Friday, September 11, 2020

Alphabet 2020 - S is for Social Media

I have been thinking a lot lately about social media and blogging, how they interact, how and where I want to spend my time, and more. That's a lot of thinking.

There are so many ways for you to interact with other books lovers I don't think it is even possible to attempt to keep up any more. There is also a lot of ways to catalogue your books, with more emerging every day.

Let's start with the big three:  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  In theory, I am on all of those, but you couldn't really say I am fully present on them, at least from a book blogging perspective.

I have recently started a Facebook page for my blog and I am really enjoying that. I try and remember to share the links from my posts there although I am sure that there must be a way to automatically feed  links from here to there. I know that you used to be able to do that to Twitter, but that doesn't seem to work anymore, so I need to figure that out. On my Facebook page I also share all sorts of other random book links there as they capture my interest, and I follow several other book bloggers too.  In addition, there are book clubs, book groups, publishers pages and so much more, but the thing is that I don't often read the book club books because I have enough to read without adding another "should read" book to my pile.

I do spend a bit of time on Instagram, but to be fair it is more about non book related things, so there are lots of pictures of cakes. I need to figure out how to put up interesting look blog related content, without it just being a screenshot of the blog post because that just looks a bit boring. Having said that, I don't have the decor, accessories or the imagination to do pretty book posts, especially since most of my reading now is on Kindle which is a black and white screen!  I also never really got into the #bookstagram thing either, even though I am aware that a lot of publicists love Instagram and Facebook for reviews now, rather than the traditional blog reviews.

I have been on Twitter for years, but I really don't do much on there, certainly in comparison to the early days. It really is just my page updates from Goodreads and sometimes an image from Instagram, but not all of the time. I think if I want to use it for images, I do have to go to Google and upload the image rather than just pushing it from Instagram because you just get a link rather than an image doing it that way. I also need to make more of an effort to go on there and share my blog content. I used to spend a lot of time there amongst the blogging community but now when I am on there I feel like I am talking to a void. I used to always post something on Twitter and have it automatically flow through to Facebook. I was all for those types of automated tricks but it doesn't seem to do that anymore.  I am aware that it would feel less like talking into a void if I was more active and more invested, which is true of all of these things. The more you put in the more you get out, but how do you decide where to put in when there are so many options.

Another place where I am somewhat active is Litsy. I do enjoy Litsy but I don't always update there, and again, its hard to make every single book picture look interesting when it is of my Kindle front page.

Finally, from a purely social perspective I have joined a group on Discord, which is another way to chat to people with similar interests. It is popular in the gaming community so maybe it will take off of as a book thing too. Right now, the group I am in is super super busy so I am not sure I have the time to keep up and participate.

I am sure there are many, many more places that we could be talking about here. Even as I was just about to post this I realised I haven't mentioned podcasting or Youtube. There's a whole community of Booktubers out there that I am not really connected to. And are there book communities on Snapchat and Tiktok? Is Snapchat even still a thing? I don't hear much about it anymore. Even if there is I would have no intention of joining either of them, but I am still curious.

You'll notice that I haven't yet mentioned Goodreads yet, and that's because I am going to cover the book cataloguing sites separately.  I have been a member of Goodreads since 2009 and it is just a part of my reading experience. Every couple of days I go in and update my reading progress and when I finish a book I add it to my spreadsheets, and then I go to Goodreads and mark it as read. If I write a review I do put part of my review there and then link back to here but I am not sure if I should just copy the whole review over there and not worry about linking back here.

The thing is though, there are other options out there. Many years ago I had a Librarything account but I haven't been there for years but I guess it is still a viable option, especially seeing as Librarything now own Litsy. Just this week though I found out about two more sites that could have potential. One is called Bookhype and the other is Storygraph.

Bookhype's tagline is Never Miss a New Book Release and it says that you can log your books, see upcoming new releases, add new books in a series to your library and more, which I have to say does sound promising.

Storygraph is currently in beta, but from what I have seen of it is another book cataloguing site. but it's points of differences are that it gives you targeted recommendations and that you can easily access lots of stats and graphs at the touch of the button. I do love a good graph and statistics, so I think this is the one that I will try for now. Actually I did play with it a little bit and I really like it so far! The graphs are fun to play with! For example, this is the mood graph for all the books I have just imported into it.

My thinking around these different options is about the practicalities like if I decide to start with one of these other sites, is it replacing Goodreads, or does it become in addition to it and therefore becomes another place that I have to remember to update going forward.

The key to all of these things is trying to keep a bit of balance between blogging, visiting other people's blogs which I think is important but time consuming, spending time on social media, work, life and, oh yes, still finding time to read. And throw in there the fact that we are talking about doing some work related study and that is even less time to do everything. Except for today. Today I am going to be playing with Storygraph.

How do you balance this? How do you manage with all the different social media sites? Are you interested in all of these new sites? Are there other new sites that we should be checking out??

I'm not sure if I have come up with any answers by putting all these thoughts in writing, but maybe it will help clarify my thinking a bit. Oh, and if you are interested, click on the socials links on the right to follow me at any of these sites. Depending on which one you click you may or may not see lots of content! I think I am Margreads on just about all of them!


  1. I’ve not really used tiktok but there is a booktok community but it is very much YA, so I’ve not looked in great detail.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Michael! Booktok makes sense but I don't see myself doing anything in that space!

  2. I’ve been slowly winding back some of my sm stuff. I rarely use fb - personal or blog- now, but I have an ongoing ‘recipe’ set up with IFTTT that automatically adds my latest blog post to my fb page, so it still looks active.
    I love insta but only occasionally post book pics. Most of my book people seem to be there too & we all seem to like pics of flowers & our local communities, so I’m happy with that. Insta is a daily visit.
    I use buffer to put my posts on twitter, but only venture on there a few times each week.
    I also share image & link onto my Pinterest board. And like you put part of my review on good reads with a link back to my blog. Several yes back I committed to gr as the main (only) way of tracking all my READ books. I regularly update pg details, add a quote or 2, but often forget to rate book for ages. The rating system feels pretty meaningless with all the ways it can be manipulated, but as a tracking system it is great.
    I saw your discord button & wondered what game you were hooked on! Didn’t realise it could do non-game communities too.
    Didn’t mean to ramble on so much. I think your post will trigger a response post from me sometime soon!!

    1. Thanks for the tips about ifttT and buffer. I will need to look into that.

      I look forward to reading your response post!

  3. You make some great points, and I agree if one spent some time to make everything link and flow it might make the blogging more dimensional and we and our friends might get more out of it. I also think often that other bloggers are better at blogging - both more eloquent and better technically. Oh well! I really enjoy Goodreads but have stopped writing long reviews there, just add links to my reviews. I don't want them to own my content, which I think they would otherwise.

    1. I think that other people are better bloggers too! Some times though I do read old posts and think, well you know, I was okay at this!

  4. I used to be really active on twitter, used to participate in a huge amount of bookchat but I find that it's really dropped off a lot lately and that my feed has moved on to politics/world events/etc. Which I am interested in but it's also really depressing and I find myself not opening that app much at all now. It's not where I go anymore for book news or chat. My instagram isn't really a book one either, it's more rounded although I do post book pics there. I'm trying the fb thing but I know it's going to take some time!

    1. so where do you go for bookchat now? l nearly wrote backchat but I figure you get that at home! lol

  5. Instagram seems to be my social media platform of choice. I loved Twitter prior to my blogging break but now I feel like I'm always in the middle of someone else's conversation and I can't catch the thread of it. My feed is full of politics and social issues, which are definitely important, but I just can't stay in the constant state of outrage that seems to be required. It's exhausting. I mostly send GoodReads updates into the Twitter void and call it a day.

    I use Facebook a lot for my personal social media but with their ridiculous algorithms, I feel like I only see updates from a handful of friends and the most popular pages I follow. Smaller pages really don't show up.

    My blog was automatically sharing all my posts and reviews to my Facebook page and Twitter but I changed some settings and I broke the review sharing. I need to figure out how to fix it.

    I like Instagram a lot but, like you, struggle to post my own pictures. I've found some workarounds (Photoshopping color covers on my Kindle Paperwhite screen) but that takes time that I'm not always willing to devote to it.

    GoodReads is just a given for me as well. I used to spend a lot of time on groups but now I just post my reviews and track all my books there.

    I learned on my first go-round at blogging that I can easily let books, blogging, and social media consume all my time, to the detriment of other priorities, so I'm not too worried about any of it. I post on my blog and do whatever I have time for otherwise. Today I feel like organizing pictures from all our travels, so that's what I'm doing! A quick check-in on Instagram sent me here. Now it's back to pictures for me! I'll take a look at Bookhype and Storygraph at some point. I hadn't heard of them before. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

    1. Thanks for you comment Jen! Like you I think Goodreads is a given, and I am just going to do what I am going to do.

  6. I use Instagram and Facebook to share links to my book reviews on my blog, but I'm off Twitter once again. It drains my brain and I don't need to get sucked into all the political posts since it only makes me angry. I also use Goodreads to keep track of my reading, but haven't used any of the other reading apps. I'm busy enough as it is!