My new (and temporary, hopefully) blog camping protocol

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now that I have solved my WordPress problems, I can go blog camping again, a bog visiting tactic that I thoroughly enjoy and which, I do believe, I invented way back in 2008 on another blogging platform.

FireMy theory behind blog camping was that I wanted to visit lots of blogs, but I also wanted to get to know the person whose blog I was visiting, and I wanted that person to get to know me. I didn’t think that reading just one post in any blog would allow me to get to know the other blogger, and I didn’t think that leaving just one LIKE or one comment would let the other blogger get to know me.

Additionally, I knew from decades of experience that the 80/20 rule that my wise old grandmother taught me probably worked in the blogging world. It does. In a nutshell, if you do unto others what you would like others to do unto you, 80% of them will do unto you that which you did unto them. The other 20% won’t.

In blogging from July 2008 to January 2012, I proved that. If I left a LIKE, the other blogger would be by soon to leave a LIKE on my blog. If I left 10 LIKEs, I’d get 10 LIKEs in return. If I commented four times, I would get four comments in return. If I followed, I was followed. I quickly realized that one way to get a huge number of followers was to follow, LIKE, and comment on blogs. When I did that, 80% of those bloggers would follow, LIKE, and comment on my blog.

I have proved it again here on my WordPress blog, which I started on January 7, 2012. Before my WordPress problems began on January 2, 2014, I was visiting hundreds of blogs a day. My world record was on September 10, 2012, when I visited 401 blogs, leaving a total of 2,388 LIKEs along with 1,433 comments.

Yes, I really do keep track.

Here’s the portion of my Excel spreadsheet showing that world-record day:

Likes and comments

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Evelyn Woods Speed Reading course, which I took in 1973, helps, as does Dragon Naturally Speaking, which I have been using since 2001.

Notice that those statistics are in columns I through M. Column H is blank. Wonder what’s in columns A through G? Those columns contain the links to the blogs I follow, the date the other blogger first visited my blog and last visited my blog, when I last visited that blogger’s blog, and how many comments and LIKEs I left on that blogger’s blog the last time I visited it.

Fire danger in East San Diego CountyThe only problem with blog camping is that each time I leave a LIKE or comment, YOU! get an email notification. My world record for the number of LIKEs and comments left in any one blog at any one time is 66 LIKEs and 24 comments. I did have one person ask that I never visit his blog again, but if I did, not to leave LIKEs and comments because he hated getting all of those email notifications at one time. Request granted. I don’t visit his blog anymore.

My problem today is that after not being able to go blog camping for the past three months, I’m now way behind. I kind of follow the tit for tat protocol, so if someone came by my blog and left two comments and four LIKEs, when I visit that blogger, I am going to leave at least two comments and four LIKEs.

Fire Mitigation TeamSince I am so far behind, I am going to change my protocol for at least the foreseeable future to try to get to as many people as possible of those who have been by to see me these past three months. When I come by to visit these next few months, I am going to leave only a total of three, i.e., three LIKEs, or three comments, or two LIKEs and one comment, or one LIKE and two comments.

I know everyone will understand, and as soon as I go through my list of people whom I follow at least one time, I’m pretty sure I will revert to my old way since I really, really enjoyed that.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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40 thoughts on “My new (and temporary, hopefully) blog camping protocol

  1. draliman

    Wow, you’re organised!
    Strange, that blogger not wanting the notifications. If they didn’t want the notifications I’m sure they could turn them off or something (maybe)? I like getting notifications from my bloggy friends 🙂

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  2. randomrose

    OMG, Firstly thank you for the likes and comments on my blog. I appreciated your advice and am following it through regarding keeping just one blog…but…after reading this I am petrified at my inability to be sooooo organised. I would never aim to be as organised as you are but hey, could you send just a little teeny bit my way. I am impressed with your stat keeping however, I worry it is a little clinical.. I have been following and reading you blog for some time and thoroughly enjoy it all.You seem a warm and interesting person, can one be both clinical and caring? I am sure you are the latter and take it that stats are your hobby.
    Glad you are back fully and look forward to more of your works. Cheers

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Yes, stats are a hobby. I was never able to make it into a vocation. When I was a youngster, my granddad brought home a typewriter from the railroad shops that were closing. I learned how to type when I was 6, and I started typing out lists and stats. I had the longest rivers in the world, the highest mountains, the most populous cities, the biggest countries. I was a World Almanac and a Book of World Records before they were fashionable!

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      1. randomrose

        Oh wow, what an amazing story, thank you for sharing it. What a wonderful gift you were given and what a wonderful gift you realised you had. I wish I had the teensiest bit of that in my brain. I make lists but then lose them and forget what was on them (laughing out very loud). Cheers.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      It is, but I’m an avid reader. Sadly I was never able to convert reading into a profession. The closest I came was from 1983 to 1993 when I did copyediting and writing for the Texas A&M University Press.

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  3. Emy Will

    Please don’t like for like’s sake. I believe quality is more important than quantity. I would rather have a few decidicated followers who genuinely like my posts (most of the time) and share similar values.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I use the LIKE button to let people know that I was by and read the post. I will not comment for the sake of commenting. I often read through the comments, and if 20 comments already say, “Nice picture,” I can guarantee you that I will NOT be the 21st! I only comment if I have something constructive to say, something to add to the post or to the other comments.

      As far as sharing similar values, I have, at the moment, 3,768 followers. My Excel spreadsheet indicates that I follow 3,683 blogs. The difference is that I do not follow, LIKE, or comment on the blogs of the extremely religious (those who have only one purpose in life, to bop people over the head regularly with their own views of religion) or the extremely right-wing conservatives, who typically tend to be, in my opinion, mean, cruel, and selfish individuals.

      I see in my Excel spreadsheet that you first visited my blog here on October 24, 2013. I have been by your blog several times since then, and you have been by here, most recently prior to right now, March 25 and March 20. I do not know if you’re following me but I do know that I am following you, so you don’t qualify in my eyes as a religious or right-wing fanatic.

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    2. Rick McCargar

      I’m in the same position. I have over 1000 followers who I know don’t have interest in my blog, and I’ve followed most of them in return, and rarely visit their blogs.

      Most of the 145,000 views I’ve had in the past two years came from people using google to find the tablature I wrote for a guitar lick/solo or song. Those people are the actual target audience for my blog.

      As my blog is usually nothing more than a quick video showing how to play something, and the tab I’ve added to make it easier, my blog would be of no interest to the average person.

      I’ve stopped following every person that follows me, and long ago, I rejected the many “awards” being offered.

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  4. gpcox

    I am astounded that you go to such lengths – it is fantastic and also makes me quite jealous. Being as I obviously do not have the amount of computer as you, I often need to go into my blog list of followers to be certain I haven’t been missing someone. I, myself, have so many different interests that I read a great variety of blogs – and I’m having a great time at it – just hope my readers are too!

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  5. Heena Rathore P.

    Wow! Now that’s really something to learn. I’ve also been doing the same from 4 months (but not on this scale). And yes, I totally agree with you, people do like back, follow back and comment back!
    I will also try and increase my frequency. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It’s good to see someone being honest in the posts 🙂
    Respect! 🙂

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  6. Mags Corner

    Kudos to you Russel I am so far behind on visiting blogs I will never get caught up. I don’t know how you make it around to visit as many blogs as you do…amazing to me. Hugs for you and nose kisses for Zoey!

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  7. Angeline M

    You are quite amazing! I try to get around to most of my followers as I can. I refuse to play “catch up” and just do what I can when I can. This isn’t a job, it’s fun creative time for me. I’ve pretty much found that to keep my sanity I block most e-mail notifications of a new blog from those I follow, and I peruse the Reader once, sometimes twice a day if I can. This blog world is something.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I also choose not to get notifications of new blogs from those I follow. I had to quit that when I started following someone who was a reblogger. She would reblog 100 posts a day sometimes. In her most prolific month she had over 3,000 reblogs!

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  8. Rick McCargar

    I think when we start to blog, most of us realize that if you read and respond to blogs, they will mostly respond in kind.

    That produces a kind of problem. I’ve had over 1600 bloggers follow me that I know don’t usually visit, and as I am following most of them, they rarely get visits from me.

    Most of us have no real interest in the blogs we follow, but we’ve done it to be kind. I’m not sure that really has any value as it inflates our followers and view numbers.

    The vast majority of the views I get come from people searching google for guitar tablature that I’ve posted. That is the real market for me, people who are interested in learning guitar licks.

    My blog is mostly videos demoing a lick/solo or song, and the tab I wrote for it to make it easy to learn. There is little of general interest for the average person on my blog.

    Conversely, I don’t have the time necessary to visit the 1000+ blogs who all think they’ve gained a follower.

    In the end, it seems a bit dishonest.

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  9. The Bonny Blog

    Thanks for bringing up this topic.

    I can relate so well. I am far behind on visits and likes myself.

    Some people post an average of 10 x a day and all they posts are wonderful. But, to acknowledge each and every one is sometimes impossible.

    I have been trying to spread my likes around, similar to what you are doing.

    Thank You for visiting The Bonny Blog. Visit when you can. 🙂

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  10. narami

    Bah, I for one don’t care about getting notifications, I mean, I have them activated because I want to know what people like, otherwise I’d just turn them off… Anyway, happy camping!

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  11. HopeSpirit

    I couldn’t resist commenting on this post (no expectation of return comment/likes!). I love the parrallels that can be made to physical actions and interactions made in the every day world. Kind of a pay it forward kind of mentality. But at the same time, I often use this experiment with people who are working in typically “ignored” or thankless jobs… cashiers, cleaning services, repairs workers, toll booth operators, etc, all those who stand by to make our lives easier: I watch person after person appreciate their services only to never acknowledge the oerson behind them with even a simple hello or ‘thank you.’ At check outs, I make it a point to address a person by their name, to engage them and to thank them. I chat up the person cleaning the halls in a hotel. And I can instantly notice their entire demeanor change. And it’s reciprocal… if only we all just paid a litle more attention to those around us and gave them true feedback; what goes around truly does come around.
    Now, you, are a walking phenom! I could never keep up with your stats, but I do admire them.
    It’s worth noting, that I found your blog becausse I was checking out a blogger who had found me (liking him back!) and discovered that you had put several thoughtful comments after his posts (and could “hear” in his responses how much it meant to him). Then I couldn’t resist clicking on your name, especially since that little, sweet kitty face just called to me! And now I’ve discovered you… a side-ways re-like so speak.
    I applaud your camping philosophy and look forward to implementing it at a more manageable level for myself.
    May your day be filled with peace & hope…
    Tamara

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  12. Wayne

    You are one excel loving happy camper! And it is cool if you want to fall into that 20% group and not hit me back for this comment. 🙂 You are right about this blogging stuff being a social experience and getting back what you give. I don’t have hard numbers to back it up- but once I stop going around the neighborhood—I notice a drop in visits. Bloggers are funny like that!

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  13. kanzensakura

    How very interesting. You are welcome to camp out at Chez Kanzen Sakura anytime. I always like your Flower Fridays, posts about Zooey and Jim, and other photos and articles about San Diego. I’ve been following your blog for a bit and enjoy it.

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  14. laurie27wsmith

    You certainly have your stuff in one, extremely neat pile Russel. I am impressed, though I shouldn’t be surprised when I’ve read your posts about record collections and such. Hmm, now where did I put that………….

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  15. Chez @ Chez Moi

    Well ok now I get the blog camping metaphor! Nice strategy for getting through at least some of the amazing blog content out there. It is mind-blowing how many blogs there are and how much content is produced every minute of the day. All I can manage is a little roaming every day, maybe half an hour at most, but even that is enough to enrich and inspire me. Yay for blogging and long live blog camping!

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