Hey, Bloggiesta! March 2013 Edition

by Kim on March 23, 2013 · 19 comments

The Finish Line

This post has gotten a little wonky, trying to do updates while also not adding new posts. At this point it’s in reverse order, with the most recent stuff at the top. Whatever. That’s not really important.

I think I had a pretty successful Bloggiesta. I ended up with 17 things on my list and managed to cross off 11 of them and partially complete another four. I’m most happy with the fact that I got my About Me and Review Policy pages updated. I also added a contact form with a plugin, which will be nice to have.

But that’s about it. I’m blogged out. Happy Bloggiesta, everyone!

The Post Between 999 and 1001

by Kim on March 13, 2013 · 22 comments

Post image for The Post Between 999 and 1001

If the big number at the top of this post (and, I suppose, the title) wasn’t clue enough, here’s the news: this is post number 1,000 here at Sophisticated Dorkiness.

It took me exactly 1,768 days to hit that many posts (or 4 years, 10 months, 3 days). That’s an average of about 17 posts per month since I started blogging in May 2008. Of those 1,000 posts, 358 are categorized as book reviews, which seems about right. I don’t actually know how many books I’ve read and reviewed since I started blogging, but I think it must be more than 400 if you consider that many review posts cover multiple books.

PSA: The Story of My Hacked Blog

by Kim on September 25, 2012 · 37 comments

Three months ago, Sophisticated Dorkiness was hacked… and I didn’t know it.

Someone, somewhere, managed to exploit a loophole in my website security and insert malware that took over the search results to this site, hijacking my traffic and putting my work at risk.

I’m writing this post because what happened to me and my site was likely preventable. Had I paid more attention to some early signs of a problem or taken basic website maintenance and security seriously, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. I don’t want to scare anyone, but I think it’s important to share this information and remind other bloggers who self-host their sites to be vigilant.

Post image for BBAW 2012: What Does Book Blogging Mean to Me?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I was when I started blogging, just a few days before my college graduation in May 2008, and where I am today — through college graduation, graduate school and my first jobs as a grown up. Because I’ve blogged through such a formative time in my life, I can’t really think back to a point when I was a reader but not a writer. During my four years of college, I can’t remember reading for pleasure or outside the classroom much, and I’ve been blogging what I read since I graduated. I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a kid, but it’s been so long since I was just a reader, I almost can’t imagine what that is like. Book blogging is so tied into my identity that thinking about what it means feels like an almost existential question.

BBAW 2012: Alternative Interview Swap

by Kim on September 11, 2012 · 8 comments

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Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

I’m not at all horrified by the idea of writing in books, but I don’t do it that often anymore. About a year ago I started writing my thoughts on books in a notebook that I refer back to when writing reviews, which is easier than going back through a book to find my notes.

BBAW 2012: Book Blogs I Appreciate

by Kim on September 10, 2012 · 25 comments

Post image for BBAW 2012: Book Blogs I Appreciate

If I counted correctly, I’m currently subscribed to more than 200 book blogs, everything from personal blogs like this one to more industry and publishing specific blogs like NPR Books. I don’t get to read each of them every day, but I try to skim over posts during the week and comment if I can. Of those, there are quite a few that I make sure to read every post.

August, September and a Moving Update

by Kim on September 3, 2012 · 10 comments

We’re still Internet-less at our new house, so this post is coming to you from my office, which is abandoned for Labor Day. I need to get ready for an online fantasy football draft tonight and catch up on a couple of projects, but also wanted to use the quiet to post a quick update. This picture, taken from my reading chair this morning, might give you a sense of where we’re at with getting organized in our new house. It’s not pretty (except for Hannah — she’s still adorable)…

Post image for Book Expo America 2012: Recapping My Adventures Through Books

Finally, a recap of Book Expo America! Although BEA is about a lot more than free books (believe me, it really is), as I thought about putting together this post I decided it would be fun to recap the week by talking about the books I grabbed and how the tied to some of my favorite moments of the conference.

First, here are the books that made it all the way from New York to rural Minnesota, arranged roughly by publication date (except Fooling Houdini, which I already had at home but met the author at BEA and wanted to include).

Post image for BEA Bloggers: Where Were the Bloggers?

If it wasn’t already clear, I’ll be blunt — I was disappointed and frustrated by my day spent at BEA Bloggers. It felt like a conference featuring what the publishing industry wants bloggers to be interested in (Authors! Swag! Famous people!), rather than what I think bloggers are actually interested in (connecting with each other in the real world).

This isn’t going to be a post that summarizes the day; I’ll link to a few of those recaps at the end. Instead, I’m going to try to outline my broad concerns with the conference organization and try to offer some suggestions for what I would like to see done differently next year.

Post image for Armchair BEA: The Future of Book Blogging

One of the conscious decisions I’ve made as a blogger is to minimize the time I spend on background projects — messing with my blog theme, redesigning my headers, updating my sidebars, whatever. I just so sucked into those projects that I run out of time for the things I think are important — writing good content and interacting with other bloggers. As a result, I’m way behind on new blogging technology, tools, and plugins. So here’s my question to you, blogging experts: What are some technology tools you use to make blogging easier? What are some of your favorite plugins? Mobile apps?