Monday, September 3

Book Blogger Confessions: Following


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?


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.