Sunday, February 14, 2010

TSS: A Request and Random Ramblings

I have a lot of things I'd like to address generally on my blog, so instead of doing one of my usual Sunday Salon posts where I ask you a question and you answer, I'm just going to start typing all my thoughts out and see what happens!  Apologies if this is a very unintelligent post.

First things first.  Have you signed up to participate in the Spotlight Series?  It is a great vehicle (well, I helped create it so obviously I think it's great) to bring more attention to small publishers who bring us great books.  Are you someone who sometimes wonders, "How can I use my blog to do good in the world?  How can I use the network I've created to bring value to the masses?"  Well, the Spotlight Series is a way to do it!  Small presses often don't have the marketing money necessary to send out tons of review copies or advertise in Shelf Awareness.  The Spotlight Series is a way for you to help bring more attention to small publishers and help them succeed in their mission to bring readers eclectic, cutting edge works.  So go check out the catalog of our first featured publisher, Unbridled Books, see which books by them are stocked in your local library or bookstore, pick one to read and then get ready to review it between March 14-27.  It will be a karma point in your favor.

I must apologize if I normally comment on your blog and I haven't done so lately.  And also if I have been following your blog for some time and haven't commented yet.  Or if I have been commenting, but have said something really boring like, "Great review!  Thanks!"  Or "This looks really good!"  Or if you have commented on my blog and I have not responded to you.  Whew- so many apologies!  Google Reader, every time I visit it, defeats me.  It exhausts me.  I love all the blogs I follow, but it is humanly impossible to keep up with them and interact with the bloggers in the way I want to.  I am not sure what my method going forward will be for this.  I'm also worried that if someone comments on my blog and I don't go and comment on their blog that they'll think I'm being snobby and unapproachable and I get all paranoid and it's just a bad situation.  I hope no one thinks I'm unfriendly and if I have been very lax about keeping up my part of our bookish relationship, please let me know and I shall try to make amends as soon as possible!  Please don't just decide I'm too cool for school and wash your hands of me.  I'm not too cool for school.  I love school!

Someone who made no effort to be kind to me commented on one of my reviews recently.  He was snarky.  I know it's not just me who thinks this because Chris confirmed that he was rude and I think we all agree that Chris's word is final.  Personally, I don't understand why someone would take the time to visit a blog, read a review, write out a comment and then follow the comment thread just to be mean.  Whose mind works in this way?  Why not at least be polite?  I think I'm probably one of the last bloggers to have come across this situation.  I don't think I'm overly sensitive, but it really bothers me when people are mean just because.  How do you deal with The Case of the Snarky Commenter? 

I also don't understand the "fanboys" online that seem to troll the internet for negative reviews of books by authors they adore, and then basically just comment on blogs or Amazon to say they disagree with the review (usually in a rude manner and often as part of some weird online trolling team).  Why not just take the time to review the book yourself and say what you liked about it?

I love that the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremonies had such a huge focus on the First Nations and really involved the Aboriginal cultures in the ceremonies. I am not sure what status the First Nations have in Canada, but I have a feeling it's a much better one than they have in the US.  Good on Canada!

That's all.


  1. The Spotlight Series is a really great idea!! I hope I can participate with the series at some point.

  2. You must be too cool for school because that is the coolest expression, ever! I should know, I use it all the time.
    The blog commenting is a vicious circle, we can only do what we can do. You are far from unapproachable, don't even worry about it. :)

  3. regarding the snarky commenters - they're either drama queens, or really think they're being righteous. either way, they're unpleasant and most people don't really pay attention to them, other than for entertainment value ("geez, would you look at what this fool wrote?" like that.)

  4. How do you treat snarky commenters or fanboys? Ignore them. It works, all the time. My Twilight reviews had quite a few fan-boys telling me I was nuts. I don't care; I have the right to say what I like about a book (provided I'm not too mean about it). You don't like it, that's your problem. Deal with it. And about people who aren't polite, there are some weirdos who like being mean. It's not personal, and I've learned to ignore it (and disable anonymous commenting, which I figured was creating the problems)

  5. I agree. Ignore the snarks. Honestly, it's your blog and you are even free to delete comments if you like. Count them as spam or something! We don't need the negativity in our community.

    And I am totally feeling like I don't comment enough lately either. I think it's the winter blahs or something. I hope people wait it out and don't think I'm a jerk!

  6. Your apologies paragraph? I worry about that kind of stuff constantly :\ I don't think I'll ever be up to date again, not like I was back when I worked part time and from home. The best I can do is try to treat people kindly and hope no feelings are hurt.

    I agree with Hazra and Kristen on snarky commenters. If you ignore them they tend to go find someone else to harass :P

  7. When it comes to Snarky commentors, I just delete them! It is my blog and if they don't like what I have to say then tough.

    Loved the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Can't wait for 2012, when we finally get ours in England.

  8. I definitely don't think people not commenting on blogs think they are too cool for school. Everyone is busy and I don't comment as much as I would like. I hate leaving "great review" and nothing else comments. If I am going to comment I want it to be a thoughtful comment. I figure people read but they might not have something other than "great review" to say.

    With regards to the fan boy, I've only had that happen to me once and I ignored them. In my case it was so incredibly obvious that they had only read the bit where I had problems with the book and not listened when I said that overall I loved the book. It was ridiculous.

    And finally, I am really excited about the spotlight series, really looking forward to "my" book. :D

  9. I totally get you, so often I have those a bit boring comments, cos google reader takes the best of me and I wanna say hi to everyone, and not enough time to do it right

    Oh were is Mr Snarky comment?

  10. For me, the challenge is to keep going even when you think no one must be reading because hardly anyone is commenting and so you feel very very dorky. But I just have to remember why I'm doing it, and also remember how much trouble I myself have getting around to all the good blogs. I agree it's hard though!

  11. Snarky commentors suck. Normally I just delete their comments straight-out.

    I wouldn't worry about the commenting thing. I guess you interact with so many people on Twitter that people know you're not snubbing them. :)

  12. Personally I comment on blog posts that I find interesting and when I feel I have something to contribute. I don't expect a comment in return! I don't think commenting should be an obligation.

    Sorry to hear about the obnoxious commenter. I've been lucky enough not to have that problem (yet).

  13. I don't feel that you are being rude if I post a comment on your blog (or someone elses) and they don't comment on mine. It's impossible, time-wise to respond to all comments.

    I always try to respond to a comment when someone asks a question though.

    As far as snarky comments, I never could understand why someone would take the time to be rude or argumentative? I moderate my comments and reject those comments that I feel are rude or mean, fortunately there have only been a few.

    This was a great post. You've addressed issues that were on my mind and I'm sure on the minds of other bloggers as well.

  14. I agree with what many say here. Ignore the snarky commenters. There's going to be no nice way about it. Irrespective of what you reply to them, they are going to find a way to rebuke you. Really, you can just delete their comments. It's your blog after all. But if you don't think you should delete any comments, you can just keep them on, so everyone who comments can blacklist one blog from their list. Honestly, if someone cannot respect another person's opinion, they have no business offering theirs. And we don't have to listen to them at all.

  15. Aarti:
    As to said snarky commenter, I just checked out his profile and his "about me" is rather lame, indeed. It sounds like he has no ability rather than to be snarky (or smarmy)! I wouldn't worry about him.

  16. I worry about commenting too, but we do the best we can. I just have to believe that of everybody.

    I am so excited about the tour. I read my book this weekend and I did change it so I will drop you a line to let you know what I read.

  17. Megan- I really hope you can, too!

    bookmagic- That's hilarious. I use the phrase rarely, but for some reason it always makes me giggle.

    Mardel- Yes, I just don't get why they take it upon themselves to be such staunch defenders of authors. I would never trust one of their reviews if they are so narrow-minded.

    Hazra- Oh, I am SURE your Twilight reviews get those types of comments! People are insane about that series. And vocally so.

    Kristen- Winter blahs, definitely. I am so slow at doing ANYTHING productive during these months.

    Nymeth- You always treat people kindly! I hope the same, that no feelings get hurt.

    Vivienne- Yes, I'm looking forward to the Olympics in London, too! I generally like the Summer Olympics better, but I watched the mogul skiing yesterday and that was really cool.

    Zee- I'm excited for you to participate in the series, too! And I also hate leaving the "great review" comment. Seems like such a copout. And I had the same situation with the fanboy! It was a positive review I wrote!

    Blodeuedd- Yes, Google Reader is a tall mountain to climb. The comment was on my Under Heaven review.

    Rhapsody- Yes, I often feel super-dorky in those moments! But at least *I* can go back and read those posts :-)

    Amanda- I'm actually surprised by how many people do the deleting comments thing. I haven't really ever deleted a comment, but I also haven't had a snarky commenter until this situation, so maybe I'll start doing it more in future.

    Marieke- That's lucky! I was lucky for quite some time, too. I think I just finally got around to reviewing a book by an author with a fanboy base, maybe? Not sure.

    Diane- Yes, question comments are good to respond to. Sometimes even in email form so the person really gets the response.

    Aths- "If someone cannot respect another person's opinion, they have no business offering theirs." That's so true! How eloquently stated.

    Bookshelf Monstrosity- You're right! It is.

    Nicole- I changed my book, too! I decided to read one no one else has signed up for yet.

  18. Generally I get positive comments, but one time, I received a comment on Amazon that went on and on, berating my review and minimizing it...I steamed for awhile and thought of things I could say. But then I ended up ignoring him...deciding that his dissenting voice was in the minority and that he was probably hoping that I would give him a steamed-up response. So he ended up not getting what he wanted!

    My salon:

  19. Interesting post. I know what you mean about commenting - sometimes it's hard to keep up and the more blogs I find that I like (and therefore follow) the harder it becomes! I don't always respond to all of the comments left on my blog since a lot of times it doesn't seem like there is an appropriate response to make. I haven't gotten a lot of snarky comments - a little critical perhaps (which is fine and I can handle) but none what I have considered "mean".

  20. I don't think you ought to worry about not commenting or not responding to comments. Most of us are quite busy, not only with keeping up with the blogs we follow, but with things like Work! and Family! and Life Outside the Internet! So we also sometimes read but don't comment, or fail to respond to comments. You are not alone, and anyone who doesn't understand is probably lying about on a divan wearing maribou slippers and being fed bon-bons.

    As to snarky, rude people, well, I'm a great fan of the ability to delete comments!

  21. I am tooo curious! ;)
    Oh yes the might google reader, this week I really had trouble cos I was so busy. But I want to post :)

    Snarky, and why since you liked it? Got to excited over one fact didn't he

  22. I've been feeling the paranoia this week too. Am I friendly enough? Welcoming enough? Is someone talking about me? Oh well, you can't please everyone so you might as well please yourself.

    I've only gotten a few snarky comments. Most of the time they are funny. I had one guy tell me I was stupid in the most round about way that I said, "Wait. Did he just say I'm stupid?" lol! If you don't bait them, they leave and rarely return.

  23. Aw, you can only do what you can do and trust that what you DO do is what you need to do. Always easier read/said than done but don't worry about the negatives! Give energy to all the positives!! :) hugs, smiles and I think you are INCREDIBLE. Happy Valentines Day! love, Care

  24. I love the idea of the Spotlight Series challenge- what a great idea. And like you I don't understand why some people feel the need to be negative and rude on blogs. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything, right?

  25. Anonymous2/14/2010

    I am sad I missed the Olympics opening ceremonies! I've heard mixed reviews of them, which has made me double curious to watch them.

    For what it's worth, you do not come off as unapproachable at all! You are totally un-unapproachable!

  26. Laurel- Ignoring people who say mean things is always, always very difficult for me to do!

    Daphne- Yes, sometimes I don't respond to all blog comments, either. But I try to respond to conversational ones.

    Lilithcat- Ooh, a divan with bon bons! What a life :-)

    Blodeuedd- Yes, agreed. One little thing.

    Chris- Perhaps it is group paranoia? I can't believe someone called you STUPID. Good grief.

    Care- your comment made me laugh. Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

    Marie- yay! I hope you participate in the Spotlight Series.

    Jenny- Thank you! That is a relief to hear :-)

  27. I've gotten a couple of out-of-the-blue critical comments before, and they were startling, so I can understand being discomfited by it. My blog's open to public comments so I figure it's bound to happen on occasion. It's all part of having a blog out there, and it happens to everyone sooner or later. Alas. But I wouldn't let the snarkiness get you down.

    As for this particular guy's attitude... I know who he is and saw what he wrote but haven't actually read most of your review except the very end (I haven't gotten my own copy yet, so I'm avoiding any plot summaries!). As far as I know, yours was the first review out there, so there are lots of people out there who'll find your site when searching for info on it. Reading his comment, I'm guessing he may have wanted more of a taste of the book itself, because it won't be out for a few months, and it's hard to get a feel for actual style from a pastiche. That said, I know reviewers are asked not to quote from ARCs. And if he really wanted to engage in a discussion on that point, he could've phrased it so that you weren't automatically put on the defensive.

    FWIW I don't delete comments unless they're obvious promo pitches or obscene, but each blog has its own policy on that. My $.02 - sorry to go on for so long :)

  28. Snarky commenters? Why bother? Life is just too short to bother being negative. It's too much work when there is so much good in the world!

    I also enjoyed the First Nation stuff in the opening ceremony!

  29. Some people just get their jollies by being mean. Just ignore them ... it isn't worth your time.

    And it is impossible to keep up with all the great blogs out there! You just do what you can and don't worry! If people dislike you or think poorly of you because you can't comment on every post or something, that hardly seems like someone you need to worry about. We're all drowning in posts in our readers!!! : )

    And I missed the opening ceremonies ... I'll have to look for clips online.

  30. Anonymous2/14/2010

    I'm always struggling to find the time to comment...and to leave comments that don't make me sound like a total ditz. There're too many great blogs, and not enough hours in the day!

  31. Oh, I agree with you about occassionaly feeling guilty about not replying to every comment on a blog.
    I really don't think everyone expects a response each time, I surely don't. Otherwise it becomes like a meaningless gift exchange that the only reason you gave a gift was because you recieved one.
    I do appreciate all comments and it does encourage me to stop by more often and read their blogs and comment when their post moves me.
    Great topic.

  32. Don't worry about commenting/approachability/etc! I think we all worry too much about blogging, lol.

    I haven't ever had a commenter being snarky for the heck of it, but if I did, I'd delete the comment without a second thought. That's me though. ;)

    And yay for Spotlight Series!

  33. Aarti -
    I liked this post. Thanks for the link to Spotlight series.

    And the lack of commenting thing I am guilty too.

    As for the snarky commenter... They just do not get posted on my blog and if they continue they are blocked.

    Take care.. your one of my favorite and most well rounded bloggers.. and that means something.

  34. I like your post : )

    I recently had a snarky comment on an Amazon review I did. The book was one that I found heavy in the beginning - a lot of facts and not a lot of story line. Eventually as the book went on I did enjoy it but the commenter said that perhaps if I had an attention span longer than that of a gnat I could have comprehended the book.

    Nice right? I just left it alone... my whole book club struggled with that read. A whole lot of gnats where I come from. :)

  35. Hey you! I did not sign up for the spotlight, but I am planning to and will be reviewing a book from Unbridled Books if I can. I think it's a great idea and I am looking forward to participating.

    I also know how much time it takes to comment on on the blogs, and I totally don't take it personally that you might not be able to make it over all the time. It can be really daunting to manage the google reader if you take a couple of days off, like I did last week. I agree that you are totally not too cool for school, so don't worry. I also will be sending my much belated e-mail to you very soon!

    I don't know what it is about snarky commenters. I had someone leave a really nasty comment on one of my reviews and it really upset me. I ended up just totally ignoring it and trying to forget about it, because who wants to feed the trolls and have them bite back? I think it's incredibly cheesy and tacky to leave nasty negative comments on someone's blog, but obviously these type of people have nothing better to do except try to be witty at someone else's expense. I hope that he goes the hell away, never to darken your door again!

  36. On sharky comments and fan boys-recently I wrote a post on Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki-in a light hearted spirit I suggested it was the best novel published in the year it came out-1932 I think-I think wrote silly descriptions of western classics that came out that year-the poster got real mad and said he would not tolerate by anti-western antitude any more (My profile shows I live in Manila) and if I posted anything similar he would some how "get me"-I moderate my posts so I never posted it-since then he has attempted one other post in which he denigrates a classic western novel I liked, Jane Eyre-

  37. Screw the haters.

    I really should sign up for the spotlight series once I peek my head out of the TBR of doom.

    Honestly, don't feel bad if you don't comment on my blog. I understand people get busy and caught up in their lives.

    I feel bad for not commenting sometimes too, but then remember blogging isn't my full-time job. When I see something which grabs me, yeah I'll comment.

  38. I'm always late getting back to those who comment on my blog so I understand your anxiety but I've always found everyone understanding. As for the snarky comment never you mind the little malcontent, probably wasn't hugged enough as a child.
    Warm regards and a BIG Hug,

  39. Anonymous2/16/2010

    I have trouble keeping up with all the blogs, too, and I also worry people will think I'm a snob. It's overwhelming - but I do love it. We do what we can, right?

    Hope you're doing well, Aarti! Sorry about your mean commenter. :(


    from the desk of a writer


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