I was dead wrong about #Bloglovin’…

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

(Sheepishly: yeah, you read that right.  I’ll explain…)

(Deep breath…)

OK.  Here goes.  Late last night, I wrote about how Bloglovin’ had hoovered up peoples’ blogs and was pilfering them for their own gain, at the expense of the content creators.

It turns out that I was wrong.  I’ll admit that and I’ll own my mistake.  I’m taking responsibility and setting the record straight by writing this post.  Integrity and self-responsibility are big deals for me–a hell of a lot more important than burying mistakes and/or trying to save face.  Sometimes there just isn’t a face to be saved.  😉

First, I apologize for the worry and stress that this undoubtedly caused.  It’s OK to be pissed off at me.  ❤

Second, I’m also sorry for posting so frequently lately.  I went ahead and wrote this because I felt it was important to get the newfound truth out there ASAP.  ❤

I know what it looks like.  It looks like our blogs appeared on Bloglovin’ without our consent (they did) because Bloglovin’ sponged them up (they didn’t; blogs are added by users).  It looks like Bloglovin’ is what’s known as a “scraper site“, which is characterized by harvesting RSS feeds and then creating mirror sites of our content, whereby we, the content creators, are screwed out of hits and stats and, for those who depend on revenue from advertising on their blog, income.  It looks like Bloglovin’ is hogging those stats, hits, clicks, and ad revenue for themselves.

It turns out that they’re not.

The color drained from my face–although it made me feel better–when, in the comment section on that sassy ranty post, a good friend who is also tech-savvy and lay-literate in copyright law, did some thorough digging and chimed in with their insight.  Said friend actually went and created a Bloglovin’ account and looked deeply into the issue.  I want to give them credit because they found this information; I didn’t.

I would like to summarize my friend’s findings, paraphrased, to set the record straight and correct my mistake(s) and the misconceptions that I spurred by that particular post:

Apparently, Bloglovin’ (BL) does not “scrape” or harvest blogs from RSS feeds; BL users submit our blog links for them to follow.

BL is not actually a content regurgitator; they’re an RSS feed reader, much like WordPress’s Reader function.  It’s like WordPress offering the reader as a standalone app, without the blog functions; you visit the site (or open the app) and it just shows the Reader feature of the blogs you follow.  Apparently, that’s all it is.

BL does not actually steal the views/hits/clicks from the content creators ourselves.  Although BL does open the blog page in what looks like a frame (in which, according to the Wiki entry in the link), is “part of a web page or browser window which displays content independent of” the source page (i.e., your blog), BL’s “frame” is not a webpage frame in its truest sense.  (It doesn’t help that BL uses URLs like “frame.bloglovin.com….(long jibberish string)”; that part is confusing, and this fueled my prior ire.)

Instead, even though BL looks like it’s opening your webpage in a “frame” on its site, it’s actually registering on your site (a good thing–that’s what you want), and any activity on, interaction with, or navigation within the “frame.bloglovin.com…” site actually “counts” toward your blog stats/hits/views.  My friend says they’ve verified this.  (However, this does not yet explain why some bloggers have reported a sharp drop in traffic (according to several bloggers, at least as of September 2015, when this post was written), after their site ended up on BL; perhaps (and this is just my theory) BL may have created a mirror site of a blog post before, being guilty of what I’m describing in the past, and perhaps they’ve fixed it since?  That question remains to be answered.)

BL does claim to support bloggers, and this claim does appear to hold merit.  My friend claims they’re legit, and that claim has merit, too.  They appear to be one more RSS feed site/app, not much different from the WP Reader.

The main issue appears to be a problem in the PR (Public Relations) and communication departments.  The site looks like it’s guilty of something it’s not actually doing.  It looks like a spammy, shady site, when it actually probably isn’t.  As my friend said in a recent blog post on their blog, “they need better PR and better support for concerned bloggers”.

Another question to which the answer remains unknown is, what about the comments left for blogs on BL?  Do they transfer to–and show up on–WordPress so that blog authors can respond and interact?  Of that I’m not sure yet.

In sum, I’ll quote my friend again “basically everything they’re doing…seems well intentioned.  But only after you figure out what they’re doing!  Which didn’t happen for me right away”.  Because the way they’ve laid out the site and its features is relatively ambiguous, there’s going to be a lot of confusion among users, even the tech-savviest of us (which is not me – I’m the antithesis to tech-savvy!).  “What we have here (might be) a failure to communicate.”

So, what I have done so far is this:

  • I’ve corrected the title of the last post to reflect that, to paraphrase, “I thought BL was pilfering my blog”.
  • I’ve written this post to update everybody on the situation and its developments, thanks largely to my brilliant friend(s).
  • I’ve re-created my BL account, and it’s up and running.
  • I’ve started taking the necessary steps to “claim my blog” (a hoop-jump that I’m not particularly enamored with, but I completely understand the necessity behind it; I wouldn’t want someone to “claim my blog” on BL out from under me!  Which won’t happen, because of the steps they make us go through to make sure we’re really the real author of our blog).
  • I’ve deleted my hostile tweets about BL on Twitter.

I’m not done rectifying this yet; I still have to accomplish the following:

  • I’ll go back on Facebook and delete the angry comments I left on their page and change my one-star rating (how many stars it’ll get remains to be seen; it depends on the quality and usability of BL itself and my experience of it).
  • I’ll send BL a follow-up email retracting the statements I made in the previous email (which I copy-pasted verbatim in my previous BL-related post).
  • I’ll go back into the comments on that previous post and reply to each commenter that there’s an update, with new developments and info.
  • I’ll edit the previous post to include an addendum at the end, with a link to this post.
  • I’ll hit the “Publish” button on this post.

Without further ado…

PS: BIG Thank-Yous go out to my good friend, as well as everyone else for your support!  I appreciate your respect <3, even though I don’t always deserve it.  😉

PPS: Sorry for posting so much in one day, for posting so much about off-topic topics, and whatnot.  Now I promise I’ll resume Regularly-Scheduled Programming.  😀

 

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54 Comments

  1. Thank you for the information! I’ll definitely look into getting a Bloglovin’ account.

    It’s okay to make mistakes. It takes a lot of courage to admit them and make things better. You’re a great person Laina! 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I’m so pleased for you Laina that it’s all ok. I’ve been concerned about it so now feel relieved for you 🙂 Thanks for your honesty and integrity. You never blog too many times… I always think ‘yay, another blog post from Laina!’ Don’t be too hard on yourself my friend xx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you dear! 😘. Yeah I felt fraudulent for a few hours there, as I started to realize just how wrong I’d been! That was probably the hardest part 😉💗. I figure it’s safe to start a BL account if you want 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Autistic integrity. I love it. So proud to be part of this tribe!

    Thank you so much Laina for this post. I’ve been in a seriously dark place recently after feeling a massive failure (long story). I needed to be reminded of some of the positive traits in the autistic mind. I realise this has caused you some considerable stress, and I’m really sorry about that, but please know, your gracious retraction has had a positive effect on me. Thank you. 👍👍👍👏👏👏

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well done on correcting yourself, and well done to your friend for finding the truth. However, I still think bloglovin’ need to make it clearer that the content that appears there is not their own and to flag up actual creators – as you know I acted on your original post on this subject. Bloglovin’ have not as yet responded to my email yesterday to explain themselves.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Respect to you, girl! It’s not easy to just come out and say it when you’re wrong, it shows real strength of character. And as they say “no publicity is bad publicity ” I’m sure your rant and retraction have done #Bloglovin’ no harm at all, but helped to raise awareness of their existence amongst your readership.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Laina thanks for getting back to us on this. Your act is honorable and in compliance with a blogging guide that one should own up when wrong. Your action is commendable and the Bloglovin owner too should have no hard feelings, I guess.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I feel like all this could be avoided if BL just sent an email notification to the author of new blogs that are user-submitted. It was very big of you to post a retraction, Laina. Way to be a human.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Maybe a visit to this page on BL could have saved a lot of effort/ unpleasantness? https://www.bloglovin.com/bloglovin-for-bloggers

    It’s under the ‘About’ menu on Bl’s home page for future ref. 🙂

    I’m about to let one of your readers know about your recantation as she currently has a warning to all her readers to avoid BL after reading your initial post – these things can fly huh?
    (Reader Is Madelyn from ADD and so much more.)

    love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I was really hasty; I was confused and I wasn’t seeing what I thought I was, and I jumped the gun as a result. I’m so sorry about that, to anyone whom I misled! 💞. Usually I try to research, give benefits of doubt, etc. I have no excuse for what happened this time 💙

      Madelyn is on it 💕💕. Thank you so much for your info and your help! 😊💚💙

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! I’m usually the one who ‘jumps the gun’ and shoots his mouth off before i’ve got all the facts right so i completely understand! 🙂

        And there are so many scams on the interwebs it’s easy to believe the worst.

        Yours actions afterward though were an exceptional example of how humans SHOULD (but usually don’t 😉 ) behave when we blow it. 🙂

        Very nice meeting you!

        love

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aww! You are too kind! 🌺. You’re absolutely right, about so many things–the scams and slimy opportunists, easy to believe the worst, how people *should* behave, and so on 💗. I try to do the right thing every day 💜. I do blow it sometimes lol. I do a proverbial face-plant and get back up again, even if I put my tail between my legs for a bit lol. 💚

          Very nice meeting you too! 💙💙

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I removed the notice on my sidebar, and will send any of my readers who ask about where it went here for the explanation, rather than posting an updated retraction link on my site.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I had never heard of Bloglovin before.. I was infuriated and enraged by your previous post.. and then all was made clear in this one. I’m in awe of your integrity and your ability to say “I was wrong” and correct yourself. It displays great strength of character and rectitude!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so kindly, my friend! 😘😘. Yeah, I went looking for info when I first heard about the ire some people were expressing about BL, and all I had found were posts upon posts that criticized BL and accused them of farming blogs for their content. Nobody had explained what was really going on. Some of the authors of those posts mentioned their stats going down after BL had indexed their site, but that could be for any one or combo of many reasons 😊. So after a friend (and fellow blogger) and I dug deeper, we figured it out and I really wanted to come clean, especially considering how I had flamed BL a couple posts before 😇. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! I really appreciate your kind words and your forgiving nature 😘💚💙💜

      Like

      1. Seriously, I’m so proud to be one of your many followers. I follow the right writer!! I have encountered so many jerks and cowards in my life sometimes I forget that a honest sincere human like yourself being still exist!

        Don’t forget, you’re awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re very right about that! 👏🏼👏🏼. So many jerks and people of questionable integrity out there indeed. Trolls, bullies, etc. It’s a jungle out there 💞. It’s an honor to know you too! 🤗. I love your blog and what it says about who you are. You’re amazing, girl! 💜💟💜

          Liked by 1 person

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