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June 2016 Blog Project Postmortem

Today is July 1. Happy Canada Day, and happy June 2016 blog project postmortem day!

I always wondered how people find blogs that they like, and how the friendship chain of blogging goes. Because I am a huge nerd, I launched an experiment: follow 6 new blogs a day, every day, for June 2016. I started off with six randomly chosen blogs, and saw how far I could go in making connections and new blog friends. I kept a flow chart, or “family tree” of how I found each blog – usually clicking through commenters or the blogger’s blogroll.

I had a few self-imposed rules:

Rule #1: Only follow friends of bloggers who have replied to my comment and/or followed me back.

Rule #2: Only follow blogs that have updated within the past month. 

Rule #3: Only follow blogs that are on topics that I would conceivably enjoy reading about. I have a wide range of interests so it isn’t hard. As long as it wasn’t just photos with no words, long and lugubrious poetry, or something that I found questionable, it was OK by me.

Rule #4: Try to vary between male/female bloggers, geographical locations, interests, age of blogs, and age of bloggers. Some bloggers I followed were just starting out, others had been around for a while. I could follow 180 post-a-day mommy blogs, and nothing against mommy bloggers, but there’s only so much mom talk I can relate to.

Rule #5: Try to follow people who I’d be friends with in real life. I have friends from all walks of life, so this was not hard, but I’ve read a few blogs in the past by people who I just felt were…a little off, in a bad way, and who posted some very questionable things, in different directions.

Here are the results, and the 6 family trees. I started with:

1 – Aishwarya Sivakumar

2 – I Accidently Ate The Whole Thing

3 – Amrita Kinne

4 – Divya Deepak Rao

5 – The Analyzed Life

6 – Big and Pinky Toes

Three of the families ended up having quite a lineage, and the other three kinda flamed out, when I wasn’t getting a response from any of the “family” members, so I focused my efforts elsewhere.

The three smaller families:

Family 4: Divya Deepak Rao

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1st Generation:

I didn’t end up getting any further bites, so I kind of gave up on that one pretty early on.

Family 2: I Accidently Ate The Whole Thing

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

Again, not a huge measure of success with this family, although I did try.

Family 6: Big and Pinky Toes

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

This family kind of ended a little prematurely, but at least the tree looks cute and even.

Next, the three BIG families (which all ended up being the odd numbers):

Family 1: Aishwarya Sivakumar

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

5th Generation:

6th Generation:

7th Generation:

This blog family tree somehow ended in a lot of blogs about runners and running.

Now, for the two biggest ones:

Family 3: Amrita Kinne

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

5th Generation:

6th Generation:

7th Generation:

8th Generation:

9th Generation:

10th Generation:

11th Generation:

12th Generation:

This family took on a lot of different directions, including two paths that led to a series of African bloggers, oddly enough.

And finally, Family 5: The Analyzed Life AKA the Mega Family

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1st Generation:

2nd Generation:

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

5th Generation:

6th Generation:

7th Generation:

8th Generation:

9th Generation:

10th Generation:

11th Generation:

12th Generation:

13th Generation:

I enjoyed meandering down this path the most, and ended up finding blogs about travel, cuisine, writing, education, art, and an array of different countries and cities.

If you’re in this post, say hey and find your own place in the family tree.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as my other posts (and as much as I enjoyed this nerdy project), and come back and visit often, and link your friends. Another great effect was the increased traffic: I had my busiest month this year, with around 2500 visits, and am halfway to 1500 subscribers!

Now, for my next blogging experiment…it might have to wait until August or September because I have way too much work to do on my prelims.

12

Who’s This Mysterious Blogger from Barbados?

A while ago, I stumbled across a WordPress blog run by someone (a woman, I think) from Barbados, who was offering to send free postcards from the Caribbean if you filled out a form on her blog. I did so, thinking I probably wouldn’t receive anything.

Lo and behold, in March, I received a lovely postcard with the image of a palm tree on it, postmarked Barbados. The message:

“Dear Jacob!

Sending love and warmth from Barbados to Wisconsin! :)”

Beneath the message was an unintelligible scribble. I asked myself who I knew in Barbados, and it was only after I came up empty that I remembered that blogger. I was going to track her down and thank her, but something distracted me and I forgot all about it.

Fast forward to today. I open my mailbox to find another postcard, this time depicting several islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The postmark is unreadable, but the stamps come from Barbados. The message reads as follows:

“April 2015

Hi Jacob

Was in Grenada recently and thought you might want to add another postcard to our collection :)”

And again, an unintelligible scribble. The very same one.

I decided I wanted to thank this person and maybe send him/her a postcard from Wisconsin in return, so I spent a few hours today combing through all my followers and blogs I follow, in hopes of finding him/her…and I honestly could not locate this person. I also checked my search history. Nothing. I even Googled “bajan bloggers,” “wordpress barbados,” and “postcards from barbados.” No dice. As of now, I don’t even have a name, but I would like to find you and thank you. But I don’t know who you are or how to do that.

An interesting mystery.

So, Bajan blogger, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for the lovely, lovely postcards. They really brighten my day, especially when I haven’t gotten any mail for a few days.

If you’re reading this and have any idea who this lovely Bajan blogger might be, let me know in a comment.

Finally, if you’re reading this and wish to send me a postcard or swap postcards, let me know in a comment and I will respond.

Just make sure to sign legibly so I can thank you properly.