Those who received RWA's Romance Writer's Report know the article. Most of the cautionary tales involved things we writers know intuitively: watch what you say, don't join a community/blog just to promote your books, beware the time-suck. But something the author, Corrina Lavitt, touched on was a more insidious problem: a community can become so comfortable, so familiar, that it forgets about its silent lurkers.
I'm the first one to stand up and say I'm guilty of alluding to jokes or commenters without giving proper linkage to catch my newer, silent visitors up. For that, I shall Rickroll myself. I do think it's easy for blog owners to become comfortable in the familiar and forget to nurture that which is growing. I see you, lurker Vortex reader, and I get that sometimes there's nothing to be said besides, "For the love of Pete, what is she talking about?" (and who, exactly, is Pete? Pete Thornton?). I appreciate all of you, silent or otherwise. My true "itis" is cliques. Hate them. Everyone is welcome here at the wacky table.
Speaking of wacky, I'm co-coordinating a writing contest for the next month and I'd be remiss if I didn't pass along it's shiny awesomeness. Aside from the fact that wonderful things happened to me the year The Night Caller placed first, the Great Expectations contest is often mentioned alongside the Daphne and the Molly in romance writing circles for consistent, high-quality critiques. The deadline is tomorrow, so what are you still reading this blog for? Go forth and enter!
Are there any hidden traps you've noticed in online communities?