Inside Michelle’s Brain (formerly Food for Thought) is a weekly event that allows me to post what has me deep in thought about various events. These are purely the questions that are running around in my head that I am posting for all the world to see and to hopefully foster a discussion that might help me actually answer some of them. I invite you take a look and participate! (And if anyone would be interested in making me a button, I would be forever in your debt!)
Success is so tricky to define, as is development. A huge trend in the blogging/Twitter world right now is the need to develop as a blogger. As I sit back and really watch the conversations occurring on Twitter and other sites, it appears that as a whole, book bloggers are tremendously successful at accomplishing their goals. We have gotten an entire industry to sit up and take notice of us, opening opportunities for collaboration at unprecedented levels. Booksellers are now getting in on the act. From where I’m sitting, the year of the book blogger has arrived.
Yet, bloggers appear to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about developing and getting better – at writing, at organizing, at blogging, at networking. If what we are doing is so successful, do we really need to spend so much focusing on development?
Yes, I do realize the irony of me asking these questions. I have been a huge proponent of blogger development over the past few months. However, I feel that we are spending an large amount of time recapping previous success stories rather than actually learning anything new. Why is this? There are bloggers out there who are taking chances and pushing the boundaries of blogging/publisher relationships, yet while they are celebrated, we still talk about the same issues from last year. It is all beginning to become a bit redundant.
Is it a generational thing – new versus seasoned bloggers? Is it even necessary? We are an extremely creative and intelligent group. Surely there is no need to keep reinventing the wheel, so to speak? Or is there really a need to discuss the pros and cons of memes versus original content, how often to blog, and so forth? Don’t we do that two-to-three times a year anyway through Bloggiesta and BBAW? On Twitter, we now have #bblog, #bookblogchat #followreader, #litchat and a plethora of other weekly discussions that all cover very similar topics. How much is too much? More importantly, at what point in time does discussion burnout set in?
It may be that the answer is yes, we need to continue to have these types of discussions. Don’t get me wrong – I love the fact that new and old bloggers alike are getting together to discuss pertinent topics to blogging. However, I posit that we have taken it to the extreme and are in danger of overloading on discussions of older topics rather than brainstorm on new ones. I would like you to consider the possibility that by doing so, we run the risk of becoming stagnant. There is a tremendous amount of momentum in the book blogging community at this point in time. Standing still would be unbelievably harmful to that.
In the end, I truly believe we have the community’s best interest at heart. We’ve seen success and know there is so much more success in store out there for us if we continue to push the envelope. The fact that other industries have taken notice of what is occurring between bloggers and publishers is a tremendous accomplishment. I don’t want to see us lose that.
What do you think? Am I totally off-base here or have others noticed the redundancies? Is there danger in that?
Oh, Lisa! You took the words out of my mouth! We are preaching to the choir when we are focusing on our efforts as bloggers. I love the idea of reaching out to readers more. Now, we need to come up with some ideas…
In looking at the participants of each conversation, it is definitely generational. I think part of my issue is that I feel like I am in both generations. I'm not in the older one and not in the newer one, so I can see the merit of the discussions but get tired of hearing them over and over again. I've limited my participation in them for the same reasons you do – heard about them, talked about them and a low priority. However, I do think we should try to push the envelope a bit more. I'm just not certain how that would take place.
I'm torn too. Obviously you and I participate in them, so they must be important. But at the same time, every time I turn around there is another discussion on something that we discussed a week ago! It's just a little too much, but we do need it.
Actually the conversations are exhausting me as well…I'm actually in process of refocusing my blog and reading.
but I do think the keeping the conversation open is vital…for new and seasoned bloggers…no one is above changing or deciding to take a new approach. 🙂