There were 64 responses.
"I legit love the community but I completely agree, it is growing increasingly bitter as of late. The drama, the jealously, the complaints, the nitpicking ... I ignore the majority of it but I'm sure it doesn't reflect positively on the community as a whole."
"I haven't seen much of the 'community' aspect, to be honest. I comment on a lot of blogs, and happily and willingly do so, but it's a little disheartening to see that no-one (including you) check out mine. I know it's not something I should expect, but I know that courtesy demands it sometimes. I think that unless you have a big reading base, you're a nobody. And that sucks."The thing is, commenting on blogs doesn't mean the bloggers are going to automatically come to your blog, and this is something I discussed in a post a while ago. I understand it must be disheartening - trust me, I've been there! - but there are other ways you can attract people to your blog, and the fact that you're taking the time to comment on other blogs is a really nice thing to do! I don't know who you are because this survey was anonymous, but if that's you then let me know. Just because I don't comment often doesn't mean I'm not reading your blog! :)
"I love it mostly... but then there's all the plagiarism, jealously etc and it just bugs me. If I have a bad day I look to the community to maybe cheer me up a bit. A lot of the time, this happens and is awesome. But then other times, I see someone be mean, and I just have to turn away :("
"I love it and it's mostly always a really nice place. Though I have seen plagiarism and competitiveness which I don't really understand!"
"I love being part of the book blogging community. But I know I feel a bit cut off from everyone else and I feel this may be because I don't have as many followers as everyone else. There are bloggers that have been lovely, like you. But some have really made me feel left out several times."
"Most of the people I talk to are very nice. I like everyone and I have no problem. Of course, deep inside I get a bit jealous like damn I wish I had that ARC, but I won't tell them of course. I'm glad they received it and I will definitely check out their review on the blog. I look up to some big bloggers of course."
"As a whole, I think it's a wonderful place. However, there are a couple of handfuls of people who cast a negative light upon it. Like you said, blogger jealousy is a huge deal to some people, and it really messes with the happy atmosphere on Twitter. I've started to unfollow people who cause or shout about drama, because I just can't be bothered with it. Same goes for those who complain about people who comment on their blog, for whatever reason, and people who complain about other people receiving ARCs that they didn't. I find some people's attitudes to be very childish and they also come across as spoiled and entitled. But, like I said, I love the book blogging community as a whole, and I have met some of the best people. It's just a shame that the minority sometimes overshadow those who are awesome."
"Your right, it's bitter and it's good someone finally did a post on it. The community can be nice but it can also be quite mean..."
"Like any large community, there is a great deal of positive aspects with a smaller percentage of negatives. I think we should continue to have conversations about negativity but not overly focus on it."You're right, and I hope no one thinks I was overly focusing on the negativity. It's become so bad, from what I've seen, that I felt something needed to be said. And I'm balancing the negativity with my blog notes project, so it's cool, right?... ;D
"I've become discouraged with the blogging community. I find it hard to interact with the other bloggers who've been blogging for so much longer. I don't really know... This community doesn't seem like one giant supportive family is all."I know what you mean. Bloggers who have been blogging for a really long time seem intimidating, and it does feel like they're in a whole other league. Even I feel a bit intimidated by long-time bloggers sometimes and I've been blogging for ages! But maybe that's just me being socially awkward. xD
"I adore it. But I agree that too many people are trying to 'run' the community and act as though they are the most important one."
"I started my blog 9 months ago. Most book bloggers (basing on Twitter which I use most) are lovely and supportive with re-tweeting my reviews and interacting etc. There are a few (mostly more experienced bloggers) who are a little bitchy and whiny about people copying ideas, posting reviews too early etc. There are only so many variations on a blog and no-one owns an idea! I would never knowingly copy somebody but it annoys me that there is so much bad feeling and spiteful comments around."For me, this was one of the most thought-provoking answers. If someone's copying your ideas, it's not good to be bitchy but if someone took something you'd been working on, you wouldn't be all happiness and rainbows. I too have seen people telling others when to post reviews. Post them whenever you want! It's your blog. Unless you have a deadline or blog tour or something where you have to post it on a certain day, I don't see why anyone would get irritated over someone posting a review too early or too late.
"I love the book blogging community, I seriously don't know where I'd be without it."
"I see the connections and bonds people form over twitter and other blogs, I just wish I could be a part of that too. I have followers, but no one ever participates or responds to my posts/tweets."
"I like it in general, I just wish people would be less confrontational and not gossip about others in public places where they know the subject can find it and probably will. That just seems mean."Oh, do I relate to this! Not long after I published the survey on my blog, I switched over to Twitter and there was a group of bloggers saying quite rude things about it. Ironic, but I let it go. *cue music from Frozen*
"It's fantastic! But I agree there is a lot of competitiveness and showing off especially about ARCs and book hauls. When did book 'hauling' become a thing, anyway? None of us grew up going to the library to bring back a 'haul'! It completely strips reading for fun of its value. It turns it into a competition that can really affect the self-esteem and confidence of other bloggers who /don't/ receive huge stacks of ARCs from publishers every week. It's the same with vlogging as well, where everyone is constantly plugging their videos trying to beat each other to subscriber milestones."
*raises hand* Subscriber counts of other channels made my confidence plummet a few months ago, but I'm over it. I don't think numbers should define a person. Just have fun with whatever you're doing. :)
"I am fairly new to book blogging, only in the last month I have started reading the Mile Long Bookshelf, I found out about you on Cathy Cassidy's Dreamcatcher blog. I enjoy reading the comments on your blog and Dreamcatcher since everyone seems friendly and supportive. I really enjoy the book blogging community as it has helped books become part of my life again and the hobby I love again as I was finding it hard to fit reading in around my endless schoolwork! I'm so glad I discovered the Mile Long Bookshelf!!"*hugs* *gives you imaginary cookies* Thank you! You have no idea how happy it makes me that the book blogging community has helped books to become part of your life again, and it's so good that you've found such a friendly and supportive group of people. I love Cathy's blog too!
"I think it used to be friendlier, but with the influx of people writing reviews on Goodreads that tear apart the author instead of critiquing the book, it's become a place authors may be scared to venture into. I've seen things like reviewers ripping off other people's reviews and publishing them as their own, then those people who stole content remain popular and I just don't understand that. If you don't have time to review 5 books a week, just don't. It's simple."Yes! If you can't read all of your review books, don't worry about it. You NEVER need to resort to plagiarism. Chill out and maybe cut back on the amount of books you request (which is hard, I know!) And you should never rip an author's reputation to shreds. You didn't like their book. Move on and read a different one.
"I love it. It is my happy place. Sure there is some animosity, but this is a large community and it is bound to happen when this many people have an interest. It doesn't bother me at all. If something annoys me, I walk away from it and do something else. My best friends are bloggers and people say nasty crap about us all the time. I've learned to ignore it."
"I think that it's not a new thing for the book blogging community to be very bitter. I've had a book blog for almost 10 years now; the community has always been cliquey and there has always been some kind of drama or other in the community. It seems to come and go in huge waves - at times everyone will love each other, at other times they will be super competitive and be ganging up on other bloggers. Maybe I just feel this because I have always been on the outside of the community, but I've always seen some drama in the community, and don't find it more visible now than it was previously."Woah, ten years! An amazing achievement. Now you mention it, it does seem to come and go in waves.
"cliq-ish and I find it weird that the book blogging community seems to write their blog posts at other bloggers you would think you would be aiming for the blog reader not blog writer."I have noticed that book blogs tend to speak to other book blogs - mine included - and there doesn't seem to be much content aimed at non-bloggers. Then again, if you look at my survey results, only 4 non-bloggers responded. Maybe other blog audiences are mostly other bloggers too. I am going to try to post more for non-bloggers, anyway.
"I really hate it right now. I feel like all/most book bloggers are out for themselves and are so stuck up their own a** that they turn into monstrous demons. It seems like the people that don't get involved with the community at all are the better, more genuine bloggers.
There are a lot of cliques within the book blogging community: the older bloggers, the teen bloggers, the UK bloggers, the YA bloggers. A lot of the time it seems like these cliques stick to themselves, and there's nothing wrong with that. I just wish this supposed 'community' acted like an actual community, not like what seems like a divided group.
From my perspective, there are often times when I notice book bloggers who are up on their high horses and think they're better than everyone else; too good to reply to your tweet; too busy to answer your question; too professional to even notice you. It's intimidating. Should the book blogger community be an intimidating place? No. We talk about books, for God's sakes.
Why are the smaller bloggers with less followers looked down upon by some of the bigger, more established bloggers?This was the other response which really got my attention. The 'cliques' have been mentioned a few times in this post now and I have to agree. This is book blogging. We're a massive community with a shared love of one thing: reading. Obviously there are various little friendship groups within the community which is fine and completely natural, but there really is no need for cliques.
Then there's the plagiarisers, the ones who are are doing it for the free books, the non-genuine blogger. But that's a whole other story...
I just really hate the book blogging community right now. The fake enthusiasm on Twitter. The fake personalities. The fake community."
Yes, I have noticed there are bloggers who don't reply to tweets. If someone takes the time out of their day to tweet me something, whether it's a question, a compliment, or even criticism, I will acknowledge it, and I'm sure most do the same. You could argue that it takes too long to reply to tweets, but it only takes a few seconds. As for the plagiarists being a whole other story...do you mean this one? ;)
I'd just like to add that, as simple as it sounds, we need to remember there are actual people behind blogs. People with feelings. And when most of us only talk to each other online, things can get interpreted the wrong way.
"I think you're right. I believe we, as a community have gotten very jealous and competitive and needs to stop. Blogging is for fun, for the love of books. We need to embrace that, not throw it away."
"I love it! I stay out of any arguments that I see (which to be honest is very rare!) so it's great! I love that I can just talk about books all day long with other people who a) know what I'm talking about, unlike any of my IRL friends, and b) actually want to hear it and won't judge me for it :)"
"I don't really think it is a community. I joined book blogging thinking that it would be a community where we could all be able to talk to each other, instead I'm faced with huge cliques of people which really sucks."
"Yes. I was 'blog shamed' recently when I forgot to put a spoiler alert up for a book in a review... The other blogger wrote a whole post aimed at me which I thought was pretty ridiculous."
"Some people have seemed a bit fake, but I haven't had a specific rough experience (as of yet)."
"There has been times of annoyance and obnoxiousness but other than that, no."
"Yes, both when I was a newbie and now."
"Most people have been lovely, but there are some who have made me feel like I don't belong in the community. There are some who I've tried to talk to and I feel I've been nice to them but they have acted coldly towards me."
"Yes - I've had a bit of a tiff with one blogger on and off for months and we've had spats in the past over various things. Other people I know seem to have a problem with the same blogger so maybe it's not just me."
"Yes, only one person. I was actually a good friend of theirs until they started accusing me of things, and they basically wanted me to get down on my knees and beg to stroke their ego. I didn't, and they haven't spoken to me since. But I think I'm better off for it, I don't need those kinds of people in my life."
"Not to me personally but I've seen friends get down with other bloggers telling them when to post reviews and demanding to know why they are on certain blog tours."
"There are definitely a couple or so of more 'successful'! bloggers who rarely interact with me on Twitter, no matter how friendly I try to be. One in particular seems to be happier sucking up to authors and publishers than interacting with fellow bloggers. I now just ignore them. I find it's generally the newbie bloggers are that the most supportive. It seems that the more experienced ones seem to regard us newbies as competition which is a shame. There is more than enough room in the book world for all of us!"
"Nobody has been directly off with me but my time line on twitter has lately been full of rants or woe is me talk - not wanting to generalise it does tend to be from the younger bloggers. Very sad to read - often want to say 'grow up and get over it' but don't. We're all blogging about the same thing, our love of books, so there is bound to be some cross over of ideas! I've blogged off and on for several years but only started book blogging late last year, never come across this bickering before."
"Slightly, but not as much as what some people have experienced. I just need to point out that many of us blog to escape school, read to escape other people IN SCHOOL, so why turn the blogging community into a hateful classroom of sorts."
"Yes I have come across some bloggers who are just straight up rude and malicious, mostly on goodreads too. And when you visit their blogs they have less than a 100 members and zero comments on anything they post and they bitch about it. Well, if you're unprofessional and think its entertaining to put others down, then of course no one will want to associate themselves with your blog or even on social media. It's very hurtful to tell authors that they should go kill themselves and never write again. Reviews are subjective and criticism should be constructive. If you didn't like a book, say why, but keep that respect in your opinion. As a fellow blogger, I pride myself in writing reviews that don't tear down the author even when I didn't enjoy the book. You just never know how your words will affect someone."
"I've witnessed some bitchiness and jealousy especially when some have gotten books before others or gotten some type of privilege and also known some bloggers make posts about other bloggers trying to provoke people into slating each other. People need to remember that we are not children and don't need to act like children in a playground."
"I find that this year commenting as a whole seems to be a big deal to a lot of bloggers. It seems like a large number of bloggers has made this new rule of "I'm not going to stress out about commenting". Which is completely fine, and I agree that you shouldn't stress out about commenting however a large part of the community is interaction and if that ceases in the form of comments to one and others blogs, where is the community? I am proud of the fact that I comment on at least 25 posts a week in addition to returning and replying comments on my blog, and I enjoy when others do the same however there are bloggers (and for the large part... they are normally bloggers are get a TON of comments, over 20 on each post) that will never, ever return a comment or even reply. It's sad really."
"Thanks for adding positivity into the book blogging world!"
"This is a great place on the internet. But this is a place where we are all here because we like books. I know I'm here because this is a place where I'm not bullied or teased for liking books. But this isn't a place where people should have to feel uncomfortable due to competitiveness or simply because they get more comments and more followers."
"I love the blog notes project you're doing - such a good thing!"
"I completely agree with your whole post xxx"
"I think a lot of us still are the happy and supportive community you remember, we just need to remember that public places like Twitter are public and not the best place to rant about issues with other bloggers since it just continues bad feelings."
"The blog notes project is an AMAZING way to get the book blogging community closer!"
"Thanks for creating the survey - it's about time someone was brave enough to raise these issues."
"Goodreads is a whole other issue! Bloggers on there can get craaaazy."
"I joined book blogging thinking that it would be a community where we could all be able to talk to each other, instead I'm faced with huge cliques of people which really sucks."
EDITED TO ADD: I will be doing a similar survey soon but it will be about what people love about our community. This post ended up being way more depressing than I thought it would, so I feel like sprinkling some happy back onto the blog.
As those in Candor would say: "Thank you for your honesty." Oh yes, I managed to get a book reference in here. *victory dance*
What do you think? Is there anything you would like to add? Have your say in the comments below!