A changing blogging community and some self evaluation

Signficant Elements

Lately I have been pondering this blogging thing.

I started Page Turners in June 2009 with a simple desire to review every book that I read. That's all. Nothing noble. Nothing particularly intellectual either. I just wanted to be reminded of times back in high school when a book became so much more special and enjoyable because of the deeper understanding I gained of it through study.

Once I started, I then discovered the wonderful world of book blogging. I truly felt as though I was part of a community that valued the same things that I did, and valued my participation in it, just as I valued everyone else's contribution to the community. I explored the community by surfing the blogosphere, joining memes, starting a few memes of my own and slowly getting to know more and more people. I was familiar with a lot of people's blogs and a lot of people were familiar with mine.

That sense of community still exists out there and I am very grateful for it.

All the same, I can't help but notice the changes that have occurred over the last couple of years. Lately, people seem to have an increasingly directed approach to their blogging. People now seem to blog about particular genres or for a particular audience. There are classics blogs, YA blogs, crime blogs. These more targeted blogs have always existed, but 2 years ago there just didn't seem to be the same quantity that there is now.

Don't get me wrong – I think that this is a great thing. If I am looking for a good crime book to read, I can have a look at my favourite crime blog. If I am looking for a good science fiction book to read, I can have a look at my favourite science fiction blog.

In the face of this change, I have begun to consider more critically my own blogging experience.

Lately I have noticed things like my reviews are only getting 2 – 6 comments instead of 12 – 15 or sometimes more. My followers have remained steadily at around 264 for the last few months instead of growing gradually as they did in the past. I am not discovering many new blogs and there seems to be a decreasing amount of posts in my blogger dashboard Reading List.

These things aren't necessarily bad things except that I can't help but wonder how they reflect my participation in the book blogging community and what I want from that participation. 
Alexander Technique
My reading has no direction; unless reading what I am in the mood for can be considered a direction. My blogging equally has no particularly direction or target audience. I can't help but wonder much this is a factor in the stagnant followers or my decreasing volume of comments. The sense of community I once felt is slowly slipping away and I feel as though my inability to change in the face of a changing blogging community is to blame.

I admire blogs with direction and a purpose, who write for a target audience and build up a large community around their blog. I equally admire readers who are reading with a goal or focus and not just whatever comes to hand.

I no longer want my blogging just to be a record of what I have read. I want it to be something more than that. I want something more from my reading as well. I just can't identify what that something 'more' is.

A good starting place might be to get back into some solid memes and find some fabulous new and refreshing blogs to follow in the hopes that it will inspire my own development.

From there who knows? I am a directionless blogger and reader looking for some direction in a changing online community. This is where my journey has lead me and who knows where I will end up.


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