Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Deteriorating credibility of bloggers"

Blogging is easily compared, on scale to an ant on Earth. While there may be many of us when it comes to the big picture we are just ants. The truth is blogging can go into two directions—it’s really up to us to decide what our future holds, I do honestly believe we, together, can change the world.

You see, there are some people out there who participate in blogging just for free books. You may be reading this thinking ‘Nope, that’s not me’ but when it comes down to raw facts, it could be you. If you have ever caught yourself in a ‘word war’ with another blogging you are honestly to blame for the deteriorating credibility of bloggers. While it isn’t single handedly you, you do play a significant part in it. You might as well be blogging for free books, because you aren't doing ANYTHING positive to help our community!

We are a new generation, regardless your age we are making change. We are pushing away the TV and Games and exercising out minds—something that today has lost its way into the lives of youth today.

When we sit around and throw hateful words at each other, create cliques of ‘elite bloggers’ and sell ourselves to one author in hopes of getting an ARC we are just proving to the publishing industry that we are not a credible team of bloggers. We are merely very impressionable teens who blog, who are nothing but consumers and we will go with the latest trend.

If we want treated with respect we need to love each other. Blogging isn’t about me, it isn’t about you, not about the book or the authors. Blogging is supposed to be a community of LOVE, where we come together and share a single passion, grow together, learn together and love each other.

Each and every one of us are to blame for the credibility decrease in blogging, it just takes a mature mind to accept that. I’m not writing this to bash on anyone or even the group, I just wanted to point out blogging is changing we can make it a negative one or positive.

Now back to what I said in the first paragraph about changing the world. If you know me you know that I’m involved in a lot—what I’m going to talk about now is the Teen Author Carnival.

The Teen Author Carnival was created to help teens of New York meet their favorite authors that do not live in the city. This is a POSITIVE change that blogging can bring into a teens life. Now I’m not saying you all need to go out and plan your own giant and elaborate events—you could donate some books to a hospital, volunteer at a library, organize a local read-a-thon with friends that normally wouldn’t sit down and read a book.

If everyone did ONE THING imagine the impact we could have on the world. I do believe our blogging community is SO MUCH MORE then just sitting our asses on Twitter and Blogger. I do hope anyone who reads this takes this message to heart, because it came from mine.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments--good or bad.

I wish you all luck in the future.


Devyn Burton


ZoeAlea said...

Devyn, why did you have to drop a knowledge bomb?
I agree with everything you said. I wish I could be at BEA this year! Maye next year I can go?

Rebecca L Sutton said...

Fabulous post! I agree with so much of what you brought up here and I really admire what you're doing with the Teen Carnival. Such an awesome way to put a positive vibe out there.

I'm so bummed I can't make it to BEA though we're only 2 hrs away and were approved for passes...parental duty calls. Looking forward to pics and blog posts to hear about it all.

Is it okay if I link to this post? Love your message.

Donna said...

I see blogging as a working relationship with others. Civility is key. Fueling the "office gossip" fire is never a good thing and only exacerbates to the original problem. Not a person with a blog is innocent.

In that same vein, though, I don't love everyone I work with. I just downright don't like some people I work with. But I do what I have to do in order to make the working environment pleasant for myself. If I don't like you, I'm not going to pretend to be your friend or your buddy or try to get on your good side. I just don't care enough and life is too short to try and please people I don't like. Usually ignoring you will work best unless I'm forced to work directly with you then I'll invoke my ability to detach and be civil. It's not impossible. But I'm not about to hug.

Writers like to pull that card with each other. As if writers, even unpublished ones, should never ever say anything bad about another writer, like it's some unwritten rule. But you know what? If I truly, deeply, from the pit of my soul absolutely abhor something another writer or author did (like glorify pedophilia to be romantic, for instance), I'm going to call that author out. I see no reason to be nice to someone that repeatedly shoots themselves in the foot.

While I agree with you that book blogging should be a positive experience and we're only shooting ourselves in our feet when we indulge in rants about stuff going on in the community, there's no reason to make it a total love-in either. If my employer that signs my paychecks can't make me love the people I work with, there's nothing forcing me to love everyone in this community. We are an unregulated bunch and everyone is only responsible to and for themselves. We can start by ignoring the drama that goes on but at the end of the day we're not The Washington Post or The New York Times. And publishers know this. They know this isn't our living and I'm sure they're aware, to some extent, of the gripes that go on in the community. But they also understand our voices are just as powerful, if not moreso, than professional reviewers. As a community we spoke out and got Bloomsbury to re-cover a couple of their books because they were white-washed. They're well aware of the collective power we have. They know who they can go to for reviews and who might not be so great. They're as on top of us as we are (or should be) of the publishing world. But I don't think any of our fellow reviewers are aiming to be at the level of integrity of a NYT reviewer. That's a whole different ballgame that goes far beyond registering for a free blog on Google.

While it's not an excuse for us to act like uncivilized chimps, it also means our standards are different. We're just everyday people that do this for fun. We answer to ourselves and if we do something stupid, we'll pay for it. A few bad apples ruin the bunch, of course, but overall, I don't think we're doing such a terrible job. It's just the ridiculous crap that really is few and far between that sticks longer than all of the good stuff that we do. But that's true of any situation. You just have to work through it.

Pam said...

I have been pushing for a year for education instead of escalation. I find it ridiculous that as bloggers we are attacking one another instead of educating one another in etiquette.

I like to keep my blog honest, so I accept maybe 20% of what I read in a year and library or buy the rest. I am at a point in my life where I can afford to buy any book at any time and I think supporting the author by doing that and then reviewing honestly is more important that an ARC.

I will be at TAC because Mitali is awesome. I shall be there with orange converse on :P

Candace said...

Great topic! I haven't had any issues with other bloggers but I don't spend all day on twitter chatting with people and I'm not really all over the place. I write my posts and I visit the blogs on my blogroll as often as I can. Mostly to read reviews or their IMM's, etc.
I don't accept a ton of ARC's. I turn down most, actually. I just don't have the time to read everything and I only want to read what I WANT to read. I can get a bunch of free books on freecycle if I want free books. I do like to enter contests for my most wished for books though. I can't afford to buy many so winning once in a blue moon is nice.
I hope everyone is playing nice! If not I'm glad I don't know about it! Drama stresses me out!

stiletto storytime said...

Amen to that! One of my biggest pet peeves are "Blogger Cliques"...I think we should all support one another and try to be that positive force in the industry we all know we have the ability to be.
Also Teen Carnival...kudos. Sounds great. As a former public librarian I know how every little bit helps!

Thanks again for the great post,

Kaiden Blake said...

WELL SAID! This post screams "I'm a winner," and you deserve it.