Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Giveaway Hops

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is a feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind! This feature is NOT intended to be a place to bash anybody or start a nasty fight or controversy. It is a platform for a mature discussion and sharing of opinions.

Click here for past Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down.

I have been vacillating between posting or scrapping this TUTD for a while…I didn’t want to cause any dramarama because I don’t have time for that kind of crap and I tend to avoid it like the plague…but I REALLY am curious about this aspect of blogging. So, if you are feeling like starting drama, getting overly emotional or attacking anyone…please do so elsewhere because that is NOT how this discussion is going down. It’s going to be honest and open but not a time to bash. Check yo self.

So..giveaway hops. I’ve seen a lot of them lately around the blogosphere. I’m not sure if they are just a book blogger thing or if they happen in other communities. In essence, a linky of some sort is open and all the people on there have committed to hosting a giveaway and thus making one big list where people can hop from one giveaway to another. Lately it seems as though they’ve been more frequent (ie every week or so) and they’ve become a source of discussion lately.


What I want to know: Do you participate in them/have you? Why or why not? What do you feel there purpose is in the blogging community? Do you find them to be a ploy to get lots of followers or do you find them as a good way to share books and find new blogs?

Take it to a vote, yo!

My Opinion: Firstly, everything I’m saying is my own opinion and I’m certainly no blogging expert. But I am an expert in what works for me…so yeah..please don’t be offended. Like with most things, my favorite motto fits this situation..”EVERYTHING IN MODERATION”. When I first started blogging I feel like I only saw giveaway hops once in a while and I thought it was a cool idea. I participated in one once and I realized it wasn’t for me. And then…I started seeing them every week…for everything imaginable. It’s kind of like when you hear the same song on the radio every hour (all day) and it just KILLS the song for you and even when you try and change the station it comes on another one. But anyways, I started reading things on Twitter and seeing a mentality I didn’t like…using it as a fast way to get followers (not that EVERYONE who is doing it for that reason..just some). And as someone who believes in hard work, paying your dues and growing your blog organically..it made me wary of them. So I stopped even looking at them. I don’t do giveaways too often (and I DON’T require follows ) but when I do it’s because I truly want to share a book that I found so amazing that I needed to share or sometimes a publisher will request it and I might accept because I liked the book. That being said..to each their own…they just aren’t for me. I don’t see the point in them anymore. In theory, I liked them when I saw very few of them but now…overkill.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I agree with what you said, but I don't mind them as much I don't think. I've never really seen giveaway hops that require followers, but then again I only see them because the blogs participating are already in my Google Reader. I'll be honest, I like entering the giveaways because, hey, who doesn't like the idea of possibly winning a book? But I have never participated in one otherwise, nor will I ever.

    But yes, there are far too many right now. It might be because of all the holidays that happen so quickly this time of year, or it might be that those holidays are just an excuse to start a giveaway hop.

  2. The concept is brilliant, really. Holidays like Christmas and maybe even Easter, why not give a little something? I get that mentality.

    My main problem is exactly what you said. I don't think a week goes by anymore when I don't see a giveaway hop. There can't possibly be that many holidays where we can rationalize giveaways, can there?

    And giveaways bring in followers, whether you intend to or not. So the people that do every single one, it does kind of seem like it's just for followers.

    This is just what I've seen in some blogs, personally, so I don't mean to attack anyone either. Maybe others see a better side to it. Maybe others understand it all better than I do. I just don't get it.

  3. Lu @ Regular Rumination says:

    I definitely have not seen this as much, but I guess I probably just don't read the blogs that I personally think participate in them too often. I feel like that's probably the best answer to most of these. People are gonna do what they're gonna do, I don't have time to judge it, so I'm just not going to read. But then again, I appreciate what this kind of post does for new bloggers. Maybe they're participating in the hop because they think it's what they have to do to get followers.

  4. I participate in a hop every once in a while because it does get people that may have never been to my blog a chance to look at it and maybe see if they like the blog.

    Plus I find that the hops bring in more entries then when I have my own giveaways. I don't require followers for giveaways so I just try to do what I think works best. :)

  5. Oh, I love doing giveaway hops! It's an easy venue to met new people on and it's so much fun to giveaway books that you are really excited about. I like giving away books and I love the couple of contests I've won too. I mean who doesn't love free books?! I follow a group of people who host one giveaway a month, usually to go with the theme of the month. I don't always participate in them, but I like knowing there is one coming up again soon if I have something I would really like to share. I've made a lot of good friends that way!
    Great article! :D
    The Delusional Diaries

  6. The1stdaughter says:

    I'm right with you. Everything in moderation. This was initially a really cool idea I think and it was actually perpetuated by "mommy bloggers" I believe, then adapted by others as time went on. I've seen them all over and it gets to be a bit blase. I can't say they're terrible (I've participated in a couple in the past and found them useful), but to do them over and over and over is like (excuse the expression) "beating a dead horse". I wonder with bloggers that do them, on a sometimes weekly basis, what other content they have and why exactly they enjoy them so much because I don't enjoy them in my reader. Who knows? Maybe I've turned into an old curmudgeon! LOL

  7. Sidne,the BCR says:

    The best thing is do what you like and leave all the rest where its at. There are many reasons folks particpate and bloggers host them, (blog giveaways) they work for some folks. I participate in blog hopping but never a giveaway hop. I may have to try this. I have noticed one currently being done for easter. so I guess my thumb is up.

  8. The Sandtray Coach says:

    Are you talking about blog carnivals? I just heard about them today as way to reach readers. I'm a new blogger so eager to find out how it is done and I am going to look into this. I'll let you know what I think. Many thanks for the great question.

  9. I'vd participated in one giveaway hop,which was for autism awareness month, as it's something that's very important to me. I agree that there are way too many around at the moment, it's crazy! And it reeeally annoys me when people require you to follow their blog, as it seems to me like they're trying to force me to be interested in everything they write, and to be honesy, while there probably will be the odd thing i'm interested in, a LOT of people seem to blog about YA, and i'm just not that big a fan.
    So yes, I see the merit of them for things like spreading awareness, but all the time?i'm not a fan.

  10. Michelle (my books. my life.) says:

    Thumbs down because I don't really understand what they are.

  11. Sarah @ The Brazen Bookworm says:

    Ooh…good question! I agree with you – a hop every once in a while works and is fun, but I feel like it's getting out of control. I got really annoyed with my Google Reader yesterday when every single blog was participating in a particular hop.

    I think all too often it is a way to get more followers, but how legit are the followers? Are they ever going to stop by again? I think I'd rather have fewer followers who are genuinely interested in my blog than hundreds who couldn't care less about my content. That said, I do participate occasionally in a giveaway, but I've tried to slow down because I'd gotten to the point where I couldn't remember which ones I'd already entered!

  12. Last year was my first year blogging and I did participate in them. It was a fun way to find new blogs and a chance to win a book. But it got old for me. Mostly because most of them require you to follow, and I don't like following a blog I probably wouldn't have, just to win a prize.

    There also seems to be so many of them lately; It seems a new hop is going on every week. (over-exaggerating, but that's what it feels like!)Quite honestly, I am just tired of seeing them and skip over any blog hop post I see in my Google Reader.

  13. wereadtoknow says:

    I've participated in a give-away or two (usually around the holiday season or during a larger event, like the Read-a-Thon) but have to say, for the most part, I inherently avoid blogs that seem to feature an inordinate amount of giveaways. Rightly or wrongly, I usually just feel like it's too much of a ploy to encourage readership, an essential bribing for love and attention. That sounds harsh, and I know that's not everyone's intention. I even tried to host a giveaway once, at the behest of an ARC request from the publisher, but no one participated, lol. But for the most part, I have to go with a thumbs down.

  14. I haven't participated because I didn't even think about it getting me more followers. Sometimes I enter the giveaways of those blogs I follow – but I've never gone to the giveaway hop link and clicked down the list. I really don't want to feel like I have to follow a blog that I know I'm not interested in. And I don't want people to follow my "mostly YA" blog if they read erotica or non-fiction and really won't be interested in what I have to say.

  15. Jenni Elyse says:

    I don't participate in most give-aways unless it's something I really want. So, give-away hops are tedious and annoying. I've stopped following one blog because it seemed they posted a give-away every hour and I got sick of shuffling through them in my reader.

  16. Lately I've become a total giveaway junkie. I truly did not start my book blog for that reason, but I love finding and entering other giveaways, whether for books or other stuff. The blog hop giveaways make that pretty easy. My complaints actually pertain to how some of the blogs on the hop will submit the link to their site, but not put up a post regarding the hop and/or not actually have a giveaway. Most of them will require a follow if you want to enter, but not all. Also, I'm from Canada, so I get pretty annoyed when the blog won't put the country eligibility in the link or will put either US/CANADA or International, and then when you read through the post, it's been changed to US ONLY. Very misleading.
    I don't enter giveaways if I am not interested in what is offered or if there are too many requirements for entering. And living on a tight budget means that these giveaways are the only way to "spoil" myself!

  17. Jasmine (The Reading Housewives) says:

    When I first started following blogs, before I was a blogger myself, I found a few blogs that held hops. It was a great way for me to find blogs that I just wanted to follow. I wasn't on twitter or anything yet, so I kind of used those to jump around. I knew if they were giving away a book I was interested in that I could take a closer look and see if their content was good as well. We've never done one, but I will usually enter if it's a blog I'm already following and the giveaway appeals to me. I don't go through the crazy lists. But I do agree, it does seem to be getting out of control a bit!

  18. Michelle says:

    I'm a "to each their own" blogger. Like you, I mainly do what works for me on my blog. But….I will say that I get frustrated by some of what I see happening in relation to giveaways. So many of them seem to be a tool to bump stats and follower counts in the hopes of inflating the perception of popularity or influence. What the "what's in it for them" of it all? I can only imagine it's free books. I could be wrong, of course, but if the giveaway were truly selfless or about getting the book into the hands of readers why require the endless follows?

    I giveaway books, I giveaway lots of books and a good majority of those giveaways are sponsored by the publisher. So I'm not making comments from a place where I have no idea about it all. But when I do giveaways, you fill out a form (follower/tweeter/subscriber or not) that's it. No hoop jumping for me.

  19. I ONLY do hoops when it is a huge prize like a NookColor, then the hoops are "tweet this NookColor fact with a link" so that I can turn in statistical information. I think having contest after contest and participating in "CONTEST ORGIES" which is what I call hops is kind of like a pyramid scam. Come on guys I have one ARC but here's the deal 457 blogs are going to be involved in giving it away! Here's a tracker bot sign in and go visit ALL 457 BLOGS AND FOLLOW THEM AND YOU CAN WIN! Yeah eff that. Outside of book blogging and maybe mommy blogging content is king. I want to know my traffic comes from quality content not because I am 'that giveaway blog'.

  20. I think giveaway hops are a fantastic idea but of course some people use them to get more followers etc. I've participated in a few giveaway hops because I've found I get more entries in my giveaways. I've found others blogs through giveaway hops and gotten dedicated readers through them. You just have to weed through things a bit. I always offer a book I'm really interested in just like I normally would and I offer extra entries for people who are "old followers." I think there are probably a lot more giveaway hops right now simply because there are more holidays in the spring opposed to the fall. Anyway, just because you participate in one doesn't mean you have to participate in them all and the majority of bloggers do not participate in every giveaway hop.

  21. I have not participated in a "hop," but I do like to enter giveaways and host. I like the idea of all the "hops" going around, but I think that they are getting to be a little much. I like things in moderation, and to be honest, I just skip over posts that have "hop" in the title nowadays. I am interested in content and reviews, so I don't find a lot of value in those kinds of posts.

    All that being said, I host more giveaways than some bloggers, but all my giveaways are funded by me. I like making people happy and buying books for them that I know they will enjoy. I don't give books away to gain followers, but to spread my love of a book to someone else. If I gain more followers in the process, so be it. :)

    great discussion topic. It is interesting to see what people have to say!

  22. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) says:

    I love what Pam said…Contest Orgies! I agree with everything you said. Every holiday/not really a holiday there seems to be a giveaway hope. I'm sure next month we may see one for May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and May has 5 Tuesdays. I think people who do host/sign up to have these hops need to be honest with themselves and admit they do it just for followers. When you require someone to follow to enter a giveaway you in a way are just paying for followers(getting off track here, this isn't about "following"). I will admit I entered the hops before I started a blog. Did I ever win from a giveaway hop? Once and I was one out of 4xx people. Recently I have entered an occasional hop giveaway if it's from a blog I already follow and I like the prize. I wish they would tone them down a bit. I stopped following a blog that all they do is host giveaways and these blog hops and I'm not really into the rare review that is written.

  23. Chrisbookarama says:

    I'm like Michelle (my lists), I don't really understand them. I started reading the rules of one and thought that it sounded time consuming and like a lot of work. I'm online too much already. I've never been into giveaways that much anyway. I rather read reviews or discussion posts. People seem to enjoy them though.

  24. Chrisbookarama says:

    Oops, I meant my books, my life not my lists. Sorry Michelle.

  25. I'm with you – they're annoying. And besides the fact that there seems to be a new one every week or two, it just freaking FLOODS my google reader with nothing but giveaway hop posts. I really think that giveaways should be a one-blogger affair – two bloggers teaming up at most. But seeing that ugly little "holiday giveaway hop" pic in a post just makes me skip over it – it doesn't even make me curious to see what's being offered.

  26. April (BooksandWine) says:

    Okay, so basically Pam has taken the words out of my mouth as has Jacinda.

    I'm way too lazy to do those hops and thought they were interesting the first time I saw one, but now omg over kill. I straight up skip every hop post I see, just like Sarah does.

    I'm not gonna lie, I liked the blog hop when you didn't have to make a blog hop post and you could just visit the blogs and see if you want to follow them based on content, not based on here's my blog hop post PLZ follow me, PLZ PLZ PLZ.

  27. I used to think they were fun until there was one every week. And then I try to think to myself, well, this isn't something I'm interested in doing but maybe I'll enter some giveaways… and then I'm forced to follow each individual blog before being able to participate in their giveaway. No thanks.

  28. Avid Reader says:

    I'm with you on the moderation thing. To be honest, I really don't enter very many giveaways. If I really want to read the book or something I will, but I tend to skip over a lot of the giveaway hop posts.

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