February 19, 2014

Monologue Time: 2-in-1 Discussion (Professionalism & Commenting)

Hey, guys. Today I have a rant. Or, if you want to use the title terminology, a discussion post (I mention some discussions which I've had about these topics, not just give my own spin on things). You get to see who I'm responding to. But why?
You'll find out. Thank you for reading in advance :)

One of the only not-particularly-accurate GIFs I'll use EVER.
But I am happy to see you :D
Sometimes, as book bloggers who tweet, some of us here (the one writing this & maybe you, reader) have the imponderable joy of seeing posts mentioned in our feeds & then we talk about them... via Twitter. VERY good, that is. It also does mean though, we don’t necessarily get to say much about it. Tweets are short. You realize that, already. So, how much can you actually say? Not as much as in a post on your own. So that’s why I’m here, about a month later, addressing Fi’s wonderful post on professionalism, first & foremost. So, Kelsey (I believe?) @ Verbosity Reviews & Fi (the blogger in question) @ Books For Birds had that little chat. I think both of us found it rather thought provoking, enough to tweet about it...

  •   Amy Bookworm  : @CrazyCrunchies If you want to look at posts that will make you feel better cos they're not professional, check mine. I like GIFs too much.
  •  Professional reviews can often seem snobbier, by which I mean it's not as obvious what their opinion is & if they really <3 a book they're not getting that across as well as a ranty review, just saying.
  •  Amy Bookworm @VerbosityRevws @CrazyCrunchies and she thought it was a rant. I've seen proper, caps-abusin' rants. Less ramble there, Fi.
  •  VerbosityBookReviews : @Amy_Bookworm @CrazyCrunchies Oh, not at all! I thought it was well written. I worry I veer towards too professional sometimes, though. That's just the way I talk, though. I've had people way older than me say I talk more maturely than they do...
  • Amy Bookworm  @VerbosityRevws  I can be either… It's hard to explain. I do what comes naturally in that situation as it tells you my feelings & more… sense. If you think it didn't make sense but try & make it so different it actually loses meaning for you.
  •   VerbosityBookReviews : @Amy_Bookworm Yeah, I get that. Like, I feel like most of my posts are too professional, and then I have ones like ASDFGHJ *gif here.*
  •   VerbosityBookReviews ‏: @CrazyCrunchies @Amy_Bookworm If it was ranty, I don't think it was a bad ranty. I thought it was really thought provoking, really.
I’ll get back to this discussion but one thing I need to mention first is about commenting & tweeting. I’ll give you this link to Lucy’s post which is another thought-provoking one, I tweeted about & commented on. You can find that for yourself as it’s more recent, if you’re interested. It made me want to thank the people who support me on twitter but more than that... On Twitter I thank a lot & I do a lot. It’s just so normal I’m not going to go there in this blog post. I said a fair bit in my comment at Lucy’s blog but what I will say is:
THANK YOU PEOPLE WHO HAVE COMMENTED THIS YEAR. I’m doing this year cos otherwise it’s forever (or not, but... it’s what I said in Lucy’s so...). This year is a good sample, of nearly two months. If you haven’t commented this year, you may have commented another time & that’s fabulous. I’m still grateful but if you DO comment now or sometime soon then I know you’ve listened XD I’ll also be very happy & it’s good to see me happy, right?

So here goes — Comments so far this year:
(also only on posts published this year)
  1. Zoe Crook (Bookhi) with 4 comments (thank you Zoe so much! You are an awesome blogger & I *thought* you were the one who commented most recently. I hope I’ve repaid at least some comments but that’s not what it’s all about. You’re a fantastic blogger & the fact you grace me with your time amazes me!)
  2. WITH 2 COMMENTS EACH:  Georgia Walters (The Bibliomaniac)—who is awesome & I totally didn’t meant to drop a hint... I also think you give me more than I deserve but it brightens my day! You were who I mentioned Zoe to XD Our conversations are awesome, Twitter or blogger. Rita (Weaving Pages)Technically they were on the same post though :P She stopped by in January so... eh... She knows there’s not much more I can say. What can I say? If you can think of something besides a BIG thankyou <3 & Katarina (the Kat) AlvarezWe didn’t really know each other but you’ve stopped by a few times so we’re getting there. The fact we aren't really familiar with each other made (and still does, even though I now recognize your name!) it even better & nicer than you’d stop by, leave a comment sometimes & brighten my day in those instances!
  3. DanielleAlecia StoneRoberta R. bookgeekinganaherareadsKarenMcGuffy Ann with 1 comment each also. Thanks all of you guys also! When I say “thanks” or whatever when you drop by, I really mean it. I’m SO grateful & if we haven’t talked a lot yet (I know it applies to a few) I’m sorry but here’s my gratitude *hands out massive cookies*
Right, now... Returning to the main topic here (now here comes the monologue), Fi's discussion.
I have more thoughts on this which I haven’t shared & need to be shared as, unlike with Lucy’s, I’m starting to think I have a different stance. Quite a difference stance. So, bearing in mind, my opinions are probably individual to me, maybe you’ll listen up... anyway.
There’s some things that strike me about the Professionalism post & the responses I recorded way up there ^^.
I’ve accepted the view that GIFs are less professional. Or have I? Is it just- they’re more modern? People say pictures are worth a thousand words so for a long time, they’ve been included. IN PUBLISHED WORKS. Newspapers. Books (think mainly kids, but NOT LIMITED to). Think about it: GIFs can’t be in newspapers or on paper. So, yes, they’re an online media but are they limited to Tumblr or can they be on blogs on other platforms more seriously or even on Tumblr, professionally?
I’m not a professional but just because I use GIFs doesn’t mean I should be taken less seriously. They aid my opinions. I use them when they add something. Sure, it lightens the mood. I do blogging for fun but I don’t want you to think my reviews aren’t deep or that they aren’t as good or professional as blogs with reviews just with words. They may come across more professional at first glance but are they better for it? Surely, we all get set out to review because we loved books & wanted to get our opinions across. I give credit it where its due: GIFs HELP THAT. Most of the time. For me, I use them when they help. Do they help you to pick up on my opinions. Actually seeing that reaction as it plays out, it’s priceless, right? Who’s with me? GIFs can be used in two ways (maybe more- I can think of these two & know which applies to me), in summary:
• Casually, just because it’s Tumblr or a tweet & it’s a good GIF.
• Ideally, where they are there because they’re accurate. They’re worth more than words & quickly get across your point.

GIFs are not used (at least here):
• Just for fangirling purposes. I have GIFs besides. Sure, it may help. But do I need a GIF to express fangirling? I can get beyond fangirling. Normally, I have thoughts besides those fangirly bits of reviews. I probably found bits bad, or unrealistic. Or really realistic. I don’t just find X (ie. Peeta) hot. That’d be sooo shallow.
• As I’m too lazy to type. My reviews still are quite long. Normally, about 400* words? Maybe more. As review lengths go, it’s not because I’m lazy. I’m gonna spew all my thoughts & when they’re done: CUT. That’s when. I’m not censoring bits (I’ve tried, eww) or thinking X, Y or Z is unimportant. To someone, it may be. Maybe my GIFs actually help to split the chunks up & make them look less daunting. That would be more accurate.
• As I’m a teenager. I think people associate it, like Tumblr, with teens & think we can’t stop ourselves so it’s irrelevant. We choose, like all people, what we want. It’s NOT irrelevant. As I said, in my example about books, maybe they’re more common for younger people but I know adults can like pictures too (maybe even GIFs).

Having said that, as a teen... Maybe I am less professional. But... society is changing. People still accept us. They have to. Teens read so much YA & are a good proportion of the book blogging community. I like to think we’re treated like equals a fair bit. I haven’t seen publishers ignoring bloggers as they’re teens or due to review content like GIFs.
Well, am I overthinking it? I’m definitely ranting & teaching Fi how it’s done. Public service ;)

I don’t really change my reviews that much. I mean, I sometimes think they’re [insert an unflattering word, possibly expletive, here]. But mainly when I compare to others really. My reviews are different. I know others use GIFs but I don’t actually see that many? Some part of me understands but I don’t want to change. I don’t always use GIFs. Not all reviews warrant that. Sometimes I can actually picture my reactions enough to find a GIF like that, anyway. Sometimes I think the length is too rambly- can I be succinct? Haven’t figured out so can’t change that without actually taking out key parts of my opinions. Reviews must be honest &... I can’t make them professional. I don’t think I can. My opinions aren’t reflected accurately if I put in restrictions or edit beyond spelling, grammar (which I think is debatable to some extent- I talk how I write & vice versa, most of the time I probably TALK with good grammar but maybe the red herring slips through?) & the important bits like that.

Maybe people find it an issue that I am writing like its a discussion (or a monologue, in many cases) but... I don’t even have an answer to that & I’ve been typing too long *nurses fingers* Yes, this is a rant so no, I'm caring less than I do in reviews about things like punctuation, clarity, structuring (I agree that's good for reviews, some structure). This post has been thought over, I hope it's clear. I do need to teach Fi how to rant though XD And any of you who aren't used to it. Jokes aside, this does have a point. One BIG PUNCH.

More like this. Yes, an accurate GIF. You get a GIF at the end too, so nice of me ;)
Wrapping up (cos there was a point to this post, you know): WRITE YOUR REVIEWS HOW YOU WANT TO. Reviews are already individual but I think its not just the words that matter, it’s how you say them, your opinions and (I honestly believe most of all) being true to yourself. Please don’t try & change any of your posts for others. Don’t try & be who you’re not. We do want to please our readers but they don’t dictate to us what we do. They’ll get past whatever they first didn’t particularly like if they matter & if they’re a true friend. I will not conform with just trying to write posts to get views, review copies, followers etc.

Do you agree? Will you dare to be different? What’s the cost for us?

Let Amy Bookworm & all others who are reading this (and hopefully commenters *I hope* will come) know your opinions! x (* this is about a thousand. Too late. You've read it all).


Rita (Weaving Pages) said...

*tackles your blog* I'VE ONLY COMMENTED TWICE!? BAD RITA. I'm awful at commenting... XD I wouldn't worry about your level of professionalism- I LOVE your reviews the way they are!! *hugs* :D

Anonymous said...

Yay, thanks for the mention :) I have to say that I love the way you include GIFs in your reviews. Personally I think it makes it more interesting and I'm not actually a huge fan of reading really long and really seriously written reviews. Yes, there will always be a time for things like that, but I definitely agree when you say that people should just write their posts and reviews how the want to. If someone doesn't like it then they don't have to read it.
Sorry, that was a really long post, but yea that's all I had to say and KEEP USING GIFS!!!

Amanda Gray said...

My excuse to commenting hardly at all is because I only really found your blog properly the other day ;)
I have to say, I agree completely on the idea that people will do their reviews differently, and sometimes it's that difference that defines us as bloggers. I know that personally, I don't use gifs; I don't know why, but I don't think I could justify searching for a gif to represent my feelings instead of finding the words, which takes less time for me. I know that for other bloggers, they prefer gifs and I prefer their blogs for it; their blog is a reflection of them, and the style and use of gifs show that they are very emotional people and even in some cases animated, and I like that. To me, the style of reviews represents the blogger, that's why I don't think it affects publishers opinions or the visitors. I hope that made sense, but this is a great topic and post and you should be proud Amy :)

Roberta R. said...

First off...thank you for the cookies. I mean, thank you for the mention ;). And I had to smile at your Top Three of Commenters - most original!

And then. I totally get your meaning. I can see the difference between using GIFs to fangirl or to make a point...or just to make a person smile. Because of course, while someone is reading a review - even a profound one - a GIF can be a welcomed little oasis of levity. And I don't think it's a juvenile thing. I don't use GIFs, but call myself a smilie junkie. My fingertips (the two I use for typing!) are constantly itching with the need to use smilies. (Dear Blogspot, I hate you). Is this juvenile? I don't think so. There are so many different ways to express/convey feelings and emotions...Now, those supposed reviews that are nothing but endless strings of GIFs with a sentence or two in the middle, they tend to annoy me. Anyway, they're not professional, nor are they supposed to be. Authors and publishers? I don't think they prefer the one (text-only review style) or the other. Also (I'm quoting you) "Teens read so much YA & are a good proportion of the book blogging community. I like to think we’re treated like equals a fair bit". This makes me feel guilty...just a little...because it should be the other way around...it's us adults who stole...erm...borrowed your books. It's you that should be more relevant...

Jaden @ Booklol6 said...

I am adddicted to GIF too love them i really need them like give one look great google images it just addticed Amy.

Karen said...

trying again to comment :-)

I think we all have our own *voice* when reviewing and sometimes it comes out more professional, or fangirly or all GIF's and I think it's all fine. There's room for everyone. My favorite reviewers are the ones who let their personality shine through. A very clinical, just the facts, review bores me.

I agree with you. Be yourself - as long as a review doesn't get personal (targeting the author - not the book) then it's all good.

My reviews are all over the place. Sometimes I'm more passionate about a book - good or bad - but other times I don't feel a whole lot so every review is different for me.

Georgia Walters said...

Yay, thanks for the mention!:D Great discussion post. I don't even know what my reviews are...I always structure them...-ish... so I definitely talk about certain parts and things but a lot of the time I just fangirl hehe ;D I@ll admit, I love gifs, but I don't use them that much! D:
-Gee :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention, Amy! :) Now, as for how I write reviews. I don't think there's really anything too different or unique about my reviews. I don't put gifs in my reviews (but discussion posts/book breaktimes/etc are fair game, I say!) because I'm afraid of slowing down someone's computer. Also because I'm too lazy to go through my whole gif library. :P

I say write reviews how you want to. :) Whatever style you pick, as long as you're comfy with it and it makes you happy, that's fine. :D

Trish Hannon said...

I feel bad I haven't commented yet this year, I have gotten so bad at it lately.
Now about your discussion, at the end of the day none of us are professionals at this. Instead it's just a hobby that we are passionate about and I think we should all just do whatever we want in our reviews to show our passion or otherwise for that book. I love reviews with gifs but they take me so long to find them that I'm too lazy to bother with them. Plus I just prefer to write. It's not better or worse (I hope!) than anyone but it's just the way I choose to review. So I do it my way and then check other blogs for the gif reviews that make me smile.

AwesomeAmy said...

I really appreciate everybody’s input :D Written another blog post but you only have to read the bit with your name beside it (oops, that sounded patronizing, sorry, I didn't mean it like that) :P

@Rita- well... as of me writing this, don't worry. You've commented more ;) Thanks. I think it's good you've commented at all tbh. When you're settled in new house with internet I predict more though I could be wrong ;) *hugs back*

@Kat- You earned the mention, gal! :D Thanks again... :L I will keep using GIFs... I find it encouraging that recently I've found a lot more who use GIFs, which is brill. I can professionalize reviews sometimes (I'm getting better) if I think it will help build contacts. If it's my first review for a publisher then... yeah. I can be self-concious.

@Amanda - Totes accept that. It was nice to meet you & now it's nice to know you a little more but still, not much more. I must put my rockets on :P Like with lots of things on my blog, I want to be different. Or rather, I don't mind it. Blog design, GIFs in reviews, lack of meme's most of the time... whatever. Thanks for your insight, I really do agree <3

@Roberta: I can say without any hesitation you deserve the cookies & whichever is better, I'm cool with. You are allowed to borrow the books ;) I just hope that when we grow into adults we'll benefit in adult ways but keep some of the things we learnt from teen blogging. I already feel the 'oh, I'm going off on a tangent' moment. So, sticking to topic, since writing this one rep from a publisher (that I recall) has given some feedback & I was grateful for their opinion because in reviews in general it’s them who matter. Publishers can quote your review (obviously not GIFS xD), publicize it & its their book it’s for. So, in a way, I feel like I’ve been paid a book & they deserve to tell me how I can be good at the ‘job’.

@Jaden: That’s what I like to hear. Google images, Tumblr, many different places... If I ever find it too hard I just give up & find the words. There’s a wealth of GIFs, but it’s not infinite yet. Thanks for stopping by <3

@Karen: Hehe, thanks! There’s definitely a variation in my reviews but I don’t think I’ve ever given what you describe as a ‘clinical’ review so... that’s a positive, I think? :L Those type of reviews actually help more after you’ve read the book :P I never read that type before reading the book because it feels like I’m already getting the facts & putting them up to my own judgement, whereas I should really know the context. After reading, I may look back & think about how I feel now & flesh it out, by just taking inspiration from others points. If you get me?

@Gee: You don’t need to tell me you’re a fangirl ;) I already know, duh! XD Also, unrelated, you have infected my brain with thoughts of an Art blog. HALP.

@Ana: Nope, thank YOU. I don’t think I can ever be entirely happy but eh... that’s why books get more than one review :P If a perfect review already existed, would you bother? Plus, I don’t want to write an essay. Hence, hello GIFs :D

@Trish: I’m responding to you on your birthday. HIP-HIP-HIP Hooray! There are some professionals, in my opinion. People like Nose Graze & Parajunkee (all of whom are adults... denying responsibility atm, me). It’s not better or worse, definitely, so don’t worry <3

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