Friday, June 19, 2009
Welcome to the Bloggiesta!
Are you ready for a mini-challenge? This one is about making connections. One of the wonderful things about blogging is connecting with other bloggers. While other people may look at us askance when we talk about our blogging friends, those in the book blogging community have discovered that our fellow bloggers can truly become “kindred spirits.”
Since reading is such a solitary occupation, blogging offers us an opportunity to reach out to others with similar interests. If you’re not in a book group and want to discuss the ending to that last book you read, blogging can provide that opportunity. If the people around you don’t share your taste in reading, you’re bound to find someone in the blogosphere with similar tastes who will love you forever for your recommendations. Bloggers can tell of the virtual conversations they have had about books, authors, book festivals, genres, childhood reads, libraries, new cars, children and even pregnancy. While we might occasionally digress from our shared love of books and reading, it is these common bonds that draw us together.
It may feel awkward initially to leave a comment on a stranger’s blog. I’m sure we’ve all felt hesitant, had that fleeting thought of “this person’s going to think I’m a total dork.” But oftentimes, you leave a comment and before you know it, they’ve returned the favor, you chat a bit, and voila, you discover that you’ve made a new friend.
Beyond our shared love of books and reading, I would argue that what really makes us a community is our discourse. For new bloggers, it’s necessary to reach out and connect with other bloggers in order to get traffic to your own site. Consider your blog as an extension of yourself. If you want people to talk to you (leave comments on your blog) you have to be willing to engage and talk to others (leave comments on other blogs). Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as “blog it and they will come.” It takes effort, people!
So for this mini-challenge, I (actually, it’s Natasha’s idea, I’m just channeling her for the moment) challenge you to seek out 10 (yes, ten!) new blogs (from the list of bloggers who signed up for the Bloggiesta) and leave a thoughtful comment on their blog. Saying “Just popping in to say hey ‘cause Softdrink told me to” ain’t gonna cut it for this challenge. Find a book review that intrigues you and tell them why. Look for something you have in common and chat about it. Ask them a question about their blog design. You get the idea, right? Be original…be engaging…be yourself!
After you have visited ten (10!) blogs and left the most awesome comments in the history of blogging, come back here and leave a comment on this post telling me you completed your homework. Extra credit for mentioning a few of the blogs you visited (okay, not really on the extra credit part, but I’ll think it’s really cool if you introduce me to some new blogs). Your comment will enter you in one of the sponsored giveaways that will be given out after Bloggiesta is done. So you have from now until 8am Sunday morning (your time) to complete this mini-challenge.