Can we just stop with "right" and "wrong"?

Sometimes I feel old and jaded. I've been blogging for a long time. I started in 2004. This book blog has been around since 2005. I've been with BlogHer since 2006. I've written thousands of words. I've read millions. Sometimes I feel like I've seen every discussion a billion times over. Some days I read with excitement but lately I've just been feeling jaded.

I love blogging. One of the things that I love about blogging is that your blog really can become anything you want it to be. But I'm not exclusively a book blogger. I have other blogs in other places that don't have a single thing to do with books. I've been to blogging conferences. This July I'll be heading to Chicago for BlogHer and in September I'll be attending BlogHer's Food conference in San Francisco. (I actually started off as a foodie on the internet, there my secret is out.)

When I started book blogging I did so for a very simple reason. I wanted to keep track of the books I was reading and what I thought about them. I needed to do it somehow and a blog seemed the easiest and simplest way to do it. It wasn't my first blog. It wouldn't be my last. I was doing it for me and no other reason.

I wrote about books. I had horrid roomies at the time and the only blessing to the months that I spent in that apartment was that there was a library across the street. I hadn't read that much since I was a teenager and I wanted someplace to keep track of it.

I read my friend's blogs, some who wrote about books but mostly not. I remember the first book blogger that found my blog was Danielle. I grew a blogroll of book and litbloggers. Some like Danielle and Iliana are still around. Others are not. Before I left Toronto I had a wonderful afternoon with Ragdoll, Historia, Patricia, Kate and Melanie.  I've met authors  like Ami McKay and Margaret Atwood and gone to industry events (out of my own pocket, through the generosity of authors and by sheer dumb luck winning contests).

I've seen other genres of blogging go through the advertising/sponsorship/revenue debates. It really was only a matter of time before it came to book blogs. I remember when bloggers started doing pay per post. I remember when the ad networks started.

There is no right way or wrong way to do it. We all have our opinions about disclosure and the right way to develop a relationship with publishers or advertisers. We all make decisions about whether or not to accept review items. Your potential readers will decide if it is right for them. While I probably won't read a blog that is full of ads and reads like advertising copy, but if it works for the blogger who is writing it who am I to say that they are wrong?

You have to do what is right for you.

For some book bloggers that's not accepting review copies. Some book bloggers aren't out there to develop relationships with publishers. Some book bloggers aren't going to want to do book tours. And sometimes I feel like their voices are being drowned out by those that are.

Now I am not, I repeat I am not saying there is anything wrong with doing those things. Whenever I hear a blogger say that their time is valuable and they won't give it up for free I pump my fist and say, "You go girl!" (Or guy as the case may be.) As I've said, I've been through this before outside of the bookosphere. Your time is valuable.

I do accept books for review sometimes. I've gotten really picky about it, not just because I always feel like I'm behind but because it's what I want. I do have an easy relationship with a few publishers and I value that.

But there are things I don't do. I don't do blog tours. I very, very rarely do author interviews (I know I did one...not sure if I've done others). I will not give out my stats in exchange for a free book (I might for an advertising network if the right one came along).

Again, nothing wrong with any of those things. They just aren't for me.

Lately there's been an increasing amount of chatter about "good" book blogs and "bad" book blogs. About doing things the "right" or "wrong" way. Let's not even go into "book blogs" versus "litblogs" please. (I read both, I enjoy both. Been there. Had that conversation many times. ) There's talk about building relationships and brands. About who had what idea first. Book bloggers aren't the first genre of blogs to have these conversations and we won't be the last.

I hate the discussions about "right" and "wrong".  I think the only "wrong" or "bad" thing a blogger can do to do something that feels wrong to them. If they are not interested in being a blog tour but feel they should because that's what "good" blogs do. I think that it's wrong for others to make them feel that way.

I'm tired of the conversation. To be blunt I don't give a damn if a publisher or author finds this blog. I don't give a damn about blog awards. I don't give a damn about my stats (although I confess I sometimes find them fascinating). I don't give a damn about how many people read this or any other blog. I don't give a damn about how many comments someone has. I don't give a damn about how many followers I or anyone else has on Twitter.

That's not why I blog. It's not why I read your blog.

I read for content. I read because you are saying something interesting or because you read a book I'm interested in or have read myself. Content is why I read. Content is why I hope you read.

Content is king.

(Or queen if you prefer.)

So can we stop with the right and wrong?