Blooking Needs A Community

Richard from Undead Flowers posted a comment here – quite some time ago – that sparked off a series of thoughts and half baked ideas in my head. It’s returned to haunt me again and again:

I think that if we wanted to do something about sorting out the chaff from the wheat, it would need to be done quite far down the line. Take political bloggers, for instance: they have a community, and the ”˜better’ bloggers are those that get referenced more by the others. So quite rapidly, you have a grassroots mechanism in place where certain blogs are highlighted.

This isn’t quite possible with fiction blogs because they don’t reference each other in the same way. To do something similar you’d probably have to set up an independent site where you could vote for and review your favourite fiction blogs. At least, that’s all I can think of that might do the job.

Richard’s point is gold, real gold: in two paragraphs he circles out a major problem facing blooks – one that I’ve never even thought about.

Funny thing, isn’t it – the blogosphere? How important that sense of community (real or imagined) is to the blogs of various genres. How blogs can turn out to be small coffee shops – where people come and share and think and talk.

Richard’s comment highlights another more important aspect of covering blooks – Novelr isn’t on top of everything there is out there. I may have started Novelr out of passion for blooks, trying to see how far we can push the boundaries of blog fiction (or online lit, for that matter), and I know I can’t possibly cover all bases. Take, for instance, this illuminating post in Collected Voices:

While the satirical nature of TV Controller gives it an added advantage (a daily dose of bitchy comedy never goes amiss), what it has in common with Belle is an instantly gettable, simple top line. With ”˜The diary of a London call girl’, or ”˜the secret blog of Britain’s youngest TV controller’, even new readers know exactly what to expect. A two-dimensional character, who doesn’t go on a transformational journey is actually an advantage in blog fiction. Stories confined to one or two posts are the ideal length of narrative.

That part of the post was an aha! moment for me – another thing about blooking I hadn’t yet considered.

Richard’s right. While this blog and Blooking Central (Cheryl’s doing a fabulous job covering blooks – much better than I am, I might say) is doing fine for the moment, we’ll soon need something bigger, something better – something more community-based … where blookers like us can converge and share and write.

I’ll be trying my best to find other blookers to voice out and guest post here at Novelr – it’ll be a small step to building a community, and a first one at that. But let’s look beyond: where to next? A forum? A mailing list? Who? Where? How?

I’d like to hear from you all.

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Category: Writing Web Fiction