Shannon Stacey

Blogger's cramp…again

What to blog about today…

Over the last few months I’ve seen a lot of opinions about blogs. Authors don’t do enough promo or talking about their work. Authors do too much promo and come off as a commercial for their books. Authors are too snarky. Authors aren’t snarky enough. Opiniated authors are too focused on current event issues. Shallow authors don’t focus on current event issues. And cliques are a problem.

What’s a blogger to do?

I have no idea about the clique thing. I think, like most bloggers, I have a circle of friends that predates blogging and even publication, so we tend to be around for each other. But I go to lots of different blogs and lots of people have come here, so I don’t know if I’m part of a clique or not. But I do think that large groups of people will slowly settle into smaller groups in order to socialize. I think it’s a bigger problem on yahoogroups than blogs, but that’s just my experience.

As for what to blog about…

My very, very unscientific method of comparing stats with entries let’s me say that people who come to my blog:

* Prefer funny, dumbass Shannon to deep, contemplative Shannon.

* Prefer to read about my conversations with invisible characters than about my thoughts on craft or industry.

* Are big fans of the Smart Bitches

* Prefer funny to ranty by a small margin. (Can you sense the pressure to do a really funny rant? *g*) Nothing kills funny faster than trying to be funny.

What does this tell me?

1. Doing a hilarious, pissy rant about the Smart Bitches would give great traffic. :lmao:

2. I’ve just gotta be me.

I do need to do up a page about my contest though, before the Goddess of Promo slaps me upside the head.

11 comments to “Blogger's cramp…again”

  1. Karen Templeton
      · October 11th, 2005 at 1:59 pm · Link

    I’ve had my blog about two months now. Since I don’t have a stats page for it, I have no idea who’s really reading it (um, I’m not exactly being flooded with comments, which means either nobody’s visiting, they’re very shy, or my entries are so boring people are falling asleep). :shrug:

    And I’m still of two (if not more) minds about them. Or rather, I’m conflicted about this push to be up-close-and-personal with our readers. Frankly, as much as I enjoy the outlet to occasionally babble on about this and that, I don’t enjoy the pressure to be sociable when I’m not really feeling that way (much as I do IRL). And then there’s that whole fine-line issue of entertaining readers without alienating them. God knows, our work can tick them off as it is (like the reader who told me she’d never read another one of my books because the heroine made some comment about “acting like a blonde”). So the last thing *I* want to do is risk sending more of them away because they decide they don’t like me. :cry:

    So I deliberately avoid divisive issues or industry rants (although I might read others’ comments on same — I am human, after all). I try to keep moaning to a minimum, and keep it light. And the most private things about my life stay private. Amusing anecdotes about the kids are one thing; long diatribes about grandma’s gall bladder operation (if I had a grandma, with or without a gall bladder) are off-limits. Well, unless I could mine it for humor, in which case I might rethink that particular stand.

    As for the clique thing, I don’t really see that as even an issue. Bloggers are going to naturally attract a group of readers who enjoy their particular voices and style of blogging. And chunks of those groups may indeed frequent other blogs with connections to the first blog(ger). No big deal, as far as I can tell.

    I do realize that the snarkier blogs probably get more traffic. But a snarky reader blog (and by “snark”, I’m talking commentary that takes anyone and everyone to task, whether it’s gleefully ripping a book to shreds, lighting into politicians or lambasting the industry) only risks losing readers to his or her blog; a snarky author, however, risks losing the people who ultimately pay for her kids’ college education. Not someplace this author wishes to go, thank you.

    And BTW, Shan — I love, love, love your convos with your characters. Almost as much as your EOM search phrase commentary. :wink:

  2. Charlene T
      · October 11th, 2005 at 4:22 pm · Link

    I’m with you, Shannon. I think my most popular blog entry was Dick and Jane do Hemingway!

    And Karen makes an excellent point; authors who snark have more to lose than blog traffic.

    I still enjoy my blog, but some days I’m not up to being witty and entertaining, or if I am, it goes into my WIP instead of my blog. Which is where it belongs, if I have to pick one. I have actually been considering switching to weekly or twice-weekly blogs and making them more entertaining, instead of the daily drivel.

  3. Shannon
      · October 11th, 2005 at 8:29 pm · Link

    I’m one of those naughty people who fall into the habit of reading, but no commenting. :oops: Half the time somebody’s already’s said what I would say and I hate sounding like a parrot.


    No, Penguin. I said parrot.

    Anyway…I still think my blogging feeds my writing. Happy blogging actually inspires my writing, so I don’t think it takes away from it.

    But there are definitely days, like Charli has, where I don’t feel entertaining. You can usually spot those days because I link to other conversations. Kinda like “I’m not interesting today, but so-and-so is”. :nod:

    I’ve discovered that I don’t really have the heart for big rants anymore. They require so much energy. But I might have little ones now and then. :nod:

    (like the reader who told me she’d never read another one of my books because the heroine made some comment about “acting like a blonde”).

    Oversensitive much? Goodness. What would life be without blonde cracks? (Says the brunette :rofl:)

  4. Charlene T
      · October 11th, 2005 at 9:09 pm · Link

    Dear God. My current story starts with a blond joke! :shock:

  5. Karen Templeton
      · October 11th, 2005 at 9:53 pm · Link

    Hey, Charlene — you want her name? (I’ve got her e-mail around here somewhere. . .). You could send her a note, warn her she probably won’t like your book, either. Because, y’know, having a SMART blonde heroine make a crack about herself is obviously the same as a racial slur or insulting someone with a physical challenge (yes, she said that.):roll:

    One of the highlights of my career, lemme tell ya.

  6. Shannon
      · October 11th, 2005 at 10:23 pm · Link

    I’m anxiously awaiting my first :rant: letter from a lodge-attending, narcoleptic sheriff. :nod:

  7. Anna Lucia
      · October 12th, 2005 at 2:56 am · Link

    I’ve just gotta be me :cheer:

  8. Ellen Fisher
      · October 12th, 2005 at 7:22 am · Link

    I must admit, I don’t understand the clique criticism. I’ve been blogging for a year now, and if I’m part of a clique, I haven’t noticed. I’d love to be part of a clique. Can someone tell me how to go about attracting a clique to my blog??:crazy:

    Hmmm. Anyway. I blog because I like to blog. I’m not sure if anyone reads my ramblings or not, but I’m going to continue to blog, because I like doing it. And Charlene T, please don’t switch to a weekly format… I like reading your blog every day!

  9. Charlene
      · October 12th, 2005 at 8:16 am · Link

    Ellen, all you have to do is put in one of those “clique here” links. :rofl:

    Sorry. It was there. I couldn’t resist. I don’t understand the clique thing, either, really. I think like minds tend to congregate and possibly people who see that take it for more than it is. I haven’t seen any cliques myself.

    Karen could start a clique for people who tell blond jokes. I’ll join. :nod:

  10. Ellen Fisher
      · October 12th, 2005 at 1:46 pm · Link

    *Hurls rotten tomatoes at Charlene*:whip::lmao:

  11. Karen Templeton
      · October 12th, 2005 at 5:26 pm · Link

    Clique here


    Yeah, a clique for people who tell blond jokes. I like it. Or then, it could just be a clique for writers who have ever offended a reader.

    Which would make it the world’s first all-inclusive clique. :eyebrow:


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