... About a week ago, Donna (Email from the Embassy) was minding her own business, not doing anything much in particular, when Shannon (Cyberbones) totally came out of NOWHERE, tackled her, held a venomous serpent over her, and forced her to commit to doing the State Department Weekly Blog RoundUp this week. Seriously! I watched the whole thing unfold on Facebook!
But the rest of us are the winners here, for Donna's loss of free time is our gain. Professional published author Donna did the RoundUp this week - yay! Way to go, Shannon!
Okay, okay... in all seriousness, now....
It's highly likely that no one has signed up for very many upcoming RoundUps yet because, let's all be honest, it's a rather labor-intensive project. Seriously. Combing the internet for blogs - even if one uses Digger's awesome sidebars or the Blogregator - is mega work. Donna herself even came out a few days ago asking for help/input in advance of the writing of the RoundUp.
Back in January of 2010, when I started the RoundUp, I started it with the hope that it could morph into what the medical blogging community does every week with their medical-type RoundUp, called "Grand Rounds." They have a calendar that keeps up with who will be hosting, etc., and they never lack for blog host volunteers.
You see, their form of the RoundUp is much different than ours in a variety of ways... and these differences, I would imagine, make it MUCH easier for the hosting blogger to put the thing together... which would make people more likely to agree to host.
For example, take a look at this blog. It will be hosting the next medical blogger RoundUp. It:
1.) Assigned a theme (but not all medical blogs do this) to help with writer's block, and then (the next part is the most important...)
2.) Bloggers came back, after they blogged, and emailed links to their blogs or left comments pointing back to their blogs so the RoundUp author could include them in the RoundUp automatically.
Suddenly, with this format, the burden on the host blogger is about 1,000% less than what we have going on now with the State Department RoundUp. All the medical host blogger has to do is take the information he/she's been voluntarily provided and form it into a coherent blog post. HUGE difference between having to go out and harvest all the information and then write about it from scratch!
In the hopes that following something like this would really make the State Department RoundUp easier for a host blogger, and therefore make more people able to host (since hosting should then be much less of a time commitment), I will be attempting this new RoundUp format RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. And I'll be the guinea pig.
I volunteer to do next week's RoundUp with this new format.
Therefore, State Department bloggers, if you are in need of a writer's-block-helping theme, here is your topic for next week:
"When I/we _________, I Wish I'd/We'd Known..."
You can use that for anything, right? You can talk about the job... or not. Or, if you're an applicant, you can talk about the application marathon... or not. I tried to make it open-ended enough that ANYONE can take part. It could be:
When I (applied for this job), I Wish I'd Known...
When I (bid for this post), I Wish I'd Known...
When I (packed out my stuff), I Wish I'd Known...
I'll also GLADLY take submissions/nominations (just like I used to!) from anyone who would like to nominate any State blog post for inclusion in the RoundUp, whether it follows the theme or not. Because lots and lots of great stuff out there this week won't have anything to do with that theme!
Bloggers, DON'T BE SHY. I will write this next week's RoundUp and include ONLY the blog posts provided to me by either email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by leaving a comment. And if no one sends me anything, then the RoundUp will be EMPTY.
In summary, this week's RoundUp rules:
1.) There's a theme if you want to use it... but you certainly don't have to - I'll include any blog post on any topic, BUT...
2.) I will ONLY include blog posts that are submitted/emailed to me by blog authors, readers, etc. I WILL NOT be going out and choosing blog posts myself. (Again, I am doing this to make the burden less on the weekly RoundUp author.)
Happy writing this next week, and PLEASE PLEASE don't be shy. My goal, quite simply, is to try to get the RoundUp to where it's easy for someone to volunteer to host it and where it includes posts from every active State blogger out there!!