July 21, 2008 at 12:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Feedback is *always* welcome. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the group, for the group, and let everyone know where I am.

We’re currently in the middle of The Host. I don’t know if it’s the length or if its the fact that I didn’t just take notes the first time round back in May or what. But this month’s reading is more of a chore than a joy. That *shouldn’t* be the case. I should be happy to talk about the book. After all, I loved it the first time round.

August’s book is ACCIDENTAL TIME MACHINE. And I’ve already got my notes on it! So that one should be fun for me!!! I still get to interact with the group in the comments. But the *hard* part is over for my little brain.

September. What to do about September. I had thought about reading Adoration of Jenna Fox. There was some concern that it was *too* new a book and that it would be harder for folks to get. Not all libraries stay up to date. Many libraries might have waiting lists for such a new (and popular) book. It’s hardback and therefore expensive. I still *want* to read the book. I’m just not convinced that this September is the right time to do so.

Honestly. Dare I say it??? I was thinking of taking the month off.

I’ve been thinking. (Dangerous I know) And here’s where I’m open for feedback. Here’s what I enjoy about the group:

I like choosing books. I like seeing if the books I like and the people I like mesh well together.
I like reading other people’s thoughts on the books.
I like reading the books themselves.

What I don’t necessarily like is the structure. I’m not a hundred percent happy with the structure/format of the group.

I don’t necessarily like having assigned pages for assigned dates.

So I’m considering doing something a bit more open-ended after August. I like the idea of participating at your own speed, setting your own pace.

You can give feedback. I’ve asked this before, and I’ll ask it again now. But I’m considering switching formats. Perhaps going with a Ning group or a Google Site (multiple users/contributors as opposed to just me) or even a google group or yahoo group. Something like that. Maybe.

I just don’t think WordPress can be as flexible as I’d like with a more open-ended process. And I’d like to have the participants able to contribute more as well. More than just a comment. Let them lead a bit more maybe. Start their own conversations. Ask their own questions. A bit more group and a little less me.

So thoughts, anyone?

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  1. I like the idea of a group…I’m up for anything really :p I’m the last person to give you advice, lol. Seriously, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m the most go with the flow person in the world. Whatever suits me fine! A group would be cool though where we could start individual topics. I’m all for Jenna Fox too if you still want to do it…I’ll just buy it. I’ll prob buy it anyway!

  2. A group format seems good. You could also choose for a middle form, where you have a site (like blogger, where I know that this can be done) where there are multiple people who can post a post. Then you could have a different group leader every month, they’d pick the book and start the discussion off. How they would format it could be either up to them or up to you. I think that the middle form mught be best, because it takes the pressure of from you, while it’s still more structured than a free for all group format. Should you go with the group format, you’d need some sort of system where people would label their post with a page number, or chapter number, so everyone knows not to talk about anything beyond that chapter. That way, nobody has their reading spoiled by a spoiler that randomly appears in a threat. That last is something that worries me most with the group format.

    Well, I think I gave you enough to think about. Sorry I made it this long. Feel free to ignore me if you wish.

  3. The hardest thing for me with this group is the chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the book. At the other online group I belong to, we read a book in it’s entirety and then break it down by discussion topic rather than chapter. We all start discussion on a certain date — the 15th — so you know you have until then to read the book. If you don’t, you can always go back to the topics later and add your 2 cents, and respond to others comments. You could do something similar here — instead of posts on the chapter, you could have topic posts with questions/discussion ideas, then we could “talk” about them in the comments.

    Just my thoughts. I know I would find it easier to handle.

  4. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I’ve created a google group, Reading with Becky. All the participants of the Host have been invited all ready. And I’ve added Melissa and Samantha as well. I *can’t* remember Melissa if you were joining in the Host discussion or not. So you might have two invites waiting for you. If you do, I apologize! I’ve posted about it so hopefully if anyone is interested they can let me know and I’ll send an invite. And feel free everyone to invite people yourselves. Anyone can send invites.

    Melissa. That is a good idea. I know that one of the rules will be that every post/discussion must have in its title or first sentence the chapter/page indication so that there will be no spoilers.

    And if the group wants to go for a topics/issue breakdown of the discussion instead of a chapters organization then that’s fine too. Or maybe slightly both. Meaning that there might be a discussion post inviting people to discuss the characterizations and within that the replies might break down according to where everyone is in the book.

    I’m really looking for something casual, not complicated, but fun and inviting. I don’t want this to be “work” to anyone. I want this to be casual chitchat among friends. Conversational rather than formal.

    And I am looking on a more lenient/flexible schedule of sorts. I don’t know if the idea of having a book read by the fifteenth of every month would work or not. It might. We might experiment around too. And if anyone wants to guest host, then they could set the rules for that month for everyone to go by.

    I’m not afraid to adapt and change and experiment. And I’m not set that it has to be done “my way” or not at all!!!

  5. I like Blogger because they will send me notifications when someone has responded to a comment I left on their blog. That’s my biggest problem with WordPress – it’s difficult to get a dialogue about the book going. I also like the idea of discussing the book as a whole, rather than chapter-by-chapter. I read The Host when it first came out, and I have things I would like to talk about, but I can’t remember specific chapters really well.

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