When my niece was much younger, she used to preface sentences with "Hey Guys, I've got an idea." She would then launch into the idea which was usually the plan already in place. For instance, "Hey guys, I've got an idea. Let's put on our shoes," she'd say as I tied her sneakers. I really like this phrase.
Hey Guys, I've got an idea.
(This is perhaps an argument for why I should take sleeping pills rather than lying awake at night thinking.)
("Excuse me?" you cough, wondering what the hell that word means.)
An emoblopedia. An emotional blog encyclopedia that archives thought-provoking entries. Sort of like the creme de la creme list, but instead of simply being a long list of great entries from a single year, it is organized both by larger umbrella topics such as "treatments" or "adoption" as well as by smaller subcategories such as "deciding to proceed with IVF" or "meeting child for the first time." This is not the same as Operation Heads Up. Operation Heads Up conveys specific information about a procedure or diagnosis. Insider information from one stirrup queen to another. An emoblopedia is an archive of the emotional journey--a series of posts that a person can read when they feel alone and want their emotions confirmed.
The idea being that it's late at night and you're freaking out and you want to read about someone else's experience with the same thing. And you go to the emoblopedia and read all the entries under that category (because there can be an infinite amount of entries). And feel better because your own emotions are echoed or you've read something that will help you get through your own situation. Of course, you could jump from blog to blog trying to seek out these types of entries, but it would simply be faster to have them all listed in the emoblopedia.
This will obviously be an on-going project. Without an end date in sight. We'll simply keep adding to it as entries are written. But right now, I need two things if you want to participate in order to get this started. (1) go back through your archives and find entries that fit these categories and (2) suggest more topics and categories since I just started planning out the emoblopedia. This emoblopedia can keep growing and growing with new categories added daily for the rest of eternity. We can make it anything we want.
Five pieces of business from the Emoblopedarian (get it--the emotional blog encyclopedia librarian)--
(1) when sending a submission for a category, include a link to the original post as well as a link to your blog's main page address (sort of like how I include both in each Friday Blog Roundup category--that way, if people feel like the entry speaks to them, they can bookmark your blog's main page and read along daily).
(2) like the creme de la creme list, I will not put up any post that the person didn't submit. So don't be offended if you're known for a certain entry on your blog and I haven't included it on the list. If you didn't submit it, it's not going to be added. That said, if you know of fantastic entries on another person's blog, you can suggest them and I'm happy to contact the person or you can contact them directly and ask them to submit it. And as I read from this point forward, I may ask you to submit a link to the emoblopedia by leaving a note in your comments. Feel free to submit or to tell me "no." Like the creme de la creme list, this isn't a time to be modest. Don't worry about things like "not good enough." It's floating in the blogosphere already if you've posted it on your blog. This is just a way of organizing information. All entries are "good enough." And everyone--lurkers to long-time comment writers--is welcome to send links.
(3) there is no time range for the emoblopedia--you can go back through your archive for entries from four years ago or send me a link to a post from yesterday. This is not like the creme de la creme that it all takes place in one year. It can take place at any point. Hopefully, if this continues indefinitely, we will have links to entries that span ten or twenty years.
(4) for the creme de la creme list, I took whichever entry was submitted. For this project, I'm going to lightly veto--meaning, if it doesn't fit the entry topic at all, I'll ask you for a different entry. Or we'll start a new category for your entry. While obscenities galore are fine; homophobia, racism, sexism, ageism isn't (or any other form of prejudice). Really, bring on the obscenities. But unless the point of the post is the prejudice (for instance, a lesbian being denied treatment at a clinic), it's not fine to add posts that will make other people in the community feel like crap. I am still such a teacher. I feel like I'm wagging a finger and saying, "play nice!" It's not that I see this happen often, but I wanted to set this out there as a disclaimer.
(5) like the creme de la creme list, spread the word. I think this project benefits from having as many points-of-view as possible. Also, unlike the creme de la creme list, you can have as many entries as you wish. Even within the same category. So you may have three fantastic entries that all go with each other and I can list all three under the category. Or, you can have one entry in every single category. Or you can have 88 entries spread out over two or three categories. You can send me one every single day. Immediately after you post a new entry, you can send me the link and tell me to place it in a certain category. What I'm trying to say is don't get hung up wondering if this a fantastic example or not. Just submit it. It may speak to someone else tremendously. And this project only works if you do toot your own horn a bit. Hopefully, this will also be a good way to increase your own blog hits and to get word out about smaller, lesser-known blogs.
So...what to do right now?
Look at the post below at the sample categories and the sample entries. And start (1) adding new category ideas to the list either by leaving a note in the comments section or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (2) start sending links (to both the post and the main blog address), designating them to a specific category (feel free to submit both an idea for a new category and an entry for the category at the same time).
Ideas? Opinions? Suggestions?