Today for BBAW we're looking at how to become part of the book blogging community through all the time constraints on our lives.
I know this can be a tough one! I follow so many blogs, and I feel bad that I don't get to comments as much as I'd like. But here's a few things I do to keep myself feeling like I'm still participating in the book blogging community beyond just creating posts on my own blog.
1. I have found that being on Twitter has really helped me stay part of the community. I'm lucky and have a smart phone, so I use Twitter on there. The app I have allows me to quickly see what's happening and reply to anyone who has Tweeted to me. I know this way isn't for everyone, but it has helped me stay connected.
2. Pick one weekly feature and make that the one for sure every week you're going to make comments on. For some people this is always the IMM posts. They commit to commenting on them each week. For me I like to do Tween Tuesday just because it focuses on the MG books. It's up to you what feature, or meme, to pick but if you pick one then you know you're being part of the community that way.
3. If you have a blog and don't get emails when someone comments on your posts - get them!!! I just started this. So as not to clutter up my inbox I created an email just for them. I took my blog email and just added "comments" to the end for this new email. What's nice about this is that I can reply back one of two ways. I can either reply right on the post, or if I'm short of time I can reply to them through email right there. It's been nice because I feel like I'm having a conversation more. I don't reply to every one, but I reply more than I use to!
4. Use Google Reader!!!!! If you don't know how - learn! It makes going through the blogs you follow so much easier. I go through and star the ones I want to go back and reply to. Super easy!
Those are just three ways I try to stay a part of the community. I will admit it takes time! Again because I have a smart phone I can do a lot on down time when waiting for the kids etc. Best advice though - just jump in and have fun. If following, replying, Tweeting feelings like work - STOP being a part of this community should be fun not work!!! :)