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Armchair Bea Day Two: Visual Expressions and Social Media


Every year, I follow the picture adventures of BEA events. Or at least I have since I became more active in the book blogging community. If you don’t know what BEA is, it’s the massive Book Expo America. It looks like an insanely fun time because, well, lots of authors appear and hello, you can meet them not to mention get your books signed. Last year one of my blogging friends joined in the annual Armchair BEA event and on a whim, I decided to join this year. Why I do not know since I have made no advance preparations – like seriously, I randomly signed up yesterday. I know, what was I thinking? Anyway, I didn’t get to my introductions post because I didn't realize the questions were posted to the site until way too late. So. Let’s get a mini, obligatory introduction out of the way. 

Hello. My name is Rissi and I’ve been blogging for nearly four years this summer. I’m an artistic person who would recommend everyone attempt reading C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and the top book on my TBR pile is either Jody Hedlund's new novel or Mary Weber's Siren's Fury. I’m one of five board me members for the INSPY awards which recognizes the best in inspirational fiction and am also a recent contributor to Silver Petticoat. I love to read and am interested in branching out to writing more discussion posts on this blog, which is presently more about reviews than anything else. If you’d like to read more, you can visit my annoying bio page. And by coining it annoying I mean, writing about oneself is never easy. But let’s not quibble over missing day one of Armchair BEA. Instead I’m starting things off fresh with the day two topics. Let’s get started, shall we?  

 
The first part of today’s topics is visual expressions. This is meant to highlight alternate topics of storytelling. To be honest, I really have no idea what this means. One example the guide gave was comic books, which was null and void since I don’t read them (although I actually did order a Jane Austen comic book. Does that not sound fabulous!?). After that, my mind immediately drifted to the fabulousness that is the Jane Austen web series adaptations. What can I say I’m still obsessed with them. This is a pop culture that has caught like wildfire. The original was an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which then paved the way for multiple other remakes of classics.   

 
I’ve watched two in full, caught a few episodes of other series (that were of other classics unrelated to Austen) and recently read about a “twist” in another currently airing series that I’m, shall we say, less than pleased with. The two series I did see in full were Emma Approved and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (which for the purpose of this article I will now refer to as LBD – got to shorten things where I can). Coming off the high that was LBD, Emma Approved was not my favorite. I gave it a chance, didn’t much care for it (or not in an obsessed kind of way), walked away, and then came back. Once I got past the character of Emma (who is loveable for all her flaws) and realized the actress played her just as she needed to be played, only for a modern audience, I fell in love. The series became addictive to the point of me being disappointed when it came to a close and wishful we could have a few more episodes.  

Then there is LBD. This is my favorite web series to date. In these 100 episodes, the story of Lizzie Bennett and her mischievous sisters (cut to three) is terrific. The writers and creators perfectly capture Lizzie as a modern woman and interesting character, while still telling the classic story. The only downfall is that we don’t see Darcy nearly enough. That to me is just tragic.

Without doing any research on the subject, I’m impressed with this modern way of reinventing a story. Sure I’m not pleased at some of the directions other creators are taking with some of our believed literature, but Pemberley Digital (the creator of Emma Approved and LBD) did it up right. They paid homage to the source and kept things modern and relevant for a new generation of fans. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the video diary format which is how the story is told, but it’s really clever and especially for Lizzie, is a good way to tell the stories.

I actually started an article about the modern interpretations of stories being re-tooled like this (no joke!) and was planning on sharing it at some point. That may be why I’m not sharing too much about this. Or more likely, the logical explanation is because I’m speed-writing this. 

What about you: what are some of the alternate ways you like to see stories told? Is it through comic books? Video diaries? Let me know down below!  

 

Topic number two is all about social media. I’ll confess, I pretty much love the social media community. Twitter and blogging are the two I pour the most time into. The former because it’s a fun, relevant way to keep in touch with blogging friends and the latter because right now, I’m taking my love of writing very seriously and blogging allows me the freedom to explore that while trying to improve with every article.

When I first began blogging, I was very timid which meant there was no tweeting or additional social media of any kind. Eventually I began using Tumblr and had some fun with it, but then found a review of mine involved in some drama. That's so not my scene. With that, the Tumblr was promptly deleted. I have no problem with disagreements or anyone sharing their opinion, but where I draw the line is when people are mean just for the sake of being mean. They aren’t interested in calmly and concisely sharing why they disagree. Instead they want to call you out with profanity-laced rants. In the interim, I did join Twitter and a long-lasting social media love affair began. I can admit, I’m a tiny bit obsessed with Twitter. But the real question for this topic is meant to address whether or not as a blogger, social media has helped.  

I would say, yes. Not only does using social media help boast the visibility of your site (if that’s what you are looking for – this is probably something I’ll address in Friday’s BEA post), it opens doors to the community you are looking to be a part of. For example, I’ve “met” a lot of people and like-minded bloggers through Twitter as well as authors I enjoy reading. Twitter means easy access to authors where perhaps you want to ask a quick question of them about their new book or ask them something about the inspiration of the book. I’ve found most authors are very willing to chat with you, provided your Twitter trails don’t turn into a 450 page novel. (Trust me, sometimes I feel like my friends and I can do that… and it's fun.)  

As for using social media for serious networking, I probably don’t use Twitter to its fullest. Right now I am in a “serious” mode regarding blogging, so I should look into using it to its maximum, but I also want this part of my life to be fun. Why? Because that’s what it should be. Self-promotion beyond tweeting my review/article links or sharing the articles on my social media pages are about as far as I go. What I mean by this is that while I love meeting new bloggers who share similar views, I don’t visit blogs for tweet to people for the purpose of introducing my blog. With blogging seeming to fade more into the woodwork (even in the few years I’ve been doing it), I am a bit nervous about its future, but at the same time, I do feel like there might be great things ahead. Booktube (a book blogging community on Youtube) seems to have precedence over written blogging, but as fun as it looks, I'm not quite inspired to try one.  

Goodreads is also another popular choice. I really like it for chatting with friends about our current reads, but for a library app, my go-to is Libib (it can be downloaded in most any app store). It's easy to use (you can create libraries by genre / author, whatever you like) and all you do is scan your book barcode into the system. The reason this is so awesome is that it makes book shopping (at a store) super simple. If you're not 100% sure if you own a book, all you do is scan the barcode. If you're like me, sometimes you double buy. This app helps eliminate that.

 


What about you? Share your favorite ways to network. Do you use Youtube? Are you a fan of Twitter? Share your social media advice and strategies down below. I’m all for jumping on the learning curve, which is actually another blog post I started. That’s becoming a theme.
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That's it for today. I hope I put this together in some semblance of proper-ness for this program. My apologies if I did not, and thanks to everyone who read this (rather long) blog post. Happy Thursday, happy readers!

6 comments

  1. I'm not a book tube fan. I really hate watching videos. They take so much longer than reading. I love Twitter. I find lots of interesting things to read there.

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    1. Hi, Heather. Thanks for sharing. I prefer written blogging just because I love to write, but do enjoy Booktube. Who knows, maybe someday I'll give it a shot. Thanks for reading. :)

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  2. Like you, I spend most of my social media time either on twitter or commenting on blogs. I think that as book loving introverts it can take awhile to come out of our shell and embrace social media. I have come a long way myself.

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    1. That's what's most important; learning and changing in this wonderful community. I think so long as we do that, then it can always be fun.

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Suzi. :)

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  3. My main focus is on my blog's Facebook page, mainly because that's where I was spending most of my time anyway. I don't use Twitter as much as I used to because it turned into a giant timesuck for me. Now I stay away unless it's for a Twitter party. I used to watch book haul vlogs on YouTube, but got bored with all the bragging. Pinterest is starting to gather steam for me and is one of my main traffic generators.

    Fun to see which social media outlet everyone likes! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

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    1. That's awesome, Alexia! Whatever you like is always the best bet and if FB is the outlet you use most for social media, then that's probably your best bet. I'd like to learn more about using social media to its fullest or analytics (which I am SO frustrated with), but either way, I think each blogger has to find a happy social media place and in all likelihood, whatever medium they chose will work because that's where you'll put your time. I don't spend as much time on Pinterest as I could, but do pin my reviews/articles, so they are out there.

      Thank you for visiting, too! Glad to meet you. :)

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