Hi people! I’d said in my resolutions for 2016 post that I intended on upping the game in terms of discussions posts on my blog, because even though I just turned 3 (the blog, not me), I only did 1 discussion post (and it was about sex in novels, in case you’re wondering). So, this is me starting and making an effort!
I apologise before hand for the theme I went with this week, I swear that I was wrecking my brains for something to write about, I was dead set on making a post about TV Shows and what makes us lose interest (and I will, at some point), but then this thing issued within the book blogging community, and I had to share my 2 cents on it.
So, you guessed it by now – from the title, if not anything else – I’m going to be tackling the whole #BloggerConfessions thing and the issues that came from it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you know what I’m talking about, right? Yeah, so Nick and Nereyda from Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist posted a really good and controversial post named PROJECT #BLOGGERCONFESSIONS where they shared (as the name suggests) their confessions as bloggers and urged other book bloggers to do the same on twitter. Well… they did! Throughout the day of Tuesday, a lot of posts using the hashtag found their way to me timeline. The problem was that not everyone responded positively to this prompt, which cause the original authors to issue a clarification post.
I’m a huge fan of everything that has to do with being yourself and giving your real opinions.
So on that front, I thought that this post was awesome, because it inspired a lot of people to let go a bit of their fears and confess to things they do or are afraid of as bloggers, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll now have a more relaxed view on things and have received enough good feedback to know how some of those fears are common and not unique to them, and how they can overcome them.
At one point or the other, I shared some things I saw in a few of the confessions that were uttered on the mentioned post and latter on twitter, and I know how good it feels to let it all out.
Still on the positive side of things, I think it’s amazing when a blogger lets loose and shares whatever they want on their blog, because it’s THEIR BLOG, their space and they should be able to do so.
So what was the problem? I mean, if you’re being honest and on your own space, then what could possibly be the problem?
The problem, people, is how you say things! As simple as that. I think you can always say whatever you want – I’m big on free speech and everything – but you should not be rude. Common and basic rules of living in society will tell you that…
You should know that in blogging, as in anything in your life, you should be aware of how people might perceive what you are saying and how they might interpret said things. You’re not talking face to face. Anything written down will be interpreted by the reader only, so there’s always something missing when you write something – intent.
If you’ve read the post in question, you know that some of those confessions felt like attacks, and I’m assuming they were directed at SOMEONE(s) SPECIFIC, but they felt so general that I started to think back to everything I ever said and did as a blogger and if I’ve raved too much about a book, or tagged an author too many times. I haven’t! None of those things! But it somehow still felt personal, so I can understand how some people got offended and backlashed on twitter.
From the various topics breached in that post, the book blogging community responded heavily to 3 main topics: the author/blogger relationship, getting money from book blogging and how that might affect the integrity of the blog.
I find the whole discussion surrounding this topic a bit weird to be honest. Some bloggers complained about the fact that some blogger “kiss-ass” to authors in order to get stuff from them; and on the other hand, they complained how the authors sometimes take advantage of the blogger to promote their books non-stop.
About both of these accusations, I can honestly say that I was never a witness off. I follow A LOT of book bloggers on Twitter, and most of the time when I see them promoting a book is because I saw how much they liked it – because I stalk their blogs and goodreads accounts. I never paid much to who is friends with whom and how much they promote their stuff or whatever… maybe I’m not following the targets of those accusations? I can only guess…
On a different subject within the author/blogger relationship is the whether or not a blogger can be impartial when reviewing a friend’s book. Hmmmm, isn’t the way you like or dislike a book completely subjective? I mean, I’ve rated one book ZERO STARS and some people gave it 4 and 5 – I’m still at a lost on that one. Everyone experiences books differently, but suggesting that JUST BECAUSE a blogger is friends with said author, that he/she won’t be able to be impartial, is wrong. They might not be. Heck, if I really like an author, maybe I’m partial too, but do you really read a book based on one review?
More, if you completely mistrust said blogger, why are you still reading his/hers blog and following them on twitter?
Other huge issue that has been around this week has been the whole discussion on whether book blogger should or shouldn’t get paid for blogging. While the #BloggerConfessions post tells you why it shouldn’t happen, Lucy @Queen of Contemporary, Alexandra @Twirling Pages and Aneeqah @My Not So Real Life give us their opinions on “why not?” and I totally agree with them. Why the hell not?
I’m a small blogger and still I spend a whole amount of time on my blog, so I can only imagine what those more accomplished people, that can sprout out discussions like they’re air, do to keep their hobbies at float. We as bloggers work hard, we promote books and authors. We attend events (not me, but you get the gist). We do a lot of things. So why is the community so adverse to the possibility of getting money out of it?
The problem, it seems, are the paid reviews and sponsored posts… why? If you work for a website or a paper, aren’t you getting paid to review stuff and stuff like that? Is your opinion influenced by it? If you’re a sports commentator, are you blind if your team sucks? Or do you act like the professional you are? So, why getting paid for this should automatically indicate that you’ll lose your integrity? You should trust people a little more…
I’m a relative newbie blogger, ok? Yeah, so I’ve actually been blogging for 3 years, but about 2.5 of those years were not dedicated to book blogging, and my involvement in this community was practically non-existent, so I’m calling myself a newbie – deal with it! The point is, I wasn’t around when assumingly pretty bad things happened in the community, since I’ve come around, everything has been “sunshine and rainbows” – I’m not naive and I know that things were happening, I just wasn’t paying attention.
I never saw a case of lack of integrity in the community, but to be honest, for the most of my time here I’ve been following smallish blogs like my own on WordPress, and very rarely I ventured to the “outside” – I’m learning now… one step at a time. I do have to wonder though, is there a difference between self-host bloggers and the rest of us mortals? Because they seem to be viewed with a higher regard for most part… just rambling here, back to the subject now.
The implication that just because you receive ARCs and you want to keep receiving that, you will automatically up your review and not be honest, makes me queasy. Is that how it really works?! My guess is NO! Just because it happens with some people, don’t assume it will happen with everyone that reviews books, because it probably won’t.
I truly hate generalizations. Truly, honestly hate them. In everything in my life. (Don’t even get me started on how people say “all guys are the same (and assholes)” or “all girls are more sensible than the guys”… that crap makes me HULK OUT) – I could write a whole 2k discussion on why generalizations like this make me sick. So when you automatically don’t trust a review because you assume this kind of thing, either because you think the blogger lacks integrity, or because he’s friends with the author, it hurts me.
I know a lot of people has trouble giving less than 3 stars to a book, and that’s ok, to each its own, right? I mean, I mostly give 3, 4 and 5 stars too, but it’s basically because I choose the books I’m going to read rather carefully. I have no problems giving 1 and 2 stars though (or ZERO, if GoodReads allowed it =( ). But I have 31 years of age, and I stopped caring what people thought of me back in college – well, I stopped in HS, but then I relapsed 😛 – so as much as it hurts me to put up a bad review, I do it, because I truly believe that it will be beneficial to the author to know that somethings are not working. Analee @Book Snacks just wrote a wonderful post on the importance of negative reviews, go read it!
True, I never had an author friend or been paid to do it, so I don’t know how that would influence my easiness about this subject, but I believe that being honest is the only way to function in this corner of the web. Aentee @Read at Midnight recently did a discussion post on this subject, and you guys should go read it.
OMG, are you sick of the serious stuff? I am! Now I’m gonna dump a few #BloggerConfessions of my own ;-).
- I spend way more time blogging and blog hopping than I should – I’m sure this is news to NO ONE!
- I still have no idea how to participate in twitter chats.
- I have no clue how blog tours work.
- I still can’t properly request a book on Edelweiss, and I’m pretty sure that the 2 books I got were sheer luck.
- I skim most discussion posts – if you’re doing that to mine, it’s ok, I totally understand.
- I love to comment on blogs, but sometimes I do not have the time to do so as much as I would like.
- For my first 2.5 years of blogging I didn’t know how to follow a blog outside of wordpress. – YES, I’m 31 and a PhD student… laugh away!
- To be honest, 99.5% of all the blogs I follow are still wordpress blogs.
- I have no patience to learn about BlogLovin’, though I know I should.
- The best part of reading ARCs for me has been discovering new authors and genres.
- I was scared shitless when I published my first non-YA review on the blog, and by this I mean a review of a NA book with SEX!!!
- The only person I know in real life that actually reads my blog is my mom, and I so wished she didn’t sometimes – I can never rant about her because she reads it! It’s exasperating.
- It messes with my brain if the text is not justified and evenly spaced…
- How a blog looks is VERY IMPORTANT to me.
- Discussion posts are freaking HARD!
Eheh, I’m done! So, what’s your stand on all this craziness in the book blogging community? I honestly think that a lot of the times things are blown out of proportion and we should just chill and be cool and actually respect our fellow bloggers.
And on this happier note, check out Jess @Princessica of Books post about this subject and her introduction to her own project, #ProjectPositivity.