Friday, March 10, 2017

Are Blogs Passe?

Are Blogs Passe? by Debra H. Goldstein

When my first book, Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus in the 1970’s was about to be published, I was advised to quickly create a website, social media presence, and a blog. The result was:

Twitter: @DebraHGoldstein
Personal blog, “It’s Not Always a Mystery” – www.DebraHGoldstein.com/blog

I was set, or so I thought. What I discovered during the time that elapsed between the original publication of my 2012 IPPY award winning Maze in Blue, its reissuance by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery as a May 2014 selection, and Five Star’s 2016 publication of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery, was that technology changed what was needed to attract readers. Websites had to be more interactive and mobile friendly, pictures and crafts demanded a presence on Instagram and Pinterest, and besides having a personal blog, it was beneficial for emotional support and reaching other readers to be part of a group blog, like The Stiletto Gang.

Of course, even though it meant redesigning my website, devoting more time to social media, and writing three blog posts a month (I write the Stiletto Gang blogs posted on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month and alternate having a guest post or one by me every other Monday for It’s Not Always a Mystery), I complied. In my free time, I enjoyed life, produced twenty short stories that have been published and a few still looking for a home, and wrote the first book for a new series that will soon be shopped by my agent.

In five years, both the world of publishing and suggested means of connecting with readers has
changed significantly. One of the most discussed things is the role of the blog. Some argue, there are simply too many, so none are being read. Others contend blogs are the only thing giving readers a consistent way of interacting with an author by providing an opportunity to read and comment on their thoughts and activities.

Personally, making blog deadlines is sometimes onerous, but I’m always glad when I complete one. I like sharing a bit of myself with you. I also enjoy reading blogs written by others. I always read everyone’s postings on The Stiletto Gang because we are all so different. Although I may not always write a comment on the blog itself or when it is reprinted on our Facebook page, I respect and value the different views we express.

But, what do you think about blogging? Do you think they have served their purpose? Do you look forward to them? Do you prefer ones written by individuals like It’s Not Always a Mystery or group blogs that appear more often, but are written by more authors like The Stiletto Gang?  


5 comments:

  1. This is a question I wrestle with as well--and obviously there are many different views on the topic. Just this semester in my reviewing class, I had a freelance critic who said he stopped writing his blog because that whole trend was over; in contrast, I welcome a blogger this week who's doing great work and continuing to attract followers and fans. And clearly I'm read here reading this--as I do every morning first thing, working through feedly and a list of blogs I follow.

    While I'm part of my own group blog and enjoy it, I'm not sure that people are reading my *personal* blog at my website. But I still keep it up just to keep fresh content on the page and for a bit of news for anyone who does follow it.

    Not sure any of this helps, but in the meantime, thanks for a fun post. You have this reader enjoying your posts and looking forward to more!

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    1. Thanks, Art. Appreciate your words of support .... and your reasoned approach to the different viewpoints on blogging.

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  2. Great questions, Debra, and, in my opinion, the answer seems to me to be "it depends." Time is such a precious commodity and while I don't read as many blogs as I used to. There are still some that I continue to read...time permitting. :-)

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    1. I have to agree with you. There are some I read religiously and others that I skim, but all in all, I still gain knowledge from most of them.

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  3. Just read this, Debra...b/c when I get behind, the first thing that goes is reading blogs. I enjoy blogging for the SG once a month, but I've given up on my personal blog. Are they passe? I'd say definitely maybe.

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