Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Help me out people! I'm curious...

After a few years of participating on Barnes & Noble's online book clubs I decided to branch out a bit. I joined Goodreads and then Shelfari when I participated in book discussions there. Then I heard about LibraryThing and I really started to learn some stuff! I hadn't really followed blogs before that but that was my introduction. I was fascinated and for some foolish reason I thought I could do it too, so I jumped in with both feet. Boy was I in for a surprise! In hindsight, I now realize that it would have been wise to follow others much longer and learn a few things before I tried it myself. But than again, if I had realized how much work it took I may not have tried it at all! Fortunately, I was naive but optimistic and was I blessed to have all of you to learn from. This is such an amazing community. I have had so many kind people be friendly, helpful, encouraging, patient, considerate... the list goes on and on.

I have a looong road ahead and I'm still finding my way, but that's part of the fun. I like reading what others have to say and searching for what I want my blog to be about. There are so many opportunities to be creative! I'm amazed by how clever everyone is and I could spend hours and hours wandering from blog to blog. I learn something new every day.

And that brings me to the point of all of this. How do you decide where you're going to go and what you're going to do? How much time do you spend online and does it take away from your reading time like it does mine? I've certainly expanded my TBR list by pages and pages and pages, but I don't get as much reading done now as I used to because I'm on the computer more. I have found that some things have replaced others though. I don't do as many of the online book clubs now because I don't have the time. And as I've mentioned before, I still have a dial-up connection so that makes everything take sooooo much longer. That really cuts down on what I choose to do. I may be the last person on earth but I haven't joined My Space, Facebook or Twitter (yet!) because I might never get off this thing if I did! And I want to enjoy the little bit of summer we're (almost) having here in NY state.

So, help me out people! I'm curious about what you do and how you decide what that will be. How many social networks do you belong to and why did you join them? How many blogs do you have? Do you have a routine for how and when you blog? How did you learn? Don't worry, it's not a formal survey or anything I'm just curious about how other people do things. How about you?


  1. I'm really lucky as I work the 3rd shift. I'm up all night. I sit at a desk and have to answer phones. If they don't ring, I'm pretty much free for the night. I get all my blogging and reading done at night at work.

    I do have a Facebook page, which was tons of fun in the beginning but has kind of slowed down lately. I think the fun is finding everyone. I keep up with it but not daily.

    I have to read every day, it bothers me if I don't. I read when I go to bed in the morning, it helps relax me. I'll read at work and during the day when I'm waiting for the kids to get out of school, work or where ever. I always have my book with me.

  2. It is hard to balance everything, and I don't think there's any magic formula. I do feel like my reader's at capacity. I know there are a lot of great blogs out there that I don't read, but I have to set limits somewhere. Good luck!

  3. The first online book club I joined was Shelfari. I'm still there and I still love it. I then discovered Goodreads and I joined that too. Then, I heard about LibraryThing and couldn't resist. LOL Basically, if I hear about something good, I join it. I don't participate as much as I'd like in the groups because there's just not enough time in the day.

    I work full time and when I get home from work, I'm immediately online. I've added and added to my TBR, but my reading time has definitely gone way down. I'm trying to be better and read more, but I'm addicted to the cyber world :)

    I have two blogs - my main one and then one I made strictly for my Harlequin/Silhouette Reading Challenge that I host. Everything really goes on my main blog - Socrates' Book Reviews. I try to post everyday and I participate in a few book memes as well.

    I learned about blogs just by visiting them and seeing what others have done.

  4. Well I'm new to blogging, but not new to the been "online for hours and didn't realize it". I also am on B&NBC(debbook) but very rarely now as I would spend less time reading what I wanted, to participate in BC though I was getting less and less out of it. Cutting back on that made a huge difference and even though I started a blog and am on twitter, I am getting more reading done. I do want to read and comment on more blogs-they have so much to teach me, but am trying to do this in moderation. If it stops being fun, then I need to change something.

  5. I am way overextended. I definitely spend too much time online and too little time reading. I generally only get to read a few pages at a time, which is why it is taking me weeks to read books instead of days or hours like so many others. But I'm trying to pull myself away from the computer and back to the books.

    I don't spend too much time with online book blogs like Library Thing or discussion forums, but do spend a lot of time going around visiting blogs and entering giveaways, and uploading photos and videos and updating one of my...six?...blogs that I maintain. See? I don't even know how many blogs that I have now. Luckily most of them are pretty topic-specific, so they don't require regular updating. But geez! There just aren't enough hours in the day!

  6. I belong to Goodreads, LibraryThing, Facebook, and Twitter, but I don't spend a lot of time on them. I wish I had time to, but I don't. With a full-time job and some new freelance work, I have a hard time finding a few minutes to update my blog, and since that's my first love, I focus my free time there.

    I do love the sense of community all of these social networks offer. If only there were more hours in the day!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. Wrighty: blogging and all the social networks takes up a great deal of time. I have two blogs I work on myself and one that I share with Anna at Diary of an Eccentric.

    The main blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, takes up most of my time. I generally have interviews and guest posts in reserve as well as award posts to fill in any weekly gaps in content. Those are already put into the Blogger system and wait for me to hit publish.

    The second, photography blog, has been suffering. I think I last updated it in May. I have to get back into the swing of that. Generally, I go through bursts with that one, setting up several posts in advance and letting wordpress do the work.

    The third blog has been hit or miss. I am currently in charge of the news items for the WWII challenge and Anna has been posting the links and snippets of reviews from participants, but things get in our way sometimes. We both strive to remedy these things soon.

    When I review books, I make sure to paste the content into Good reads, Amazon, and library thing on the same night I write the review or the next morning when there is a lull in work deadlines.

    Twitter has been falling off my radar, but I still try to post links to some interesting reviews and articles, and gives. Facebook is running about once per week in most cases, but generally I can go months at a time without looking at it since my blog automatically feeds into the network.

    I spend lunch breaks and downtime at work reading blogs, and that is the only time I have to do it.

    As for cutting into reading time, it does, but I have to make sacrifices some weeks and read more and blog less, but it has worked out ok for me. I haven't felt overwhelmed or lost my mind yet.

    It really is personal. How much time do you want to devote to the internet? Once you decide on how much time per week, just divide it up and create a schedule for yourself...and it can be a loose schedule in case you prefer to do something else.

    I hope that helps.

  8. I can take up a lot of time...
    I suggest limiting to your favorite ones and ignoring the rest.

    I'm on facebook- but that's mainly for co-workers and old friends.

    I like to focus most on my blog...

  9. I don't get Twitter, I mean, I know that there are all sorts of Bookish conversations that go on, but I always seem to get there in the middle and by the time I figure out what's going on, everyone has logged off.

    I joined Facebook because an author asked me to so I could put my review of his book up. That's about all I've ever done on it.

    Myspace--I only go on to check out my kids profile, etc.

    I recently set up my google reader, which helps immensely, but its hard to find the time to read all of it and comment like I'd like too. My reading time is seriously compromised by the computer time!

  10. It's a challenge to find the time. I use google reader, which helps immensely with keeping up with all the blogs I like to visit. And I'm on Facebook, but that is where I coneect with non online friends. I still spend too much time on the computer!
    Something that has helped me this year is having a weekly schedule. Monday quizzes, Teaser Tuesday, Wed & Thurs book reviews, Fri author interview or movie review, and weekends for awards/challenges/reviews.
    This has actually helped me read more! I used to just post a review whenever I finfished it, but now I can sometimes even get a little ahead! The trick is to find something that works for you.
    Whatever you are doing is working, because I love your blog!

  11. I have found myself reading less than normal the more time I spend on the computer. It started with Barnes & Noble's book club page then branched out to twitter. I'm still refusing to have anything to do with Facebook or Myspace.

    I'm just started my own blog (Wordsmithonia) but am not sure how much time I'm willing to give up to it. I am having quite a bit of fun with it though and hope to learn more as time goes on.

  12. Blogging did terrible things to my reading last year, so I had to re-commit to my books this year, and it's better. But as everyone else has said, online activity does take a lot of time, and everyone has to find their own balance.

    I'm on Twitter, but I've made the decision to focus the bulk of my online energy on blog-related activity - posting on my own blog and another where I'm a contributor, and reading and commenting on other people's. It's really easy to be spread too thin, and most of us have to learn from experience :-). You'll figure out what works for you.

  13. GoodReads, Twitter, Facebook and my blog. And Google Reader. I now ignore Facebook and just have my blog post automatically. Twitter is sporadic and I update GoodReads every once in awhile. And I've cut back on commenting because there's just not enough time in the day....I pick a few posts each day from Google Reader that I comment on. While I enjoy being on the computer, I am reading less. As Kathy said, it is hard to balance everything. My only advice is to avoid Facebook like the plague.

  14. Like most everyone else, my reading time has been seriously compromised by my online time. I've been trying to take it back, but it's tough because I'm pretty addicted to LT and Twitter, some parrot forums and blogs, book blogs, my blogs, aaargh!

    I do like Twitter ~ I follow some book bloggers and some authors, some publishers, some political activists, the President, some bird people, and a couple of just plain fun tweeters. I'm on FB, but I don't go on much except to see what my daughter and nieces are up to ~ and then I have to wade through too much junk (I don't care what character in the HP movies you are most like, and I have no intention of wasting more of my time with stupid quizzes like that). I'm on LT every day, and I also read one or two blogs every day. I don't even try to keep up with all the blogs I follow, because there isn't enough time in my life right now. My job is so intense and high-pressure I can't even check my personal emails at the office anymore.

    I try to blog at least once a week. Sometimes I succeed.

  15. I kind of just jumped in too mostly because I started blogging just to keep track of what I was reading. Then slowly I started participating in book reviews and then added on giveaways. I also am on Shelfari, GoodReaders, LibraryThing, an online book club on Babycenter and Twitter not to mention the 100+ blogs I follow in Google Reader. Yes, it seriously has eaten into my reading time but I also find such great things on all these places that I am loathe to give any up. Sigh. Between this and my daughter getting reading done is hard and I don't really have any system. I pretty much just feel my way along. Not much help I know!

  16. I LOVE hearing what you all have to say! It's not really that I'm looking for advice (although it's welcome!) I'm just so curious about how others manage their time and accomplish so much. I feel like I'm always behind and have so much to do! I'm really trying to get more organized and cut back on something at least a little. Summer doesn't last very long around here and I love to be outside. And when I have a book with me it's even better.

    Keep the comments coming! It's so interesting to find out about all of you!

  17. I think everyone feels overwhelmed at some point. I am pretty new to blogging (around 9 months) and when I started a lot of bloggers were mentioning how overwhelmed they felt by the number of review books they had to read. So I made sure that I really thought about each new site I joined or each book I agreed to review.

    I am on Library Thing maybe once a week and that is to update my library, load reviews from my blog, and check messages. I mainly joined for the Early Reviewers program, which I like but it takes forever to receive the books. I have not joined Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, or Shelfari. Maybe in the future, but I try to focus all my energy on my blog.

    I post almost everyday. I try to do 2 memes and 3 reviews a week. I also started an online book club through my site and have started posting a weekly round-up post on Saturday. I don't accept a lot of review books because I tend to be a reader who likes to choose what her next book will be based on mood. With that said, I think in a few months my next step will be to try a book tour and experience that for the first time.

    I love to read other blogs. I try to read through around 10-20 a day and comment as much as I can. Google Reader makes this much easier.

    Thanks for the great post, this is a wonderful discussion!

  18. I do a lot of copy/cut/pasting for reviews to my blog, goodreads, shelfari, librarything, etc. I do most of my socializing on my blog and facebook. I spend way too much time online but it's fun and I enjoy it. I do take time out though and unplug the computer and breathe! I feel like I spend so much time online that I am losing precious reading time!

    Stop by when you get a chance for your award

  19. I've definitely been trying to do too much. My blog has only been up 4 months, but in some ways it feels like 4 years! When I remind myself that I am still very much a newbie, it helps me relax. I'm spending a lot more time on the computer, but then I've had to teach myself just about everything so things take quite a while to complete. I'm learning that I need to resist requesting too many review copies, but I haven't yet learned exactly how to make the best choices about what I do select. (If I give something a pass and then everyone else raves about it, I feel as though I've made a mistake!) Right now, I have overcommitted to blog tours - I was so excited to be asked, I agreed to do several before I had actually completed one. Now I know that I don't really want to do that many - I don't like feeling so scheduled. On the other hand, my range of reading material has really broadened and I've found tons of new to me authors that I love. And I really love the challenge of putting together a blog post that is both aesthetically pleasing and interesting to read. I wish I could spend more time on Twitter - I can see people have fun there, but I mostly use it right now to promote giveaways. I have a full-time job, a daily commute of 45 minutes each way, an elderly mother, I live with my young niece and nephew - there are a lot of demands on my time. Oh, did I mention that I don't have my very own computer? I either use my sister's or the stay late at the office. Next up for me is to try to establish a schedule of postings - I can't post every day consistently, but I'd like to work out a pattern. I try to keep up with Library Thing, but it's not completely up to date. I've "met" so many nice, friendly people through blogging and reading blogs, I do wish I could spend more time online! And more time reading. It's all struggle, but I'm loving it!

  20. P.S. I wish I had a job like Lori's! ;)


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