Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab



Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Blogging Communities


This post was inspired by Kai's post at Fantasy Rambler, which in turn was inspired by my blog. It’s kind cool how blogging influences come full circle, but I find that’s often how blogging communities go; we inspire each other, support each other and discover new things. A blog these days, like a newly published book, is a drop in the ocean or a needle in a haystack. So how do we find our community?

1. Comments section. It’s the number one way, really – everyone who shares an interest in that topic is sharing the same space.

2. Looking at the Followers widget can also reveal some interesting finds.

3. Social media. Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook, and so many other sites draw people with a common interest together using hashtags, shelves, boards and pages. Its easy to stumble across people who run a personal or professional blog.

4. Even Amazon comments – now there are legions of comment writers who create funny or overly informational reviews of a banana slicer or whatever, and sometimes this is to increase exposure for a website, product or blog.

5. Taking part in blog polls, link-ups, blog hops, giveaways, quizzes, and all of that stuff gets you more involved with that community.


And what about wanting to break from your community, or discover something new?

I don’t always feel like reading about fantasy, or YA, or even books in general. I also follow photography, lifestyle, fashion or ranting blogs. My favourite way to do this is to click on a bloggers name to get directed to their blogger page. Their interests and favourites are hyperlinked and separated by commas – I might click philosophy, for example, and Blogger will then bring up all the bloggers who have added ‘philosophy’ to their interests, starting with the bloggers who posted most recently, and descending in reverse chronology.


Ashana Lian.

P.S. Image from unsplash. That site has some of the most amazing images on the web.

Note - I’m falling apart. Yep. Depression is back, smashing down my self-esteem and my ability to do... anything. I’m not keeping on top of my uni work. Student Finance is messing me about and I’ve only been to one class this week (The first class I missed because of a deadline, the second class I missed because the bus was running half an hour late for an hour-long commute, and the third class was cancelled.) This is all making me really stressed out, plus the confidence I built up last term seems to have completely dissipated. 

However, good news – the Jade Rose Project is almost done now, and as passed an interview for an intern role at my university, so at least the money pressure is of a little bit. Also, I was feeling so down today, I went into Waterstones to buy a book and Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig caught my eye. Now I’ve been reading it, I was stunned to see someone else has written down, on paper, in real words, my experience with depression. It’s kind of painful to read, but I’m so grateful I found it. I kinda want everyone to read it.


18 comments:

  1. Ooh, I'm sorry you're having a rough go of it lately especially. I hope this slump doesn't last too long. Depression really stinks. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ashana, I have a lot to say. First, in reference to the post I really think you did capture the essence of ways to find new blogs and communities you might be part of becoming yourself. I love blog commenting most of all because when people read what I am all about on my own I love to visit theirs and see some of the magic they have made for themselves as well. And sometimes I just visit random blogs and show them a little bit of love ;)

    In terms of your depression, I am so sorry to hear it is coming back. I really hope that you can build up that confidence that you had before once again. I'm glad you've been able to find a book you can relate to and maybe it will be helpful to keeping you going as well. Just look for those golden moments and make the most of the times you're feeling good, and don't forget that you're a wonderful person and it is impossible to always do all the things <333

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally getting round to this! Right, first off thank youu for commenting =] I know what you mean. Every now and then I enjoy seeing something other than the usual book/fantasy/YA stuff that fills my feed. Thanks so much for those kind words - I'm lucky to have people I can reach out to, and they've been so supportive when I've been struggling. Will do!

      Delete
  3. Social media in particular is a big blogging community tie for me, especially on Twitter. I like to see what people say. And I'm sorry that depression is being a big stink right now. :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point! Sometimes I forget that blogging IS social media, because I somehow see it as so far above the other mindless/self-centred/egocentric types of social media. You can express yourself more clearly and distinctively. I never did like Twitter much, but I guess I'm just gonna be a hypocrite because I have no choice but to use it anyway to connect with people. e_e *sigh* Thankyou c:

      Delete
  4. Matt Haig is beautiful. I'd advise following him on Twitter and reading The Humans! Community is such a big thing, and I'm glad you've written about it! I hadn't heard about the benefits of Amazon comments (this is shocking!). Never feel like everything's going to ruins...it's when life feels like it's falling apart that things start patching up better without our even realising it.
    And as Neil Gaiman said (and zen pencils made a made-me-cry poster of here): Make good art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you've read The Humans ! How did you find it? I'm gonna give it a read myself - I wouldn't normally have gone for it but I'd love to read something else by him. Oh yep, a handful of Amazon's Top 100 commenters (who are actually very useful tbh!) leave really in depth reviews with the aim of driving traffic back to a site or blog. I'm not sure if you're actually allowed to "advertise" on the Amazon comments section, although no doubt people do it anyway. Thank you so much for your support and for linking that amazing poster. I loved that. =D

      Delete
  5. Hi Ashana!
    I'm glad I inspired you to make a post of your own. Thanks for linking to my site, we're all in the same boat after all.

    Depression sucks! Not that I'm an expert, but I think sometimes you just need to take the time to do what you want or need. It may often seem like there are many other things that need to be done, but they can wait a while longer. Then, when your feeling a bit better you can sit down and do whatever it was that you put on hold for a while.

    I don't know if that helps, but I'm glad you found a book that definitely speaks to you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. XD I really couldn't help myself, your post got me thinking. O_O Your advice was pretty much the same thing my Mum said. It can be frustrating though, because it feels as though some things can't be put on hold or will get worse as I take time out to get better. And the nagging worry that people will be annoyed or won't understand. But, as you said, I can only do what I can do. =] Thank you.

      Delete
  6. Awk, hugs to you for the depression bout (I hear ya, I hear ya with it...I always find January is my suckiest time?) and omg that is GREAT you found that book! I love it when I find books that kind of just are spot on with what I'm going through. It makes them ridiculously special. :')

    I also love your suggestions on ways to find new blogs! I haven't gone new blog searching in AGES and I kind of miss it. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It WAS very odd finding that book O_O I literally walked into Waterstones and it was piled on a table next to the entrance. I picked it up, read the blurb and that was that. Thanks you Cait. c:

      Truee. I'm following 40/50+ blogs and my feed is so swamped that it's just ridiculous to follow more... but I just love seeing all the different types of blogs out there. =O

      Delete
  7. I hadn't thought about half these ways to find a community. I mainly rely on comments and going through the commenters on the blogs that I read. I certainly haven't tried searching Blogger profiles or going through Amazon comments. Definitely have to give some of these a try now. I always have such trouble finding new blogs. Also, I'm so sorry to hear that depression is being such a pain for you right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's one of my favourite ways :) The blogs I find via Blogger pages I'd never have found otherwise, because the author might have just started it or they're not sharing their posts across social media, so it just sits there, hidden. O_O
      Don't worry, I'll be fineee :3 Thank you for commenting Imogen.

      Delete
  8. This is a great post about how to get out there in the blogging community. I think the comments are the best way to find bloggers you can like and follow. I was not aware that Amazon is a method too, that is interesting. I should pay more attention to Amazon reviewers. :)

    It's just through your comment on my blog (thank you very much for both of them!) that I'm "meeting" you, so even though we don't really know each other, I am so happy that you have found a wonderful book that is helping you deal with depression, and that there are many positive things for you to be grateful for. I'm sending you lots of good vibes and a big virtual hug!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlene! =D
      I agree - if someone makes the effort to comment, it suggests that they really connected with what you wrote and maybe the commenter and the blogger have more in common. The other methods bring up more random results. (I mostly don't bother with Amazon reviews, but I've noticed that lately I always seem to skim them before buying something.)

      Aww that's so sweet. Thank you. *hug*

      Delete
  9. Community can be developed in so many different ways. I find I've mostly made good bookish friends through commenting and fangirling on social media.

    Sorry to hear about your depression :( I've been struggling with similar things recently and it sucks so much. So I send all the virtual hugs and hope you start feeling better soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. I feel like they're the most popular ways that draw people together online.
      Your comment got cut off! But sorry to hear you've been struggling too. I hope things look up for you soon.

      Delete

Thanks for dropping by! Ashana Lian always replies to comments and if you leave a link, she'll visit your blog or website. Don't be shy!

Popular Posts