and rate all my posts a “2”. All my posts from the past couple of days would go from 5 to 7, in a matter of one or two minutes.
I wasn’t the only one to experience this - I soon noticed, for example, that someone was ranking all of Frumstepper’s posts with 2’s, also. My troll was two-timing, at least! Either it was someone trying to knock us down the rankings, or it was someone with an issue with orthoblogs...
The troll has a lot of time available, that’s for sure - the “2” ratings came in blocks at the same time for all of my posts, sometimes mornings, sometimes evenings. (Never Shabbos - a Shomer Shabbos troll!) Perhaps her (his?) own blog would do better if she (he?) spent more time on improving it, instead of bashing those of others.
I emailed the folks at JblogCentral, who were sympathetic but felt they couldn’t do much about it. They said they are volunteers, and don’t have the time to scan logs. (I’d simply require a login for voting, so that every vote would appear with an ID - but I suppose they are concerned about discouraging voter participation.)
So I deal with it by not taking it too seriously, and I've gone back to not really looking at my rankings much. In a sense, though, it's nice to be noticed. It’s like having someone who goes around complaining about the rabbi (not that I have anyone who does that) - if you don’t take the bashing too personally, it’s fun to have a “fan.”
One interesting last note: The troll probably ends up bringing me more traffic, and better ratings. When he (she?) rates a post, other people will see the title pop up and they'll come visit it as well. More traffic, which is what I wanted in the first place.
...and the doctor is still not ready to see me...