Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012, Day 3: What book blogging means to me aka COMMENTS, yo

It’s that time again! This is the fifth Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) since it started way back in 2008, and I had so much fun doing the daily blogging topics last year that I decided to do them again! Yay!

Today’s topic is: What does book blogging mean to you?

It means! Blogging…about books. So other people can see what books I’ve read and liked (or hated) and…er, agree or disagree with me? Communication! And stuff!

But seriously, my blogging has mostly been about a) keeping track of what I read (and my thoughts on the books I do read) and b) waiting for people to comment on what they think about my thoughts. And then responding to those comments. COMMENTING, here, is the real key to blogging. If no one comments on a post it’s like I’m having a weird one-sided conversation, and if that’s what I wanted I might as well be writing reviews in a paper notebook. If you don’t want to have conversations with people, then…idk what you’re doing.

I might be over-reacting a bit, but seriously. COMMENTS. Book blogging means comments aka conversation aka connecting with people.

Getting people to comment seems to be harder than it should be, for some reason. First, you have lurkers (people too shy to comment or who just can’t be bothered for whatever reason). Most blog readers tend to be lurkers, I find. Second, you have issues with anti-spam things or tech problems or comments accidentally being closed (has happened to me a few times). Third, you have topic/writing issues. If I write about a book that no one else has read AND I write like I’m the end-all expert on it, practically no one will comment. If, on the other hand, I write about even a moderately popular book and if I stick a few questions/insecurities in there, people will comment. (Discussion posts are good, too, for obvious reasons.)

Building a readership that feels comfortable commenting is, I think, the key to successful book blogging. And it’s a tricky thing to do! I’ve sort of managed to do it, but it’s tough to keep up because you also have to be willing to participate in conversations in other people’s spaces. You can’t just stick to your own space; no one’s THAT fascinating that you can never go visit other people.

So. Er. IN CONCLUSION: book blogging is about commenting often, commenting widely, and encouraging comments in your own blogging space. It’s also about BLOGGING about BOOKS (to start off the conversation) but that’s kind of really freakin’ obvious, duh.

Do you agree that book blogging is about conversations with people? Or do you think it’s something else? Leave me a link to your own views on book blogging so I can check them out, please!

Other 2012 BBAW posts: Day 1: Appreciation | Day 2: Interview Swap

15 Comments

  1. I’m with you–conversation is key. My lowest blogging points have always come when I’ve felt like I’m not having enough of a conversation with the rest of the blogosphere; when I’ve received few comments, or when I haven’t found the energy to leave many of my own. It can be tough to think of substantive things to say, or to put certain ideas into words, but it’s mighty important if we want to keep the conversation going.

    • Anastasia

      It is VERY tough sometimes, especially when people forget to leave room for conversation in their post. I totally forget, and then I don’t get as many comments and then I get paranoid that people don’t like me anymore. 😛

  2. I have been trying to be a better commenter lately. Sometimes I just barely have time to read a post before I need to move on to the next one but I’ve tried to remove even blogs that I enjoy from my schedule if they just aren’t ones that I am ever going to comment on. I want to have more of a community feeling than I’ve had recently and that means commenting! Thanks for taking the discussion in this direction today. 🙂

    • Anastasia

      I used to keep a kind of info sheet about places I commented at and how many comments I left each day! It actually motivated me a lot to keep commenting. Then I lost steady internet access and my commenting plummeted. Sigh.

  3. Excellent point! I’m trying to be more of a commenter and less of a lurker, but sometimes it’s hard to find something relevent to say. Think discussion posts are easier to comment on that memes, but they’re so hard to write! Something new to work on! 🙂

    • Anastasia

      Yeah, the hardest part about commenting on reviews is that, if you haven’t read the book already, all you can REALLY say is “oh I want to read that/don’t want to read it/etc.” Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth saying that, lol. 🙂 Discussion posts are much more lively!

    • Anastasia

      And like Real Life conversations, they can stall out if you don’t work at keeping them alive. Which is why I try to respond to comments here! Usually people don’t re-respond back, but…well, er. Hm.

  4. I tend to have more discussion on twitter these days about books than on my blog, although Disqus has certainly helped (thanks Blogger commenting *RME*). IDK. I think in order to have an active discussion via comments on your blog, you need to have a large group of dedicated readers who will treat the comments as their own discussion forum and kind of moderate the discussion for you–Dear Author is an excellent example of this–and I don’t have that kind of audience on my blog. I’m not entirely sure I could handle an audience of that size, either. But I do enjoy responding to readers’ comments, of course! I just kind of trust that people are reading even if they don’t comment.

    • Anastasia

      It doesn’t even have to be a true DISCUSSION, actually, like you’re in a forum or in a lit class or something. Even just saying “hi, I’m here and I think you’re neat” is a nice connection. Although, yeah, the discussions tend to be more fun, over time. 🙂

  5. One thing about the expanding blogosphere (although of course I’m for it! of course!) is that I don’t have as much time to comment on every post an individual blog does, even if I really love the blogger. It makes me feel like a jerk, but I’m not able anymore to engage with every post that comes up in my reader, and I have to categorize blogs by how often I typically comment on them, and then that ends up being its own self-fulfilling prophecy. And it’s all blechy.

    So that is a thing! Blogging is indeed about conversations between people, and I sometimes worry that I’m having fewer of them or less good ones than I used to.

    • Anastasia

      I know for sure I’m having fewer conversations and it’s making me feel lonely. 🙁 I try to make the ones I DO have really excellent conversations, though! I guess that helps. Maybe.

  6. Pingback: Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012, Day 4: Read this book if you know what’s good for you » Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

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