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Sunday, June 21, 2009

What's Up with This New Trend?

How do you feel about the new trend of putting a bunch of requirements on a give-away offer--or saying you get more than one entry if you add a link, twitter, post on face book, add a widget, AND blah, blah, blah?

I'm more than willing to add a link or share offers, etc. but the self-aggrandizement and merchandising aspect of all these "qualifications" annoys me. I find this more and more on both book and craft blogs, but maybe I'm alone in my curmudgeonly feelings.

I found this wonderful link to Book Seer (you enter a book you've read, and it gives you a suggestion about what to read next) on Cathy's blog, Kittling: Books. She had lots of interesting links today, but this is the one I'm going to play with right now.

Yeah, yeah. I need to review books, but just don't feel like it. Maybe later.


  1. You're not alone - I avoid those like the plague!

    I'm behind with writing reviews - but I'm enjoying reading.

  2. I thought I'd stop by...before I started writing those reviews. (Hey! Who snickered?) Thanks for the link. I'm glad you like Book Seer, but the real reason why I'm here is because you're not the only curmudgeon!

    I've noticed this trend, too, and I hate it. I keep expecting to read that the newest requirements are spangles, spandex, a frilly pink tutu and jumping through flaming hoops.

    I have a feeling that all these requirements are to broaden the blog's readership. I'm such a curmudgeon that I think this should be done the old-fashioned way: through content, not by coercion, no matter how pleasantly it's disguised.

  3. Thanks for the Book Seer link JenClair. It's so much fun! I think we all have many books that we want to review - and we will - in time !

  4. PS: Generally I do not like the 'requirements' play along thing. Too many details.

  5. I don't like the new contest rules either; anything more than blogging about it/linking to it just strikes me as silly. I kind of miss the 'good old days' of blogging, lol, when there weren't really book tours or all of the 'extras.'

  6. Not a fan either. But I skip over most of the giveaway, tour and meme stuff anyway. I look for the blog and blogger behind the marketing stuff.

  7. I don't mind "requirements" when it's things like, leave a comment discussing the issue this book raises. I think that's a good idea, actually! Does that bother you as well, or more the "marketing" type requirements?

  8. Yeah, they bother me too. I did it a few times. Then realized everybody was doing it and stopped right away. I don't mind doing a twitter if it's something I really, really want but I prefer the old just leave a comment giveaways. Much more friendly!

  9. In the beginning, I admit that I added the extra entries if you blog about it line to my giveaways, but have long since done away with it. Now I keep it simple. For me and for participants. It may mean I get less entrants, but that's okay. I have to confess, that I am happiest when the people who win my giveaways are regular visitors and not someone who just visits the once because they want to win something.

    I still enter the giveaways that interest me, regardless of the extra entries--I just don't enter for the extra entries.

    As for requirements: mandatory e-mail and having a question entrants have to answer (favorite book, memory, whatever) makes sense to me. I use the question method often in mine because I prefer to see more of a comment than "Enter me!" It's just my preference. People still end up not following the rules though. And the lack of e-mail can be a problem when trying to reach someone. But somehow I don't think you are referring to these types of hoops. :-)

    It really is up to the individual running the giveaway and I haven't a problem with them running it anyway they want. I can only speak to how I want to run my own.

    Thanks for the link to Book Seer. I use another site that does something similar called What Should I Read Next now and then (although I've never officially registered).

  10. BooksPlease - :) I'm not alone, then! Either in the dislike of the advertising gimmick or in catching up on reviews! Reading, though, is the great escape (from lots of little chores).

    Cathy - Book Seer is fun!

    I agree, a lot of them are trying to increase blog traffic and readership. Something about the "free" give-away and a list of requirements to advertise the blog has begun to bother me--especially as the list of requirements seem to have grown.

    zquilts - So much more fun to read than to review! You've noticed the "requirements" for the sewing and craft blogs, too, haven't you Marie?

    Eva - Yeah, the book tours and meme have kind of gone over-the-top, too. All of these are examples of too much of a good thing -- don't mind them once or twice, but then...

    SuziQ - With bloggers who don't do it often, I sometimes just skip over it. However, if it is a new-to-me blogger, and I hit on this kind of thing, I'm usually out of there without reading very far.

    Jenny - Oh, inviting discussion is great! I love reading comments that expound in some way about the book, the author, or their reading!

    Nicola - I like friendly best. I don't twitter, so that is always out for me, but I especially like posting links when people haven't asked. That feels like sharing...

    LF - If the requirements are just for multiple entries and the book is of real interest, I might enter without doing any of the additional suggestions. Lately, though, some of the suggestions aren't optional, and those I leave strictly alone.

    No problem at all with mandatory e-mail or having people answer a question! Like asking for discussion of some kind, I find that in these cases,the comments become as interesting and informative as the post.

    Thanks Wendy, for another neat link!

  11. There's a lot of stuff going on in the book blogging community right now that makes me feel like a curmudgeon, and yeah, the jump through a hoop to win a free book is something I dislike.

    I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one who feels that way. :)

  12. I hate all those extra entry requirements and if they're too complex, I won't enter at all. If I want to sign up to try to win a book and it's okay to just sign up, maybe answer a question, fine. I do one entry. If I already follow someone, I'll say so, but I'm not longer adding more blogs to my reader. I don't quite get why people are doing the stumble, digg and follow me everywhere thing. I twitter, but I haven't bothered to put up a link. If people find me, great. If not, fine. It's just for fun.

    I did away with the extra entry thing at my blog, since I dislike it, of course (plus, it's a lot more work!!!). I do what you mentioned -- just ask a question to foster discussion or have something fun to post about to entertain. I'm sure you knew that, though. LOL The "name the baby" thing I'm doing, right now, has gotten some really cute responses.

  13. SFP - It may be that people who haven't been blogging long don't mind all the hoops, but it appears that most of us feel the same way--which makes me feel better!

    bookfool - I'm amazed at some of the requirements. How do people have time to follow through on all of them. It takes me quite a while to just get through the list of blogs I read!

    I couldn't find the "name the baby" thing on your blog. Will look again later, but generally I like those. On the quilting blogs, sometimes people ask for names for an art quilt or a quilt pattern, and I love the creativity in the responses.

  14. Another curmudgeon here. Depending on the context I don't mind the blog for an extra entry one, but only for a book I really, really want.

    The one that really annoys me is the become a follower thing! Well before Blogger even came up with following I started using a feed reader. If I read through one of these accounts it is no different from being a follower with the exception that it can't be bragged about in the widget on the blog.

    I don't get why I should be expected to follow using the RSS feed, but also have to be an actual follower as well.

  15. Marg - I use Bloglines and have so many blogs (maybe too many!) that I follow. I haven't done the follower thing for the same reason--if it is a favorite blog, it is already on my blog reader.

    Some of the hoops make the blogger come off as demanding, which I'm sure is not their intention. Perception, however, is important.

  16. This is a comment for Marg. I have found that a lot of the requests to follow do count subscriptions through feed readers as being equal to following through Blogger. Like you and Jenclair, I don't use the "Follower" feature on Blogger, but I do use Google Reader. I can't speak to them all though, of course. Perhaps if they are going to add that stipulation or additional way to enter the drawing, they should be more clear about that in the instructions.

  17. Ditto to what everyone has said. I understand why others do that on their blogs and if it's a book I really would like then I leave a comment but don't follow up with more stuff. But me, when I host a blog tour or have a giveaway I like to keep it simple.

  18. Not a big fan either. I don't mind the kind Jenny mentioned, asking for a comment that says more than "enter me", but anything too complicated I just can't be bothered to do.

  19. Literary Feline, normally if I do subscribe I say so. Some people count that as following but I have had a couple who have said that it is not following and therefore did not count.

  20. I'm guilty of doing it a few times, but stopped because it annoyed me too. I'll do the comment and skip the extras. I LOVE when there is a question to be answered because I feel like the "regulars" will take the time to do it and not just say "enter me!" I entered one last week that wanted the answer to rhyme. That was a LOT of fun.

  21. I've done extra entries for most if not all of my giveaways, but recently have reconsidered this. It's so much more work to keep track of all the extra entries and I recently saw a giveaway with no less than 15 possibilities for extra entries...I really wanted the book, but didn't even enter the giveaway because I was so disgusted by the blatant self-promotion.

  22. The few times I've given books away, I just asked for book recommendations in the comments. So that worked well for me. I don't usually enter for book drawings because I don't want to jump through the hoops, but, hey, if they are willing to give a book away, I guess they can set their own conditions.

  23. I like to do some of the additions to get people to actually look at the reviews I have written rather than just come for the giveaway, I will ask that they post a comment on another post I have written.

    What I like most though is that rather than just ask them to sign up for the giveaway, I will add a question to go with it that pertains to the book. Such as, if the book is about traveling to a far away country, my question may be where is the farthest you have traveled from home? I love to read the answers!

    However - I have seen some blogs that to sign up for a giveaway you have to go to another blog to get a clue from a post and then come back another day to get something else.... those I just back right out of. I dont want to have to work hard for it. :)

  24. I'm late to the discussion, but I just wanted to say I agree with everyone here. On my giveaways I have tried the be a follower/subscriber thing (either or) and once the twitter post thing, but really it is more of an aggravation than anything. I have tried out several different ways of doing things since I started blogging in January and I am finding what works best for me and makes sense to me. I agree that the "get another entry for telling the world about my blog" is getting a little out of hand. The one I dislike most is when they want you to blog about it or put it in your sidebar.