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
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 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.
Diamonds or Dust
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.
- 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.
Prompts for the Promptless
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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?