Saturday, February 17, 2007

Absolute Write Blog Chains

It was November 2005. Jenna Glatzer opened a little sub forum called Blogging on Absolute Write. I was thrilled. I had been on AW for a while by then but the only writing I did with much frequency was this blog. Not long after that she asked me to become the moderator of that forum. I was, again, thrilled. I wanted to give back to the AW community that had made me feel welcome and this would be my chance.

Since that time we've become a full-fledged forum on the main index in the Writing Studios section, created nearly 400 threads and those have had over 7,600 posts between them. It's a fabulously polite, helpful and self-perpetuating forum. The AW Bloggers thread has over 500 posts so I'd guess we've well over 400 blogs listed.

In May of '06 I wondered if the bloggers who hung out in the forum would be interested in doing something together in the blogosphere - and soon after was born the AW Blog Chain. DTKelly (then known as Towerkel) came up with the idea and shepherded some of the early chains. quidscribs, Forbidden Snowflake and asorum are others that have taken up the task since then. If I forgot someone, I apologize - do speak up in comments and I'll edit in your name.

The AW Blogchain is in its 8th incarnation now. Many of the participants have been in all of chains. In Peggy's blog (The Road Less Traveled) she has links to all the chains in her sidebar. At AW we had two instances where we lost some threads and posts, but through it all, the chain survived.

Why do the blogchain? Well, asorum (the first link in this chain, btw) put it best - so I won't try to say it again.

Here are the rules:

  • First person in the chain finds the last post of the last post and takes an element from that to base their blog post on so that the previous chain and this chain are connected.
  • Second and subsequent participants in the chain will take an element from the entry before theirs and incorporate it into their post. So for me to post an entry, I need to read yours and find something about your post.
  • The last person in the chain takes an element from the post before theirs and from the first post to tie the chain together.

The last post before mine was about a wonderful volunteer opportunity that Atomic Bear participates in. And much of the theme of this chain has been about giving back and paying forward. The AW Bloggers and this chain have accomplished a lot of that since May 2006, and I'm glad to finally take part.

Volunteering is something I used to do more of. I remember, with much joy, the summers I spent teaching the daily arts and crafts lessons to kids at Vacation Bible School. The things you can do with popsicle sticks and glitter never cease to amaze me.

And it never seems like I'm giving up much when I volunteer, it seems like I'm gaining so much more for myself than I could possibly be giving to others. Now I mostly volunteer for things I can do from my computer, although occasionally I get the chance to do some things at work like the 'Build a Bear' project we did awhile back to benefit children in the pediatric ward at the local hospital. I built a sailor bear I named after my daughter's boyfriend, a sailor currently overseas in Kuwait. I hope he's well loved by a child who needs him. (the bear, not my daughter's boyfriend - he's taken...)

One of these days I will probably get my act together again and start getting out in the world more. I'd like to think I'll do more volunteering. I'd like to do something for the local library. Thanks, Atomic Bear, for making me think about it.

Next up - the famously most frequently Farked AW blogger XThe NavigatorX at his blog, Fireflies in the Cloud.

Here's the entire Blog Chain - go read, comment, enjoy!

asorum - A View From the Waterfront
BK_30 - Just A Small Town Girl
Gillian - Even in a Little Thing
aruna - Down From the Garrett
Simran - Writing-From-Within
Forbidden Snowflake - Incoherent Blabbing From an Incoherent Person
Cath - Curiouser and Curiouser
Peggy - The Road Less Traveled
Atomic Bear - BTGC Production Log
XThe NavigatorX - Fireflies in the Cloud


Bk30 said...

That's one of the things I love about these chains, they get you thinking in new or different directions.

Matt D said...

Your line about the sailor bear/child /your daughter's boyfriend made me snort RC upon my work keyboard. If I get fired, I'm blaming you.

Then you could volunteer to help me find a new job.

Gillian said...

The thing about volunteering is you get at least as much back as you put it. It's normally not the reward you expect, either. I just got given 4 plastic teeth from the set of Hogfather for instance.

Dawno said...

bk30 - very true!
matt - I hope you are still gainfully employed!
gillian - I cannot tell you how incredibly jealous I am that you have those!! If you put one up on the AW auction I'd bid it thru the roof.

Jill said...

Dawno Dawno Dawno - every time I realize the staying power you and others with AW have, I start to feel guilty. :( And although I know also how understanding everyone is about moving on, getting back into a some kind of a regular habit of contributing to and, yeah, getting something more from AW is never far from my mind.

Hope you and everyone else is great and I STILL promise to try and get in here!!

I just started to figure out bloglines so maybe with that, I can keep up better!

You be well. :)

Peggy said...

Dawno you've already done a lot simply (actually, not so simply) by moderating the blogging forum!