I have been mulling over whether or not to write this or not, but the current drama in the Book Blogging World got me thinking. Also, with this killer flu virus robbing me of my ability to actually talk in the real world, it’s driving me to be a lot more chatting on the internet. I can’t help it!
First of all, I have never understood blogging drama. I have been a witness to it many times and each time I have just shaken my head and wondered “whaa.???”. Blogging is not a popularity contest. I know a lot of people blog for other people and base their “cool factor” on the number of comments and visits they get. That’s… fine for some.
Honestly? I have been around on the net before Blogging was blogging. Before it was “The ‘net” even! I have been part of a BBS community, chatted on IRC (internet relay chat), was one of the first people to have an account with ICQ (which I don’t even know if people still use??), was on mailing lists and so forth. I had my own personal webpage back when Geocities was born. I used FrontPage to edit my html pages. It was all very basic, but I had fun with it. It was a place to post photos and updates in a format that my family and friends from far away could access easily.
I switched to the blog format back in 2003 when a friend introduced me to it. I didn’t know what I thought exactly except that it was a much less time consuming format to upload my updates and photos. I didn’t always have to create a new html page each time.
I have made some great friends online, through fan groups and blogging. One such friend even ended up being the photographer at my wedding. One came all the way to my wedding by herself across North America not even having met us in person. I cherish these friendships and am thankful that because of a blog entry we found each other.
I started posting about books that I was reading on my main blog mostly because I wanted people to know about the amazing books I had just read. It was after reading my friend Monkey’s book blog for a while that I thought, what the heck! And started a blog devoted to my book reviews since it was getting to be a rather large category on my main blog. Thus Beyond Books was born really for my own purposes. I wanted a place to keep track of my books easier and if I happened to interest someone else in the world in a book, then all the better.
I have never understood blog drama. It’s a public space, you can’t say you are surprised if someone you’ve written something negative about has found that post and called you out on it. You do have to be somewhat careful in what you say. Sure, freedom of speech and everything, but be smart about it. I have had too many blog friends have to shut down one blog and resurface under another name and have a “secret” blog, I have had friend have to stop blogging because people were harassing them just to be mean. I have had friends who have stopped blogging because they got sick of people comparing themselves to how popular their blog is over the other.
When people start getting petty and saying their blog is better than such and such because of this and that. Well, I just stop following them. I’m not a school girl anymore. Elementary or Secondary. This is really immature behaviour.
Sure I love getting comments as much as the next person. And I do check out my stats regularly. But I am ok with the average 15 visits I get a day on my book blog. A good day might bring me 30 visitors! Wow! I’m almost a celebrity! Now my main blog gets about 130-150 visits a day, but then again its been around a lot longer AND I talk about a lot of different things not just books. I’m writing about books here and if you’re not interested in the book you’re more likely not to come by and read about it.
The problem with Themed Blogs is this: many of the people who have a blog about the same thing are going to be very like-minded. This means that they will tend to talk about the same things about the subject. With book blogs for example, bloggers will write about what they’re looking forward to, what they’ve bought, what they’ve picked up at the library, etc. It’s going to happen. The thing is you can’t be nasty about it, it just puts a bad taste in other people’s mouths. I’m more likely to stop reading a blog that is being nasty about other bloggers or authors that’s just me.
I stopped reading a few blogs a while back (not book-related) because I was tired of the bloggers always talking about how popular they were and how much their blog was better than others out there. Really. I used to read you because you made me laugh and I was interested in what you had to say, but suddenly you became very cocky about being the best blogger. And you know what? No.
I’m blogging for me, and my family and friends. I’m writing about books because I love books. I love music more, but I don’t write about it because reading about music bores me (go figure) and I don’t want to write about something I wouldn’t read myself! I have been a computer geek for a long time, I have been known by various other names and only in the last few years have I been known by my NAME on the internet. I had my first alias when I was 13 and I would chat with my dad’s computer friends on a BBS (that sounds way creepy now that I have written it out, but I swear it wasn’t!!). I’m on facebook and twitter, I have two blogs, I check my email obsessively. I like to do internetty stuff. But I am not doing it because I think it makes me cool. I do it because I have a sickness fun with it and I have been doing it for years.
Not to say I don’t want more people to comment on what I write about. 😉 I love attention as much as anyone. Heh.
So, why do you blog? How did you get started? Have you changed what you blogged about, read or did because of blog drama? And why do you think there’s blog drama?
Burning questions on my mind here all because of this. Whenever there is drama I always have to wonder WHY?