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Where is the Participation via Input, comments, suggestions?

Shirley Gale

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Hello Troy and CDBurns,

By the way CDBurns, I just had the opportunity to read a little about you on the homepage. You are someone that I am glad to be getting to know. Also, I see that there are many members in the aalbc community, so where are their voices in terms of your request for recommendations on this homepage?

Troy, I do not know enough about what you are doing with the homepage, so I dare not comment on it. However, I am sure that there are others out there who should be able to provide feedback to you in this endeavor. I want to have membership where we, our people, have input. We have to comment and make suggestions to others so that all of us can grow. I see that people do a lot a viewing, but they are silent in their comments, suggestions, and critiques. I guess I love to run my mouth and express my thoughts--verbally and in writing. I encourage feedback and constructive criticism--I grow from it--we grow from it.

I wish that I could comment on the future homepage. I believe that you will make great decisions on what's great for the site. If I can offer any suggestions on anything in the future--pitch it to me and let me know. I will try my best to help in anyway that I can. My best to you. I would love to see this web community grow even more than it already has. Also, thank goodness for input from CDBurns. It looks like you can depend on him to always be there.

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Shirley, this used to be the most vibrant community on the web! I used to be a lurker, just hanging around and not commenting. Then I got into the shoe business and I kind of gave up on the idea of being a writer so I stopped visiting altogether. I then realized that I was contributing to the demise of the site by giving all of efforts to Social Media. I was always writing on my blog, but I needed to make sure there was a viable Black community I was contributing too. I told Troy that what I started doing was putting the information he had on my site. I always had a link on my blogroll on my homepage to AALBC, but I added the Power List. I started interacting because if I give social media time, I need to counter it with the support of an independent platform. I respect Troy's work and I think he is the type of influencer who can help me in the writing world and that is valuable enough that I need to support his work.

I agree with you though, it would be nice to see more comments, but the people will come and start just like I did. What you need to know is that their visits are just as valuable as their comments. The way a website makes money is through ad revenue, selling services, selling goods, affiliate marketing and donations/subscriptions. Those people who visit provide impressions and possibly clicks on ad revenue and they may contribute in other unseen ways. It can always be more, but sometimes getting a little is just as good as earning a lot. Slow growth is better than no growth.

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Shirley your feedback is welcome.  I listen to it all.  It is like editing your own writing something you just can't see things because you are too close to it. 

Right now I'm trying to decide on the color of the menu and the background color.  I like both colors, but I'm not sure they are complementary. 

I plan on building out the book club portion of the website.  It will become a big portion of who I service moving forward. 


As far as commenters, yeah it too bad there is not more participation.  But I'll keep this section of the site up, because when I first started there was no one here :-) So while supporting social media is the big thing now, I think there will be a time for sites like AALBC.com's forums, again, in the future.


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Thanks guys for responding. I just don't want to wake up and find this site gone for one reason or another. I joined Authonomy@harpercollins a few months ago. No sooner had I posted my manuscript for The Peanut Butter Trap, I discovered that they were shutting down the site. I was sick. So far I like what I see here and I just don't want this to go away. Thanks for putting me at ease a little.

I am a member of the SCBWI and they have the Blue Boards. OMG, there is participation to the point of it being overwhelming. I would love for something close to that kind of activity to happen with AALBC. It would be awesome. CDBurns, you are right, better to start slow rather than not at all. I will just keep telling people about this site--some will hear me, some won't

Now as far as FB is concerned, I closed mine down because it really started getting on my nerves. I even had a business account. I know that I am going to have to start it back, but I am going to put some serious thought into how it is formatted for my benefit.

Thanks again for sharing :)

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@Shirley Gale, I just visited the SCBWI's website.  It has a well defined niche, and I like the site's content.  The boards are smart and very interesting.  I found a conversation about Facebook; "Does Facebook Help Authors Sell Books?" That article was viewed 1,120 times since September.  The article pointed to an article on Digital Book Worlds's site, "Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books." Which I read and commented on (a tactic I use to drive traffic to my articles ;)).

There was nothing written in the article or comments that Chris and I have not already discussed here. 

So why does a like the SCWI's boards get more activity?  Well there are a lot of reasons, but the fundamental reason is that The SCWI is supported by their community.  We (Black authors) simply do not support our own. It pains me to say this, but I've been in this space for almost 20 years.

Of course there are many supportive authors, but not nearly enough.

Now it would seem illogical for an author not to support an entity, like AALBC.com, whose sole purpose is to advocate for them and their work.  But, sadly this is the reality, not just for this site, but many others like mine, most of whom have failed to survive. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest tolly devlin

At one time I would come to this site regularly to find out about African-American literature titles I might have missed & participate in discussions about books. At some point this site seemed to become something else entirely. I still occassionally visit but I do't quite get the same vibe from AALBC.

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Hi Tolly, thanks for the feedback.  

AALBC.com's Website in General

If you are interested in information about titles you may have missed I'm developing pages, on the new version of AALBC.com, that will help you discover those books: http://aalbc.org/books/newbooks.php (future versions will allow you to break out books by genre, or you can just search the site).  Of course new and popular books can always be discovered on our bestsellers list:http://aalbc.org/books/bestsellers.php  The is a page for every book, readers are encouraged to comment on each and every page.  AALBC.com will be the "Google of Black Literature."

The Discussion Forums in Particular

The "vibe" of these discussion forums are driven by the participants.  I have never tried to moderate the discussion forum by making them what I, or any other individual, thinks it should be. If I did that the site would be limited by my perspective which would make it far less interesting. 

If people do not participate the forum dies, if they do the forums will thrive.  Tolly if you, or anyone else reading this, have discovered a great book it would be wonderful if you shared that information here.

The Broader Web

Today we are quickly moving to a place where we do not own the platforms where our cultural expression takes place.  As a result, we can not control how our culture is represented; what is praised, uplifted, rewarded and ultimately successful is not under our control.  This is particularly true for Black books.

We have the power to change this, by simply supporting our own.  Amazon's websites and social media are great, but they only care about your money. We can not continue to invest all of our resources into these platforms while neglecting our own.  If we have learned anything in the last 10 years, as the Black book ecosystem has ben decimated, is that these humongous corporations do not have our best interests in mind.




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