2012 at 4pm Posted by Rebecca Joines Schinsky
I’m as surprised to see that headline here as you are. I was involved in planning both of the previous Book Bloggers Conventions, and I loved the “for us, by us” feel. I was not involved in the sale of the Book Bloggers Conventions to BEA; in fact, I wasn’t aware of it at all prior to the public announcement.
In the months since that announcement, I’ve developed concerns about the direction the event is going and about the fact that the programming of this year’s agenda seems more focused on allowing publishers and authors to get in front of bloggers than on creating a day of education to benefit bloggers. Why would I want to pay to spend a day being marketed to?
Jenn Lawrence (of Jenn’s Bookshelves) expressed similar dismay this afternoon when she discovered that the registration page for the BEA Bloggers Conference asked for information about bloggers’ traffic with the intent of publishing the information to the website and sharing it with publishers attending the conference. (Bonus points to Jenn–her calling public attention to this resulted in the removal of these items from the registration page. You can see Jenn’s screenshot of what it looked like here.)
Here’s what I think about this direction, in one tweet:
The publishing industry has finally recognized the value that bloggers add to the literary community, and they’ve made it a priority to find us, interact with us, and try to convince us to read and write about their books. And that’s a great thing. We’re here, and we’re doing something meaningful, and it feels good to have it acknowledged. But there’s something wrong when an event that is supposed to be about bloggers coming together to learn from and with each other is purchased, repackaged, and presented as a way for publishers to access and sell to bloggers. So I won’t be attending the BEA Bloggers Conference this year.
I’m a big believer in “if the thing you want doesn’t exist, go out and make it,” so instead, I’ll be working with my friend and colleague Jeff O’Neal on the “unconference” he decided (just this afternoon) to put together. Bloggers ONLY. Organic. Low-cost. For us, by us. A place where you’re a colleague, not a commodity. If the idea picks up steam (at least 30-40 people), we’ll make it happen. If you’re interested, click the link above to visit Jeff’s blog and leave your thoughts, feedback, ideas for panels, whatever. And if you’re excited, please share it. What we bloggers do is important, and it’s important that we have a space that is just ours to share ideas, learn, and challenge each other.
No related posts.