Where to find the kidlit community on Bluesky
(Last updated September 19, 2023)
*** Please see my UPDATED POST ABOUT BLUESKY AND SOCIAL MEDIA, thanks! ***
As the Platform-Formerly-Known-As-Twitter gradually continues to de-stabilize, I’ve been taking a harder look at alternatives….especially if Elon Musk goes through with his promise to remove the ability to Block accounts or charge all users subscription fees.
My happyplace is still Substack, for thoughtful discussions and longer form posts. I’ll be posting a more detailed overview of my Substack experience later, but right now I’d like to summarize the Bluesky Community Thread lists I’ve been putting together to help kidlit people find each other. (I’ll be posting more about Bluesky later as well)
K-12 Educators & Librarians on Bluesky (educators should also find/follow educators via Edusky!) – Also see my custom feed of kidlit/YA educators and librarians on Bluesky.
KidLit Book Authors & Illustrators on Bluesky (who enjoy connecting with schools/libraries). Because there are SO many kidlit creators joining Bluesky recently 🎉, I lack the time to maintain a Custom Feed. However, there are already several kidlit Custom feeds out there, such as Greg Pincus’s #KidLitChat, David B. Fox’s Kidlit, Boring Stories’ KidLit Community.
Canadian Kidlit Authors and Illustrators – Also see my Canadian Kidlit Author & Illustrator custom feed
Kidlit Illustrators who work with traditional publishers – Also see my custom feed of Kidlit Illustrators on Bluesky.
Spooky MG Authors on Bluesky – Also see my custom feed of Spooky MG Authors on Bluesky
KidLit & YA Book Bloggers on Bluesky – Also see my custom feed of kidlit/YA book bloggers on Bluesky
Kidlit & YA Podcasters on Bluesky – Also see my custom feed of kidlit/YA podcasters on Bluesky
Kidlit Publishers – Not many yet, but I’ve optimistically created a custom feed of traditional kidlit publishers on Bluesky.
Kidlit/YA Agents on Bluesky – Also see my custom feed of kidlit/YA agents on Bluesky
Kidlit/YA Editors (who work with traditional publishing houses) on Bluesky – Also see my custom feed of kidlit/YA editors on Bluesky
Kidlit/YA Art Directors and Book Designers (who work with traditional publishing houses) – Also see my custom feed of kidlit/YA art directors and designers.
Indie Bookstores & Booksellers on Bluesky – Also see my custom feed of indie bookstores & booksellers on Bluesky
My #KidLitArt custom feed. Hashtags are not yet clickable, but custom feeds are a good workaround for now. In the description for that feed, I also have info about related feeds, like Gina Perry’s #KidLitArtPostcard feed.
I also have a community thread for Tabletop/Board Gamers on Bluesky. On the Platform-Formerly-Known-As-Twitter, I separated my gaming and kidlit posts into two accounts but I’m in process of trying to cull down the number of social media platforms where I’m active.
Update September 11, 2023: I recently did a test post, basically the same, posted the same on both xTwitter and Bluesky. Interesting to see that despite the fact that I have 50,000+ more followers on xTwitter, I had MUCH better engagement on Bluesky.
My theories for the difference:
Most of the people following me (mainly from the kidlit community) have drastically cut down the amount of time they spend on Twitter.
I’m not a Twitter Blue subscriber. Algorithms have changed so that unless you’re paying for a subscription, it can be more of a challenge getting posts seen. While I understand that the platform needs to make money, I’m deeply disappointed (and even more glad I unsubscribed). As someone who has spend 15 years gradually building my platform on Twitter and helping build and boost the community, I feel somewhat betrayed. (“Thanks for all your hard work and time! Now give us money to continue enjoying what you’ve helped build.”) Also just heard that Elon Musk is thinking about charging ALL users for accessing the platform.
People on xTwitter tend to broadcast much more than they listen/engage. I’m just as guilty as others! Because of time constraints and social media fatigue, I’ve been trying to spend less time on social media in general. I continue to check my @ mentions on xTwitter (fewer and fewer these days) and trying to help boost some of those who are still on xTwitter BUT not doing as much exploring and browsing as I did in the early days of Twitter….mainly because I come across more and more rage-posting, spammers and trolls.
On Bluesky, I’ve been more proactive in seeking out community, not just expecting people to find me and my posts. As some have recently mentioned on Bluesky during discussions on this topic: right now, Bluesky is more like early days of Twitter and GEnie, where people tended to do less broadcasting and more engaging with others in the community.
For those on Bluesky, I’ve started a thread asking people for their top 1-2 pieces of advice new to Bluesky. I’ll summarize in a future post, but feel free to browse meanwhile!
Q. Where can I find more info about Bluesky?
Here’s a link to https://bsky.app/.
Basically, Bluesky is like a bare-bones Twitter. The platform reminds me of the early days of Twitter. It still lacks some community-building and curation features, but that’s why it’s still in beta.
Q. Why the invite-only system?
According to the Bluesky FAQ:
We also want the network to grow organically, so we periodically distribute invites to existing Bluesky users. Additionally, we monitor the social graph, and if certain users are inviting other trustworthy participants, we give them more invites.
Q. I’m still waiting for a Bluesky code! Any advice?
Still waiting for a Bluesky code? I put myself on the waitlist but after months of not hearing anything, I decided to be proactive and mentioned over on Substack that I was still waiting for a Bluesky invite. A kind stranger responded and gave me a code!
Inspired by his kindness, I’ve created a kidlit Bluesky code exchange thread over on xTwitter:
I know of kidlit Bluesky-ers who have extra codes to give out BUT don’t want to just give them to anyone (unscrupulous types have been scooping the codes and reselling). If you are still on the Platform-Formerly-Known-As-Twitter, feel free to post in the thread above; please note that you need to be following someone in order to get a DM from them. If you don’t hear anything after a few days, reply again saying that you’re still waiting — there have been many codes handed out this way, but Bluesky-ers tell me that it’s hard to pick out those who still need codes. Apologies if you’re not on the Platform-Formerly-Known-As-Twitter – I lack the time to organize anything outside of this thread.
My advice: Start posting (in a non-spammy way) on your own social media that you’re looking for a Bluesky code. Or if you’re replying to a legit thread from someone you’re following offering codes, make it clear that you’re a Real Person (not a bot or spammer or code-flipper), and why you’d like to join Bluesky. Too many are just signing up for a placeholder and leaving.
Q. Is Bluesky worth joining?
I’m cautiously optimistic. Bluesky is still missing essential community-building tools like clickable hashtags, but the development team is responsive and has also promised me that user-curated LISTS are in the pipeline as well. But what’s MOST encouraging: so many kidlit people are joining, including educators, librarians, agents, and editors.
If you’re on Bluesky, feel free to find me and say hello!