Monday, September 3

Book Blogger Confessions: Following


Question: 

Following:  How do you follow blogs?  Do you use Google Reader?  Are you on an e-mail list?  Are you more apt to follow people who have less followers?  Would you follow a blog to enter a contest?  What makes you unfollow a blog?

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My preferred method of following a blog is through GFC. I never bother to use Google Reader. I just skim over all the topics and posts on my dashboard and decide what to read. Basically they have one small paragraph to strike my interest. If they can't I move on but if they do I click and head on over to see what it is all about. I guess that just shows how important it is to be concise. The other really important thing is the image associated with the post. I really am swayed by something eye catching. There are two memes that always make me a bit sad. IMM where people put the general picture instead of a snap shot of their books. The other is WOW which suffers from the same problem. Book covers are usually much more good looking than the meme picture. My favorite way to follow blogs now is more like stalking. I really enjoy to eavesdrop on people over on Twitter. But that is an entirely different subject.

The few blogs I follow on email I don't even bother to read anymore. I just read the subject and then delete. Not very many people can always be putting together interesting posts. It is just the plain fact of life. Also, I get bored easily.

I may be a little affected by the number of followers. It just seems to say "hey I know what I am doing." Which is not necessarily the case. 
It could mean:
  • I am charismatic
  • I have tons of giveaways
  • I have the authors in my pocket
  • I have an iron stomach for any type of book
  • I just have that lucky type of genius
Some people just attract followers really quickly while others have to fight all the way. I know I have a very small following for the amount of time I have been blogging. I always wonder just what makes some of these blogs so very popular. I wish someone would break it down for me. I have read plenty of post about how to get followers. But I think the most important way isn't something you can fake or buy. I really think some people just have that spark about them that all the rest of us wish to partake in.
So if we choose to follow just because of a high follower number does that make us Lemmings?
If you follow simply because they have few followers does that make us charitable?
Book blogging isn't as glorious as it seems to be painted from the outset. Most of us fall victim to be average and aren't being inundated with arcs. We aren't buddy buddy with authors and publishers. lol. As if! I am a bit terrified of authors and publishers. I often feel like it is better to not contact them so that they don't crush my hopes and grind my reading optimism into dust.

I have been known to follow a blog simply for a contest. It isn't so much the case now. Lately I have been trying to find people who lighten the book world with a little humor. I like to laugh and smile. If I run across a giveaway requiring me to follow I pass up on the giveaway. Unless it is a particularly awesome giveaway. I know I rarely got a true follower out of bribing them. I don't have a problem with giving extra points for following. Why not? But I know I am hoping to find followers that understand me and want to talk. I guess I am hoping that through all of this I might find some really great friends. Not many great friends are bought.

So far I have only unfollowed for these reasons:
  • No activity
  • Different book tastes
Both of these are a result of following blogs just for their giveaways. It wasn't until later that I discovered our vastly different book tastes. The lack of activity always makes me sad. I think back to their excitement about books and hosting a giveaway and wonder what happened. Did they bite off more than they could chew? Was it not what they expected? Did the joys of reading pale when the burdens of blogging mounted? What are the chances for success in book blogging? Is blogging similar to starting up a new business? They say that failure for most new businesses occurs within the first year. How long do you have to blog to be safe from that? Is it even possible to gain a steady badge in book blogging? More importantly how do you break into the inner sanctum of book bloggers? You know who I mean. Those bloggers who have been at this forever and have everyone hanging off their every word. I don't want to dethrone them I just want to be on friendly terms with a few of them. But I suppose any one of them could mightily crash from those pedestals at any moment. So nothing is impregnable.

I should probably take some of my own advice. Food for thought. Lately I have been trying to really discover the reason I am doing things. I have been trying to make small changes to bring book blogging back into an enjoyable experience. I need to find my niche where I will be happy and comfortable. Besides what are followers anyway. You hear some people say they don't really matter and are not a faithful reflection of the popularity of a blog. I suppose that is why a stink is being made over unique hits. If you want to get arcs you have to have a high unique hit count. But in the end that is a ton of stress. I have been down both roads. Always worried about how many followers I have and losing heart when I lose one. Wracking my brain for ways to get a higher unique hit count. Now however I have decided that I would rather just be me. Whether that is plain or boring or who knows what it will be easier to upkeep. So I say come what may.

Anyway, thanks for the topic.

8 comments:

  1. I follow using Google Reader. I used to do it with GFC, but with the new Google interface, I can't figure out how to find my blog feed on GFC. Dumb, huh?

    I agree -- getting followers is hard and takes a lot of work. And just having a high follower count doesn't mean anything if people aren't actually reading the blog. So I try not to worry about that, but I think we all do a little bit...

    I've been reading all the BBC posts and it seems like most of us unfollow because of long periods of inactivity on the blog or different reading tastes. That's okay -- I wouldn't expect someone who never reads YA to follow me. (Though I don't know why they would, because that's all I review and give away on my blog.)

    Thanks for your take -- it was interesting!

    My Book Blogger Confessions

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    1. I wonder if there is anyone out there who doesn't care about followers. As in they didn't bother to add that feature to their blog but just let people find them the good old fashioned way, word of mouth. Seems like a brave and daring way to go about it. I spent far too many days being all worked up about my followers. In fact, in hind sight, I feel a bit embarrassed about my obsession with it. Especially since I never really accomplished my golden dreams that were based on those figures. Oh well I can only go forward from here. :)

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  2. "But I know I am hoping to find followers that understand me and want to talk." Yes!!! This is exactly how I feel! I know what you mean about how some blogs get a million followers in like 2 months. I'm not that assertive and I don't feel I have a high follower count either.

    I've never contacted anyone for ARCS, I have so many books as it is I will never be able to read them. However, don't be afraid to do so. The worst they can say is no!

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    1. Why is it that those two little letters, NO, seems so very daunting? I feel I am trying to overcome my fears and hesitations bit by bit. Just this last week I was looking back on some old posts and realized I have changed in the last year and a half. Who knows what my future holds. I really enjoy these posts because it is nice to meet others with similar thinking.

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  3. I honestly don't worry about my follower number. I know most of the #'s came from giveaways. (not to say I wouldn't freak out if there was a mass exodus! lol) This sounds cheesy but I'm more happy to have found the good friends that stick around and really want to talk books or have a fun Twitter chat.
    I'm so shy that it surprises me how many people I have met through blogging in spite of myself :-)

    I don't remove the widget because I personally find it helpful in following other blogs. It's the only method I use other than Twitter links. No way will I follow 100's of blogs via email and until today I didn't even know that there were other ways to view blogs other than Google Reader!

    I know I'm going through a bit of a blogging crisis right now and it's scary when you need a bit of a break to find your voice again but your afraid of being removed from everyone's list because you're inactive lol

    I agree with Pam about the ARC's - you would be surprised at what the requirements are. Consistent blogging means a lot - not just #'s.

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    1. I think I am terrified that if I stop blogging, to recharge my batteries, I won't be able to get back. Whether it is because I have lost all my friends or I won't find the initiative. I wish I didn't have to keep reminding myself of all the lessons I have learned. Especially the one involving blog and read for the fun of it.
      Well I think if you have to cut down on the posts most of us will understand. As long as you don't disappear from Twitter as well. :( We would miss you too much.

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  4. It seems like lately there are a lot of blogs that have either posted that they stopped or just stopped. It makes me sad. :(

    When I first started I was totally completely obsessed with getting followers. Recently though I'm not so worried about it. I don't really want to be a big huge blog and get all the arcs and have all that responsibilty. I still want followers, I just don't want to go through all the effort that some people do to get them. Right now I have a good group of other bloggers that comment on my blog (as I do for them) and that's good enough for me.

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    1. I have noticed the same thing. They are taking a break or moving onto something else. I think the summer is a hard time to blog. There isn't as much traffic and there are so many other things to do. It is definitely easier during the other seasons.
      ARCs sounds like such a sweet bargain when you start blogging. But little did I know that responsibility is a perfect word for them. Besides in most cases it just means you have to wait that much longer to read the next installment.

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