I posted about this yesterday and my reaction was on the annoyed side. As you say, the idea that bloggers just link to professional reviews is in her imagination. I think many bloggers didn’t like being lumped into this category.
I’ve read the article a few times now. There is some useful information there but I don’t believe bloggers will consider themselves professional (unless we start getting paid). Our reviews will continue to be personal because blogs are personal. I’m about to use a cliched expression but it’s apples and oranges. I’m not a professional and never pretended to be. I’m just a reader with an opinion.
I think the idea of the Professional Book Review Blog is a good one. I can’t have a discussion with a newspaper. I believe most bloggers started because they could express their opinions on the books they read. We don’t just want to read a review. We want to comment, to discuss. That’s the society we’ve become. Newspapers have to get with the times.
Newspapers are in huge trouble. I worked in newspapers for more than 20 years, got out of the biz two years ago and not a moment too soon. I've seen friends laid off in the last year in bloodbaths just to cut costs. News hole is hugely reduced at most papers. And yes, it's because of the Internet. Newspapers just don't know how to make money off it yet and have lost huge revenues in classified ads to Craigslist and other websites. The newspaper I worked for for 14 years may likely end up in bankruptcy. I don't think it will be the only one.It's sad, since this was my career. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do. Leaving was very difficult. But the state of the business now, even just two years later, is so abysmal that I can't help but be happy I got out when I did.
Thanks for the attention to that article. What a bunch of snobbish whiners.
Karen- That is sad. I suppose the book review section would be the first to go. It's probably not a big money maker. When the alternative is going bankrupt, they are going to cut what ever they can. The internet has changed so much of our lives. Who has an encyclopedia anymore?
I agree with your comment. I find articles like that a bit silly, honestly. And I think that professional reviewers need to drop the idea that book bloggers are after their jobs. It just makes them sound bitter and in desperate need of someone to blame for changes they are not prepared to accept. The world is changing. The way information is spread is changing. Blogging is a part of that change, of course, but I don't think it is, in itself, responsible for anything.
Generalisations are bad at the best of times, but how can anyone lump every book blogger into a single category??? I join you in being riled!!For me (if I may be so indulgent as to speak in the first person), I started my blog because I found I was having the same book conversation with different friends at different times, and thought a blog would be a good way for us to all discuss ideas together.It's become something even more interesting, with people I've never met joining in discussions, sharing ideas and making great book recommendaions. I've made new friends and discovered other fantastic blogs.To suggest we all just link to professional blogs is insulting, patronising and ill-informed.Phew, I'll climb down off my high horse now. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.Book-loving bloggers unite!
Zeek- I'm glad it started a discussion on your blog as well.Nymeth- Yes, the world is changing and we have to change with it.Paula- The blogging community has become an informal book club. It's closer to that than professional reviewing.
I'm certain that no one is losing sleep over my reviews taking their jobs. Newspapers are in huge trouble. I originally subscribed to the SF Chronicle because it had a 10 page Book Review pullout. Now it's down to four pages tucked inside a half sheet insert. But wow, what a misguided insult. Book bloggers are the face of the book readers in an online society. Glad you got your blog back up and running, Chris! It was a pretty wide spread problem.
Interesting thought about subscriptions going down in general--if you find an answer (maybe for tomorrow's buzz??) I'd love to know the answer. Actually, it looks like Karen's comment that they are (bad Trish for not reading comments before commenting herself!). I love when you say that newspapers have to get with the times--it's true, isn't it?
God the arrogance inherent in that original article is just irritating. You put it so nicely. The point of being a book blogger for most people is not to write professional reviews. Sometimes we write better reviews than others. The point is to connect, and sometimes that includes the story of how we found the book, where, when and why we started reading it. Newspapers can't get with the new world of blogging so they make fun of what they can't understand.
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