Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Community

I have long been in doubt if I should write this post, or any of the ones that will follow during the course of this week. My personal deliberations about the posts in the upcoming days will be discussed when the time comes. For today, it has to do with how self-conscious I feel about blogging relationships ever since the BBAW awards ceremony commenced. First, I want to say that I very much appreciate the efforts of the organisers. Amy is among my favourite bloggers. But I do feel awards can lead to disappointment, and the last few weeks while I was on twitter I have seen numerous tweets that exclaim disappointment on not being nominated, feeling no one remembered them, or on not making the short list. I was among one of the bloggers who did not make the short list, and I was disappointed. Not so much for not making the short list – all bloggers on the short list for best eclectic book blog are amazing & do a much better job than me. For me, it was the realisation that you put yourself in a vulnerable position when you accept a nomination: you allow your blog posts to be judged by other bloggers on their quality compared to other blogs. This means taking a risk. And then, thinking about it, I realised that in a way, this is what we bloggers do all the time: we put our thoughts out there, sometimes very private thoughts, always part of our personality how ever much we try not to let it shine through (depending on the sort of blogger you want to be), to be commented on by other bloggers, to be either liked or disliked by readers, to acquire thousands of followers or perhaps only a handful – but all people who like your blog enough to click the follow button.

So here’s the thing: in a week that should be about community, should I really single out certain bloggers, knowing I will always forget a few? Should I risk the chance of (perhaps) hurting their feelings when in the weeks before this one, there has been some division and hurt already over the process of award selection? I have a lists of blogs special to me. I could write it up – no problem. And I know that this may be the safest environment to do so – in a week when everyone will acknowledge a blog special to them. So, any imbalance may be resolved. I feel weird not acknowledging those I want to acknowledge. But I feel self-conscious doing so as well. So there you have it – I just don’t know who to mention and who to leave out. Basically, I want to thank each and every one of you. For having the courage to post each day. For persevering even after feeling a little left out at times. For making conscious decisions to quit blogging because it does not feel right for you anymore (I miss you every day while I respect your decision). For being there. For posting, for talking books, for friendships and friendly discussions and teaching each other.

This year, I will not feature any specific bloggers. I simply feel too self-conscious about it. But I do hope you know who you are. And that, even if we have never met before – I am sure we can find something to appreciate in each other.

44 responses to “Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Community

  1. I respect and see a lot of wisdom in your post-I choose to single out two bloggers that have kept me going for 2 years now and I felt bad I did not lost 25 more

    Hi, I am stopping by to visit your blog via the list of posts for Day one

  2. I found it very difficult to single out bloggers too, Iris. I think I found a way around it in my post, but I agree it’s not really nice to do.

    With regards to nominations: yes, I think you make yourself a little vulnerable that way, but do remember that in the world all around you, a nomination (or not) means nothing. For all kinds of reasons people get nominated or not, and these may not always be the right reasons in your eyes, or mine. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not important.

    Have a good BBAW week!

  3. shelleyrae@ Book'd Out

    I am glad to find new bloggers to follow through the BBAW community posts – including you :)

    Shelleyrae @ book’d Out

  4. I understand your feelings and that is one of the reasons I no longer have a blogroll on my blog – I’d hate to make anyone feel bad by not including them. I also agree that the awards process upsets a few people and in many ways I wish it didn’t exist. It is the BBA Week that is wonderful. I love the way everyone comes together this week to share their love for blogging – I always end up discovering a lot of fantastic new blogs. I hope you manage to find a few new ones to follow.

  5. That is a lovely post Iris, and I entirely agree with the sentiments

  6. I couldn’t choose either, so I used the idea of looking for your first commenter. I’m not too bothered by the awards because often I look at the short list (and sometimes the long list too) and I’ve not heard of the blogs or I wonder why so-and-so hasn’t made it because their blog is fantastic. But I do like this week and the way it can introduce you to new people.

  7. Me too:) Sometimes blogging can get a bit too much but it’s important to remember why you blog (so I tell myself). I have to say I’ve gotten to know some incredible bloggers virtually and in real life and I’m always impressed by their dedication and passion and I enjoy reading their posts. And I think Jackie has a point, although my blog roll is more so that others can find blogs I like but I always forget to update it.

  8. Like I told you yesterday, thank you for writing this, Iris, and for putting some of my own thoughts to words better than I ever could have. I hope everyone enjoys BBAW and takes the wonderful opportunities to make new friends it provides.

  9. When preparing my post I had the same problem…just too many fabulous bloggers to single out. Instead I posted about a couple of bloggers who for personal reasons have left our community and whose absences I have felt. I am however enjoying visiting blogs that are new to me, which makes me very aware of just how many special people make up our wonderful community.

  10. well said iris I hate highlighting people as so many I like out there ,all the best stu

  11. What a great post. I’m glad you wrote this, because I may sit out some of the bbaw topics (including this one) for the reasons you mention. I’m not sure how I could begin to write something up for today…do I write something about the blogs that inspired me in writing my own blog? the bloggers I feel closest to? And whoever I wrote about, there would be so many blogs I’d be forgetting, then remember later and want to add on till I had a post about 20 or 25 bloggers.

  12. Great Post Iris, & like yourself I ummmmed & arrrghed about this for a while before deciding to go back & check my earliest comments to see those that were there at the start & are still There. Of course there are those you’ve met since those earliest times when you seemed to be a voice whispering into a void & there is a fantastic group of bloggers who I’m close with now but I focused on the birthing moments of my blog.

  13. See, I told you yours was a well-known blog (look at all the comments already!). I hope you have a good time this week with the rest of the posts :)

  14. Iris, you will always be on my short-list. If that helps! People always end up getting their feelings hurt in this process and that makes me sad. I did feature two bloggers today, but ones that have become more than blogging acquaintenances. I hope that doesn’t hurt anyone, as if I had to make a comprehensive list of my favorites, it would contain 50 or 60 blogs. You would be one of them. Thanks for expressing your thoughts!

  15. I understand your point. But that is the problem with every thing where choice is required: some would be left out. I enjoy what I do because I do it first for myself and in doing so I try to give myself what others would like.

    I do really enjoy reading your blog.

  16. Excellent post, Iris! I couldn’t possibly single out just a few bloggers either,

  17. Glad you decided to post today and your post was thought provoking.

    I could not acknowledge just a handful of blogs. I have pointed folks in the direction of several blogs from the honours list and made folks aware of all the blogs I follow, they are all important to me.

    have a great week, Iris


  18. What a great post, Iris. I felt the same way about today’s topic. I didn’t want to pick out just one or two bloggers so I almost didn’t post anything at all today. In the end I just posted a general thank you to everyone.

  19. I felt a bit self conscious about singling out bloggers too….and I haven’t drafted a post for today…but maybe I’ll do a old and new favorites post next week to make up for it!

    I appreciate your blog, Iris. Thanks for putting your self out there.

  20. Great post, Iris! I totally share your sentiments. :)

  21. Iris, thank you so much for posting this. You have managed to say the things I have been thinking about BBAW since mid-summer.

  22. Really great post Iris. I agree, so difficult to single people out and I’m already thinking of so many who weren’t on my lists. :(

  23. I’m very glad that you ended up writing this post. I almost didn’t participate in the entire week because the awards portion started it off on the wrong foot. But then I started thinking about the things I loved about the bloggers I interact with and none of those things were based on competition or awards or anything. So that’s why I just sent out some love today. I couldn’t include everyone but I could at least get some of it out there!

  24. What a fantastic post. I wasn’t shortlisted either and was surprised that I was so disappointed. I have told myself to love what I do have and that is a small group of consistent commenters that enjoy the same genre, books, authors I do. Sometimes it is a hard lesson to just appreciate what you already have.

  25. “Basically, I want to thank each and every one of you. For having the courage to post each day. For persevering even after feeling a little left out at times. For making conscious decisions to quit blogging because it does not feel right for you anymore (I miss you every day while I respect your decision). For being there. For posting, for talking books, for friendships and friendly discussions and teaching each other.”

    This is so very classy and genuine, Iris, and so very needed – thank you for saying it.

  26. I’m glad that you decided to write your community post or I would not have found your blog today. I think you will find a lot of agreement about the awards portion of the week. Lots of disappointment surrounding them. I am looking forward to discovering new blogs such as yours!

  27. Lovely post, Iris. It’s always so difficult to expose oneself to the risk of failure or rejection. Although mine is unrelated to BBAW, that’s something I’m feeling very keenly myself right now, so I very much appreciated and related to your post. I’m glad you take those risks and I value your contribution to our little corner of the internet. :-)

  28. Oh my. This post was so eloquently articulated, and so heartfelt that I felt I needed to reply. It takes a special type of blogger to be able to so honestly relate these types of feelings without alienating or harping on others, and I respect and admire you for saying all the things that so many out there feel right now. No matter who you are, you want to be appreciated and recognized in your community, and when you are not, it can sting quite sharper than you might have initially thought it would. I thought about giving a list of all the blogs I read and then doing one sentence of why I love their blog, but in the end I didn’t, because someone would have been forgotten, and I would have lost sleep over not having mentioned someone. I just wanted to say that it was very courageous for you to have posted this, and to tell you that your tact and spirit really impressed me today. I am not going to be a lurker any longer.

  29. I definitely respect your decision, Iris, and appreciate your careful and honest explanation of why you made it. I have never thought of blogging as such a vulnerable activity, but you are absolutely right — it is. I did not list specific bloggers in response to this topic, either, but for much less clearly formed reasons than yours. Thank you for sharing this post, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of BBAW :-)

  30. I so love your thoughts here, Iris….you put many of my thoughts very eloquently into this post :) *hugs*

  31. Such well-expressed thoughts, Iris, and I very much understand your reservations. Personally, I think the nicest recognition is commenting and linking throughout the year, and that’s what I like to focus on.

    Jenny and I got around the problem by choosing a particular theme that only a handful of bloggers would fit, so others would be less likely to be hurt. And it has been heartening for me to see over the past couple of BBAWs that the love does get spread pretty widely–there’s been a wonderful variety of blogs mentioned today.

  32. This is a really lovely post and I totally understand your sentiments. I’m not very good at making choices like this either! I know awards are meant to be a celebration of sorts but it is all so very subjective–there will always be more excluded than included.

  33. I think you put this very well, Iris. I worried a lot about choosing just a few bloggers to talk about when there are so many that mean a lot to me. What I do like about doing this, though, is that it gives me a chance to get to know other blogs. The vast number of blogs out there is so overwhelming it’s sometimes hard to know which blog to read. But when a blogger I love mentions a blog they love I nearly always go check it out because I trust their opinion. I found so many of my favorite blogs this way – through the blogs I already know and love. In a strange sort of way, it makes me feel a little closer to these people I don’t even know!

    Thanks for taking the time to write this, and for stopping by my blog! Have a wonderful week :)

  34. This is the most beautiful post Iris. So well-written and thoughtful…

    After reading so many posts today, I feel this incredible urge to be more vocal in appreciating those bloggers I do love and cherish on a more regular basis. I think that is more important for us all to take note of than any of the other nonsense, awards included. :)

    Thanks for writing this and being so inspirational.

  35. I went back and forth on this myself and I completely respect you for both going with your gut and talking about it here. I have opted out of the awards the past two years, because I was heavily involved in the behind-the-scenes work, and this year didn’t get nominated. To me, this is something different. This is sitting down and embracing what this community means to me. I know that I could never name all the bloggers who have made this community so wonderful. I think a lot of good comes out of this too, hopefully more good than sadness. Like Emily said, this is a way for people to find new blogs. But beyond that, it’s such an outpouring of love for the community, by the community. I still agree with a lot of what you said here and I worried so much this morning about whether or not I’d be hurting someone’s feelings. In the end, like you said, blogging is a vulnerable thing. We’re all putting ourselves out there.

  36. So very well said. I think a lot of us mean it when we say that we value each blog we visit, no matter how occasionally. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t be back.

  37. I think this is an extremely thoughtful, well-written and honest post, Iris. I am able to relate to a lot of it. I didn’t single out bloggers for reasons similar to your own and some others including for me it smacks of high-school cliques and favoritism etc. and I would feel terrible if I was the source of disappointment for a blogger I forgot to name. Besides, so many bloggers contribute to my love of this community I feel no need to name just a few!

  38. I agree that it’s crazy hard to choose. Although, I’m not saying my picks are the best blogs. Just fun ones to check out. Also, I must tel you that I REALLY like your blog!!

  39. I really love your thoughts on this. I was feeling the same way. There are bloggers I love that list their fav blogs and you’re always a bit disappointed to realize they didn’t think of you. But what BBAW is really about is finding new blogs and appreciating the hard work that people put into them every week.

  40. *snug* I’m adding my voice to the chorus of people who understand your feelings about these topics. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of interesting new comments to add to what people’ve said already. I just wanted to add another voice to those who’ve felt similar and to those who think your post was an eloquent, clear, and courageous. (I’m bound to have missed out adjectives. Pretend I haven’t?)

  41. Wonderful post, and, #hug, I appreciate you. I think your blog is wonderful. :)

  42. Jackie wrote: I understand your feelings and that is one of the reasons I no longer have a blogroll on my blog

    I also deleted my blog roll this year for the same reason – I subscribe to over 300 blogs and there is really no way to include them all in my sidebar – so I chose to have none there.

    On the other hand, I was nominated for an award and did not make the short list either which was initially a little disappointing until I really looked at those blogs I was up against – and then I realized how really amazing they all were, and how many more deserving blogs were not even on the long list…and then I felt just lucky to be part of such an great group of bloggers. So, I think awards can make people feel “left out” but I also think we should put it all in perspective too. There are hundreds of blogs…it is very, very hard to acknowledge them all.

    I actually like when bloggers highlight a few blogs in their posts because I have found some great blogs that way (yours included!!!)…I chose to acknowledge two blogs who have been commenting on my blog since its inception – it was more of just a shout out to say “thanks” for their patronage. But, I do understand when bloggers feel uncomfortable singling any one particular blog out.

  43. Pingback: The Sunday Salon: Sometimes All You Need are a Few Kind Words | Iris on Books

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