Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions (Monday, July 2, 2012)

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme hosted by Tiger from All Consuming Media and Karen from For What It's Worth Reviews to discuss issues unique to book bloggers. To find out details, please visit their blogs.

Question: Blogging controversies? How do you address them? Do you join the Twitter frenzy? Write a ranty post? Stay on the sidelines and hope they go away?

How do you think we should address plagiarism scandals? Bad author behavior? Negative comments on our blogs?

It really depends. While I don’t like to fan the flames or reward anyone for inappropriate behavior by giving them and the situation attention, sometimes I have to state my opinion or my support for the person who I feel was wronged – whether it’s just a Tweet or a comment on someone’s blog. That being said, I do not join the Twitter frenzy unless I feel I have something constructive to say. I love the ranty posts I read sometimes, but I personally hesitate to write how I feel sometimes, because I fear that I won’t be able to get my feelings across as well as I would like to.

How do I think we should address plagiarism scandals…Patrick Brown from Goodreads stated at a panel at the Book Bloggers Conference that the “…ethical piece falls into place as common sense…” and other panelists said they would not work with plagiarizers. However, not all bloggers are treated the same. I’m not saying that people don’t deserve a second chance, but I’ve witnessed less known and less popular bloggers who have apologized openly for plagiarising demonized, shunned and then fall off the blogosphere. In this community, we have seen this is not the case for everyone.

Most of us know about The Story Siren issue and I’m sure this is what that part of the question is about. However, I don’t see a large drop in her numbers, friends, supporters or invitations.  I don't know her personally well enough to judge whether it is her character that has allowed her to weather this storm or if it is simply about numbers, popularity and revenue. Maybe it is both.  Or, maybe publishers, authors, readers and other bloggers simply like and forgive her and that is their perogative. However, I think the whole issue has opened a lot of people’s eyes in a lot of different ways.

I think that bad author behavior is often regulated by other authors and bloggers. If an author behaves inappropriately to a blogger, often other bloggers and authors come to that blogger’s defense and point out the poor behavior of said author. I also think that the author digs their own hole because many readers will not read that person’s work and bloggers certainly will not work with them.

Negative comments, well everyone is entitled to their opinion and I love dialogue about a subject. However, if a person is inappropriate, I might just say something like “Thank you for your opinion.”

I would love to hear what you have to say about these issues.


Julie@My5monkeys said...

Thanks for this and I agree it seems not all bloggers are treated the same when it comes to stealing content. I think its unfair of that of the publishers to have favorites when it comes to this, because it was any other blogger they would have been run off by the community. I agree it has opened my eyes to the situation. Not all bloggers are equal.

I follow the twitter frenzy and make up my own mind. But with authors behaving badly...I judge them on their work.

Bekka said...

This! Sooo much this. The TSS thing made me sick. I don't really want to go into it, but you said exactly how I felt about that situation.

I'm one of those who will not support an author if they are mean or bullies, etc. There are plenty of sweet, humble, nice authors out there struggling to be heard, and I would much rather support them. :D

Karen said...

I agree. I'm not sure why TSS situation was addressed differently by followers and publishers. Maybe because it wasn't a review stolen as in the other cases??
For some reason it was even questioned whether it was plagiarism or not.
IMO I think it's because it got so heated & so personal especially on Twitter that it can't help but bring out people who start defending the person.
I'm curious if the next person - a smaller blogger - gets the same leniency.

Authors should just be ignored. I know personally I don't even find some of their original comments all that combative. But the responses just start escalating and turn in to craziness.
If any author is calling a reviewer a fat cow etc I think that pretty much shows their true colors and anyone reading that will run away and never review/read them. I don't even think it needs or deserves a response. They're out of touch and can't be reasoned with.

Kat said...

It's unfortunate that popularity counts for more than integrity, but that can also be true in real life as well as in blog world. Personally, I'm disappointed that people accepted what I see to be a bunch of badly disguised blame-avoidance, but the bloggers that I respect the most were either vocal in their opinions, or obvious in their actions.

fakesteph said...

I try to avoid these discussions. I read the posts about them and try to figure out what is going on and I certainly form opinions, but all the big to-do that is made often make book bloggers look worse than the initial incident. I also don't think it helps anyone to focus on negativity. Plagarism, etc, needs to be handled efficiently and appropriately and all too often it just becomes a gossip fest with nobody saying anything useful. I have unfollowed people who focus on negative moments long after the fact. I just consider it tasteless.

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I feel pretty much the same way you do. I'm still learning to take a pause before jumping into a conversation about something controversial. I want to be sure that what I'm adding to the topic is what I really feel and not just something I'm thinking and feeling while I'm all caught up in the drama. I do think its sad that bad behavior, either on the part of bloggers, authors or commentators is accepted by anyone, or glossed over just because of some popularity game. That said, I do understand loyalty and standing by our friends. Forgiveness,when sought honestly, is hopefully something we can all embrace.

Midnyte Reader said...

Hi everyone, Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking comments. It's really interesting that this is still such a heated topic. I do think that sometimes things get blown out of proportion. I'm all for ignoring bad behavior but when you stir the pot a lot of cooks come running!

@Julie-It's opened my eyes in a lot of other ways besides favoritism.

@Bekka-I totally agree about the authors. It's really sad.

@Karen-I think there are 100 reasons why it got so heated and personal for people. I think that authors who behave badly make their own bed.

@Kat-I think you brought up an interesting point about popularity in real life as well. I can't see it happening where I work though.

@Steph-I try to avoid the discussions too, but I think some just touch a nerve. I admire your strong opinion on the subject.

@Kate-What a generous thing to say about forgiveness. That sentence is humbling.

Rubita said...

I think that the issue isn't so much the scandals themselves, but the vitriol they produce. It's difficult--sometimes insanely so--but you can separate a person from their actions. And just because *you* have negative thoughts about someone or their actions does not mean that you have to encourage others to feel the same way. All that does is create more negativity--and thus a vicious cycle is born.

I also think that, at its heart, this question is about taking the high road. TSS did wrong, but how does cruelty help the situation at all?

Midnyte Reader said...

@Ruby - I agree. I would never try to change someone's mind or make them feel bad for their opinion, and I hope my own thoughts didn't come off as such.

Rubita said...

NO! That's not what I meant to imply at all.

Midnyte Reader said...

Okay, phew! : ) With such a heated topic, I get paranoid sometimes.

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