Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blog Snobbery

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.


Patti Shenberger said...

Aluure, I think this was a great blog and reminded me of topics we discussed last night at our local RWA meeting. You and I tend to be very vocal about things we are passionate about in the writing world.
I know I don't have time to follow everyone who MySpace, Twitters, blogs me but I do my best to keep up and comment.
Recriprosity is the key to life! Said very seriously. I really try hard to give back wherever and whenever I can, which is why I am usually so exhausted at the end of the day (G)
I'm here for you!

George said...

I never really thought about it before. You have given me food for thought, and something to watch myself over once I start promoting.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Great post, Allure. And I know I'm guilty. Thanks for the reminder!

Bryl R. Tyne said...

Hey Allure. You're a sweetheart for trying to keep up with us all. I know, I can't do it, though I'd like to.

I'm inclined to think it's more a matter of being overwhelmed with writing and promoting, than with being a snob, however, I'm sure we all have those instances when we just "don't feel like commenting" perhaps.

I think maybe, what authors fail to realize is that even by commenting on each others' blog posts, you are leaving another mark online. Yep. Many comments make it onto the search engines.

So, even if you think you're too busy promoting to comment, remember, your comments are a form of promotion, and in two ways. One, I already mentioned, and two, others won't think you're practicing what Allure refers to as, blog snobbery. :)

Looks as if no matter which way I go about it, I'm doing this for myself though. Sorry Allure. Maybe that's why they say writing is a lonely business?

I have to admit. If I weren't on vacation this week from work, I would not have had the time to stop and comment. And by the time I got home (at midnight, my time) I would be too tired to remember.

I do wish you the best. I think it's more the nature of the business than anything personal. At least, I'll keep my rose-colored glasses on and keep telling myself that. ;)

One of your self-centered, promo-whore, fellow author friends,

just keepin' it real, baby! 8)

Bryl R. Tyne
an author defying description

Sue C. said...

I agree. Expecting a courtesy from others when you do not give that same courtesy is rude and unreasonable. I'm as guilty of the next person of not responding to blog requests and other announcements. Since I started blogging regularly myself, I've been trying to do better. Only time will tell if I succeed or not. But over time, I expect to see greater reciprocation as I demonstrate that I will respond to such requests. Yes, all this commenting and stuff takes time out of our writing days, and honestly, if those who can't manage it, then may find that blogging and such isn't for them. I'm in this for the long haul and am willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until demonstrated otherwise.

Jenna Byrnes said...

Hey Allure,

I'd have to agree with Bryl on this one. I try to visit blogs and Facebook and Ning and Goodreads...and even though I canceled my Twitter and MySpace, I still don't have enough hours in the day to write, promote, work a day job and raise a family. I didn't think I was being a snob, just trying to do the best I can and hold my head above water in a sometimes rushing tide.

So if anyone ever sees me and thinks my one little blog post and one round of Yahoo group promo a week makes me a promo whore, I'm sorry. I'm not intending to snub anyone, and it's definitely not personal. And people online need to be tolerant of others, because you never know what a person is going through, without walking a ways in her flip-flops. *G*



AllureVanSanz said...

Sometimes when I rant I make things unclear. I really don't feel as though making attempts is blog snobbery. Making NO attempts or deluding ourselves is snobbery. We have to be honest with ourselves: "Am I throwing my name out there and not looking up anyone new or encouraging someone outside of me friend circle at all while expecting others to?"

That is the definition of snobbery. When you give nothing and take everything.

We are ALL busy and I do take into account that others have lives that are not a matter of public record. I would have to be an idiot not to know that when I'm doing my best to raise children, maintain my house and my relationships and my family and write in two different genres...etc.

But if I have time, to sign on, promote myself, rant on my blog, but no time to visit say...Patti Shenberger's blog after she has shown support to me? Then I'm being selfish. That doesn't mean I have to follow her every move and "atta" girl her daily.

But I should be there for her when I can be and make at least an effort. Once a month maybe or every other month? That is easy for anyone and if it isn't.. then we should make a schedule.

A reciprocation day every other month. Every third friday or some such. It can only behoove us in the long run as Bryl mentioned.

And Bryl, you do a ton for people, helping etc. so by no means could anyone accuse you of snobbery.

Jenna, it is okay to BE a promotional whore, we all need to be to sell books. What the rant is really about is not taking the time to reciprocate after all the whoring.

My personal whoring record is about 30% which isn't all that great. 30% of the people who make a comment to me get recognized immediately. 70% at some point.

The remainder I forget about or just zone out on and I hate that I do it and find myself wanting to make the change to be at 100% until my fan base is so huge I have to make those generic appreciative posts.

"I love you all! Thank you for your support!"

Until that day I have to remind myself that in all my requests for visitation and comments and participation in my writing career.. I better be willing to put out a little too.

Thank you all for responding and feel free to send me your blog links. I'd love to get things together and set up a big Love network.



Ava March said...

Hey AVS!

Ok, I'm going to be bluntly honest - I visit a lot of blogs, I click on about 90% of the links when I get e-mails about new posts from friends and fellow authors...but I rarely post because I can't think of anything interesting to say, and well...there's always that worry that I'll come off as a raving idiot. LOL. I'm a dork, yes, but it's true. Every now and then, I'll leave a 'great post!' comment, but I don't want to be know as that chick who leaves little 'great post!' comments in her wake, like a trail of breadcrumbs.

I do make an effort to reciprocate when a friend leaves a comment on one of my posts (I don't have my own blog, but I do guest blog on occassion). But usually, I end up visiting their blog, enjoying it, but not leaving a comment. But after reading your post, now I feel kinda like I'm taking something for free when I don't comment. So I'll definitely try to up the quantity of bread crumbs I leave in my wake. ;)

AllureVanSanz said...

Bread Crumbs are gooooood!


It is a win-win, because as was mentioned by...Bryl I think, when I type in "Allure Van Sanz" I see blogs I've posted comments on.

And you're right, I read a lot of blogs but by silent drive-by. I need to start saying "atta-girl/boy" more often so I'm not (by my own definition) a snob. lol

Love you guys!
Thanks for coming,

Stephani Hecht said...

I always try to return comment favors, but I know I have forgot sometimes. But this is coming from the same person that forgot her own father's birthday. I am still kicking myself over that one.

Bryl R. Tyne said...

Y'all are great! I'm kinda glad you brought this topic up, Allure. It has been interesting reading all the responses. Of course, I still beg to differ with you. I am selfish, sometimes a snob, and most admittedly, a whore--promo whore, that is.


AllureVanSanz said...

LOL Bryl!

We all are, or should be, promo whores!

We are all selfish sometimes, too. But I can't stand it when that is ALL someone is.

Which I've already mentioned that you can't claim since you are constantly helping people with their careers by giving out info, etc.

I would hardly call that selfish.



Anonymous said...

I try to comment on blogs for our chapter but don't always get to them all. I do support your point. Blanket blog requests from people who never return the favor are really sad! After a few of those, i'd cut them off at the knees! Cheryl

Jude Mason said...

Allure, this was a fantastic blog and I'm afraid I'm guilty of these hit and run posts more than I like. Promotions suck. *G* We're all told to go and sell ourselves but not how or where, or how much, or when. I think most of us really do the best we can and when we do mess up, we're willing to admit it. At least I hope so.

I think balance is the key. One day I'll find it and be as happy as a clam.


Carol Jo said...

While I am writing my first book, I don't have a blog and so reciprocation is not an issue. However, I do try to leave comments for those in my RWA chapter and on my loops when I have something to say.
However, there are times I get too far behind or slip up. I'll try to keep your ideas in mind when I get a website and maybe even a blog. Thanks for the reminder.

Darryl said...

I just love it when ppl rant and you nailed the reason why I don't blog.

We all have to deal with these hastles in one form or another.

Tweet me a url @EroticTy with whatever you want as link text and I will drop you a backlink - somewhere just because I can. :)

Or just smile cause this is fun.

I never thought it was going to be so tough to be friendly without being self promotional. lol :) Learn something new every day - no matter how much I fight it