This is a recap and my afterthoughts from this post yesterday, Cool and not cool?? Talk to me.
There were so many amazing thoughts that I won't be able to include them all, but you all certainly had very valid points to make. After the re-cap I have something to share about how my opinion has changed, and what we all can get from this (those who feel 'in' and those who feel 'out').
My favourite points from what you all had to say:
"I often find that the ones publishers love are very different to the ones I do. I'm looking for honest reviews, and people who have strong links to publishers often avoid offending them by failing to find faults in the books they review". -farmlanebooks
"I'm fortunate to live near a metro area with lots of great bookstores, colleges, etc., so there are tons of fantastic bookish events to attend. Even these events (and the blog posts that follow them) should be about sharing information ... not "I did this", but "I learned this, and I want to share it with you".
"There are some whose blogs I read and comment on who don't visit/comment on my blog. I've wondered about that, but in the end know that I enjoy reading these blogs, whether or not the blog author decides my blog is something that appeals to him/her." - Dawn @ She is Too Fond of Books
"I think the "in-crowd" bloggers are the people who do a lot to contribute to the book blogging society as a whole--they create challenges and organize online events like the read-a-thon this weekend". -Jena
"The only downside to the every growing blogging community, is that my feeder is growing leaps and bounds and I am not only finding it difficult to comment as much as I would like, I am beginning to not respond to comments as much as I would like on my own blog - and that bothers me. I would love to acknowledge everyone who visits". - J.C. Montgomery
"I think there are blogs that are better known generally, but that's because they host challenges and events and are just really active in the blogging world". - S. Krishna
"I subscribe to about a bazillion blogs because I like to see what's out there, but I only comment 1) when I have time and 2) when the post is really interesting or relevant to me. I just don't have the time to comment on everything I read, nor do I have something interesting to say about everything I read. Some of my favorite blogs are not necessarily popular, and some of the popular ones are, to me, not very impressive.
"I do think that bloggers who are able to be hyper-connected get increased traffic and attention, but I'm not so sure that's always justified". - The Book Lady's Blog
"I think there IS a cool crowd, although I'm not entirely sure who is in that cool crowd. I could guess at a few names and I think that there are a few that have grabbed the reins of the blogging community and are steering it in one direction or another.
Sometimes it is discouraging to be pushed to the edge by the bigger bloggers, but I think a lot of that is also in my head". - Trish from Trish's Reading Nook
"Would I like to get the page hits that some of my fellow bloggers get? Sure! But many of the more popular book bloggers work really hard on the content and look of their blogs and also really develop relationships with people in the book publishing industry. This takes time and lots of hard work and I commend my fellow book bloggers who do so well." - The Written Word
"I have found a set of bloggers that I am most comfortable with and I make sure I visit their blogs often and leave comments and in return, they visit me too! That is what is important to me.. the friend;y interaction and the sense of familiarity." - Ramya from Ramya's Bookshelf
"It's a matter of being 'discovered' in a way. If that makes sense. In other words, I can't visit a blog or follow a blog, if I don't know the blog exists. If a blogger wants to find connections, they'll seek out other blogs, leave comments, join challenges, participate in memes, join twitter discussions, join yahoo groups and such.
Somebody has to make the first step, has to reach out and say "hi" and I have found the community to be welcoming. Sure, it might be intimidating if you're shy to say "hi" and you wish that people would discover you and your great blog all on their own". -Becky's Book Reviews
My afterthoughts are expressed below to the separate categories, you need to relise that you might not be in the group you think you are, so read both and see what you think.
To those who feel they 'out' or even remotely close to it:
If you really want to make it into the 'in' crowd, you need to work on getting your blog viewer friendly. You need to make it easy to navigate, commenter friendly and a place where people want to come back to. There are some good programs online for designing a header and buttons and all those good things. The online photo editing program that I have used for all my editing is Picnik . It is very user friendly and easy to use, you just have to be motivated to do it
Help out!!! If you want to get to know more people in the blogging community you need to serve along side them, you need to help with a challenge, do a challenge, join in on community things such as the read-a-thon or host a challenge during that time.
If this makes it sound like I know what I am doing, think again....I am just trying to get things figured out on my own as well and wanted to share some tips with you that I have learned in the process. To me all these things are fun, I LOVE designing headers, buttons and working on the layout so that is why I do it. If you don't like it and want to get it right, pay someone, or ask for help!!
A sobering note for those who are not feeling cool:
The people who get visits do do a lot of work, yes they are not always the ones who work the hardest, but they generally are. They have usually been around longer and support more "community" events. If you are not willing to join in, if you don't have the time or really enjoy doing it that is fine, but that is how it works. I am not saying that every popular blogger is completely deserving of all the credit they get, I am saying that most of the time the have earned that spot in some way that you may not really know about yet.
Don't let jealousy limit your relationships, there will always be those who are better than you at what you love, that is just the way it is- if you love it, really love it, than it shouldn't matter. If you want to do it to get big, than there is work involved in that. I guess you just need to figure out what you are in this for.
To those who are 'in' or even remotely close to it:
You really do a TON of work, and so many of you help on all of the events, read-a-thon, challenges, helping other bloggers to design there blogs better, you are active on social nings, twitter, glue, facebook and such...yes you do so much! You have earned you fame I feel for the most part and you should be applauded, you have worked hard and made your blog a place where people want to be. That is awesome! I don't think you get enough credit for all the extra time you put into organizing things, and helping bloggers. Thank you!
The sobering note to those who are in the 'cool' crowd, but this is for all of us really!!:
For better or for worse you are in the 'cool' crowd and those who are not will have a hard time not envying you. If you want to make it extra hard, comment all the time on your stats, talk about how many visitors you had, or how bummed you are that you ONLY had 500 today. Yes, you are earning yourself enemies right and left when you do that. Come on folks, have some class.
In real life do you walk around with your yearly earnings written on your t-shirt!? Do you go into a party and comment on how you are so depressed that you only made $500,000 dollars last year? I hope not. It is fine to have it, you earned it, but to those who are scraping by it really is just rude and by doing it you are putting yourself in a place where you really don't want to be. Yes, we all should get over it, we should love you anyways! Would you? Its like that know it all kid in the class when you are struggling, envy and jealousy creep in quick.
It isn't fair that you should have to not mention certain things on your blog! And it is true that you earned it, you did! I really get that. I mean you do get 80 comments on every post! So I am not saying you need to hide things, but you can be discreet and careful of other people's feelings. You don't need to take your feedreaders off your blogs, or any such nonsense...just work more on being lovable by not pushing numbers, and go out of your way to be inclusive.
Disclaimer: I am not saying that either crowd does ethier of these all the time, I just notice it being an issue and it is what I got out of the converstation so I wanted to bring it up. We can all learn to work harder and not be envious, and also to keep others in perspective more.
The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
5 hours ago