The Daily News

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Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Help, You Know I Need Someone, Heeeeeeeeelp

"Mel, you've helped me in the past. What can I do for you?"

I'm glad you asked, infertility and pregnancy loss blogosphere.

The more messages that go on it, the more committed I am to making the Lost and Found page float. I am beyond committed. I haven't been this excited about an idea in a long time. Why, you ask? Because at the heart of it, we're all time-deprived. I am admitting that the impulse for this page is somewhat selfish because I will use this page every time I'm out of town or swamped by work. We all mean to hit all the blogs we normally read on a given day and then get sidetracked and only get to half. New bloggers who join the community don't receive the support they need because they don't have a dedicated readership yet. A bulletin board wouldn't really solve this problem because people would still need to wade through dozens of messages and questions. And that takes time. And this is about getting all those benefits of a bulletin board without the time factor.

The point to this page is that it's one-stop shopping. If you're away from home and you don't have time to go through all of your daily blogs, you can still check this one place and see if there are any announcements so you can click over and give support. And if you do end up closing your blog or starting a new blog or going password-protected, there is a central spot to get out information--especially to lurkers who may get left behind if they are loyal readers but not loyal commenters.

So the help I need is three-fold. First and foremost, submit news. Think of this as a combination of the front page of the newspaper and an alumni page. Send the happy stuff--pregnancy announcements or birth announcements (even if you think the whole blogosphere knows already) as well as the sad stuff--loss announcements so you can get the support you need. If you have a new blog that started in July or August, list it so people can find you (if you've been around for longer than a month, you've started building your readership by commenting on other blogs). Send anything that may be of interest to the blogosphere--Jenna recently added an announcement about Wednesday's Oprah that people may have missed if they hadn't read her blog yet this week. If you see someone on the Lost list that you know, let them know that people are looking for them. If you're on the Lost list yourself, provide some information so you can be Found.

Secondly, support those who list information on the page. There are people searching for fellow bloggers who have a similar situation in Connections. Click over and let them know that your blog exists. When people make an announcement--especially an emotional one such as a new pregnancy or a loss announcement--click over and give support. Give them a congratulations or a shoulder-to-cry-on. Say hello to people who list a new blog. I know last year was supposed to be my Year of Building Community but let's just say that it has bled over into this year too. We have the power to really support each other and make a difference. This is an easy way to do so that takes up less time than clicking through every single blog on my side bar in search of giving support. Gandhi said, "we must be the change we wish to see in the world." And I try to live my life by these words. I wish to see people come together more, therefore, I created a space to make it easier for people to come together. And selfishly, I draw from that support so I do it for myself as well.

Thirdly, check the page yourself and let others know that it exists. It really only works if people use it. If they not only post stuff, but they read it too. I have been updating it several times a day. People usually only have to wait a few hours to see their words move into the body of the post. There are a few ways to make it easy to check--the url will always be the same (I will start archiving posts at some point and the archive links will always be at the bottom of the main post)

Therefore, you can bookmark it and check it daily from your favourites list. You can email the link to yourself and click on the hyperlink in an email (that's my favourite way to read blogs from the road). There is probably a way to get an rss feed for this post and be notified every time I update it via bloglines or google reader. But since I'm not technologically-savvy enough to know how to do this, I leave this up to you to figure out. I've given you two low-tech ways. Take the icon and post it on your blog with a link back to that post so people know where to find it. The actual post will soon be buried on the blog under other posts, but you will always be able to access that post via the icon on my side bar.

So jump into action and be the change you wish to see. We've come together for Commentathons and Blog Roundup Extravaganzas. We've found each other through blilts and bars and blogoversary celebrations. We have changed each other's lives for the better and now we have a chance to catch more people instead of letting them slip through the cracks unnoticed. It's hard enough for a newly-diagnosed stirrup queen or sperm palace jester to swallow their current situation. It's a lot harder when you don't have the support of community. Since we can't be in all places at all times, let's create one post that is everyone's post to use to make connections.

Okay, I'm done with my rant. But please help. you.


megan said...

i just put the icon and link on my blog! great idea, mel! thanks for this.

chicklet said...

Re the "whore" card, And great idea on this stuff - again (again meaning you have great ones lots).

Jules said...

I've just posted about the Lost & Found List in my blog & added it to the sidebar.

If anyone knows how to get rss feed for the list, please let me know.

Jules xoxoxo

katd said...

I am so excited about this! I love the idea, Mel! I'm going to put a link in my sidebar. Love it, love it.