When is a discussion a discussion (or not?)

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This year, I am taking part in Feed Your Fiction Addiction’s discussion challenge.  I’d like to say I’m doing well, though I’m not really.  Just doing an update of where I was for this last quarter of the year, though, I started to wonder if maybe I was doing better than I thought and if some of the posts I had written, that I hadn’t classed as discussions really were.  Confused?  Yes, me too!

So, last month for example, I wrote two non-review, non-linky related posts.  One, Crime series I’m officially given up on catching up on…, I tagged as the discussion challenge.  The other, Rarely read genres – suggestions please…, I didn’t.  Why was one tagged and not the other?  The first had a question at the end that asked whether people had series they had given up on or would never get rund to finishing either; the second asked for suggested books I could read. This month, I talked about my favourite female detectives and tagged that too. Again, there was a question at the end.  

So, in a nutshell, a question vs. a reading recommendation. All three still had plenty of interaction though and started conversations between myself and other bloggers, some of whom I’m not met before.  And I started to wonder, is there a difference or are they just different to me?

I’m thinking the latter because, looking at other posts tagged under the discussion challenge, there are lots of lists as well as lots of people expressing opinions and asking questions.  Which brings me back full circle to the beginning – are more of my posts than I think technically discussions because they get people talking (and yes, I know a picture of giraffe’s looking like they are talking a stretch but I loved the picture)?

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I wondered what others think.  What makes a discussion for you?  Is it enough that it is not a review?  Can it be a list of favourite books or genres?  Can it be in response to a question posted on a meme (I answer a lot of questions when I link into the book blogger hop on Fridays for example)?  Or does it have to be something different, something you maybe haven’t seen before or very often?  And, if that’s the case, does it have to make you think or challenge you back in some way to respond?

And after all those questions – does it really matter if I think it’s a discussion for the challenge is that enough?  I’m interested to know where you sit…and maybe whether I need to go back and update my challenge numbers!

Emma x

This post is part of the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge, linking in with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Start’s at Midnight.

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16 comments
  1. I think of a discussion post as one that invites opinions and thoughts from the reader….it can end with a question, but it could always be one that simply stimulates thought without suggesting anything from the reader. A tantalizing topic that just cannot end without feedback.

    Great post!

    1. Oh how I would like to tantalise…..

  2. I think for me what makes a discussion post a discussion post if it makes me think about my own thoughts on whatever issue the post is about as well as make me interested in the thoughts of the poster and commentors. Though I also tend to be very literal and categorize a discussion post as a post that is neither a book review or a list of some kind. Great topic!

    1. I think the idea of making you think is important. Lists don’t tend to I don’t think. It is nice though to see non- review posts in general I think – not all the time but it does mix things up.

  3. What Laurel said, basically… I think that anything that prompts visitors to chip in with their own opinions and experiences is worthy of the name ‘discussion’.

    1. I think opinions is the key word for me…maybe a bit more than a reading recommendation to make it a discussion?

  4. hum… great post! you are making me think Emma!!! AND that’s what a good discussion post is about!

    1. I hope I haven’t left you as confused as I still make?!

      1. I was never sure what a discussion post was! 🤣

  5. […] I asked what When is a discussion a discussion (or not?), because – as someone who is taking part in a discussion challenge – I realised I […]

  6. I definitely set my discussion posts aside as discussions. I don’t post too many discussions, so maybe that is why it is easy for me to tell my discussions apart. I think anything that gets people talking could be a discussion, I guess. My Sunday posts are usually filled with rambly bits and ask questions but I don’t tag those because they are part of my weekly memes. I think if it specifically asked for dialogue from your readers (and it is book related) then it should be labeled as a discussion. Why not tag all those posts as discussions?

    1. This is the thing isn’t it I suppose – anything with a question could be marked as discussions but I don’t think – or feel for me – they are. Now I have it out there and my brain is sorting through my thoughts, I am of the opinion I need to be picky about what I tag.

  7. […] that’s it for reviews.  On other notes, this month I asked When is a discussion a discussion (or not?) and shared my Favourite female detectives (well the top five […]

  8. I leave the “definition” of discussion, in terms of our challenge, pretty open. People do seem to have different opinions about what constitutes a discussion, and I don’t feel like I need to police that—but even I sometimes struggle with it with my own posts. Sometimes there’s a fine line! I think the way you’ve been doing it makes sense, and I agree that any post that invites opinions (and isn’t a review or just a list) probably counts!

    1. I think it’s because I am someone who likes structure. If I don’t get it from others, I create it for myself. At the end of the day, our blogs are our babies and I know we should just post what and how we want – but as soon as I name something I have a need to give it boundaries!

  9. One of the things I struggle with in my reading and reviewing is that lack of discussion option. Because you can’t really talk about ‘what happens’ in a review cos of the spoiler thing it makes it hard sometimes when you want to debrief or ask someone what they thought.

    I’ve wondered a few times about starting an online book club where you can talk about a specific book without worrying about spoilers. You can ‘kinda’ do that on Goodreads, but a lot of people still use GR before they read a book so I’d hate to accidentally spoil it for them.

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