FridayReads: Too much marketing?

#Fridayreads logoI’ve been tweeting now for around two years, roughly the same amount of time I’ve been blogging. It has to be said that I’m not a particularly active Twitter member but I was quick to discover the joys of #FridayReads and enthusiastically joined in. For the uninitiated it pretty well does what it says on the tin – people tweet the title and author of the book they’re currently reading, sometimes adding a comment as space permits – no chance of long rambling synopses on Twitter. I used to look forward to seeing what fellow readers were enjoying – or not – but over the past few months it appears to have become dominated by authors or publishers touting their wares. This seems a little sad to me. I’ve had lots of exchanges with readers through #Fridayreads, picked up recommendations and even made some friends but now I find myself visiting less frequently. #Mondayblogs has strict rules – no self-promotion or marketing – and I’ve noticed a few stiff rebukes aimed at those who abuse it, and deservedly so. I even got one myself last week, a little ironic as it was about an out-of-print title but there must have been something in my post heading to trigger it. Anyone else on Twitter who’s a little disenchanted with #FridayReads? Am I visiting at the wrong time of the day, or perhaps less starry-eyed than when I first joined?

21 thoughts on “FridayReads: Too much marketing?

  1. Claire 'Word by Word'

    I haven’t participated in the Fridays Reads hashtag for a while now, but it seems to be going the way the #bookadayuk concept did. That one was fun when each month a different publisher or group published it, until it too got blocked up with self promoting tweeters making a lot of noise about themselves and ignoring the objective.

    It’s good to start a unique hashtag and use it quickly before the masses catch on, #20booksofsummer is the next one to follow, I just hope it doesn’t get gate-crashed either!

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Well, I’m glad it’s not just the crusty old cynic in me and thanks for the tip, Claire. I shall mosey along and check out #20booksofsummer

      Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Yes, it’s a shame. It feels like pushing your way through stubborn undergrowth in the hope of getting to somewhere interesting. I think I’ll probably give it up.

      Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      I remember we met through #fridayreads – it was The Burgess Boys. I can’t imagine having that sort of exchange now. #TranslationThurs is better if you happen to be reading something in translation on Thursday, of course!

      Reply
  2. Paola Ruocco

    I know what you mean, but I do like to see what everyone is reading and have followed up some good recommendations. I filter the hashtag to only see posts from people I follow which avoids the advertising problem. I do the same with bookadayuk.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      That’s probably the best strategy these days, Paola, although I miss being introduced to people via FridayReads

      Reply
  3. helenmackinven

    I enjoy using the #FidayReads hashtag and like to see what my Twitter friends are reading. To be honest, I haven’t noticed it being hijacked by folk selling their wares but maybe that’s because I’ve probably unfollowed that type already. Thanks for the tip off re #Mondayblogs – I’d no idea that there were rules and use the hashtag if coincidentally I’ve blogged on a Monday.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      #Mondayblogs is a excellent for publicising a blog and also finding other blogs on all manner of interesting things, I’ve found. They’re hot on book-plugging and won’t put up with publishers’ marketing which suits me.

      Reply
  4. heavenali

    oh I love #FridayReads but yes I get so annoyed at the self promoters high-jacking it – the same happened of course with #BookadayUk which was such fun untill the self-promoters ruined it for everyone. I hadn’t been aware of #MondayBlogs – will check it out.

    Reply
  5. Bookfool, aka Nancy

    I haven’t noticed but I just tend to drop in and write down my #FridayReads title out of habit. I don’t look up the hashtag to see what others are reading, anymore. They tend to be dominated by newer books and I’ve been reading more backlist titles from my shelves. Hadn’t heard of #MondayBlogs!

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      I used to enjoy a nice bit of chat with other readers but now it feels like trawling through so much dross to find each other. #MondayBlogs is more general but great for promoting your own blog and for finding others.

      Reply
  6. Alice

    As both a marketeer (not of books) and a reader this makes me sigh. I think promotion should be creative and engaging – create your own hashtag, don’t overrun fun ones.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      Spot on, Alice. I think marketeers are far more likely to be listened to if they take this approach, too.

      Reply
  7. litlove

    Either I’ve read your post twice (always possible!) or you are certainly not alone in thinking this. Despite my best intentions, I am still rubbish at twitter, but given that every form of social media becomes hijacked my advertising in the end, I can so easily imagine the situation. It’s very tedious, and becomes a deterrent to selling books, I fear.

    Reply
    1. Susan Osborne Post author

      It turns out that there was a little scandal around #FridayReads back in 2011. The woman who runs it was selling spots to publishers, I believe. Odd, that I’d noticed a further decline. I think that you’re right though, things are always hi-jacked for advertising one way or another.

      Reply

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