2011 BBAW Daily Topic #3: Community Part II


Today’s discussion topic is about community again:

The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect!

To be honest, I’ve been struggling to dig myself deeper into the blog community. I volunteer for stuff, sure, and I try to comment/Tweet at people/etc., but I still kind of feel like an outsider. Probably part of that comes from the fact that I don’t have a defined niche for my blog. I’ve got lots of crossover interests but I don’t really fit into any one defined kind of blog, you know? So I’m left sort of floating out in space while (it seems) everyone else is in their YA/classics/non-fiction/paranormal romance spaceships of amazingness.

I mean, I guess I could make my own spaceship, but it’d be a party of one in there and that kinda sucks. Even sending out messages to other spaceships isn’t all that fun when they go off to explore Saturn or something and I’m not invited to tag along.

I think the key to feeling more included might be to bring more community stuff back to my own blog, but I haven’t really worked out how to do that besides discussion posts (which I’m rubbish at). More events, maybe? (Also rubbish at that, by the way.) Videos, maybe! I don’t know, really.

Or maybe the key to feeling more included is in offline community stuff. Like, should I join a book club? Go to more book events? Meet up with book bloggers for coffee or something? That might work! I’m going to try doing some of that when I move to California. Not only will I be nearer to more book stuff but I’ll probably also feel like actually leaving the house once in a while.

What about you? Do you feel like you’re a crew of one in your own lonely spaceship? How do you keep from feeling lonely out in the vastness of book blogging space?

40 Comments

  1. -hugs-

    I know how you feel. My blog doesn’t function as part of a niche and I think that is part of it, yes. I have a few contacts and I usualy talk to them through twitter. It is a somewhat smaller community, but I think that works for me. Perhaps offline action can help? Or gather together some people who feel like you about community πŸ™‚ I know I’d be more than willing to consider you part of mine. Actually, I already do.

  2. Nat

    You should join bookblogs.ning! I bet you won’t feel as an outsider there! =D
    And yes, I gess we always feel like we’re in our own spacesip sometimes, but that can be a great thing, means you’re doing something unique =D

    Be brave, be happy!

  3. carol

    Sorry to hear that you feel that way.

    I am not sure where my niche is and often see my blog in a venn diagram where I flit between diff book blog circles.

    I continue to visit, comment and join in where I can and hope that folks like my blog too

    carol

  4. Niche? We’re in the eclectic, expand-your-mind-by-reading-everything niche! Truly the best niche.

    You’re quite right about events and discussion. I know you didn’t participate, but I really enjoyed the The Lord of the Rings readalong in the spring of 2010. I have a couple of ideas for more events, if you’d like to go halfsies with me…

  5. Sorry you feel like an outsider. I know what that feels like. I don’t have a defined niche either, but it still works okay for me. I prefer not to, that way I can blog about whatever I want and it still be 100% me and inline with what I like to talk discuss. The way I included myself, (because you can’t wait on others to include you) is to seek out other blogges. My tip is go to blogs you like or that are similar to yours and go through their blog roll. You’ll be surprised at how many blogs are out there like yours and what events they have that you can participate in.

    Nice to meet you. Hope to stay connected. πŸ™‚

    • Anastasia

      I think so! I’ve been blogging for nearly three years and I still feel like an outsider (although somewhat less of one than I felt like when I first started blogging). I guess it takes a while to build up enough confidence to stop worrying so much about everything.

  6. I love, love, LOVE the spaceship analogy! That’s perfect. I kind of feel left behind, too, and like you, I don’t exactly have a defined niche…eclectic, I guess? I’ve found I really enjoy reading books with other people as a way to sort of get to know them better. Perhaps we should read something or otherwise collaborate to create our OWN spaceship of awesomeness and go explore Saturn for ourselves!

    • Anastasia

      Basically I think if you read and review books in at least three completely different genres, including but not limited to at least two different age brackets, you’re an eclectic blogger. What do you think of that definition? Does it work?

      (I am plotting something dastardly and amazing. Possibly it has to do with building an Eclectic Blogger Spaceship of Awesomeness.)

  7. I can relate to not know what your niche is…or how to connect to the other spaceships. I do participate in memes, and from those I find other bloggers with similar interests. It’s a long, slow process…I’ve been blogging for three years!

    One of my problems is that I have ten blogs, and I write or participate via those throughout the week. Some bloggers say they don’t know how or where to connect. Of course, on the memes, the links are there….

    I do use Facebook and network my blogs there.

    Good luck in climbing onto the spaceship of your dreams!

    Here’s MY BBAW POST and
    MY WEBSITE

    • Anastasia

      Makes it harder to connect with people sometimes, yes! And also at BEA– it was harder to talk about my blog and what I read because I DO read relatively widely compared to, for instance, an only-YA blogger.

  8. *hugs* I always used to feel like I had my own spaceship. I consider myself a speculative fiction blogger, but I’m not part of the core spec fic community (ie, all those sf/f/h bloggers who follow each other on twitter and comment regularly on each others’ blogs and seem to be friends in real life as well). But, at the same time, I do read and review plenty of things that aren’t speculative fiction: general fiction, contemporary YA, historical stuff, nonfiction, the odd romance, a mystery here and there… For a long time, I felt like I was too genre for the general folks and too general for the genre folks.

    I feel a bit better about it these days. I’m still not in with too many of the genre types, but I feel like I’ve connected with enough eclecctic bloggers and general bloggers who sometimes read genre stuff that I’m not all by my lonesome anymore. For me, it helped to have a few core people I interacted with on regular basis; people whose blogs I visited and commented on, or who I chatted with on Twitter. I’m hella shy, so it took me a while to expand, but I’m finally in a blogging place where I don’t feel totally alone. (At least, not most of the time. I still have the occasional, “Oh, I’m so lost and alone and nobody knows who I am!” freakout.)

    • Anastasia

      Yay! I hope I get to that point soon. Normally during events like BBAW or the readathon or even just when Twitter’s busy I feel more connected, but when something hasn’t happened in a while and comments start to lag and no one talks to me on Twitter I do start to freak out a bit. I think my problem is that I want people to know who I am, too. Like, I want to go to BEA next year and have a random person go “oh, Birdbrain(ed)! I know that blog!” I don’t know if that’s silly or not. πŸ™

    • Anastasia

      I am working on a way to do just that! I think I’ll hold off on debuting it until after October (because of so many events going on already during that month), but I think November will be very exciting!

  9. As a somewhat eclectic reader myself, I know just what you mean. I think, though, that all those circles might look bigger to those of us who aren’t in them. It seems to me like there are maybe 10 bloggers I’m close to, a bunch more who are more at the nodding acquaintance level, and then everybody else and they all know each other and talk all the time, leaving me on the outside. But when I really think about it, that’s probably how it is for everybody. Even on Twitter, when it looks like everyone is talking to everyone else, there really may just be several different conversations of four or five people each.

    And I’ll piggyback on Clare’s comment about the LOTR readalong. Sharing a project like that was great because we could each promote it to our various circles and make more connections.

  10. I think your awesome the way you are. Just be yourself, there are tons of bloggers who like a little of everything. And the great thing about liking a little of everything is you can join the communities for whatever. From YA ARCs to the Classics Circuit. It’s like you have twice as many friends!

  11. I’m an eclectic reader too – nonfiction, mysteries, whatever is shiny to me at the moment. I’ve had to pare down my google reader subscriptions radically this past year since a job change left me with less time to read blogs, and yours is one of the blogs still there and a lot of that has to do with your eclectic focus.

    I don’t have a lot of time for writing posts and leaving comments, so I sometimes feel like a ‘dilettante’ blogger in comparison to others. But then my non-blogging family members and friends will be impressed by how much I do post, so then I realize it’s all relative. What I love about the book blogging community is the emphasis on hey, post when you can, we know you have a life outside of this. I do wish I could participate more in the community, but it’s just not in the cards right now.

    • Anastasia

      Aw, thank you! ♥ And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head– we love it when people post and read lots of interesting books, but we also know that there’s other things you have to do. Don’t feel bad about not posting as much as you want to! Whatever you can do is worthwhile and lovely. πŸ˜€

  12. Hey Anastasia,

    I understand your problem. I just put up my own blog and I don’t think I’ll be fitting into any niche either. I follow mostly YA blogs, but I read a lot of literary fiction and classics along with YA. I need to get out into the blogging community more and find some other blogs that are more eclectic. Any blogs you love that review contemporay adult fiction or classics?

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