Have you ever had your home broken into? Even if no one is hurt and nothing is damaged, that feeling of violation remains. What if someone copies your work, puts her name on it and turns it in as her own? Pretty outrageous, huh? Ever since an observant author notified us last week that another romance site called Ramblings on Romance (a new blog, NOT to be confused with the blog of the same name authored by the lovely Kristie(J), who is innocent in all this) has rather blatantly copied material from All About Romance, our feelings have run the gamut from anger to pity to disgust over having been ripped off.
Archive for the ‘Online’ Category
One of the things romance readers share is the undeniable fact that we are all readers. And, as the dedicated readers we all are, we are passionate about the books we love.
And, in that passion, we want readers to embrace those books. Whether it’s because we’re seeking validation for our own tastes or – and I think this is the biggest motivator – we want others to experience the joy that we did when reading our favorite books, bringing others on board sometimes assumes monumental importance.
But here’s where I think a line gets crossed: Some readers are so zealous and outspoken that those who don’t share the love may feel as if they are somehow suffering from some character defect by not embracing what seems to be the Official Romance Land Approved Syllabus.
I’m in the outer reaches of the DC area, so I’ve spent the better part of the month snowed in. One would think that this would give me ample time to think of some deeply profound solution to some dilemma menacing online romancelandia. However, I haven’t been feeling terribly menaced lately. My reading life is happy. Once we got power back and removed the ginormous tree from the roof of the house, non-reading life starting being none too shabby either. My only major dilemma lately has been trying to convince my cat that the several feet of snow covering HER deck and preventing her from taking her morning walk was not put there by me as part of an evil plot. If looks could kill, a tiny 6 pound calico would have done me in weeks ago.
It’s here, the day many AAR readers and staff have been looking forward to for nearly a year. Yes, we are pleased to announce that voting begins today for AAR’s Annual Reader Poll for books published in 2009. As we announced earlier, this will be a shorter voting period than you’re used to. This year, you will have just two weeks to get your ballots in, with voting ending at midnight on Sunday, January 31, 2010.
Back by popular demand, are two reader favorite categories, Tortured Hero and Kick-ass Heroine. We deleted two little-used categories from last year, but hope that overall, you’ll be happy with the remaining categories. As always, we’re interested in your feedback, and will take any comments you make into consideration for next year’s poll.
This confession will probably give some of you a heart attack, but I haven’t read any of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I know, I know. It’s like I’ve been living under a rock buried 3 miles below the surface of the Earth. But lately I’ve been thinking about giving the first book a try. So I sent out a half-joking tweet on the subject. To my surprise, I received a personal response from my local library letting me know that Outlander is available for checkout, should I so desire. Now granted, I’m kind of a dork, but I thought this was really cool. So cool, in fact, that I decided to explore more of the digital/virtual features my local library offers, and get the perspective of the Sacramento Public Library’s Digital Services Librarian Megan Wong on the subject of libraries in the digital age.
Last month we started the first in a series of monthly reports on the status of AAR. We’re happy to report that September was another good month. We added a variety of new content and visits continued to be strong.
We’re especially pleased that once again, 50 new reviews were posted, although this month, only three were DIKs, in contrast to seven during August. Hopefully, both for our readers, and our reviewers, October will bring more DIKs.
Those reviews are the heart and soul of AAR and readers made good use of them in September. There were 62,279 views of the new review page, and 152,055 views of the many reviews available at AAR. Additionally, there were 90,883 views of the advanced search option for the reviews database.
Both of our blogs were also busy during September. There were 18 new posts at the AAR News and Commentary Blog, and 17 at AAR After Hours. I always find it interesting to see which posts generate the most comments. At AAR News and Commentary Blog, aside from the Gabaldon giveaway, the two posts generating the most comments were Abi’s post at the end of the month on The Heavy Hero (or Heroine) and Lynn’s post You Never Forget the First.
Once again, AAR’s Alexa traffic rank increased; it’s up from 97,264 in August to 93,029 (the lower the number the better, and anything under 100,000 is something to be proud of). This is also a 19% three-month improvement.
While many people were on vacation during August, it was a busy month for AAR staff and readers. We’re proud of what’s happening at AAR and wanted to share some of it with you in a once-a-month report. This is the first of those reports.
A lot of new content was added to AAR in August. As always, our primary focus is reviews, and we posted 50 new reviews – including seven DIKs – in August. In addition to the reviews, we added a variety of other new content, including 20 new posts here at the AAR News and Commentary Blog, and 22 at AAR After Hours.
Both AAR’s own statistics, and those available at Alexa, confirm that visits to AAR have increased steadily over the course of 2009. At the end of August, AAR’s traffic rank at Alexa was 97,264, a very good number indeed (anything under 100,000 is something to be proud of), and up 76 percent according to Alexa’s figures.
And we have since the early days of the site.
It costs a lot of money to run AAR. First, there are the physical costs to get – and keep – AAR online. We’re hosted by a reliable company who provides great service, but it isn’t free as many blog platforms are. And it isn’t cheap either.
Then there were additional costs to move AAR’s message boards onto our own server, a step we felt was necessary for multiple reasons. First, we were getting crappy service. Second, the boards went down capriciously. And, third, we knew in today’s competitive environment that it was important to bring message board traffic onto our own server so AAR’s traffic rankings would reflect our true numbers.
Which they do. And we’ve seen a healthy boost in our Alexa ranking to prove it.
After seeing LinnieGayl’s piece on author websites, I started thinking not just about author’s sites, but about publisher’s websites as well. I’ve been reading romance off and on since I was in middle school, but I didn’t start following it online until after college. The websites I remember from the late 90s were fairly spartan. Some had lists of authors, a few featured cover blurb information on various books, but features such as blogs and online ordering seemed almost unheard of. For someone looking for book ideas and information, it was very frustrating!