There is a website called All About Romance aka AAR. This website has been in existence for over 10 years now and I have been a visitor since the day they opened their doors. I am also a volunteer pollster for them.
That said, I haven't and will not check my brain at the door.
Anyways, if you have never been there go and take a gander. Basically, 7000 reviews and reader interaction, forums, lists of Favourite Books by Favourite Authors, a once monthly column now weekly column called At The Back Fence and The Annual Reader poll (just to begin).
Fun, fun, fun.
Now over the many years of operating, terms have developed and one of those terms was DIK or Desert Isle Keeper. It is their rating of a book that gets an A- review or higher. There is a whole page dedicated to these titles and you can search through their archives for DIKs.
Two weeks ago now I became aware the Laurie Gold the owner of AAR was upset by a blog that had been started called DIK Desert Island Keepers. To read more about how she feels you can go here and here. (Nuts, Blog-City is down again - last few days it's been cracking so here is the forum post at AAR here)
Now, whether or not Laurie owns DIK I don't know, what I do know, is that I waited, as did Laurie for a response from the ladies who own the blog in question. They were written a letter asking only that they let their readers know where the title of their blog originated.
Were they asked to change the name of their blog? No.
Were they asked to put up a clear banner stating an affiliation to AAR? No.
Did they say ONE WORD in response? No.
Now you guys know me, I rarely if ever get involved in flame wars (I prefer to roast my marsh mellows from the side) or train wrecks (my rubber-necking is done with an ice cold coke) but I am shocked at the lack of response by women, who by the very definition of their own blog, love to read romance books - just like me. Who obviously enjoy the community of which they are a part of - just like me.
The silence from the owners of this site is so friggin' loud it's been blowing my mind for a few days now. I mean really, how hard is it to return an e-mail? They have had TWO WEEKS!!!
I can only hope that somehow the people in charge have a spam folder the poor e-mail fell into. (Look, I'm even giving you a graceful out!)
Edited: Having just looked at the updated messages on the forum I see that author Donna Lea Simpson has posted on her blog in support of AAR and DIKs. With Ms. Simpson's post I remembered the excitement of authors at RWA when they received buttons referring to their status as authors who had received DIK reviews at AAR. Go read her post and tell me that AAR doesn't have a leg to stand on in this debate.
Let's now talk about community just a little more.
When I first saw the twitter by Laurie that started this I thought 'huh, wonder how these ladies will resolve this'.
That was it.
I was looking forward to seeing a bunch of intelligent women coming to a satisfactory conclusion of something that could be debated. If you went to Laurie's blog you found the facts she has. So I patiently waited for the facts from the DIK Ladies.
I gotta be honest, I waited for the Dear Author ladies to get wind of this because I knew they would look at this logically and even debate the origins of DIK and other acronyms that may become part of the public lexicon.
What I found at Dear Author tonight was atrocious.
Well done ladies.
Ridicule at it's best and all heaped on one person. I stand and applaud. I bow down to your wicked, wicked wit and now realize that every time you have posted a supposedly well thought out post about the rights of authors or readers or reviewers you were doing it with only one thought in mind.
How does this affect US.
Me, me, me.
So does this make Laurie 'The Man'. Are we supposed to rail against her because she created a site 10 years ago where a community of romance readers could go and talk? From the responses at Dear Author I would say yup, Laurie is the new 'Man'.
I'm assuming from DA's (hmmm, a blog with DA as a title with Dear Author beside it, I like it!) happy dance response that anyone can go and create a blog called Dear Romance Writer where a bunch of women with only C names will not be skewered by the blog community.
In fact, this means I could safely begin all my reviews here with Dear Author?
OMG! This opens a whole new world for me! I can take ideas from anywhere and make them mine. Just tweak them a little bit. Hell, not even a little bit.
Duck Sauce Theatre Presents! What a great name for a blog!
You want to poke fun I get it. We all poke fun, hell we all start putting 'h's everywhere when a new Ward is out. But we love Ward and all her Brothers despite ourselves. We're not only making fun of the work but ourselves.
Anyone see the difference?
I don't know, where I once saw an issue, I now only see personal attacks and it's been painful to watch.
If you've read this and think I don't have a clue, do me a favour and forward me the 'New Rules Book for the Online Romance Community'.
I've obviously missed the update.
Edited: The DIK Ladies have posted
And in closing here are my final thoughts for the week:
We here at the DIK blog are not associated with AAR, but by many reports, they coined/developed the phrase Desert Island Keeper/DIK in relation to romance, and we raise a drink (with a little umbrella in it) in appreciation and mutual love of the genre.
I'm a simple woman, I like it.
Thanks for responding everyone.