Discussion Day: Community Love

12 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

Discussion Day

Last week there were three interesting discussions posted around the blogosphere, each with a different take on community. The first I read was on Fiktshun, and it was called “Blogosphere or Battleground.” It talked about how book blogging has become such a big thing that there are sort of two sides to blogging – those that blog as a business, and those that don’t. She argued that bloggers either a) are incredibly successful, b) wish they were incredibly successful and therefore treat blogging sort of like a cut-throat business or c) the people in between, who blog because they love it and kind of get stepped on because they’re too nice. (This is an oversimplification. You really should go read the article in full.) While I’ve seen evidence of this division and I know it exists, having it laid out in those terms was really depressing to me. I would place myself in the third category –  I don’t care about getting the latest releases and ARCs, and I’m happy with my own little corner of the internet. I don’t mind if your blog has 50 subscribers or 5,000. As long as you’re nice, I’ll be nice to you (this is generally my philosophy in life too). It saddened and scared me to read that bloggers that share my attitude are sometimes more likely to be plagiarized, caught in the crossfire and/or “forced” to quit. I love my little blog, and I never want to go through any of that – and I hate thinking this, but there are some situations that could potentially make me dislike blogging enough to quit. In fact, every time major drama surfaces, I get a sour feeling in the pit of my stomach and I wonder if it really is worth it.

Then, later in the week, I read this post by Mary (The Book Swarm). In the midst of all the DRAMA going on, she took time to write down why she loves blogging. Why she keeps doing it, and her “rules” for keeping it fun. Suddenly I felt so much better. There are so many reasons to love blogging. I pretty much agree with Mary’s reasons, though some of them are a bigger deal for me than others. But frankly, I don’t know what I would do without a place to rant and rave about the books I read. I REALLY don’t know what I’d do without my blogging buddies. I love all my commenters and readers of course, but there are those of you out there who have kept me going through everything. They keep me sane when real life is driving me nuts, and they celebrate with me when things are going well. That’s why I do it and every so often, especially in times of extreme drama, I need reminding of that. And since I sometimes need reminding, I’m betting I don’t thank you guys often enough. So THANK YOU. No matter who you are, and how big of a part you played, I do it for you.

I’ll leave you with one last thought. The third article was by Amanda (On a Book Bender) on her business blog. While most of the article was about building community there was one phrase that really stuck with me.

“And here’s my secret: community is wherever you are.”

Here was me thinking that I was on the fringes of the community, with my own little corner and doing my own little thing, and the truth is I have a community. I’ve never been one for big crowds, so of course I wasn’t going to have a huge community. But my followers, my friends are my community. And that’s all I really need.

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12 Responses to “Discussion Day: Community Love”

  1. Yael Itamar says:

    The problem with a lot of the structured book review blogs is that they’re hardly distinguishable from each other. I want to read blogs that have something to say, not ones that give 3-5 star reviews for every.single.book.

    Likewise, my own blogger philosophy is “If I have something to say, I say it.” When other people have stuff to say in response to that, then that’s great. But it isn’t a “highest number of followers” competition.

  2. There are different levels of community, I think. You have the community at large (book blogging community), but you also have your own community. (And varying levels of community in between.)

    Whenever drama happens in the book blogging community at large, I turn inward and focus on my own community. I can only be responsible for my own community, and truly, you can only control your own reaction to drama. If you’re not involved in it directly, don’t let it drag you down, too.

    • Anne says:

      That’s what I try to do. I know plagiarism and the rest of the drama issues aren’t the kind of thing to sweep under the rug, but it’s just not something I want myself involved in, in any way. So I try my best to just stay out of those things.

  3. I don’t know – I’m finding that book bloggers are starting to take themselves a little too seriously. And * confession * I think some of the things I see are nuts … I cannot understand being jealous over the books/ ARCs that other people get or the venom spewed towards “captcha” or the – I only like “toughtful comments.” I’m probably in the minority – but sometimes, I want to say to book bloggers – step away from the computer and take a day off the internet, and maybe you’ll realize – it’s just not that serious.

    • Anne says:

      You know, I never understand why people feel the need to be so mean about anything, especially on the internet where there’s no tone of voice and facial expressions to soften criticism (if that’s what it is). It really *isn’t* that serious, and if people would just be nicer, then it would never have to be!

  4. Jessica says:

    Why do people have to ruin the fun? I love your take on this and Mary’s post was so inspirational! No matter how bitter or catty people get, just remember we’re blogging because we love books. I hope I never hate blogging because it’s such a big part of my life now and I love it! Great discussion :)

    -Jessica (Peace Love Books)

    • Anne says:

      I think some people just live on ruining everyone else’s fun. It’s how they get THEIR fun. Like people who abuse kids and crap like that (though not NEARLY so bad as that).

      I hope you never hate blogging too – I like people who are here because they love it!

  5. I am a part of the group doing it because they love books. I feel like having an outlet for my passion is so incredible and thank YOU as well. Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven

  6. When drama pops up, I also have that feeling in my stomach about whether or not blogging is worth it. AND THEN I talk to the people in my own little community and they make me happy, which makes the answer clear.

    There was one point where I wanted my blog to be something big and I started focusing more on review books and blog tours and guest posts and all that stuff, but now I try to do whatever I want to do and it’s just so much more fun. I love blogging and the people who help me love it more.

    I think that’s why I don’t comment on ALL THE BLOGS … I like to focus on the blogs I love, by the people I’ve come to think of as my friends. I think I’m more likely to do that if I’ve built a relationship with someone, so it’s a little more personal.

    Great post!

    • Anne says:

      Yeah, talking to the people in my own community (e.g. YOU! lol) really helps. We’re all in it for different reasons, but the people in your immediate community are most likely to be in it for the same reasons you are, which makes those the best people to talk to!

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