Chatty Cathys

Talk Amongst Yourselves: Blogger Cafeteria Cliques

I had a recent conversation with a blogger friend of mine that inspired me to write this post. Essentially, the conversation was about how she comments on a few blogs a good bit and never once has the bloggers behind those blogs responded back. She knew those bloggers would be at an author event she was attending, but she didn’t feel like she could say “Hi” to them because they never responded to any of her comments.

We continued to converse about how some bloggers, it seems, are very cliquish. They’ve got their little groups that constantly chat with on Twitter, support each others’ blogs, etc. and for those of us NOT in those groups, it can sometimes feel very intimidating trying to chat with them.

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My contribution to the conversation was that if I don’t get responses to comments, tweets, etc. on a regular basis, I usually lose interest. Not that they aren’t interesting… I just don’t see the need to go out of my way to talk to someone who doesn’t want to talk to me. Maybe I’m just super enlightened… hm… <ponders>

No, I’m really not.

One thing I absolutely HATE in books is when the MC explains all of the cliques in school. You know that scene in any teen high school movie where the new kid is learning where everyone sits in the cafeteria? Yeah, that scene. I can’t stand them. Mostly because I don’t believe they’re really true. I think back to my own high school days and the cafeteria and yes… like sat with like, but it wasn’t specific. I mean, sometimes band kids sat with the athletes and the cheerleaders sat with the theater kids… I never thought “Oh, I am in this caste. I cannot talk to any other groups in school because I am beneath them.” I had friends of all types: athletes, cheerleaders, band kids (well, I was in band), theater kids (and theater), smart kids (ditto), newspaper kids… er… that’s about all we had, but still.

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So that’s how I view blogging. I don’t feel like I’m in a specific “clique” and that I can’t talk to some bloggers or get nervous talking to them because I’m not part of their group. There are a few that I tried to talk to, thinking they were really cool, and got no response. I’ll admit, it did make me feel a little blah and that like I wasn’t cool enough to chat with them…

My discussion is basically this: what do we think about blogger cliques? Are they good or bad?

Sometimes, I think they can be good. It’s nice having this little group that totally supports you and your blog. You find stuff in common and bond over that. It’s a great feeling knowing that there are others who love the same things you do and will gush and fangirl right alongside you.

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But then other times, I think these cliques can go all Heathers (minus the psycho parts) and make other bloggers feel intimidated or uncool. I know it’s not on purpose, but still… it happens.

My solution for myself whenever I’m starting to feel uncool around other bloggers is to remind myself that this ISN’T high school. There are tons of others in our community that I do fit in with. Maybe I don’t fit in with the “OMG DRAGONS!” clique or the “CONTEMPORARY FOREVER!!!” clique… and that’s okay. Maybe they don’t fit in in the cliques I might be a part of – although I try not to think of myself as cliquish!

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For me, I try to be open to everyone. If you want to talk to me, rock on! If you don’t, well hey… that person over there does! Going back to the conversation that sparked this discussion post, during it one of my friends made the comment about how another blogger emailed her and then freaked out with excitement when she responded. Like this person was so intimidated by emailing my friend and was shocked when she got a response. My friend was genuinely surprised by this reaction.

While I hope people are intimidated by me (no, I really don’t!), if you ever email me and get excited because I responded, it really will make my day. 😉

So now for your thoughts: What do you think about blogger cliques? Do they exist or are we just imagining them? Do you ever feel intimidated by other bloggers and trying to chat with them?

*Update: Friend who was nervous about meeting another blogger DID meet her and the other blogger turned out to be super sweet! So yay!

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21 thoughts on “Talk Amongst Yourselves: Blogger Cafeteria Cliques”

  1. I’ve met a couple of bloggers who were very closed off to anyone who wasn’t in their circle of friends or acolytes. Then I’ve met other bloggers who are so sweet, even if they’re “huge.” It all depends. I’ll tell you that this exists in every profession or social circle in the world. I see it all the time among movie critics too.

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    1. I agree. Every job I’ve had there’s been like that “it” group. And I’ve always felt like I’ve been on the outside looking in. I imagine in anything there are cliques… just the way of the world I suppose!

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  2. Great post. I’ve encountered both sides. The cliquish ones and the really friendly ones. My philosophy is I’m nice to everybody because they’re a potential friend. If they don’t want to be friends with me well yeah it may sting for a minute but hey someone else will! I get life is really busy and all but I think always ignoring a persons comments kinda sucks. If you can reply to other people you can reply to them.

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    1. Same here. I don’t see a point in ignoring someone who wants to talk to me! If I respond to comments on my blog (which has become rarer these days thanks to my increasingly busy schedule!) I make sure to respond to everyone if I can, even if it’s just a “Thanks!” I don’t want anyone to feel excluded or snubbed!

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  3. This is an interesting post!

    I do have a network of blogs that I actively support. In fact, if you are on my blog roll, I make it my duty to visit your blog everyday, even if I do not leave a comment. I would not call this is a clique for fear of the connotation that word has. I just think it is easier to associate with people when they interact with you, or when you just simply admire their blogs and personality. Concisely, it is easier to connect with your inspirations and interactors.

    What is very disgruntling about this trend in the book blogosphere is the pomposity of some of the ‘big’ blogs. The other day a specific blogger posted a picture of a book, and I asked her a question regarding it. She completely ignored me, and though it was her right to refuse a reply, I just could not find myself ever supporting her again. She went on replying to her other ‘big’ affiliates and left me in the dust. I translated her non-reaction as snobbery. I refer to bloggers like her as “celeb bloggers”.

    I do my best to ensure I never give that feeling to any of my followers. In fact, there are times when newbie bloggers email me about design, and I email them in length about what programs I use and so forth. I can imagine how much other bloggers ignored them before.

    I may not have the biggest blog around in terms of reach, but I know I have come a long way from last year August. However, I can not find myself alienating other blogs, no matter their size.

    Thanks for sharing this insightful discussion. You have inspired me to write a post on “celeb bloggers”, and I would be thankful if I can use your link in it. 🙂

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    1. Can’t wait to read that! And I’ve had that too especially on twitter where my question is ignored but another big blogger with the same question is promptly answered…

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    2. Yay for me inspiring you! Let me know when you post it so I can read! I have mixed feelings about “big” bloggers. There are some that I follow and have become friends with them – they’re totally awesome! There are some though that just turn me off, whether it’s because they’re SO big I don’t feel a sense of community or because I’m just not a fan for whatever reason. Most of my blogging pals have been blogging for about the same time I have, so we’ve grown together and shared both good and rougher times. Maybe we’re our own little clique, but it’s never really felt like that!

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  4. I think that there are blogger cliques, and it can make me feel a little bad when I’ve had blogs that I’ve followed and commented multiple times on and they never responded (and then I kind of get nervous about unfollowing them). Sometimes on Twitter, I’ll see some bloggers talking about something I like, but I can be a bit intimidated to hop in and reply. But for as many snobby bloggers I’ve met, I’ve also met really, really sweet ones (you were one of the first bloggers I followed,& I still think of you as a super nice, super star blogger)! 🙂

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. You are so nice!!!! I try to be nice to everyone who takes time out of their day to visit my blog and read my words. 🙂

      I think my thing is that there are entirely too many bloggers out there to become potential friends for me to waste time worrying about “snobby” bloggers who don’t interact with me. I don’t dislike them for this, but I try not to waste my time trying to make it happen. (ha, “Stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen!”)

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  5. I feel like this is so hard. On one hand, you naturally…as in life…find groups you click with and get to know on a “more than books” level so you talk more. But I totallyyyyy get it. So often on Twitter I feel so lonely because, like I was in high school, I was always the friends with everyone girl. I didn’t have a set group. I drifted and talked to s o many people. So I come on Twitter and feel like everyone has their besties and groups and I feel like I don’t fit so I try to talk to other people. I can’t tell you how many times I just close my computer because I feel like I’m not apart of the fun and feel lonely lol

    I feel like, the other problem with social media is and I’m guilty of this, is reading into why someone doesn’t comment or respond back. I do it sooo often. But I think we forget that it’s easy to put a face on to the community but we have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. For me, times have been difficult recently and I talk about some stuff but I pretty much don’t talk about ALL of it. So I might tweet and then respond to some people because I’m really TRYING to have a good day and be social but sometimes, because i’ve just been really unhappy, it’s HARD for me to keep it up. I also sometimes am tweeting from my phone and respond when I’m still available but then don’t end up seeing the others because I put my phone down for hours and then I see all the responses and feel awkward that I’m starting a convo a day later. Sometimes I can respond and catch up but other times I can’t or it would take me all morning and I don’t always have time. But I know, for me, I have never MEANT to ignore anybody though I know sometimes responses can slip. But I find myself being like “why didn’t that person talk to meeee?” even though I KNOW how hard it is sometimes. lol. Social media is SO hard to keep up with. I never would have though it would be so time consuming when I started blogging. I love it though.

    I used to be so awesome about commenting and responding on blogs but lately I just have had a lot on my plate and it’s hard for me. I can barely even muster up the motivation for posts and I feel TERRIBLE that I don’t visit even my favorite blogs I might read from my phone but it’s hard to comment. I am really trying to work on this again. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a bitch because I don’t comment because it’s not like that at all. Sometimes it’s a time thing.

    It’s funny how much it does mirror high school. I mean, there are those people who really are just exclusive and don’t talk to people but for the most part I think we all are trying to figure out where we fit in. I laugh because I SOOOO am the same way about blogging that I was back in high school. I had friends in all groups and never was popular but wasn’t “unpopular”…I just wanted genuine friends and to get to know people. Whoever they were. It didn’t matter. I also am the same in that I think people don’t like me or I feel left out. WHY DON’T THESE FEELINGS SUBSIDE??? lol I think i’m BETTER about it and I don’t care like I used to in high school…at least not as much.

    OH god. I wrote a novel. lol.. I should probably not even publish this lol. It’s just something I had been thinking about a lot lately. Social media is so tricky. I have wrongly judged people on social media. You just never know what goes on behind the scenes.

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    1. I may just write an epic response to your epic comment. 🙂

      First off, it’s extremely funny (and comforting) to hear you say that you feel lonely in that you don’t have a group or whatnot in the Twitterverse to be a part of – that you don’t fit in these groups. I know when I first started blogging you were one of these “OMG it’s her!!!” bloggers that was super popular and I thought surely I’ll never be her buddy because she already has so many friends!

      But, I was so wrong! You’ve been one of the most down to earth people I’ve “met” through blogging, which was a huge confidence booster for me! But I totally get not feeling like you have a specific place. I was like you in high school, friends with everyone but not part of a specific group. I thought it was a good thing that I can get along with everyone, but often it made me feel lonely because I didn’t have that small tight-knit group. Funny how over 10 years later I STILL feel that way!

      Over the past maybe 6-9 months my job has exploded and I barely have time to finish my work, much less blog and read! Sure, I could at home, but I’m so mentally wiped I can barely function. I’m starting to find my groove, but it’s taken a while to get into it. That being said, I always (or at least try to) keep that in mind when people don’t respond to me, my comments or even blog posts. Sometimes I may not get a chance to look at others’ blogs for a week. Maybe everyone else is busy too! I try not to let it get to me… but sadly, sometimes it does.

      It’s funny how with social media – blogging, Facebook, Twitter, even texting – we get so PANICKED about people not responding to stuff we say. In real life, I don’t do that. If someone doesn’t return my call right away, I’m fine. If I see someone I know and they don’t say hi, I don’t freak out. So why do that with social media? If someone could let me know, I have a few friends who would thank you for it (since I’m usually the first to freak out about them not responding in what I deem a timely manner!).

      Also, if you need a “clique” to be a part of, I think I’m going to start one. It’s called the “Amazeballs” clique. 🙂

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  6. I do think that some groups of bloggers are more closed off than others, but, like someone said above, there are others whose follower numbers make them a tad intimidating who are super sweet and always respond to your comments, and even visit your blog in return. I do have those set blogs that I visit more regularly, but I’m not really intimidated so much that I won’t comment on others’ posts. I do sometimes second-guess myself on Twitter, though! I never know if people will actually appreciate my jumping in mid-conversation, whether they’re “cliquish” or not.

    Likewise, I always try to respond to comments that aren’t just “me, too!” or “great post” comments. To me, those don’t really have a good response aside from “thank you” and I don’t want to basically say the same thing to every person. As a teacher I HATE repeating myself, so definitely don’t want to do it on my blog!

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    1. I think I get more intimidated on Twitter than I do on blogs. If I see a post that I like, I’ll comment, regardless of who the blogger is. But with Twitter convos, I do get nervous jumping in to one. I know I don’t have any problem with others jumping in convos I have on Twitter – it is a public space! – but I still think “What if they don’t want me in their convo!” However, anytime I do, it’s been like the more the merrier!

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  7. I have found this to be true as well! When I first started to blog I did so with the hopes that I could make a lot of bookish friends. And while I have made a couple and have so that I talk to from time to time I haven’t been able to find my blogging BFF. I quickly realized that most bloggers already have a set group of people that they talk to and I feel that if I try to join the conversation, I’m butting in.

    I will admit though that for a long time I didn’t do a lot of commenting on other blogs. I have started to try to do that more but with my schedule it’s really hard!

    I really like this discussion!

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  8. This is such a great discussion! I found myself agreeing with a lot of the points you made because I’ve made similar observations. But at the same time, cliques happen everywhere, in almost any kind of environment – online or off. And I think it also depends on the time you put into being a part of the community. I’ve been blogging for a while (nearly two years!) but I didn’t start trying to be a “active” part of the community until much later (also because I didn’t realize how much book bloggers talked to each other!). And even then, the constant tweeting and commenting takes up a lot of time that I don’t always have. So in some ways, I feel very much like a newbie trying to get to know everyone. But I feel pretty lucky too because most of the people I’ve interacted with online (and the couple I’ve met IRL) have been super nice. Like you, I have my “blah” moments but for the most part I try not to let it get to me and talk with whoever is open to talking to me. And if they’re not responsive.. then oh well.

    Thanks for sharing this!! It’s always nice to know when other bloggers feel like you do 🙂

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  9. What an interesting discussion.

    I totally agree with you about how the cliques were in high school. There were never any definite lines between one group and another. We all sort of mixed in with each other. Oh and by the time I was a senior, I felt like for the most part, the cliques sort of disappeared. I mean, friends hung out with friends, but I felt like anyone could talk to anyone else.

    As for blogger cliques. I don’t know if I’ve noticed cliques, per se, but I do see these strong groups of friends that often chat on twitter and I’m not sure how to get into the conversation. It’s not like these people are syaing no don’t butt in, it’s just that they seem so close, and as a new person, it seems hard to break in to the group. But that also might be because I can be a bit shy, too.

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  10. I think it’s normal that there are small groups within this bigger community, especially when there’s really one thing you all bond over. I do know I’ve connected with little groups over certain things. However, I would like to think that I don’t discriminate when it comes to who I choose to talk to and who I interact with – I like talking in general, so I do it with anyone who wants to talk to me. I’m sometimes nervous about talking to bigger bloggers and people I look up to, but I fortunately have not had too awful an experience yet! I do like sparking up conversations on Twitter a lot, so if you’re on there…. you know you can chat me (and that goes for EVERYONE).

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