the island of misfit blog ideas

While sifting through old blog posts of mine, I realized there were several social blogging constructs– collaborative blogging efforts– that I miss having around– Trifecta Writing Challenge, Bloggers of the Damned, the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenges, and C4C, to name a few.  I thought about why they went defunct or never fully developed… and then realized I’ve amassed a quite a graveyard of blog ideas, too.

Since I prefer to think of them rocking out on on their own personal island of misfit blog ideas, rather than buried forever in a graveyard, I thought I’d list 5 ideas here and explain why they were exiled.

A.C.M.E Blog Detective

starbadge2

Here’s a throwback for my golden Best Beloveds– once upon a time, Rarasaur blog had a magical wand featured in the header.   Then, one day, the dastardly internet thief, Netta, stole it from my header and we had to call upon bloggers to follow her clues through countless blogs in order to dig it up! They came to my rescue, of course…

In non-crazy-speak, what happened was Dave and I spent one late night talking about that old gameshow Carmen Sandiego, and felt inspired to design a maze through the blogosphere.  We figured it’d be an interactive way for people to dig around other sites.  The idea was that after my wand was found, Netta Web would escape and steal something else– thus allowing the games to continue.

The challenges:

  • The rules were very hard to explain to people.
  • Hiding the clues in old posts around the ‘sphere took a good deal of thought.  It was only simple enough the first time because I asked a half dozen people whose blogs I had read front to back.  I was able to chose the posts, then create the clues.
  • The system we used was functional, but not really the best system.  As we kept coming up with “next time” plans, we just lost interest.

If I opted to revive this:

  • I’d have each blogger devise their own clue.
  • I’d run two cases simultaneously to increase visibility to blogs without adding complexity to the game.
  • I would not personalize the badges quite so much, though it was certainly fun.
  • I would offer a real, tangible, mailed prize.

https://acmedetectives.wordpress.com/

 

 

Diamonds or Dust

cropped-banner6.jpg

Diamonds or Dust was my husband’s baby, but the members of the small site are what made it work.  It was about real editing and commentary on real pieces of writing, and it did great work.  All members ranked their expertise and interest so we had some idea as to what their critiques focused on.  We critiqued work of those who took the time to critique.

When I went to jail, DOD pretty much wrapped up because Dave didn’t have the time to captain the ship anymore.

The challenges:

  • Some people write more than they can edit, and some are the other way around.  It was difficult to pace it so everyone was featured, but also so that important projects came first.
  • We asked for commitment, and that narrowed our membership prospects.

If I opted to revive this:

  • I would make all members administrators.
  • I would find some way to offer publicity to the group to sustain enough membership to ensure sound and complete critiques.

https://diamondsordust.wordpress.com

 

Prompts for the Promptless

the promptless, pftp,

Prompts for the Promptless was a weekly writing prompt I started here on Rarasaur, then moved to our couples-blog over at The Queen Creative.  Every week, I featured an uncommon word or concept, a few ideas– and then let everyone at it.  I don’t feel like I’m being biased when I say some of the best blogging I’ve seen sourced from some of these prompts.

The challenges:

  • Weekly was a little too often for posts with so much meat on their bones, but monthly wasn’t enough to keep up the spirits.
  • We ran them in “seasons” so that we could reward participants, but it made for odd breaks, which made it difficult for people to plan around it.
  • The name was ridiculously hard to type, or hashtag. #pftp
  • I never settled on a badge or look, and the result was total visual chaos.
  • The switching from Rarasaur blog to The Queen Creative was a linking nightmare!

If I opted to revive this:

  • I’d name it something better.  Something that indicates what it’s all about.
  • I’d give it a sleek, modern badge.
  • I’d give it it’s own URL, and handy hashtag.
  • I’d limit posts to 800 words.

 

Frog, Fish, Cat

littlefoot, dinosaurs,
Littlefoot, from the movie, The Land Before Time

This site was designed to be a collaborative gift to my Little Foot readers.  I was going to rally people to write short posts that kids could read, so they could check their favorite blog the same way Mom and Dad and Rara check theirs.

This never took off because Dave and I wanted to make puppet show videos to go along with it, and couldn’t figure out how to guarantee that YouTube would behave.

https://frogfishcat.wordpress.com/

Tutu Convention

tutusmall

This is an idea that Lizzi sparked in one of our conversations, that led me to play with the idea of creating a collaborative blog using the post by email function.

I thought it’d be awesome to have a giant blogosphere photo album, documenting the moments that we have beyond our blogs, the moments where we meet between the wires.  The idea was that people would post a picture and a link to the bloggers involved, using the instructions posted.

This never took off because we never showed anyone.  Oops.

http://tutuconvention.wordpress.com/

 

____________________________

And there you have it, five different examples of blog projects gone awry.  Do you run any collaborative blog efforts, or have you tried to before, or have you ever considered assembling one?

49 Comments

    1. Haha, you’re so right. This was aaaaages ago in the ‘sphere. Time goes fast here. 🙂

      My whole blogging experience has been a learn-as-you-go sort of thing. Sometimes I “go” so quickly that the learning come very belatedly, but it usually catches up to me at some point. :D. Thanks, Lynette!

      Like

    1. Yep, DOD was outstanding. I wish I could figure out a way to generate that level of critique on that type of writing without quite so much coordination….

      As to prompts, it may just revive itself on some level. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well… my Building Rome project crashed and burned. Mostly because I crashed and burned. I think for a group project to succeed it can’t rely soley on one person. Everyone involved needs to have that passion. Which is hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. There were some collaborations like b4Peace where everyone was very passionate but the leadership required was quite a handful. Running these things is a combination of so much!

      For what it’s worth, I liked the style and theme of Building Rome better than any other collaboration I’ve seen. ❤

      Like

  2. Prompts for the promptless: I LOVE the idea! At one time I was toying with a drabbles contest in the fanfiction world but it never got off the ground.
    According to Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drabble a drabble is a work of fiction of around 100 words, although there are some sites which will increase it to 500 or have it at a strict 100.
    In my experience limiting the word count ADDS to the challenge, especially if you expect the authors to actually use proper sentence structure and grammar :D.
    Tutu convention, isn’t this what Instagram is about, really? Showing snippets of our lives to those who know us in some form or fashion? If you wanted to bring this one into being perhaps it would be perfect on a platform such as Instagram.
    I loved!!!!! Carmen San Diego!!! I suck at mysteries but love to see how folks arrive at the correct answer.
    This isn’t such a little-known fact about me anymore but I edit for fun in the fanfiction world now, lol.
    Loved this post, hope you manage to resurrect or start some of them. If you can manage to find the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the instagram idea but then I’d have to constantly make people editors or publicly post the info. I was looking for something lazier, just like a year book of blogger meet ups and Events.

      Drabbles sound fun! And I agree on the limit, YeahWrite.me has one called GarbleBlaster I believe and is 42 words to a theme. I lock myself into 100 word posts, at least monthly, and call them the Rarasaur 100… it’s a self challenge and reminder that less is more.

      I have some new ideas in the works, too. And since projects like NanoPoblano and StoriesThatMustNotDie are on more solid ground now so it’s time to more. :D. I’ll let you know if a prompt one ever comes about!

      Like

      1. For Instagram, I’m not so sure. I know Instagram has a weekend hashtag every week but it’s been a while since i actually sat and looked through the stuff.
        I think WordPress actually has a meet up, world wide, happening sometime soon. That should be interesting, to see if I can match faces to tags (extremely doubtful, lol)
        Couldn’t you do something like the, shoot, I forget what it’s called, where anyone who wants to participate can post & tag it, including in the publicize portion, and then those of us who follow facebook & Twitter can just follow the tag and repost/reblog if we so choose? That way it’s still on our blogs & everyone else gets to see it as well.
        Why would you have to constantly make someone editor or something? Couldn’t you just pick a couple of people who volunteer and have the time to do whatever needs to be done?
        I know that with what I do I help maintain a fanfiction reblog WP site. I write up the twice weekly posts, schedule them and forget them & they do the actual maintenance.

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    1. I like prompts, too. We both go rogue with the prompts too, which is fun, because we could answer the same question every day and still have very different blogs. I love that. Maybe pftp will be resurrected in some form. ..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I did C4C, but I really benefited from Diamonds or Dust. I had been struggling with a piece of writing for years, tweaking and changing. I took it before a writing class.

    Nobody gave the helpful, excellent critique that I got from Diamonds or Dust. It remains one of my best bits of writing every (http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2013/11/23/the-end-of-my-rope/).

    I haven’t been writing much, but I would be absolutely willing to help edit, critique.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Instead of working on a story, I’ve been thinking of new names for “Prompts for the Promptless.”

    Promptable
    Pardon my Prompt
    Prompt this!

    I’ve never tried to organize my own blog event, but I’m always game to try something new.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’d be awesome at it. I actually had an idea for one, that I thought would be better suited to you than me. In my head, it was a series based on characters. So, the prompter gives a name and a paragraph about a person, and then maybe 5 miscellaneous words that relate to the character. Than fiction bloggers fold those characters into a story. Profiler! What a character! I’m not sure on names but I thought it’d be a prompt where a lot of people could help come up with prompts. 🙂

      Pardon my prompt is genius. I like #pardon … I can see that working!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahhhhhhhh! It’s magic. I feel like all month I’ve been thinking things into existence. Okay, I obviously need more sleep, but first, weekly writing challenge! 😀

          Like

  5. Right now it feels like my blog is a bit dead in the water. I’ve had ideas about writing, but knowing that what I post will have to be approved by the two sisters I’m living with rather makes it difficult to actually put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

    I have got some things written out, however, which I could probably ask them to read so I could type them up as blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine that would be a road block. In jail they read my letters, sometimes (unprofessionally) referencing them. It made me nervous about blogging, but I managed somehow…

      I’m looking forward to your words. I hope you do send what you have over to them to read. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. True. And school life. When I visit the younger grades for my job, I think. .. these gates and alarms and rules look familiar.

          As to to your writing, I know it will reach people, so i know the universe will make a space for it, and hopefully a smooth and easy way for it too.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I still have hopes for TuTu convention – it could happen. We need time and a clearer idea. I’d want people to write about their moments, and why they matter, and to share those peeks into Real, which matter so, so much, between dear hearts 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all very inventive and interesting ideas, Rara. I’ve never considered a collaborative blog because of time constraints. I can barely keep my own going! But am interested in what you decide!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d forgotten some of these, and there were others I’d never heard of. What I love about you, Ra, is you’re not afraid to take and idea and run with it. That is SO un-Virgo. Try, fail, move on. I envy it. I love it.

    You’re amazing and you’ll never know how truely true that is.

    Please. Keep creating. Keep throwing the ideas at us.

    Seriously.

    I’m standing, right now, in your pie machine.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am not a writer (nor do I play one on TV) … but I’ll meet up with you all any time in a tutu – or whatever costume we decide upon. What color would your tutu be Ra? ❤ (purple for me) Have a wonderful week.

    Like

  10. I really enjoyed Prompts for the Promptless although I always seemed to end up seeing them on the last day of the challenge! I’m just not that organised

    Like

  11. A few years ago my husband and I tried to do something for writers, like prompts and things like that, as well as community stories – the kind of thing where one blogger posts a paragraph or two, then hands it off to the next person. Eventually it just ran out of steam, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

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