Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Daydreamer's Ramblings: Bloggers Calling it Quits

The Daydreamer’s Ramblings is a semi-regular feature here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. It ranges from discussion posts to rants to raves. I had originally thought of calling it ‘From the Author’s Perspective’, because I feel that I might have a bit of a unique perspective being both an author and a book blogger. Most authors these days are bloggers, but few are book bloggers, so I thought I might take that perspective and talk about issues that bloggers are concerned with, but from the perspective of an author. I might still do that, but it will fall under the umbrella of The Daydreamer’s Ramblings, rather than having a bunch of different features to confuse you all!
 


Over the last month or so, I've known at least three book bloggers who have called it quits. I'm sure there are others, but two of the three I know of were blogs I subscribed to, and they gave explanations for their departure from the book blogging world, while the third blogger dropped off the face of the earth and the only reason I knew about it (even though I read her blog fairly regularly) was because I saw friends talking about it on Twitter.

The common reason for these bloggers deciding to stop blogging was the drama that's been going on around the blogosphere lately - bullying, issues with authors (one ass-hat indie author in particular who seemed to make it his mission to make all indie authors look bad, which seriously pisses me off considering I'm an indie author), and the fact that blogging seems to be becoming a popularity contest. This last thing is something that's been bugging me for awhile now, but I think I'll dedicate a separate post to that in the coming weeks.

All three of these bloggers were quite well known and had thousands of combined followers. They all seemed to have contacts in the publishing industry, because they were part of blog tours, received ARCs on a regular basis, etc. With such huge followings, it was a real shock to see them go. It makes me really sad to see things getting so bad that bloggers are giving up. Blogging is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be a safe place for all of us to come together and share our love of the written word. I've heard countless bloggers say how grateful they are for the blogging community because they don't have friends 'in real life' who are readers. I know that's the case for me personally - I love having a place I can come and talk books since I don't have many friends who are readers, but books are one of my favourite topics of discussion.

But it's getting to the point where it's no longer fun for a lot of people. Bloggers are being harassed, attacked, and bullied by other bloggers, random internet trolls, and authors. How did it come to this? It makes my heart hurt, because I love blogging, I love my blogging friends, and I hate to see that it's getting to the point where bloggers are disappearing because of such nonsense. 
 
Over the past few weeks, I've wondered if the bloggers who quit ever regret their decision, especially if they out-and-out delete their blog rather than just setting it to private. I know how much work I put into my posts - writing them, formatting them, finding or designing graphics, promoting them. I can't imagine throwing it all away. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why some bloggers choose to do that, and I respect their decision, I just can't imagine it coming to that for me, and I pray that it never does. Blogging has been such an amazing outlet for me - getting to talk about books, make amazing friends, make connections within the author/publishing community. I don't know what I'd do without it.

So my question to you is this: have you ever considered giving up blogging? Why? The bs that's going on lately, or personal reasons? I know some people who take regular breaks from blogging - I think you have to in order to stay sane - but is there anything that would make you shut down your blog, delete all your precious posts, and say goodbye for good? What about those people who have scheduled blog tours, receive ARCs, and have good relationships with publishers? It's not fair to continue accepting ARCs if you no longer blog, right? 

So my question to you is this: have you ever considered giving up blogging? Why? The bs that's going on lately, or personal reasons? I know some people who take regular breaks from blogging - I think you have to in order to stay sane - but is there anything that would make you shut down your blog, delete all your precious posts, and say goodbye? What about those people who have scheduled blog tours, receive ARCs, and have good relationships with publishers?

Here's another question for you: if you were to quit blogging, do you feel like you owe your readers an explanation? On the flip side, if one of your favourite bloggers were to stop blogging, do you feel like they should give an explanation? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Have you noticed certain bloggers disappearing? Are you considering joining them? Weigh in below!


15 comments:

  1. Great discussion Marie! I will probably start answering your last questions first (or in whatever order I remember them in). I don't think that anyone *owes* their readers anything. Yes it would be nice to know why someone stopped blogging, but if someone is quitting blogging because they are being attacked and bullied I can honestly see the appeal in just shutting things down and walking away.

    It makes me really sad to see what is happening to book blogging. I don't have the time to engage in as much social networking as I would like, but honeslty from what I've seen these past few months it kind of makes me happy! Maybe the summer heat is driving people crazy but I don't know where all of the jealousy etc. is coming from. It just makes me seek out those drama-free blogs and want to spend a little more time visiting them!

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  3. This is such a great post Marie :)

    I was a frequent 'stalker' of two of the blogs who recently stopped blogging and whilst one gave an explanation (bullying/negativity etc.) the other didn't and although a brief note would have been nice I could understand their actions as well.

    There has been a lot of negativity around the blogosphere lately and I tend to avoid the drama at all costs but it's hard at times when we could all possibly be affected (plus I'm a nosy parker who likes to know what is going on). I am not aware of the 'popularity contest' though so I am eager to read your separate post.

    Blogging is my outlet and after a very difficult beginning to this year it was a way out for me as was reading so it's not something I'll be stopping anytime soon :)

    As for accepting ARC's, honoring tours etc. I personally would advise the publishers of what was going on - I'd feel too guilty accepting anything if I was no longer an active participant in the blogging community, it just wouldn't feel right.

    Thanks for sharing Marie <3

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  4. A great post, and strangely, something I've noticed too over the last few weeks. You're absolutely right, blogging should be a fun, safe place to project ideas and opinions so that others can learn from them and also share their opinions too. I'm not close to giving up, but blogging has become, as you say, a popularity contest lately. I'm planning a blog post myself on a similar subject because I'm a bit fed up with constantly seeing comments on Twitter (usually from the same people) undermining other bloggers for the tiniest of reasons. It's a shame that people feel so intimidated by it that they feel the only solution is to give up.

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  5. I've been so busy between revisions and my grandma that I haven't seen 90% of what is going on here. But from what you are describing, it is certainly a shame and a very sad thing indeed.

    The internet is full of trolls, but if we are talking about trolls who use the same tools for trolling that we, as bloggers, use to promote and spread valuable news, I can see how that would create a new and distinct problem.

    I have read a little about the whole blogger bullying thing and that's just sick and wrong. No one has the right to place peoples' lives in danger for not liking what they write or say. A lesser "wrong" (even if it were one, which it isn't) is not corrected by committing a greater one. When I read about this whole thing, my big fear was someone actually being hurt and governments stepping in to shut down blog hosts all together.

    It may sound melodramatic, but with the insanity I've seen this year -- and as I've said, I'm sure I've only witnessed the tip of the iceberg -- nothing surprises me anymore. (Unfortunately, surprise and sadness are not the same.)

    For what it's worth, I'm not gone, just busy. (Grandma just got told she'll need another six months of chemo. Ugh...)I think I talked to you via e-mail recently, but I just wanted to make that clear. :p

    I hope things are going well for you.

    Kathy

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  6. I just found your blog thanks to someone retweeting the link to this post. Great discussion!

    Personally, I've considered quitting because my blog is so unpopular. And I know people don't read it unless there's a contest going on. Otherwise, I receive little to no visits.

    However, I like posting reviews and being apart of the the community, even if I'm just on the edge of it all.

    As to your last question, I don't think anyone owes their readers an explanation. If someone is having bullying issues, it's probably going to be easier to walk away than to post that one last time. I hate to hear that that's happening! As a victim of bullying offline, it disgusts me that people have to deal with it online too. And on their own blogs! To have their lives threatened over a review… I mean, come on. I worry for the future of blogging, for the majority of us who do this with good intentions.

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    1. Let me correct the first part of my post, since I sound so whiny :P

      My blog is small, which I'm fine with. It doesn't get very many visitors, however, because I don't hold contests frequently. I've held all of two in my two years of blogging and as a result, Im lucky to get two visitors a day. It saddens me, because I feel like I'm speaking to a deaf audience. People just aren't interested in my reviews; they want free stuff. And unfortunately I don't have the resources to provide giveaways all the time. And while I'm fine with receiving a small amount of visitors, receiving one or less a day isn't enough. If this were my job, I'd be bankrupt. It's sad that all most people are interested in is the contests, not the opinions and that's made me want to quit.

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  7. I don't think bloggers are required to give an explanation, but I would be curious to know. I'd like to say goodbye and that I would miss their blog.

    As just an author I am really bummed with seeing bloggers attacked and harassed. It shouldn't be like that. Everyone should feel safe posting their review of a book. It's like so many authors are forgetting that people are going to react differently to their stories and not all those reactions are going to be OMGBBQ THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!11!1!!11! That is no reason to start a fight or threaten someone.

    Where has everyone's sanity gone???

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  8. Interesting post. Of all the social networking that we have to do blogging is my favorite. I have to admit I've missed the hoo-hah that people are talking about, but that's just me - always late to the party. I have noticed a drop in the number of blogs in my reader though. Maybe people don't know what to write about any more - or, as you say, they're scared of trolls.

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  9. I have been thinking about the increase in bloggers quitting a lot lately. For those who have personal matters to attend to, I completely understand, but for those who are being bullied/harassed, that's different. It makes my heart hurt too. I cannot comprehend how people feel that it is okay to post mean or hurtful things on a blog. Sure, I can see one or two idiots that can pop up and be jerks, but that some of these blogs were having a bunch of nasty comments? That just boggles my mind.

    I think the only reason I'd ever have to stop is if something personal came up that was not preventable. And in any case, I would try to come back as soon as possible.

    I'm glad you posted this, I've been wanting to see somebody do so because it has been crazy in the last couple months.

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  10. Blogging is my primary social network and I can't imagine quitting, at least not for a long time. Despite a couple unpleasant bloggers I've encountered, I still enjoy it. Besides, I've built my blog up to the point where I can really help my blogger buddies with features and spreading news of their new books and accomplishments. If I were to quit, I'd feel like I was letting everyone down. And what about the IWSG?
    I'm still having fun, so here's to many more years of blogging!

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  11. Great discussion, Marie!

    Personally, I've never thought about quitting. I think about taking breaks. Often. I actually did take a break for the entire month of May where I just had scheduled posts go up and I only read 2 or 3 books. It felt great.

    These days, with all of the drama floating around, I'm rethinking my reviewing more than anything. I haven't been browsing around NetGalley and I have it up on my policy page that I'm not accepting review books. Part of this is because I own an insane amount of books, and another is because of the drama. I feel like if I read the books I buy with my own money, I can complain about them if I want to. I can also be choosy about indie authors, going by word of mouth, rather than review requests.

    It's sad what's happening in the community right now! I think it would take a lot to make me quit, but I don't have a lot of traffic on my blog, either. I've decided to keep it low and shower my dedicated readers with love and affection, rather than seek out followers, but not necessarily dedicated readers. I haven't seen any hateful comments on my site (heck, even the SPAM is getting polite), and I try very hard to write negative reviews that still have an element of the positive in them AND offer constructive criticism.

    Personally, though, I think if you're going to get caught up in the drama and pick arguments with authors, then you're putting a hole in your own raft. Just like I prefer to keep my real life friends to people who make me happy and fill me with love and hope, I'm going to do the same in the online world. Life's too short to throw myself into the fire of blogging drama.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I'm sorry things for them didn't work out. If it was me and I was being bullied--not okay at school, office or here. I would come back as someone else with a quick email to my favorite peeps.

    What do you think of that bullies of the blogashpere?? hehehe

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  13. Trolling on the internet seems to be getting worse, however, I do think it is a huge shame that some people delete their social media platforms because of the actions of a few mindless idiots.

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  14. Can I just say that I think it's a TERRIBLE shame that we, as a community, are losing so many valued members? It makes me so sad. I've never TRULY considered quitting, but then again, I've never been bullied before. This has always been MY place, MY blog, and OUR community. It just breaks my heart what's happening, and I guess I don't understand the "why" behind the way certain people are acting. :(

    Great post though, girl. And if I was going to quit blogging, I'd absolutely explain myself for my readers.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥
~Marie

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