Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blogger Relations

I recently came across a post by Becky at The Bookette that calls into questions the motives and relationships of bloggers. I have decided to add my two cents to this discussion.

Blogging is fun! Blogging is great! It opens us up to a whole new world of like minded people who share the same passion. Why then, does blogging oftentimes become tiresome and petty? I myself have become a bit tired of blogging lately. I'm in a funk, so to say. I enjoy reading immensely, as well as posting, but lately I've felt dominated by time lines and schedules. Part of this is my fault. Some people are addicted to buying books, I'm addicted to tours. This, however, shouldn't be enough to distract me from what I really love: books.

Blogging has become a stressful environment that detracts from my overall reading experience. I often think while reading I need to hurry and finish. I've got so many other books to read in a somewhat timely manner. This attitude saddens me. While I have never even considered taking a break from blogging, I think I, along with many others, need to mentally take a step back and realize that blogging is a fun past time I use to further my passion for books.

Are new bloggers worth it? Or are they just in it for the books?

I'm a fairly new blogger, about 6 or 7 months, so I'll speak from the middle perspective - not a newbie, but not an elder. I can say, wholeheartedly, that new bloggers are worth it. There's nothing better to be a new blogger and to hear that someone appreciates what you're doing and the time you're putting into it. Those first few followers mean everything. Though everyone says they blog for themselves, it is nice to know that others value your opinions and look forward to what you have to say.

When I first started blogging, I knew it was a possibility to receive free books - even ARCs! - for review, but that it would be a long time coming. People should realize that, though some are, the majority of new bloggers are not in this for the free books. Those who are become evident very quickly anyways.

New bloggers should be encouraged and welcomed. I love following new blogs and leaving long comments. Everyone knows the feeling of reading a long, insightful comment. It's wonderful.

I have found, personally, that it's hard to get in on this blogger community. The established bloggers have already formed connections and bonds that I don't want to interrupt or push myself into. I hear of bloggers receiving books from other bloggers because one would know the other wanted it and they happened to have an copy and they're such good blogging buddies, so they pass it on. One small example, but it does hit home that, hey, I don't have any of those relationships. I want to change that.

Are you a new blogger? Or an established blogger who doesn't have a lot of close connections? Are you a human reading these blogs? (I'm trying to encompass every person involved in the blogging process: readers, bloggers, authors, publicists, etc.) I want to encourage that we leave insightful comments, hold more discussions, email each other just because we want to, perform random acts of kindness! Blogging should be an enjoyable community, and we can make that happen.

I challenge you to contact someone you don't know. Leave a long comment. Write a rambling rant (similar to this one.) Give your copy to someone who's dying to read it. Creating a fun community is up to us. Help me make the change.

Want to talk? Email me at mac.attack17(at)yahoo(dot)com. I am completely open to random, out of the blue hellos and all other reasons for contact. Please, please don't hesitate to contact me if you want to talk, or even form a more long-lasting blogger bond. I'm open to it all.

I dare you.


  1. I totally agree with you! I will try to "leave insightful comments, hold more discussions, email each other just because we want to, perform random acts of kindness!"

    Thanks for this post, I'll be linking it to my blog!

  2. Kirthi - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're willing to join me in this so-called blogger revolution. :]

  3. Very well said McKenzie! I really enjoyed your post. If you do ever wanna connect that would be cool - lafemmereaders@yahoo.com :)


  4. McKenzie, I loved your post. I think I am in about the same boat that you are... not too old.. not too young.. somewhere in the middle. It is actually a funny place.. kinda like a teen. You are grown up enough, but not.

    I agree with a lot of what you have said about the community. I think many have lost sight as to what a blog and the blogging community is... fun! We are here cause we want to be. We want to make friends and share our love of books. But it seems like that idea can sometimes get lost in the scheme of things. And that is sad. I am so happy to see all these bloggers reaching out not only to newbies but other bloggers. I love to think of my blogging friends as part of my family. And like you, people can email me, twitter, google chat.. whatever. I am always open for new friends. :)

  5. It's funny that everyone seems to be bringing this up now because I've been feeling - for MYSELF only - that I needed to step back and look at why and how I book blog. I feel like it's a chore these days and not fun like I want it to be. I myself will be stepping back and limiting more what I do. The big one - taking a day off from blogging and not needing to post EVERY DAY! :)

    Great thoughts and thanks for sharing them.

  6. I read Becky's post too and it also really got me thinking (as did yours, lol). It's kind of strange that blogging and books are something we all love, and yet can cause us so much frustration. I remember back to my high school days when I'd read a bunch but really, really just LOVE reading. I think that blogging, while a hobby, is still as thought-consuming as a job, almost, which inevitably gives us stress. It's an interesting paradox. Hmm. Hehe.

  7. Thanks for the "new bloggers are worth it" comment. I'm new and I started my blog so I could keep up with books that I read and express my thoughts on them. If I get books from authors then fine, but I'm not trying to get a bunch of ARCs because honestly I have loads of books that I need to read.

  8. I just want to go HOORAY! for your post. I really love it and couldn't agree more--and I'll be trying to leave more insightful comments other than "this is great" etc. I also think you're right about encouraging new bloggers and also forming new relationships and earning blogging friends :) I'd like to have bloggy friends!

  9. I love your challenge :)

    Some great points.

    You know what's funny? Some of my favorite bloggers are newbies. I love enthusiasm and passion.

    If a blogger shows me loves and visits me...I will show them love and visit them.

    To me we're alll on the same team :)

    I just keeping reminding my self what Story Siren told me once, "Just keep doing what you love...it will show."

  10. When I blog I sometimes forget that other people are going to read what I write - it helps me to be more honest and unguarded. And I know what you mean about getting comments left. It feels wonderful (as long as they're nice ones!)
    I guess writing blog posts about books should be like reading books - done for pleasure and not a chore. Take some time to re-discover the magic of books and don't put too much pressure on yourself. You do so brilliantly well with this blog, it's so professional and you are a very talented reviewer. You know how much I love what you do and how much I enjoy The Book Owl. And look at all those followers you have! Growing by the day. That just proves that I'm not the only one who loves your passion and enthusiasm for all things bookish. I'm always here as support if you need it. Well done, McKenzie - you have a bright and exciting future ahead of you. Your friend from Scotland ; )

  11. Eleni - Thanks! I'll be sure to email. :]

    Kate - I'm glad you agree and are willing to connect with other bloggers. I agree, blogging should be fun!

    Jill - Blogging really has been feeling overwhelming lately! It's odd that everyone seems to be having those thoughts at the same time... That's definitely a good idea, realizing we don't have to post every single day. :]

  12. Steph - Just the word I was looking for - paradox! Being bothered by reading really does seem like an oxymoron. ;] Blogging is incredibly time consuming, however.

    Kim - Of course, because it's totally true! I'll be sure to stop by your blog and have a look around.

    Choco - I'm glad my post gets that kind of reaction out of you. I'm trying especially hard on the same thing, leaving thoughtful comments. And replying to comments on my blog. I'm already working on that one! ;]

  13. Juju - Exactly! If someone shows me love, I can't help but love them back.

    Hazel - I can't thank you enough for those words! You always know just what to say. :]

  14. Wow. This post rocks. Someone linked to it, I forget who, but now I know your blog exists, YAY!

    Personally, I try to make it a policy to comment on at least two new to me blogs per week. I think the book blogging community has room for many voices, and well, we all have to start somewhere. Like you, I'm in the middle, I'm not new, but I'm not an elder. I started my blog in July 09, and am really just getting comfortable with everyone in the blogosphere. I like all of the people I've met, and try hard not to exclude anyone, because it's not right, and I want to pay it forward -- some of the bigger blogs started commenting on my blog and that made me feel amazing, and what kind of person would I be if I didn't pay it forward.

  15. This is an awesome post! thanks so much for sharing your thoughts because I completely agree with you on this! I am a very new blogger started back in January and I follow a lot of blogs myself mainly because I love to read about books and which ones I think I would like. I don't consider myself a book blogger because I blog about anything but mainly about books and authors just because I love it! I love to read and I think YA books and their authors are really awesome and love to share their time talking to their fans. Now I'm just rambling on.. sorry. Anyways! thanks for this post it made me feel better. =) I try to comment as much as I can on the blogs that I follow, and I love to comment on the new ones too because I love comments myself and I know how they feel. I love it when I get on my blog and see I have new comments, it makes me happy!

  16. I'm all about the love! :-)
    Really glad to hear your thoughts and that you are empowering yourself and others to make the blogosphere a welcoming and friendly place.
    Mucho impressed, actually!

  17. This:

    There's nothing better to be a new blogger and to hear that someone appreciates what you're doing and the time you're putting into it. Those first few followers mean everything. Though everyone says they blog for themselves, it is nice to know that others value your opinions and look forward to what you have to say.

    So this. My blog is only a few weeks old and I am always extremely thrilled to see a new comment on anything I write. As you say, I did start blogging for myself but it's so exciting to see that people have something to say on my thoughts and views.

    When my number of followers grow a little and I know that I have consistent readers, my plan is to have a real snail mail revolution somehow - encouraging writing, community and fun!

  18. I agree 100,000,000%. I'm as new as bloggers can get, I've only been at it for about two weeks. I definitely get intimidated by other bloggers who have strong relationships with each other, and as you said I don't want to push myself into anything. My friend has been awesome with helping me get used to everything, and I'm really appreciative of all the support she's been giving me. Also, every time I get a comment I get a huge smile on my face because I know someone actually took the time to read what I have to say.

    On the topic of new bloggers just wanting free books, I didn't even know people gave free books to bloggers. I just really wanted to try something new, and this went along perfectly with my love of reading. I do know someone though that wants to start a blog just for the books and ARCs. This upsets me because, even though I'm very new, I love reading posts by people who truly love blogging. So, thank you for this wonderful post, and being nice enough to give an open invitation for everyone to start making friends. :)

  19. Thank you for this AWESOME post! I've noticed some of the same things that you have noticed through out the book blogging community and it saddens me. I even admit to contributing to some of it (unintentionally of course). I am even working on my "State of the Blog" address and I will be linking to your post.

    I too will be cutting down on the number of blogs that I follow (right now I'm at 279!) because I have a hard time keeping up and when I feel like my hobby has turned into a job, it's time for something(s) to change.

    So thanks again for posting this. Have an AWESOME day!

    P.S. I follow your blog and will continue to follow your blog! :)

  20. I know exactly where you are coming from. I am not a new blogger, but still feel the pressure to blog on a somewhat regular basis. I also feel guilty because even though I read quite a few blogs, I don't comment on most of them. Why? It is just due to time, nothing else. I also don't feel as if I have enough time to read. How do some bloggers blog, read, leave comments, and form such meaningful relationships with other bloggers, while still leading a life? Being a mom of 2 young girls, and tour coordinator (which you already know) it really cuts into my time. Don't get me wrong, i wouldn't change a thing. Just wish I had more time to actually make some friends out here. Thanks for the great post, and I'm always here if you want to chat! Take care!


  21. Great post! I'm so glad I found you and your blog today!! I've been feeling frustrated lately, too, so I think the feeling is more widespread than I thought!

    I'd love to connect and share!! Let's do it!


  22. This is my favourite post out of all the "self-blog-analyzing etc." posts that touch on blogging. You're completely right about leaving insightful comments as opposed to vapid ones. thank you for your post, it was excellent.

  23. You express wonderful sentiments. I enjoy your reviews. Please keep reviewing! I love reading someone else's review of a book I have read, as I enjoy their thoughts, then I get to compare with my own experience of the book.


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