Blooking Has A Community

Happy CommunityNot so long ago I wrote Blooking Needs A Community, which served as a clarion call to the blooking world to start getting our act together. Now, nearly one year down the road, I’m happy to say that we have.

I only realized this about two weeks ago, after escaping from total boredom studying to start browsing through the list of blooks I had earmarked as ‘must read’. I caught up with The Legion of Nothing and The Mutants, and then I returned to Pages Unbound for an inkling on how the blooking world was getting along.

You have to understand where I was coming from. I had spent the past 6 months or so scribbling articles on paper and then jumping online for 30 minute intervals to publish them. I hadn’t had much time to do much else, much to my chagrin, and this little trip around the blog fiction sphere was eye opening.

It was great. The commenting sections of both blooks had more or less the same people hanging around them, as did their profile pages on Pages Unbound. I saw an even better indicator of a community in PU: a living, breathing forum. It isn’t very user friendly (I have to try to get Lexy to change the software) but it is a start.

Where To From Here?

This spirit of commenting on the various blogs of the blooking world bodes well for us. It makes it easier for writers to learn from each other, plus it also gives readers ample opportunity to site hop. I’ve no doubt that this (along with Pages Unbound) will keep our community alive and kicking for a long time to come.

So where do we go from here? A community gives us several advantages and allows us to do a few things that we could not do before. Exciting stuff, isn’t it? Here’s a look at some areas I feel we still have much to do:

1. Presentation

I’ll be talking a lot about design soon, about how and why it is important on the Internet, particularly if we’re writing and we want to be read. Yes, I have mentioned this before – readibility and fonts and the like, but there are a few ideas I’ve been working on that I’d like to share. Chief amongst this is the concept of a visual identity and how it makes writing that much stronger.

2. Reaching Out

I did a post not too long ago about how important it is to reach beyond our target audience – to convert non blook readers, if you will. I realized I may sound a little like an evangelist (oh hear The Lord now, ye flock of unfaithful sheep) but it’s something that must be done if blooking’s going to advance. Advertising is one option we have, but there are many more that we can explore.

3. Expansion

Of the community. We’ve got a whole bunch of writers working together now, making friends, interacting and talking with each other. This can be strengthened, grown and expanded upon. It’ll be interesting to include readers into the mix – what writer doesn’t like a legion of adoring fans after them?


I have a few projects I’ll be bringing out in the future with Novelr’s help. The advertising from Novelr isn’t much; it’s actually just enough to cover site costs at the moment. Soon, however, it will be sufficient to fund these projects. Closest to release is an experiment on story presentation I’ve been working on for two years now. I finished the first draft of the manuscript two days ago, and it’ll take about four to six more months for editing and design to be completed. Then the feedback process begins, and the elements that work will be isolated and analyzed.

The second initiative I would like to start next year is an editorial-based quality filter. In simple English: a site that highlights and helps build up the best blooks. The eventual aim is of course to create a solid alternative to the traditional publishing world – ambitious, no doubt, and liable to fail. But let me worry about that. At the moment I’m trying to find designers, programmers and writers interested enough to help out. There’s not going to be any monetary reimbursement in the beginning, so I’m relying on friends, mostly. Worst case scenario? I learn the skills I need to launch the site and do it myself.

(The worst case scenario’s actually the most likely thing that’s going to happen. Oh well. Fun times ahead.)

Wrapping Up …

We’ve got a great start already, thanks to Alexandra Erin’s vision and Pages Unbound. Yes, we’ve got a lot more to do, and there’s plenty of people who don’t know anything about blooks. But a community is a brilliant first step, and it’s also a very fulfilling one – friendship and interaction in the end make writing a lot more worthwhile than if we were sitting at home, alone.

PS: I’ve still got a lot more blooks in my Must Read list to catch up with, No Man An Island, Mirrorfall and Scary Mary chief among them. Fun, fun times ahead.

Note: Picture from Deviantart.

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Category: Design · Writing Web Fiction