Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Meme is Dead! Long Live the Meme!

Earlier this week  Farm Lane Books caused quite a stir with a post comparing bloggers in the United States with bloggers in the United Kingdom.  If you're not a regular FarmLaneBooks reader you can find the post here.  You should also consider becoming a regular reader; FarmLaneBooks is a terrific blog.  The post generated close to 300 comments, which I think may be the record for a book blog. 

I'm not going to wade into the UK vs. USA fray because enough has  been said in the comments at Farm Lane Books. Some of it not very nicely.  I will say that I found myself becoming more and more defensive as I read the comments because so many of the "complaints" against US blogs were about things I enjoy doing.  Things like reading challenges and giveaways and author interviews.  The whole thing left me feeling a little bit snarky. 

So, in the spirit of snark, I thought it would be fun to do everything the commenters disliked about American blogs for today's Sunday Salon. 

It takes the form of a meme.

Do you participate in memes?  Not so much. Just Booking Through Thursday now and then.  I look forward to reading the Monday Movie Meme at The Bumbles and I often enjoy the Great Wednesday Compare at The Book Mine Set.   If you're starting out as a book blogger, I think memes are an excellent way to find other bloggers and to get other bloggers to find you.  Long live the meme!  Pass it on!

 Do you participate in Book Tours?  What about ARCS?  If participating in a book tour is good enough for Oprah Winfrey, then it's good enough for me.  Who am I to question Oprah?  It took me over a year to get my first Advanced Review Copy and I can honestly say I hated it.   But Benediction, one of my recent favorite books, was an advanced review copy.  I think book blogs are still at the bottom of the publicity  food chain, so few of us get ARC's of top tier literature.  If we did, it would be a different story.  Maybe someday.  I hear Oprah is retiring....

Do you encourage followers?  Do you follow?   If I like a blog and it reviews the sort of books I like, I click the little follower button.  Last month I got my 100th follower.  I was excited-- I admit it.  I did a little happy dance at my computer terminal.  Gave Dakota an extra dog treat.  I like followers.  So, if you are not a follower of Ready When You Are, C.B.,  please consider becoming one today. 

What do you think of giveaways and other contests?   I held my very first giveaway because Eva at A Striped Armchair said they would help me get more readers.  (If you're not reading Eva's blog you really should.  She reads more than just about anyone out there.  And if she hadn't posted a link to my first giveaway on her blog, noboday would have heard of it and I'd still have the book.)  I like giving books away.  It's fun and it puts me in a good mood.  And my local post office is across the street from my local library.  Sometimes I give away large stacks of books.   I can't always afford to open giveaways up to the entire world , but I have sent prizes to Italy and to India as well as to Canada and the United Kingdom.  If I had more money, I'd give away more books.  I'd also travel more.  And maybe buy a pony.

Do you read and/or conduct author interviews?  I've written about this before.  Basically, I enjoy doing interviews, though I know most people don't read them.   I think they are lots of fun to do and everyone should do one even if none of us read it.  Don't we all say we blog for our own amusement?  Pick an author you really like and send them an email.  Ask for an interview.  I promise to read it.

Do you enjoy challenges?  I'm running one this year, the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge.  I enjoy challenges.  Because of them, I've read lots of very good books that I would not have read otherwise.  I've also won a few prizes.  So--fun, good books, prizes.   Aren't Americans awful!

Do you like giving/getting awards?  I was very pleased to get my first  award.  I thought it was kind of a big deal.  I was very happy to be nominated for a Book Bloggers Appreciation Week award last year and hope I get a nomination again this year.  Just  not for snarkiest blogger. 

What is your opinion of cat videos?  I don't have anything against cat videos, but apparently there is a lot of animus against them overseasI post videos of my dog Dakota here regularly and will continue to do so no matter what the whole world says.  Dakota and I are rebels.  Back when were  fostering Bruno, we made a cat video.  I've posted it below.

Be warned, the video below is a cat video.  It features a fully grown Basset hound chasing a tiny kitten around as he walks under her.  It's insanely cute.  And apparently  very American.






Okay.  I feel much better now. 



Full Disclosure:  The photograph of the two flags comes from the British Broadcasting Company.  So did The Benny Hill Show and The Weakest Link.

24 comments:

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

Oh man this post had me laughing. I hope everyone reads it as light hearted as I think you intended it. Very adorable video as well! May I second the recommendations for Jackie's blog and Eva's blog? Both are outstanding! I love cat videos. I can't get enough cat videos.

Trisha said...

Love it! That post had me feeling a bit snarky as well. I really really don't like generalizations to begin with, and classifying UK versus US bloggers seemed self-serving and snarky in itself. Nice job with this!

Wendy said...

Jackie took a lot of crap for her post - but to be honest, I think most people take things far too seriously. Being a U.S. blogger, I snarled a little, then I got over it. LOVE this post CB - it made me laugh out loud (and I especially like the cat video). Don't ever stop posting Dakota related posts...they are one of the things that got me to subscribe to your blog! But then I am so American it hurts!

C.B. James said...

Lu, I just have the one good cat video. But you can count on me for more dog videos.

Trisha, Thank you. I decided the best way to deal with my snarkiness was with humor.

Wendy, Dakota and I should do another video soon. She hasn't eaten a book in some time. That's great for my books, but bad for my videos.

farmlanebooks said...

LOL! Fantastic post!

Jeane said...

Oh, that was fun! Mind if I borrow your meme (tomorrow)? I haven't done one in a while and this would give readers a good idea where I stand on the whole thing (I didn't comment on Farm Lane's post but read all the hoopla with interest)

Valerie said...

YOur post and video made me chuckle!

I've done two author interviews so far and they were fun (especially with Josh Berk -- he is so funny). I don't mind reading interviews either, but sometimes the author will do several interviews at all around the same time and in that case I start skimming thru them.

readerbuzz said...

Hilarious! I feel like visiting the blog post in question and leaving a 301st comment linking to this post of yours!

Book Psmith said...

What a funny video...reason number 501 to love Dakota:)

lizzysiddal said...

Priceless!

Jessica said...

I was your 100th follower - it makes me happy I caused you to do a little dance LOL

Sandy Nawrot said...

Awww...I remember Bruno! I wanted you to keep him, if only to keep providing us with entertaining videos! I feel like we have grown up together. We I started following you, I think we each had about 20 followers. I like your humor. YOu always make me laugh!

eveningreader said...

Way to lighten things up! I love Jackie's blog, and Eva's, and yours. In fact, I think I found your blog through a meme (Booking through Thursday)! They can be a lot of fun, with good bloggers who are not just link spammers (my personal blogging pet peeve). ;-)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go make a video of my cat to post on the blog tomorrow.

C.B. James said...

You all crack me up. Your comments made me smile. Jessica, I was so close to giving you a 100th follower prize. I hope you'll enter Dakota's next giveaway. Jeane, borrow away. The whole point of a meme is spreading the love around. ;-)

Chelle said...

I read the original post and your snarky response is right on. I'm not a fan of author interviews and at best skim them. But more power to you. Usually, I don't know who the author is. I loved your post of Dakota picking winners from a drawing! I may try to have my cat pick out a winner in my drawing. Americans rock!

christina said...

This was so freakin' hysterical. And thanks for turning me on to another book blog!

Eva said...

lmao! You're so fun CB. :) And you're so sweet to link to me! You started blogging waaay back before publisher-sponsored giveaways, right? Seriously, back then, I think giveaways were the best publicity for a new blog! lol

C.B. James said...

I think Eva's right. Back then we were all giving away our own books and paying for the postage, too. God we're old. ;-)

Gavin said...

I love that you did this. I hadn't read Farm Lane's post but can see how it created such a stir. I thing everyone should blog the way they want to and not make judgments about how others blog.

Dakota and Bruno cracked me up!

Eva said...

I know! We're like the geezers of blogging. I remember when I had to trudge through the snow to the post office...up hill both ways...

Amateur Reader said...

Man, what are you trying to do, linking to that? Those comments were like the 40 ounce chocolate malt. I knew I should stop reading, but I couldn't resist.

Now I want someone to write a similar comparison of male vs. female bloggers. And old vs young. What else would get people het up? How about bloggers who are good writers vs bloggers who are bad writers? That's the only one I really care about.

Diane said...

OMG...This was priceless, not to mention enjoyable. Personally, I am a fan of the "cat videos, and boo hoo to anyone who doesn't like them...it's my blog...LOL

BTW...Yes Jackie did open an unexpected can of worms didn't she?

theliterarylollipop said...

Have you ever considered becoming a comedian? Because you should! Your responses are quite hilarious.

Looks like Oprah will be retiring soon...

-Lydia @ The Literary Lollipop

Carin said...

Wow...I totally missed this post of yours. I am reading through the comments on the original blog post and am a little shocked myself! I think what it comes down to is that it is VERY easy to stereotype a group of people (whether it's a nation or an ethnic group). At our base, I think we all do it. I admit that I participate in memes (although not necessarily on a weekly basis) in the hopes that I will get a few more readers (otherwise, why not just have a journal instead of a blog). I'm a quieter blog though for exactly the reason people posted in the comments on FarmLane's blog--memes get repetitive, and a lot of the blogs in fact are YA book centered blogs which I don't read a whole lot of. Interesting post though. Thanks for making a post about it yourself. I love reading your blog!