International Bloggers: A Matter of Perspective

Posted May 13, 2016 by Pamela Nicole in Blogging, Discussions / 13 Comments



You know how all bloggers who aren’t US based, or even Canada, or UK or Australia based are called International bloggers? Yeah,  I’m starting to feel not so okay with that.

I’ve referred to myself as an international blogger before, and a lot of people do too. That’s how we identify ourselves. It’s a general term that respresents basically the rest of the world.

It’s more or less like how it irks me that Nanowrimo has a forum for each country and then it’s something like Central America, South America, and Elsewhere. With them I guess it’s a bit more reasonable because in that way they save server space, and also, those countries aren’t that active in the forums, but still.

Getting back on topic, I’ve decided to stop thinking of myself as an international blogger. I no longer like this concept. It makes me feel like an outsider. I’m not sure who started it. Maybe it was publishers, or maybe it was ourselves, for lack of a better term.

But I do have a better one. If you’re a blogger from China, you’re a chinese blogger; if you’re from South Africa, you’re a south african blogger. If we really need a name for technical purposes such as chats and that sort of thing: ‘Bloggers who are not from the US’?

Now that I think about it, maybe we’re dubbed ‘international’ because that sounds nicer to everybody.


Why I think it’s important to redefine this concept

Because not calling things by their name and generalizing is very, very harmful. Calling posts that are not discussions as such is actually pretty harmless, but it’s just an example. But how about the concept of ‘privilege‘?

There’s been a lot of talk about the super white, super americanized publishing industry, and how to solve this problem, and what publishers can do to fix it. But we can do things too. We’re part of the publishing industry too. A really important part.

And subconsciously, we’ve been building a barrier between US, and the rest of the world. There are some things that aren’t that simple, like getting books, getting translated books, getting authors to visit us all. Those are expensive. But this we can do.

We can’t continue being: There’s the bloggers, and then there’s the international bloggers.



‘International’ is a matter of perspective

Why? Because we’re international in relation to something else. I study International Business Management, what they teach me is about the rest of the world. The other countries are the rest of the world in relation to us, Ecuador. So, if we’re calling ourselves International Bloggers, what it means is we’re international in relation to the US, which is so very wrong to do.


So, what are we doing by doing that? We keep unknowingly spreading the culture of U.S being default for everything. I mean, US folks are amazing. Their movies rock, and they give us BOOKS, and have Disney :3, but this is a real problem. Even though the U.S is certainly important in the publishing industry because that’s where most publishers are based, our community itself, the book blogging community is supposed to have no barriers, no boders. Internet makes that possible. Sure, when it’s about giveaways it’s complicated because of shipping prices, but besides that, there really is no reason for this division.

I understand that being a country with a lot of resources, gives it certain power, but not the power to make everyone else an outsider. The book blogger community can be hypocritical, mean-girly and scary sometimes, but in spite of everything, we always find the way to stick together. We can bridge at least this one unnecessary self-imposed gap.

Maybe I’m overanalyzing and being dumb, and making it a huge thing that doesn’t matter at all, but that’s not what I think.


What’s your opinion on using the term ‘international bloggers’ to refer to everyone not from [usually] the US?

Hi, I’m Pamela, your curly-haired bookdragon friend, here to talk about books, writing, introversion, and everything creativity! I also teach creative writing through workshops and online courses to spanish-speaking writers.

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13 responses to “International Bloggers: A Matter of Perspective

  1. “We keep unknowingly spreading the culture of U.S being default for everything.” I never thought about the topic this way, but you’re right. While we acknowledge that the US is a pretty big force behind the publishing industry, we shouldn’t make it the “default”, as you mentioned, “creating a barrier between us and the US”. While there is no malicious intent behind the label of “international blogger” as those not from the US/NAmerica, it might further the mentality of hierarchy or caste in the reading and writing world. We should use it sparingly then.
    Ann G @ Writing Lunacies recently posted this awesome thing…A Community of WritersMy Profile

    • Thanks for the visit! And yes, I agree, the term should be used sparingly and with caution even though there’s no real malice behind it. It’s just a word, but I do feel it has its repercussions.

  2. It’s funny, I’ve actually never really called other people international bloggers. Personally, I feel like an international blogger (which, yeah, technically to some people I am, but hear me out lol) I’m from the US but almost ALL the bloggers I follow are NOT from the US. I think I can count the number of US bloggers that I follow on one hand. I also do not go for ARCs…. at all. I don’t try to contact publishers or use any of those sites that give away arcs. I just don’t bother with it. So, yeah, it doesn’t really affect me in any way being a blogger from the US — except that my timezone is WAY OFF from all my friends D: I totally get what you’re saying, I just thought it was funny because I never even considered the impact it would have on ARCs and what not, I always just think how annoying it is when we’re in different time zones lol
    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook recently posted this awesome thing…Super Informal TV Show Discussions (The 100, FTWD & more)My Profile

  3. How interesting! I have to confess that I’ve never really noticed people calling themselves “international bloggers” before, but I’m sure that they do and I just didn’t pay attention. The only time I’ve used the US/INT delineation is for giveaways, but there’s a practical reason for that (I can ship in the US for a reasonable amt of money, whereas “everywhere else” only works if I’m doing an ebook or shipping from TBD) – but I kind of wonder if that very common giveaway delineation has bled into the way we think about book blogging in general – I’ll certainly think more about the way I word this in the future (at least outside of giveaways)!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted this awesome thing…Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 5/22/16My Profile

    • Yes, ‘international’ is a pretty practical term to use in giveaways, bc it’s clear that it’s either open for US residents only, or it’s open internationally. But yup, ‘international bloggers’ are a thing.

  4. This is so true! I’m from Belgium, and I have to admit that I feel like an outsider at times. Especially when it comes to services, which are only available in the US. I feel like it’s ridiculpusrto call everyone else international, as you said, because that term is so relative! Btw, I study the same thing 😀

    This is a great discussion 🙂
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted this awesome thing…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Picked Up on a WhimMy Profile

  5. Ooh, I like this! 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever used “international blogger” in relation to myself but I have seen this label thrown around without much care. I blog from Slovenia and I’m as “international” in relation to US/UK as you can get, I guess.
    But I understand why publishers, for example, use this label. They often only have rights to sell their books (published in the US) in US, Canada and other English-speaking countries, so they use “international” as a term to label “everything else”. Since I mostly read English-language books, I fall under this category pretty often.
    But yeah, it’s horrible to label YOURSELF as international when, in fact, you’re anything but.
    Great post! 🙂
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  6. I totally agree with this. I don’t like the idea that people put themselves in this box of being unAmerican so they have to be “other” it’s a really degrading I think. Plus I think it gives bloggers less of a chance to support the publishing houses in their own countries. Like they feel like they have to support US publishers. We may be the biggest but support your smaller houses too!

    Idk it’s strange. I’m not a fan of it. Esp because, like you said, it perpetuates this super white, super Americanzed publishing and I’d like some diversity.
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  7. Roberta R.

    Hell yeah! LOL. Of course everyone and everything is international in relation to someone or something else. But because of the assumption that the US are the core of the reading & reviewing community, and because most of the books we “international” bloggers read are from the US, we are labeled as such. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone means anything disrespectful with the term. Like so many words, it’s just a lazy way to call someone. And yes, lazy can be inherently offensive sometimes, but maybe not this time. At least I hope so.

    I always call myself an Italian blogger, and no one I talk with has labeled me as “international” yet. I have to say, most of the time, the community is just amazing and welcomes everyone. For example, I know a girl from Hungary and one from Sri Lanka who coblog, and they seem to be well received as well. Maybe, if someone still use the adjective “international” from the US point of view, they’re in the minority…or so it seems to me because I don’t know a ton of bloggers?

    • Well, the idea for this post actually came from a chat that took place yesterday, about Blogging Internationally. It’s not that we throw the term around all the time. And you’re right. I know we don’t do it with bad intentions at all. Because ‘international’ isn’t a bad word or anything. We don’t feel bad about it, it’s just a fact.