Y'all know me. I tend to do (and say) crazy things.
But some things don't change. Least of which is that people are constantly reaching out to me and asking if I know of a State Department blogger in (name a country) or at (name a post) or who has ever been stationed in and blogged about (anywhere on the planet, seriously).
When I started my sidebars, I wanted to try to help with this problem. Wouldn't it be nice, I kept thinking to myself, if there was some way to make it EASY for people who want to know about a certain place to connect to a State blogger who is/was there and is/was writing about it/sharing pictures and experiences about it?
Enter: My crazy idea...
Putting State Bloggers On The Map
View State Department Bloggers in a larger map
Okay, let me 'splain what this is.
This is a Google map that I have complete control over. I HOST THE MAP. And I can use this map to stick any and all State Department bloggers on there as wish to be. Put your mouse's cursor on the map; you can move it around...zoom in or out... and click on the pins (purple for current posts and yellow for former posts of bloggers) or even click on the tiny blue link on the bottom and go to a bigger version of the map.
Say you're a State blogger in Manila. I stick a purple pin on the map and give it your name and link, just like I did with my own self...but only if you tell me to. And even if you move on to somewhere else, I'll change your Manila pin to yellow to show that you have still archived posts from there. You'll get a purple pin placed at your next post, but anyone who wants to see what you had to say during your time in Manila can see that you were there and blogged about it.
So. Is this the dumbest idea on the face of the earth?
If people like the idea, though, and would want to be included on the map, I can totally give the map its own page and links just like the RoundUp sign up sheet. [UPDATE: I've done this, and the page can be found here.]
I'm just trying to make it easier for people to really connect, you know? *I* think this is super duper nifty and way exciting, but, as I said, I'm sometimes just crazy! :)
So. Any State bloggers want a pin on the map? Or more than one, since you blogged while you were somewhere else, too? Or should I just trash the whole idea?
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[UPDATE: Since first publishing this, I've had a couple of takers, so mine isn't the only pin on the map anymore. Everyone be sure to check your links, and where I've dropped your pin! When I drop a pin on top of a city, the map still assigns it a specific location (latitude/longitude) so, for safety reasons, be sure I haven't dropped it close to where you actually live. As for me, I stuck mine on top of a shopping center.
Also: For those of you worried about security - I can totally just drop your pin in a body of water or along a border and just say your country or something if you'd like me to. The map is fully customizable and I can do whatever I want with the pins!
Furthermore: I have now created a separate page just for the map so that it's easy to get to/link to.
Also Again: On the pin's typed, biographical information - I can add anything I want. For example, I could say on mine "DS EFM blog" or something like that. So if anyone wants to also discuss what would go on the pin's biographical information, that's also a topic on the table. If you don't want to leave a comment, you can feel free to email me at: a_daring_adventure(at sign)yahoo.com ]