I've titled this piece Blog Snobbery because the main example I'm going to use is about blog comment requests, but there are many types of promotional snobbery that has me irked this morning, so I'm going to be a little Rantasaurus Rex.
On Facebook, I receive requests asking me to visit blogs and come check out the subject du jour every day. I don't mind this, because we're all trying to get our readership up or new friends and networks. The only way to do that is to invite like crazy. I receive blognetworking requests and I accept every one of them.
Or should I say...I used to accept every one of them. I'm tired of the non-reciprocating snobbery of blog comments, follows, etc.
"I have a blog, you should all come visit me and comment." Well that's just great, except I've been sending out emails and asking for people to come by and comment and I haven't seen this person come by and say hi to me. Not once! I've been bribing with free copies of my ebook and sending out requests to everyone and making a point to visit the blogs of those who have come to mine.
When I get requests to comment or read on a loop where someone is asking for visitors (if I'm home or when I get home) I comment.
Now, with my local RWA chapter, the return comments of those I have supported and commented on are pretty decent. On all my other loops...the support is practically nil. I can think of one woman who constantly goes out of her way to support people she knows only in passing and Rie, I thank you for your generosity.
I belong to 20 loops to date and the reciprocation for when you visit and comment is horrendous. Even on Facebook when someone says something to me, I try to respond each time. Some fall through the cracks, but mostly because I don't check my Facebook often, but blogs and the like? Emails? I always do my best to respond but it seems I'm more of the exception than the rule.
So ask yourself this one question... Do I give as much as I take promotionally? And I'm not talking about visiting the blogs of your dearest friends or blogs that promote your work. Those become a responsibility not something you participate in out of a show of support or respect for fellow authors.
If all you do is visit places that promote you and your closest friends' blogs where you guest etc...then you're not a reciprocator, your a promotional whore.
We're all guilty of it, but sometimes you need to step outside the "you factor" and do something that isn't about self promotion. Ironically, putting your name out there and showing support to others IS a form of promotion. So do yourself a favor and step out of the "mememe" haze and take a look around once and a while.
There are great people out there, going out of their way to stop by and say hi to you. If you can't even afford them the same courtesy then let's face it, you're a self-centered jerk.
I should clarify that I don't think every author has the time to respond to everyone who comes to their blog when they hit the big time or have a large fan base. It would be ridiculous to assume a busy author (as if we're all not busy) has time to stop by each of their commenter's blogs. But lets face it, not all of us are at that point and if we can fit in our own self-promotional blogs than we should take a few extra hours to blog visit those outside our circle who have made an effort to support us.
Make the time! Don't just spam everyone on your social network to get visitors and then don't acknowledge or reciprocate. It disgusts me, it is rude, and it will no longer go unpunished by me. I will make a special point to unfollow, to return books, to not purchase books, of those who are openly all about self.
As I mentioned, we are all guilty of it, myself included. I get bogged down by life and I can't always respond to everyone, which I hate. I constantly notice something WAAAAAYYY after the fact. But I do accept network invitations, I do try to comment on those who have commented for me and I do try to respond to every email I receive despite the fact that I am busy, and I think because of that, people see that I HAVE tried, whereas most...don't bother.
Being an Author means being a bit self-centered, granted. But we should all do our best to even out the karma.
All my best to everyone!
This post is subject to the contest. Those responding will be entered.
**disclaimer on all typos due to circumstances well within my control but outside of my ambition.