There was a time when my blogging was new and I imagined having insightful and fun conversations about life and philosophy. Then the reality set in that no one wanted to converse or even like or even visit. So I began to experiment. I went to other sites and left comments and likes and follows. Sure enough I was getting the same. A respectable level of traffic to me. Only, I wasn’t sincere. I didn’t really care about their work. This was obviously true of them toward me as well since when I then stopped going to their sites, part two of my experiment, the numbers quickly dropped back to near zero. I repeated this experiment several ways with always the same result. My controlled tests showed me that blogging such as ours was really just a game of fishing for compliments. Needless to say, I felt betrayed and discouraged. It was like finding out someone was only pretending to like you as a friend because you could help them but as soon as your value to promote them went away then so did they, or as the story goes, faking your funeral just to see who really cared.
That was years ago. I’ve continued to blog regularly since then; changing my content and style often to become simply better, to test what works and what doesn’t on portables. but my criteria for success is not based on the unreliable metric of the traffic, only what pleases me. If I picked up a little passing traffic along the way this is nice but I resist the pull to chase after its fickled heart. If it is sincere, they may come back, but if they are out fishing with chum then they will not get my nibble. I do follow likes back to their site out of curiosity. 9 times out of 10 times it was obviously not a true like. Once in awhile I will follow and comment on someone’s post but only because I really am sincere and not expecting hollow reciprocity to prop up my stats. This is a case of being authentic, with myself and with strangers.