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BBAW 2009: The Devil’s Advocate Post

September 14, 2009

I want to play Devil Advocate for a second, and I want to ask if the community of book blogging is intrinsically elitist.

Now, I think this question is loaded and I’m going to tread carefully because I don’t want to come across as a narcissistic arsehole. I would like to say the bloggers I have met have been nothing but lovely people. However, is there a certain amount of group mentality involved that makes interaction somewhat strained. I think there is; in the someway it’s difficult to enter a group of friends. It’s the nature of blogging and life that people will generally only talk to you if you go to them. Of course, it might not always be the case but generally, people expect you to talk to them first.

So, does this mean book blogging is elitist; well, no more than any community. Now, do I think bloggers in the community should integrate newbies more? Yes and no, I think it’s both the newbie and the community that should both play a part. You can’t expect to have it one way without any help on your side.

Is BBAW elitist; well, in some ways it is. It’s the nature of awards that it will somewhat garnered to people who are more integrated into the community than someone who isn’t. However, this is a case of being out ‘there’ otherwise no one will know who you are. I think that it’s the events of BBAW and not the awards that are the important part; the awards are a nice addition. Although, awards can sometimes perpetuate the myth that X is better than Y. That’s why I’m not that interested in giving a list of bloggers who didn’t make the shortlist. If I like your blog then I’ve commented on it. It’s the same reason why I don’t have a blogroll. Of course, on the other hand it’s a way of bringing more blogs to the attention of the wider blogosphere.

I care more about the fact that this week will bring more people into the community of book bloggers, because it is a community; I see the same people generally post in the same blogs. That’s the whole point of a community. So, it’s important to have group events where it becomes easier for strangers to play a part.

So, ultimately do you think book blogging can be elitist or that it’s more complex than that?

I’ve just realised this isn’t much a Devil’s Advocate argument, as I don’t agree or disagree. You can’t fall on the side of blogging being elitist nor can you do the same with it’s open to everyone. There are more factors involved other than a simple yes or no. Also, it appears that I’ve argued with myself. Heh.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2009 5:38 pm

    I don’t have a blogroll, as I feel that leads to people feeling left out, but I have loved going round the blogging world today and discovering people’s favourite blogs. Everybody has their own favourites and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. We will all chose different ones because we all have different taste in books and different preferences about which review types we like.

    I have added quite a few blogs to my reader today and am really happy to have discovered some amazing new ones. This community building is so much more important than those awards and hopefully everyone can participate and feel more involved.

    In answer to your question I don’t think blogging is elistist. Everyone seems really welcoming. I love book bloggers!

  2. September 14, 2009 5:51 pm

    And fine job of arguing with yourself you have done! 🙂 While I’m sure there are elitists out there, I don’t think the community is elitist as a whole. I think most bloggers are very welcoming to newbies and will happily assist them in feeling they are part of the community. I have wondered about what appears to be some “clique-ishness” (Is that a word?), but I’ve come to believe that it is more a comfort level thing than an exclusionary thing. There are so many book blogs out there that there is no way to keep up. We, or at least *I*, tend to return again and again to favorites to ward off the feeling of being overwhelmed. I know there are a ton of great blogs I’m missing, but there is only so much time in the day.

    As for the awards, you’re a brave one to bring that up! 🙂 I like the awards, but in all reality, I think they unintentionally bring a level of competition that leaves a lot of bloggers feeling bad rather than celebratory of everyone’s hard work. I would never suggest *not* having them, because, as I said, I like them, but I can see why many people would not feel the same way.

    Lezlie

  3. September 15, 2009 4:20 am

    I tend to agree with the others that the community as a whole isn’t elitists. I do think that there are some bloggers who feel they are holier than thou, but I simply stay away from them. Funny thing is, I think they’re probably the more popular bloggers. Whatever. 😛

    One thing that I do see in the book blogosphere is different circles of bloggers hanging out at each other’s place. For me, this stems from a time issue. I don’t branch out to new bloggers like I did when I was a new blogger. I have such troubles as it is just finding the time during the day to get onto the computer to say hi. I really wish I had more time to branch out more, but it’s hard–instead I add new blogs to my reader as they stumble upon my blog. But I’m always eager to meet new people and add them to my evergrowing Google Reader list.

    The awards? I think they cause more trouble than good. People take them too seriously and get their feelings hurt too quickly (or let the awards go to their heads). Like Lezlie, I’d rather not go there…

  4. September 19, 2009 11:52 pm

    You raise an interesting question. I didn’t know about the community until I somehow stumbled across Booking Through Thursday…that’s how I “met” a lot of book bloggers. But if I didn’t know they existed, the same holds true for them…how would they know about me unless I reached out?

    I don’t think we’re elitist, I just think it’s hard to find people on the internet (well, it can be easy, too…but I hope you know what I’m trying to say). Anyways…that’s why I love BBAW…I’m exposed to book bloggers that I would have never otherwise come across.

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