I am unclear on something blogwise. As you might know, I’ve had this blog for a bit over a year now, yet in all that time I’ve had but one (very recent) non-family comment. I’m not sure why. Is it because the basis for the blog, the middle Miocene, is too technical? Is it boring? I hope not.
Thus I’ve branched out into another of my favorite subjects, hiking. And actually, hiking is central to my novel, Opalescence, in that Tom, one of the main characters, must hike the length of the California of 15,000,000 years ago to reunite with his paleontologist wife, Julie, and about all of the adventures he, and his Aelurodon dog companion, experience along the way.
Anyway, my hiking posts seem to be the most popular, with my last, To Hike or Not to Hike garnering the most likes and followers so far. Naturally, I’m thrilled. We humans are social animals and want to make friends and/or just be part of a larger community.
At first I would go to the other’s site and “like” or “follow” them back. I figured that was the courteous thing to do. But then I noticed that many people appear to simply be hoarding numbers, and I get the feeling that they may be liking other posts just to have those blog owners come back and like or follow them in return. They often leave no comment but simply click the like or follow button, while the blog owner that was liked or followed goes back and does the same, yet also leaving an appreciative comment on their site. I thought about how easy it would be to just click dozens of blogs and “like” or “follow” them knowing that many will go to theirs and do the same.
This is not to say that I think that most of those who have liked or followed me fit into this category. I don’t. I sincerely appreciate all of these. But some, I suspect, do. Do I want to do that too? Be part of that sort-of pyramid scheme? No, not really. So I think that what I’m going to do is, if someone likes, be happy but do nothing, follows, I’ll check out their site and if I like it, follow back. If someone leaves a comment I’ll reply as appropriate. I hope that this doesn’t seem off-putting to people, but I want it to be real. Thanks for understanding.
Later update: my daughter has been, unknown to me at first, running a survey just to test what would happen if she blindly followed and liked people at random. She did this via a dummy site she set up with no information at all about her (or anything else) beyond a username. She also has a real blog where she’s kept track of her likes and follows. Interestingly, her dummy site has garnered more than twice as many followers as her real one. Hmm…