Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Future of BBAW

Vintage BBAW button

Book Blogger Appreciation Week, otherwise known as BBAW, has been weighing on my mind lately.

I started Book Blogger Appreciation Week in 2008 for two reasons. I'd grown really tired of seeing snide and cutting remarks from traditional media outlets directed towards book bloggers. These are some of the same things we still see today, so it's not exactly like BBAW reversed any trends! The other reason was that I love book bloggers. I just really loved book bloggers and I found the community to be so welcoming and open minded and smart and funny and kind and I still think to this day despite everything that happens and has happened that the book community is one of the best. I know everyone says that about their own communities, but it's true okay? At the time I'd had experience in other kinds of online communities and while they were fun nothing was like book blogging. So I wanted to give something back to book bloggers and let them know how much I loved them because it's my fate to be that kind of person.

Every year has been a little bit different and the event changed with the times. It was never drama free, and I know by virtue of being called Book Blogger Appreciation Week--started and primarily run by a book blogger-- that it invites jokes of all kinds. Every year I thought about changing certain aspects, but the truth is that it was never meant to be more than what it ultimately is--a week to celebrate book bloggers, to let people know the kind of impact they have, to have fun and find new blogs and just be appreciative and receive appreciation. It was always imperfect in managing to accomplish this, but it has always been my best effort.

The event itself has taken weeks of work in my life. Although last year's calmer event was much more manageable, the first couple of years I remember spending my entire weekends working on the event. It is not an easy thing to take on and while it has always been its own reward I think the time has finally come when I have to admit I no longer have the energy or the enthusiasm to continue coordinating BBAW.

This is a really hard decision for me. BBAW is my baby. It's the first blogging event I ever dreamt up and I've always had a particular vision for it--for better or worse. I've always enjoyed the week and it's been a big part of my blogging identity and life for the past five years.

But I also know that all good things must come to an end. The blogosphere is no longer the same place it was in 2008 and I'm no longer the same blogger or person I was during that time either. I still love book bloggers and I'm still grateful for this community and this way of talking about books and expressing ourselves, but I also know that I'm ready to focus my time and energy on something new, to be ever moving forward.

So much has happened since 2008 for book bloggers! We've even had our own in person conference started and book bloggers are so big and widespread and accepted now! There are so many sub-communities and bloggers have taken on professional careers in the industry, some have been published, and others have gone away entirely. It's a different world.

Thank you for letting me be a part of the wonderful book blogging community for so many years through BBAW. Thanks for all your patience and your friendship and your help with the event. So many thanks to Monica for helping with the technical aspects and the design for so many years. It's been a pleasure and an honor to be a part of this community.

For Fun!
Five Years: A BBAW Retrospective
Another Year, Another Pile of Crazy
Let's Do It All Again!
A Tribute for Dewey

(the nostalgia was thick as I went through old BBAW posts to write this post I tell you THICK)

Like this button you guys made me after the first BBAW. So untrue now, but it was so touching and perf at the time! And it was purple! <3


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