Monday 13 January 2014

#YourBlogOnMyBlog - A Decade Blogs Backstory

The idea
When I thought of how I wanted to celebrate my Decade of Blogging just over three months ago, the idea of getting people to write for my blog would have looked like a very easy task, all I had to do was receive their write-ups and publish them.
Nothing could be further from the truth, the job of persuasion was not easy; at least, I had nothing to publish on the day of my anniversary of blogging apart from promises from a handful of friends.
Yet, all hope was not lost, the 8th of December 2103 passed without much event, and then on the 9th the first blog came in and for each of the following for days after that, I had to wait for the blogs to arrive as I worked on my friends to write freely, about anything without as much as a deadline but a sense of urgency.
This is work
By Christmas Day, I had 35 blogs and with that was the magnitude of the work I had set for myself and the possibility that I could be swamped under a load of developing interest. I decided to close entries for new submissions on the 27th of December to allow me to handle what I already had.
First was the issue of management, from the time the 6th blog arrived, I set up a spreadsheet to manage requests, responses, submissions, editions, and publications.
When the blogs arrived, I reviewed them, edited them, filled in explanations, crosschecked quotes, added links to help in understanding contexts, and hardest of all, wrote introductions to each of the blogs to talk about the person, our relationship, what they do and what their online presence was.
Then I created a schedule on my spreadsheet juggling publication dates as each blog came in so as to give some diversity of view and opinion for each week.
Establishing order
Once this was done, I set the blogs to go out daily at just around midnight and followed up their publication with tweets. The tweets were first the titles of the blogs and then excerpts from the blogs, each drawing some attention to aspects covered by the blogs.
At the end of each 7-week day of publication, Sunday in this case, I did a blog roundup first for the activities I was involved in during that week with an emphasis on the fact that I had not deserted my blog. This came under the caption – I’m still here.
Then for each successive week, the roundups included all the previously published blogs until the last one which had 35 blogs in all.
New ideas
Beyond these 35 blogs, many others wanted to contribute to my celebratory blog residency of #YourBlogOnMyBlog and unfortunately, I could not take any new entries after the 27th of December.
The original plan was to take commemorative blogs until the end of December; that would have been 23 blogs that grew to 35 and was in danger of going to 50, considering I had 45 interests on my spreadsheet and the many others who got interested afterward.
I regret I was unable to accommodate new blogs in this particular tranche, but I would set up a format to admit new blogs to make 2014 a celebratory year of blogging on my blog.
Thank you
This has been a wonderful experience for me and I cannot thank the contributors enough for how they acceded to my request and honoured me with the responsibility for publishing their thoughts.
For as long as we can write, let us celebrate the joy of telling our own stories in refreshingly unique ways on the many available forums of expression for we each all have a story to tell.
Thank you one, thank you all.

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