What I Have Learned So Far on Bookstagram; Pt. 5: Participation

Posted July 10, 2020 by Amber in Bookish Things / 0 Comments

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Today is the final chapter of the “What I Have Learned on Bookstagram” small feature.  Are you guys sick of hearing about bookstagram yet?  It’s okay if you are. 🙂

This last entry should feel a little bit self-explanatory, but nevertheless, I think it bears repeating.  If you want to be a part of a community – any community – one of the best ways to cement your place there is to participate in the community.

On bookstagram, that means:

  • following other accounts.
  • interacting with other posts (likes and comments).
  • posting in your stories.
  • starting (and participating in) conversations.
  • participating in community events like readathons and book tags.

You certainly don’t need to do all these things.  But the first two are important.  You want to grow your platform in the community and, simply put, the best way to do this is to be a part of the community.

I do want to use this post to underline something about participating in the community.  Something I wish didn’t need saying, but apparently does.  For many of us.

Use your platform as a positive influence for change.  Participating in the community means supporting the whole community.  While issues like this are less common on bookstagram than any other platform I’ve seen, harmful behavior exists nonetheless.  Do not use your platform to shame other creators.  Do not use your platform to trample marginalized creators and lift up your own content.  Do not use your platform to gather an army of followers who will tear down others at your command.  It is so so important to take your platform and use it in a positive way, to help create a better world.

I know that seems like a lot of responsibility.  It is a lot of responsibility.  We can handle it.  We must be better.

The community doesn’t need another picture of Shadow and Bone.  A couple hundred of these drop every week.  What it does need is more photos of Saints and Misfits.  Or The Sound of Stars.  Or The Poppy War.  Participating in a community and contributing content to it means becoming a part of that family.  Support everyone in your family.  Diversify your feed in both bookish content and in creators.

Participation also means consistency in participation.  If you leave a lot of comments on photos, then stop, you will see your interactions stop.  In the same way, jumping in to follow a cause when it’s “cool” and then stopping when the media buzz dies down will affect your following.  I’m not saying don’t spread awareness.  Gods, yes, please spread awareness.  But don’t do it because of the buzz.  Do it because it’s the right thing to do.  Be true to yourself, and take the time to step back and learn from others.

This is life advice, guys.  Participate in the community not just to grow your likes to increase traffic.  Participate in the community to make friendships.  To learn from others so that you may improve your craft.  To try and understand others so you can broaden your bookshelf and your mind.

Bookstagram is, as a whole, a lovely community.  There are beautiful faces and beautiful photography and so much passion.  There are a lot of really talented creators to discover on this platform – both influencers, artists, and businesses.  There are a lot of wonderful books I’ve seen in bookstagram photos that I’ve never seen on a blog or on Twitter.  Take advantage of the wealth of the community to grow as a creator.

Okay, this is it!

I’m done talking about bookstagram.  For a little while, at least.

I hope I was able, over the last five weeks, provide some information about how to grow your platform but also how to enjoy the community to its fullest.  To repeat the disclaimer I’ve mentioned several times – I am not a large bookstagram account.  I’m not a large blog.  But now that I have had a little experience and figured some things out, I wanted to share.

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday.  I wish you all the best and every happiness in the world.

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Do you participate in the community or do you prefer to watch from the sidelines?  It takes me a really long time to work up the courage to try and join community conversations because I always feel like an outsider, so I can see how it’s difficult to participate sometimes!  Tell me all about your experience in these communities in the comments.

Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | LibraryThing

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