Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On Links, Awards, and Comments

It always gives me the warm fuzzies whenever someone likes my blog enough to mention it in their own. On the inside I'm like Sally Field accepting her Oscar. Partly to return the favor and partly to express my gratitude, I would like to give a shout-out to my fellow bloggers who have mentioned me in recent posts:

Kate posted a link to my blog last week. I've really enjoyed the first two installments of the Friday Five meme she's participating in (and not just because I was one of the five last week). This week Becky featured my blog in her "Lights, Camera, Blog Action" post. I enjoyed answering the interview questions, even though I am already rolling my eyes at myself for some of the things I said. I got my first blog award from Elle and I really appreciate it even though I haven't done anything with it.

On to comments. I'm sure most bloggers out there love getting comments just as much as I do. It's a little bit like Christmas. I read them all (usually more than once) and wish I had something to say in response to each one, if only so you know how much I appreciate your input. If I haven't replied to your comment, just know that it's only because a smile and a nod doesn't translate well.

When I first started blogging it was mainly for my own personal use, even though I didn't mind if others read what I posted. I kind of had the attitude that "if you build it they will come," but that didn't exactly happen. The further I've gone with this blog, the more important it has been for me to find others who connect with me over the books I've read, but I had a teeny tiny number of followers for a long time. I was happy to come across Jennifer's weekly blog hop, which has been great both for discovering new blogs to follow and for other bloggers to find me, even though the majority of hoppers seem to be interested in genres I haven't explored much yet (like "paranormal romance" or "urban fantasy." I'm not even all too certain what sorts of books would fall in those categories). By the way, if any of you know of something like the blog hop that links up book blogs that review the types of books I have on my TBR list, let me know!

Which leads me to a question. Do you follow the blogs of each of your followers? I have a few followers who, at this point, I have not yet added to my list of blogs I follow, and I feel so guilty! If you have been wondering why that is, it's most likely for one of two reasons: either the books you read aren't the same types of books that interest me (for instance, maybe you read lots of romance novels, or you read YA almost exclusively), or your meme- and challenge-related posts outnumber your book review posts (she says as she types her own off-topic post). So, check it out--I have created a poll! Go ahead and vote--make your voice heard! It will be interesting to see if the results assuage my guilt or make me feel even worse.

I just had to mention that the beautiful amaryllis featured in this post has nothing to do with the conversation, but I think I may be incapable of publishing a post without a picture. And, as long as I'm off my usual topic of book reviews, I'll add this one last thing: Happy 7th birthday to my middle child!


bibliophiliac said...

Hi Kathy, I thought I'd be neighborly and post a comment! I also love comments, get excited when I have new followers, and thought "if you build it they will come." I'm trying to figure out the whole "following" thing. It seems like the polite thing to follow those who follow you. But what happens when the number of blogs you end up following out of courtesy becomes overwhelming? Like you, there are genres in literature I'm just not interested in; it doesn't make sense to follow a blog about romance novels when I don't read those at all. Unfortunately, I just don't have it figured out, because I still feel its only fair to follow my followers--and I really might learn something from doing so.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the comment, Lisa! It was so sweetly polite and tactful. I guess you and I are in the same boat, trying to get a handle on "blogger etiquette." I follow twice as many blogs as I have followers (meaning only half of the people I follow also follow my blog in return), so I know not everyone is as considerate as you are in following all your followers (though, to be fair, a few of the blogs I follow have hundreds of other followers, and I don't blame them for not following all of them!) I hope more people reply to this thread . . . your comment that you "really might learn something from doign so" struck a chord with me, and with another push or two I might find I feel compelled to add a few new blogs to follow!

Kate said...

Hey Kathy!

First, thanks for the shout-out! :)

I definitely check out the blogs of any followers, or on people who post comments on blogs I follow... but I don't always follow back. I've been wondering about this too... what's the polite thing to do?

When I first started reading blogs, I was pretty selective about what I added to my google reader - only picking blogs where someone seems to like the exact genres that I prefer. But I've been finding lately that even if I'm not into the genre, it's still interesting to skim the review - just to check out the writing style of the blogger.

I would imagine that once a person has a lot of followers, it would just be to much to follow everyone back.

I'm interested to see the results of your poll!

Also - a "Happy 7th Birthday" is in order! :)

Anonymous said...

Kathy, the whole following thing is kind of interesting and intimidating. I think most people start out wanting to build up their follower list because that means a lot of people are reading your blog, right? I'm not sure that is actually correct. I've been doing this for 3 years, off and on. I've taken several extended breaks from blogging and things have definitely changed in that time period. There are so many more bloggers now and I think a lot of people go into this whole thing full force and then get overwhelmed.

No, I don't think the people with hundreds of followers read all the blogs of their followers or even follow them in return. How could they? White the blog hop has been fun and interesting, I agree with you that a lot of the people there read books that don't particularly interest me. I'm kind of doing it on an occasional basis now and may drop out entirely at some point.

I think the main thing is to do what feels good to you. What feels fun for you. It's not a competition, even though some seem to sort of make it that. I personally love to comment when I can and I do quite often if the book or topic interests me. If it doesn't, I pass it on by. I love commenters on my blog and try to respond back if I can.

I'm in this until the day it isn't fun and then I'll pack it in. Thanks for a thought provoking post. I enjoyed it. You've got some good books in your list that you want to read. If I may be so bold, run don't walk to get THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY. Lovely book!

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

Hi Cathy! Do you belong to the book blog network on Ning? One of the forum questions is about the topic of following. Lots of comments on that one-- 53 I think. Here is the url to the question if you'd like to check it out.

I really like to read the blogs I follow so I had to stop following everyone who followed me-- just too many to keep up with. I even culled some that just weren't my cup of tea. Now, I only follow blogs that really interest me. I will follow some that cover different genres than I read if they offer something more. I like musings and literary news. I'm not as into the book review only blogs-- unless the reviews are casual and conversational.


Kathy said...

Kate, it's funny--I was the same way when I first started adding blogs to follow--I was very, very picky. I basically only wanted to follow blogs that were Just Like Mine. :) But I've broadened my horizons a bit since then and it's been great. And, thanks for the birthday wishes for my little one!

Kay, thanks for encouraging me to read Guernsey--I left it on my TBR list because I just can't help but like the title, although in the only blog post about it that I've come across (can't remember where), the reader didn't care for it much, which had discouraged me from being eager to read it.

Lesa, I'm not sure I've even heard of the book blog network on Ning, but thank you for mentioning it to me--I will have to check it out!

And thank you all for your votes and your views. I'm glad to know that I haven't committed a Cardinal Blogging Sin (or that we've all committed it together). ;)

Anonymous said...

Kathy, I understand that not everyone loved the Guernsey book. However, here's the link to my review of it from back in 2008. I did love it!