I first learned about Dewey’s two years ago. It was by pure chance (and luck) that I participated in my first readathon. I loved it. I found my people! My book people. I remember being amazed at the organization, and I was happily shocked at the different mini challenges and prizes. It made me feel grateful that a large group of people could convene online for 24 hours and give freely of their time and resources. The readathon isn’t free. Some of us spend real money on it. And that’s great! Last year I hosted a mini challenge and gave away two books. I loved it!
Since my first readathon I have sought to become more involved. Giving back to the community is something I find joy in and the readathon organizers (especially Andi) welcomed me with open arms. This year life threw me for a loop as I found myself on a surprise beach getaway during the readathon. I adjusted my sails and found ways to participate anyway. I wasn’t able to host a mini challenge because I missed the deadline to sign up and my attempt at a rogue challenge didn’t pan out, haha. But I did contribute a warm-up post and I did some #teamrogue cheering on Twitter. I even read a page or two. So for me the readathon was a success. I didn’t participate as much as I have in the past and I am sure I missed a ton of great posts but the hashtags are still there and I look forward to taking some time during the week to go through them.
Last night I was shocked to learn that there are people who come out of the readathon and complain about it. Not enough prizes, not enough cheering. Andi wrote a great post about this entitlement within our community. It’s not unique to the readathon but I want to discuss it as it pertains to this event. It is unfortunate that some people feel anything other than happiness post readathon. As I said on Twitter, you get what you put in. Engaging the community is fun and interactive. It’s a two way conversation. I get a lot out of the readathon because I engage, I respond to tweets, I comment on Instagram pics, and I read blog posts.
I love reading blog posts during the readathon but those are probably the most difficult to cheer for because often people forget to enable comments, or they forget to disable captcha code verification. It’s a lot easier to cheer on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. My suggestion is to share your link on social media and use the readathon hashtag. I totally read some blogs and responded to them through a tweet.
Cheerleading during the readathon might go the way of the dodo. A huge part of me hopes that it doesn’t as I LOVE doing it but regardless of how it is organized in the future I will be here cheering it on! I’ll also #teamrogue no matter what but that’s just me 😉 There were some great ideas being thrown around on Twitter last night but I think the most important suggestion is that we all take it upon ourselves to interact with the community. We cannot sit back and expect people to come to us. If you want to hear from fellow readers go out there and talk to them! 🙂
As the readathon continues to grow in size I think it’s important that participants keep in mind that there are real people behind the scenes. People who love the readathon, people who love Dewey and this is their way of honoring her memory and keeping it alive. Realistic expectations means that anything beyond reading during the readathon is the cherry on a sundae. If you participate for the prizes, or blog hits you will find that leveraging the community for selfish reasons is not the best use of your time.
Until next time Readathon, I will see you in October!