Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Salon: much more than just maintaining a blog

Get Glue
Google +

I have been thinking a lot about balance lately, specifically the balance between blogging and all the associated activities and reading. Then of course there are any other hobbies you might have, family time and your social life! In theory, I do also make cards. In practice, I haven't actually made a thing in more than three months, which means I have three projects that I am behind on. I just don't seem to have any inspiration though.

These days it seems as though blogging is about so much more than just maintaining a blog. Above I have listed just a few of the other things that people can get involved with. Of those listed, I haven't set up a Facebook page for my blog, although I do have my personal page. I haven't joined in on Foursquare or Get Glue, I am always on Twitter (always!) and I am on Google+ but I am afraid I  haven't yet worked out the point of it. Another thing I don't get the point of is having both a blog and a Tumblr. I understand why you would have a Tumblr instead of a blog, but in addition to....not so much! I do have both Goodreads and LibraryThing accounts but I haven't visited LibraryThing for ages.I visit Goodreads multiple times daily.

The latest thing I have joined in on is Pinterest, and so far I like it a lot! It seems like a really easy way to gather random pictures and ideas in one place and you can spend as little or as much time on there as you want which is a bonus for me.

The decisions that I have made in relation to what I need to do or not do are based mainly on trying to get some time away from the computer, on ease of use if I do decide to join and who recommended the application to me.

In addition though to all these online activities, there still has to be time to read because lets face it, this is a book blog and if there is no reading happening, there's not going to be a lot to blog about. This month, I feel as though I have had a really good blogging month. Earlier this month I wrote quite a few reviews (to the point where I had reviewed everything I had read in the previous month which is very unusual for me), participated in some readalongs, in addition to some general posts. Having said that, my reading suffered. It was a bit of a shock to realise that I had only finished one book in the first week of the month. I think it will end up being a good reading month but it started very slowly!

How do you decide which other activities? Is there something that I haven't mentioned that is integral to book blogging?

Currently Reading

The books I currently have on the go are Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart, Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, Affinity by Sarah Waters, You are my Only by Beth Kephart

Reading Next

Coming Home by Mariah Stuart, Persuasion by Jane Austen (maybe)


  1. I've been thinking about the same thing lately. There's so many social networks and platforms that almost "trick" us into thinking we need them. I'm using the same networks and platforms that you're using. I can't see myself getting any more caught up in being online than I already am.

  2. To be honest, I don't even know what Foursquare and Get Glue are! I've looked at Pinterest and I'm thinking of joining but with the amount of time I spend on facebook, Twitter (especially twitter!), Goodreads and my blog, I'm not sure I need another thing to be addicted to! I also don't get the point of having a blog + a tumblr either. I have a Google+, which seemed imperative to get at the time but I haven't been there since the day I joined I don't think! Probably because I found that no one I knew was on it yet.

  3. Balance seems like it is almost impossible for me. However, I did start taking huge steps back in the late Spring for a plethora of reasons. There is nothing like a bit of time off to really make you explore why you are doing this and just what your goals going forward are.

    Not saying that you need to put on the breaks like I did, just pick a few platforms and really get the best out of them.

  4. I have both a blog and a tumblr because I use them for completely different purposes. My blog is primarily about books, and although I have nothing against including personal posts there I often feel more comfortable posting certain things on tumblr. So I use it for that, and as a place to share my photography and as a virtual scrapbook of sorts for my other interests - for things I want to remember and things I want to share. It's not a matter of "worrying I'll lose followers" if I do personal posts on my blog like people often imply (though I know you weren't saying that, of course!) - it's a matter of my own comfort levels. Also, I really don't think of tumblr as an extension of my blog or as something I "have" to do to be a successful blogger - just as something I like to do online as a person. I've made friends there that don't care about my book blog, for example, but we love the same music and connect with basis on that.

    Having said that, there are plenty of things I personally don't see the appeal of, and those include Pinterest, Glue and Klout. But if people enjoy them then that's fine by me :P

  5. This is such a brilliant topic and one that I think all of us bloggers revisit frequently. I often talk to my students about the overwhelming amount of choices and activities that they have in their daily lives. They're in 7th grade so they often look at me like I'm crazy, but it's SO TRUE. I think I'm pretty "current" so to speak, but I often feel overwhelmed and scattered everywhere. It's kinda like I've signed up for college and instead of focusing in on one degree, here I am doubling in liberal arts and independent study.

    I try to balance what's out there in my world and what's inside my head and what I place out there in the blog and sometimes it just seems as though it's too much.

    I'm a researcher by nature and the internet is my crack. I don't care so much for the games or even for the followers (although having an audience is nice) or the socialization (although I would never want to lose the close online friendships I've made and hope to continue to make) but I do often wonder how much what I'm doing is only adding to the clutter or adding to the enrichment.

    *le sigh* I think I've rambled and that's mainly because I have my own post all about this in my head that needs to be written. :)

  6. Hi Marg, you certainly seem to be across all that is offered in the blog/social networking sphere. Some of these things are just names to me, I haven't a clue. The Pinterest sounds very interesting I will be sure to check that out.

    I have found an artist urge this year, which started with the purchase of some pastels but mostly evolved into me sketching with pencil. The pastels are currently abandoned. I do love the sketching, it puts me in a completely different headspace.

    We have so many competing demands on our time, I feel that balance can at times mean leaving something for a while, don't you think?

    As to blogging, I love it, but don't seem to have the courage to go too far beyond reviews at this stage. Which is silly because often the posts I most enjoy reading are more conversational, like this one. Many thanks

  7. I think you definitely have to decided where you are going to spend your time - you cannot possibly do it all. I don't spend much time on Twitter, but I do Pinterest which is just really fun. I try to participate in some of the reading blog events (like the 24 hour readasthon and some read-alongs...but ultimately, you do have to try to find the balance between your on line life and other things that make you happy.

  8. I've yet to really figure out a balance between blogging (and everything that goes along with it) and reading. If I'm caught up on my blog then I'm probably not reading much and vice versa. Needless to say, I just do what I can, when I can, and enjoy it while I do. This was a really interesting post!

  9. I agree that balance needs to be a important thing in life. As for me, I decided to give up most of the time I spent on facebook and twitter, it took too much time that I didn't need to spend it on, so for right now work, family, friends, and what time I have left I leave for hobbies such as reading/blogging. Its hard to find a balance though

  10. I agree, it is so hard to juggle. Do you want to be the best, the most prolific or the most read etc etc... the list goes on. It's a very hard call. I don't do most of those extra parts you've mentioned, the initial aim of my blog was a record of the books I've read but sometimes it's difficult to remain true to that with ARCs, galleys, challenges, giveaways, hops etc...
    You have to do what works for you!

  11. Love Twitter. Love Pinterest. I use Shelfari just to keep a running list of everything I read, but everything I can do without. I love blogging, but I feel like if I spread myself too thin, I wouldn't. So yes, I get that feeling, so I keep it minimal if possible. :)

  12. Wow, you are so busy! I must be a very lazy bloger - I have my blog.

    Thats it.

    No twitter, no facebook and no anything else you mentioned, some of which I haven't even heard of. I have to go to work during the day, I read on the train to and from work each day and at lunch, so about 1.5 total a day, and when I get home I usually have things to do - washing, dinner etc.

    Heaven knows what ill have to give up when baby comes along.... maybe the housework :-)

  13. I second your thoughts. Blogging takes time, networking even more, which at the end of the day only detracts from the reading. I've found a way to connect most of my accounts (Goodreads and blog to Twitter and FB). As for Pinterest, instead of making an account, I save my favorites to Stumble Upon. It's tricky to be balanced in everything.
    Have a nice Sunday and a great week!

  14. I am certainly struggling with this at the moment ... I seem to be able to keep an ok balance between reading, blogging and other-life-things until something throws it out (currently illness and death in our elderly parents) and suddenly the whole house of cards tumbles down ... and still the social network sites keep proliferating. How many do we really need?

  15. Blogging and Twitter is about it for me, about two years ago I was involved in some quiet heavy activism that was blog based - burnt me out to the point where I can't think or talk about the subject without experiencing physical stress symptoms.

    No when things have gotta give I let them give.

  16. It can get so overwhelming, can't it? I think while at school, I've really focused much more just on READING than on doing all the rest of the upkeep to do with blogging, because it's so exhausting. I also quite frankly hate when people invite me to become a fan of their blogs on Facebook- I don't see why, if I follow your blog, I also need to fan it on Facebook.

  17. I agree. So difficult to make time for all the wonderful things in the world. So hard to focus on the best, I think. Good for you, thinking about such things.

  18. I tend to stay away from all the social networking sites because I am a little wary of getting into a huge time-suck and I am not very good at those on-the-fly conversations. So twitter and the like aren't places I usually hang out. I also don't spend much time on Goodreads or Facebook either. I pretty much only like to comment on the blogs, read, and write. I could do more, but I find that eats up a lot of time in itself, and I have a pretty bust social calendar as well. I just don't have the time to do everything!

  19. This is a constant struggle, where to spend our precious time.
    I also like goodreads better than library Thing. It's so much more user friendly.
    What is Pinterest?

  20. Ah, the elusive element of balance.... I have been thinking about this a lot lately, too, as my blogging and reading time has lessened. I'm in a season of life right now where my kids keep me very busy - not just the homeschooling, but two teenagers and their various activities and social functions. And neither of them drive yet, so..... Plus, we finally found a church to call home, and I'm loving the real life interactions that I had been missing for the past four years.

    I've finally reconciled myself to the fact that I won't have as much time to read or blog during this time, and that's okay. For me, blogging can too easily become a replacement for actually living my life. I've been tempted by all the other things out there for bloggers, but aside from a little time spent on Twitter and Goodreads, have just decided I don't have time for them - not if I actually want to read, too! And that's okay - if it means that my blog doesn't grow in readership any from where it is, I'm fine with that. I think the balance is more important, at least for me.

  21. I am terrible for starting things and then never keeping up with them... I guess it is just that I don't have a lot of time for everything, so things just fall by the wayside... I started Pinterest and I like it because I just read blogs, find a book I want to read, and pin it on there. Lately, though, I am hardly reading blogs, am behind in updating my own blog, pretty much forgot about Tumblr, lost interest in Facebook, etc, etc.

  22. When I first started blogging, I was everywhere. And I liked it. But now, not so much. I don't know if it's because it's been a while or because life got busy - I think it's the latter. Every night, I feel like I never get to do everything I want to. Took me a while to understand that I was trying to do too much. So now, I've slowly started curtailing everywhere - my reader, my online activities, etc. I didn't like having to do that, but I can always return to stuff later.

  23. OMG you were reading my mind. I almost posted pretty much the exact same thing today. My similar post will be posting later this week or next. Balance -- where to find it?

  24. Haven't heard about Foursquare, but the remainder of your list, I know of. I came to the decision long ago, that I can't. I just can't keep up with everything and be happy. So I have come to terms with that, and moved on. The only things that bugs me now, are my inability to stay on top of comments, and review writing. Slacker Jenny, that's me.

    I enjoy knitting and working out at the gym, so those two hobbies keep me pretty busy. In addition to my main job, and ancillary ones, that doesn't leave much time for anything else. Balance is hard, but you have to remember to do what works for you. Whatever that may be.

    But, at the end of day, I totally understand your thoughts on this subject. It gets to me sometimes too :)

  25. I wrote a post about this earlier in the year - finding balance seems to be a perpetual struggle for me. I have stayed away from Tumblr and Facebook (for the blog) because I fear I would never read and blog! As it is with twitter, I while away oh so much time.

    Glad to hear so many others face the same challenge.