~by Carol Kelly
What makes a good blog entry? An interesting subject? Controversial subject matter? A radical viewpoint? Or is it just witnessing the powerful influence a blog can exert?
In preparing a blog entry in response to How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by Stephen Marche I found a series of fascinating blog entries in response to an online review that appeared to be almost as long as and more interesting than the book itself! I have rarely seen such an entertaining series of exchanges.
Many of those responding, immediately accepted the reviewer’s opinion that the book was shallow, indulged in generalizations and was poorly written. Many appreciated the reviewer saving them the trouble of reading it and immediately put it to the bottom of their “To read” pile. Wow that is wielding some power!!! Others said they enjoyed reading the review, which I have to admit was entertaining and those that had read the book for themselves enjoyed sharing bits that they hated too. Poor Stephen Marche!
However there is no such thing as bad publicity and reading a bad review can in fact makes the book itself irresistible! After having had his book torn apart online, I felt a bit sorry for Stephen Marche and considered that it would be a disservice not to at least read some of the book and I also found other reviews that offered a more balanced perspective. But I am left wondering how many people are now using book blogs to shape their reading choices and do those writing them realize the power they wield?
Carol Kelly is the Festivals and Workshops Coordinator of the Folger Education Division.