Hey hey hey! I’m alive!
But I totally just failed my 4-post-a-month goal. F-you, May.
I just started summer classes like 3 weeks ago (with literally no break between the end of spring semester), and the workload took some adjusting to. Then I took a brief little trip. So no blog action except for the 17 drafts I keep working on without actually posting. But I’m back with something cool!
So remember that time when I conducted a book blogger survey for one of my grad school classes? A HUGE thank-you to those who participated; I’m really proud of how my project and paper turned out, and I literally could not have done it without you!
I stated on the survey post that I would not be using the data for anything other than my project and that my professor, TA, and I would be the only ones looking at it. But I did get a lot of interest from people wanting to know what I found, so I decided to write up an overview of my observations from the survey without using any specific response information. I came up with a list of conclusions I made from the data and am happy to share them with you! I’ll go ahead and list my conclusions and then do a bit of musing about what these responses implicate.
People start book blogging because:
- They want to be part of a community/interact with others who like books
- They want to share their love of books
- They want to share their opinions on books
- They saw or knew others doing it
People connect with other bloggers primarily by:
- Reading and commenting on each other’s posts
- Interacting on social media – especially Twitter
People’s favorite things about book blogging are:
- The community
- Finding new books
People’s least favorite things about blogging are:
- How time-consuming it is
- Pressure: to blog with consistency and originality, to read the right books, and to read a lot of books
Blogging changed reading habits by:
- Making people think more critically about what they read
- Making people read different genres out of their comfort zone
- Making people read more in general
The most popular types of posts are:
- Discussion posts
People decide to review a book based on:
- How much they feel they have to say about it
- Most people don’t review every book they read
Bloggers read and review lots of:
- Contemporary fiction
Bloggers read but don’t often review:
Things that are very important to book bloggers are:
- Personal expression
- Interacting with other bloggers
Things that are somewhat important to book bloggers are:
- Discovering new books
- Intellectual stimulation
Things that are not very important to book bloggers are:
- Receiving ARCS
- Professional opportunities/resume building
- Bloggers are more likely to comment when they agree with a post than when they disagree
- Bloggers see positive comments often, respectful disagreements once in a while, and hateful comments rarely
- Book bloggers rarely blog about controversial topics
- They post positive reviews more often than negative reviews
- They generally do not feel they have to blog in a certain way or read certain books to fit in with the community
- They occasionally get tired of seeing the same books being blogged about
- They sometimes decide what to read based off of what’s being blogged about
So this survey doesn’t exactly have a great sample size (50 respondents), and the vast majority of the respondents are my followers who mostly blog on WordPress and mostly have similar reading tastes as me. So one must take these survey results with that information in mind – the results aren’t quite representative of the enormous number and diversity of book bloggers on the internet.
However, as you will probably agree, many of the results are unsurprising and confirm notions that I have expressed and have seen others express in posts regarding book blogging and book bloggers. We are generally a friendly and supportive bunch, but perhaps to a fault – we don’t post as many negative reviews and we certainly stay away from controversial topics. We comment when we agree more often than when we disagree. This is something I’ve blogged about before and I think we could use a good helping of respectful disagreements to make us a more, well, interesting and engaging community. However, I’d much rather be a friendly and supportive community (albeit overly polite) than one with lots of hate and/or drama and/or trolling, which I’ve never seen (though that doesn’t mean it never happens).
I’m also not surprised to see people reading things like children’s lit and nonfiction and classics but not posting about them. I myself get tired of seeing the same books over and over again on my feed, and I love it when I see classics or children’s lit or nonfiction pop up. However, it seems people have also started to read outside of their comfort zones and read more critically because of book blogging. So there’s always a pro to balance out the con.
Overall, I got a sense that blogging can be a stressful activity; keeping up with posting and reading and commenting is time-consuming, as we all know. But the benefits far outweigh the stresses that come with it. We started because we love books and want to share that love with others (my essay was actually all about reading as a social activity through the lens of book blogging). Whatever annoyances we feel from the pressure or the community are small compared to how much we love it. I know that’s how I feel.
So what do you think? Anything surprising, or was it pretty much as expected? What other things have you noticed that I might not have pointed out?
Thanks for reading, and thanks again if you were a survey participant!