Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I woke up to this

In the past week I've seen a lot of bloggers speaking out about plagiarism and a lot of us opened up about the type of stress we all have to our side (here is my post) and how even then, there is no excuse to steal other people's posts and use them as your own.

Now, some might tell me, Caro, what do you know? you've only been blogging consistently for less than 4 years. But as a relative new book blogger here are some of the things I do know:

1. It takes time to find your voice

You know something? I am still struggling to find my right voice in this community, not only because we are so many, but because finding what makes you unique takes time and work. My posts have changed over the years, and that is a good thing, I am only now starting to really like the way I talk about a book and the way my discussions take place. Would I love to be as eloquent as some of the big time bloggers? Sure I would! So I read them, and I learn from them. Taking their posts wouldn't improve my style, it would just make me a copycat.

Having original content is hard, sure. Sometimes it feels like all the subjects have been already discussed, that doesn't mean that you don't have something to say about it. As with reviews, not all posts are (nor should) be the same. We can gather inspiration from others, always giving credit where credit is due, but we are all perfectly capable of building something different from it. We all have different experiences everyday and this shapes our posts and our reading. Don't lose that.

2. It shouldn't be about the pageviews/followers

I will admit I look at my stats way more than I should. But I started this blog to have fun with it, to have a record of what I read, not to have a mass of adoring fans. It is fun to have followers, especially those who comment and then spark and good discussion on your site. I know some people have publicity on their sites (I chose not to) and hence have a small income from it, so I guess I understand the pressure or desire to have more followers, more clicks, etc. But guys, I don't know you, but for me there is a lot of excitement when I get a new follower solely because this person liked my site, because they honestly found something interesting that I made. Buying followers just increase some of your numbers, is it really worth it? I certainly don't think it does. 

We all try to get more viewers, we check infographics to know when should we post, and what makes a post more interesting, and what can we do to get more clicks...but it really shouldn't defeat the idea of doing this for us, not for the clicks!

3. Making it "big" in this community takes time

Again, the big time bloggers I follow, they've been at it for years, 10 or more! So they've built their audience, they have worked at it. I said it before, but we are a big community, and hence not all of them will make it "big". But that shouldn't be the point either, finding that niche that makes you grow as a reader and as a blogger is always a plus, but don't do it to be "famous", do it because you are having fun and you want to share your voice.

You know what I've always said to people who asked me about the book blogger community? That people are supportive, that they are sweet as can be, and funny and that so far I hadn't encounter that much nastiness. 

And then these things happened and some people are being just plain bitchy (say it Trish!). So you are being called out for doing something that is plain wrong, and your answer is to be like that? No, no I say!. This hurt me a lot, and in my way to work all I could think is, we are better than this aren't we? We have the tools to have a better conversation, to no fall into just calling names and meanness.

As I said, I knew eventually I would see a not so pretty side of the community, but golly, this has been so much in so little time. I still think that most of us can have a better conversation as to why these things are happening; and informed and well constructed conversation, not one where we are just yelling at each other.

That's all I have to say for now. That and that I am so sad to see this happening to our happy place.

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