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Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

Updated with polls at the bottom:

There has been talk (oh my G-d, is this woman about to announce one more thing?) about making NaComLeavMo a more yearly thing. Not that you'd have to commit to it for a year--it would still be month by month--but it would be all-year round. Sort of like the same support and community that has sprouted up with NaBloWriMo. Except NaComLeavMo would be sans theme. It would be comments, pure and simple. And we'd probably have to get rid of the Iron Commentor status.

So, first things first, yay or nay on keeping NaComLeavMo around. The pros: there would be a list of people committed to writing and returning comments just as much as they're committed to writing their own blog (so people who think outward rather than just reflecting inward). You would know they were good blogs to read if you were looking for mutual support. It would help keep commenting up throughout the year and it would give commenting its due and importance as much as the blog writing itself. It would be something to do if you were looking for something to do. The cons: it would be one more thing to do. The pros again: you could drop in and out month by month. The cons again: it would make it less special because it wouldn't pop up on the calendar, it would be a yearly thing (on a month-by-month basis). So it would remove the Christmas-like quality (so says the Jew).

Next things next: there has been a request to rename the project IntComLeavMo (International Comment Leaving Month--because it would still be month to month). Are you for keeping NaComLeavMo (it was named to match up with all of the other Na-like projects such as NaBloWriMo) or changing it to IntComLeavMo? The pros to keeping it NaComLeavMo: the name has been set and it matches up with other Na-like projects. It is easier to say aloud. The cons to keeping it NaComLeavMo: people feel excluded by the name.

Things after that: the list would be open in three month intervals. In other words, to make my life less difficult, the list would be open from now until September 2 and the commenting would take place in July, August, or September. Obviously, it would close after the 2nd of the month because you couldn't really participate in September if it was already September and you hadn't signed up yet. On September 3rd, I would open a new list that would run for October, November, December. There would be a note at the bottom of the current list warning people to sign up on the new list if they want to remain on-board. If they don't sign up, they're just not included on the new list. It's probably a good indication that they aren't actually using the list and leaving comments. Or, it could simply mean that they're in a busy period and don't have time to read and comment. But this is the only way I could think of that was not time-consuming for me that helped ensure that the lists active. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

I also made an icon that would be colour-coded to show the current list. Here is a sample:

The puppy image will become clear in a moment, but the point is that the icon would be red now, orange later, yellow after that--so you'd always know if you were on the current list.

So...what are your thoughts? For people participating, would you want to keep doing it? For those who missed the boat the first time around, would you be happy to know anyone could join and not have to wait a year for it to come around again? For those who aren't participating now and won't immediately, but would like the option to be open in the future? For those who hate this idea and wish people would stop commenting?

I have to say that I am really sad about the idea of it not coming around again for a year. I missed it over the course of this year. And I loved seeing comments go up around the blogosphere--for some people it was a huge amount. For others it was a small step. Oh, the other idea I had was shuffling the list week by week (which isn't hard to do at all) so different people would be near the top. But wasn't sure if people hated that idea because they were trying to keep track of who they had already commented on.

So I am leaning towards holding this year-round if other people are into it. I've certainly gotten feedback from people saying they love it, but would you love it if it was always around? Like a little puppy?

Comments are the new hug, but they're also the new puppy (warm and sweet, yet needing to go out in the middle of the night--hence the image on the icon).

Aaah, and last things last, I would lower the commitment to three comments a day (either from your regular reads or from the list) plus one returned. 4 comments total a day. That way, if you miss, it's easier to catch up. And everyone could take a "bye" once a week. "Bye" as in a comment-free day.

Yes, no, maybe so?

So, here are the questions in a neat order:

1. Would you keep participating or start participating if it was held month to month or would you rather keep it a once-a-year thing?

2. Would you rather keep the name NaComLeavMo, rename it IntComLeavMo, or create a hybrid NaIntComLeavMo? Or create a different name entirely?

3. Any thoughts on the other ideas?

Sign-up is still going on for the Roundup Extravaganza. It's going to be a great list--very similar to the Creme de la Creme. The list is open until June 27th and then I'll dole out the blog matches via email. We have over 80 on the list right now. I'd love for the list to chunk out as much as the Creme de la Creme did last winter (we had 160) so spread word if you're doing it and invite others. It's already pretty varied from the newly diagnosed to IVF veterans, from adoption to donor gametes.

And now, the blogs.

Bleu at Soulbliss has a post called "Living Peripherally" that spoke to me this week. It begins with this thought, "Everything feels like it is on hold. Not just on hold until I can have a pregnancy last or on hold until I can give my child a sibling, but on hold until I can think clearly." But the line that made me sigh, that made me read the post three more times before I clicked away was this: "So I am in this constant battle, like driving through a snowstorm without windshield wipers, I drive with one hand out the window frantically wiping away the snow trying to see and move forward but only getting glimpses of where the road is." Please go over and not only read the whole post, but comfort Bleu--she wrote this post before she found out that her initial beta was 4.

The Whole of Her Sermon had a post on infertility this week and her doctor's advice to move on from IVF. The truth about breakdowns and musings about sparrows. Then she writes, "All of you who reach this post through NaComLeavMo and are infertile will get what I'm saying. We have that bond thing, huh? Even those who have babies after infertility get it. While I've not been a really active member of the infertility blogging circle — I was too cowardly to face other people's pregnancies — I feel we share an experience that easily fertile women do not have." The whole post--the last thought of the muscles cramping as you run to finish the race--was gorgeous.

I'm a Smart One had a post about clockwatchers vs. calendarlookers. She writes, "I think vast majority of us here in blogland are Clockwatchers. It's difficult for us to think forward any further than there are hours on a clock. We see whatever the next immediate major step is, be it bloodwork, a follicle scan, the fert report, transfer, etc, but there's always a but, unless, or if hovering somewhere between now and then." She contrasts this with those who are able to look ahead, take a positive beta on face-value, believe that things will work out. As interesting as the post is the discussion in the comments section as people detail their own clock-watching or calendar-looking tendencies.

The Next Chapter had a very powerful response to the recent study on transracial adoption. If you want to experience some very fierce love, read through to the last paragraph: "I will love him for who he is and all that is beautiful about him. I love him with every fiber of my being. I would die for him. If you try to take my child away from me, especially just because I’m white, you will have one hell of a fight on your hands."

Lastly, Letters from a Small State had a post about being alright. She writes about her state:
"But in the last three years, I’ve lost two babies. I’ve lost the last chance to ever have my own baby, and now, it seems, to give birth at all. I’ve lost the chance to even give my husband his children. And reassurances throw me like relentless waves against the rocks. I’ve had my share of philosophy and I know. These items, on The Grocery List of Tragedy, are salt and bagels. 22,000 are dead in Myanmar, what do I know? But still it’s hard to get up out of bed some days. It’s hard to chat on the phone to my sisters and hear the voices of their children ringing in the background." There is such a sweet sadness in this post. The image of her words hanging wet on a clothesline will stay with you for a long time.

Roundup to the Roundup: Scroll back up and look at the questions and then give your feelings about creating a month-by-month, year-round NaComLeavMo/IntComLeavMo. And sign up for the Roundup Extravaganza if you haven't done so already.

Oh--and because I kick ass at trivia, Lori has made me this gorgeous button. I swear, I must be descended from game show contestants because the second I see one of those trivia posts, I perk up and immediately start salivating.

I'll see you tomorrow night at Show and Tell. I'll be the one showing something...and then telling. That's how you'll know you found the right place.


Now that we've gotten a range of answers, I thought it would be best to set it to a vote. The polls are open through Sunday night and then I'll post the answer next week taking into account emails I'm getting too.


april said...

I would love to participate in NaComLeavMo.

Mrs. Spit said...

I like the idea of the coloured tickers. . .

(Wow, that's really specific of me)

~Jess said...

1. I would rather keep it a once a month thing...keeping with the whole "Christmas Feeling". I think if it were running constantly (month to month) it would start to feel obligatory.

2. NaComLeavMo
3. I like keeping it to one month, once a year.

Anonymous said...

I like it once a year - a)it's something to look forward to b)on a normal day, I usually comment at least 3+ times anyway, so calling it a special name isn't going to increase that, for me. What about twice a year instead? That might be the best of both worlds.

My name is Andy. said...

I like the once a year, maybe twice a year thing. I think it would lose it's oomph if it was an every day thing.

And as someone from another country, the National part of the name doesn't bother me at all!

katedaphne said...

I would prefer it once or twice a year. It makes it more special.

Either name (Na--, Int--) is cool by me.

Other thoughts -- NCLM (or, LCLM) introduces us to new blogs so I think by its existence we are likely to comment more after going thru it.

chicklet said...

I think doing it year round or even longer would feel too obligatory and take away from people going to your blog cuz they want to, and leaving meaningful comments, to just going there cuz they have to and commenting something not so good.

And I hate to be the one to say it, but I find the name impossible to say so I just call it "that comment thing". I liked it better when it was the "commentathon" last year.

Nothing personal my friend:-)

shawna said...

I love all of the extra comments, but maybe twice a year would be better. I would be willing to participate no matter how often you do it though. Thanks, btw!

Sam said...

I think that while the idea of commenting more because it is a vital part of blogging, "forcing" it on everybody all year round might be a bit much!!

As it is, due to NCLM, I am commenting far more than I used to even over above the six required daily! (it's becoming a habit - which is good!)

I like the idea of twice a year for a month - NCLM or ICLM doesn't really bother me.

Finally - I don't know how you'd do this but I think that (as a non-infertility blogger) you need far more variety - no offence meant!

Phoebe said...

I'm not "officially" doing NCLM this year, but kinda doing my own version. I felt a bit overwhelmed doing it for a month, let alone a year (gasp!). Twice a year seems doable.

I like the idea of the list moving around, but I'm slowly going down the list of blogs to comment on. If you changed around the list, I'd lose my place and would never get to all the blogs.

bleu said...

Hey Mel, first off thanks so much for the lovely write up and support to that post I wrote. It was deeply felt both when writing it and when you "heard me" by reading it and getting it.

As for NaComLeavMo I have to say, it felt too daunting to me. Same as NaBloWriMo or the novel writing one. I would love to have maybe monthly IntComLeavWe (a week you do it) mini's and then a yearly month one. I just felt like if I got behind, especially during this cycle, I would just have one more thing to beat myself up about. A week mini seems so much more doable.
Just a thought.

DC said...

I love this idea!

1. Would you keep participating or start participating if it was held month to month or would you rather keep it a once-a-year thing? I would do it constantly, but agree that one week every month would keep it a little more "special."

2. Would you rather keep the name NaComLeavMo, rename it IntComLeavMo, or create a hybrid NaIntComLeavMo? Or create a different name entirely? I likle the more inclusive IntComLeavMo.

3. Any thoughts on the other ideas? I like the idea of changing the list order on a regular basis BUT it would be best if this were only done once a month. I do use the list order to keep track of where I've already commented, so I would need advance notice if the list were changing, otherwise it would throw off my system.

Also, I like the idea of not requiring each person to leave a comment on every blog on the list. That way, if some of the blogs go inactive, we don't have to keep leaving a comment on the same two-month-old post. I hate that! :)

Anonymous said...

1. I like the once or maybe twice a year thing.

2. I"m fine with NCLM, though I am blogging from Canada, so I can see how ICLM is more inclusive ... but it doesn't really bother me either way.

3. Please don't shuffle the list - it would totally throw off my system!

Thanks for organizing all of this - it is a real "high" balanced with the potential for burnout :) I'm enjoying meeting new people & their blogs.

luna said...

I for one have felt a little left out of the commentathon -- I opted not to sign up because I'd be away for a week and catching up would be too intimidating. I still leave more than the required comments, but I miss out by not being on the list.

I think having it all year would take away from its special quality. you don't want people rushing through the posts but rather leaving thoughtful comments.

I like the idea of twice a year. I imagine one week out of every couple months would be too burdensome for you

as for the name, how about glocomleavmo to acknowledge bloggers around the globe?

Pepper said...

I like the annual nature of the commenting frenzy. I doubt that people would participate as much if it were something done monthly and it would make the frenzy less special somehow. I do, however, think twice a year is a good idea.

NaComLeavMo or Commentathon

Would you consider adding a new rule/clarification? I'd hate to see people not participate because of being on vacation for a few days and the fear of having to catch up. Maybe add a rule or clarify the catch-up rule to say that you can "bank" comments. For instance, if on Sunday you leave 15 comments and return three, then you're covered for the next two days.

Amanda said...

1. Yes, I would continue. And I think it would be easier with the new rules!
I understand what people mean about commenting becoming obligatory...but as a brand new blogger, NCLM had great timing bc I don't know how else to get people to come to my blog!
2. NCLM...I have grown to love it. LOL.
3. I like the different colors idea and your puppy is so cute!

Trace said...

I like the monthly idea. Could you sign up month to month? (maybe you said that and I missed it) I also like the idea of having to do less comments. I was intimidated by the other one and didn't do it. However, after I didn't sign up I was sort of envious when I saw other peoples experience.

Kymberli said...

I accidentally voted wrong. I think either once or twice a year would be great; I also think that making it a monthly thing would ruin some of the specialness of the event. It would make it seem more like glorified, obligatory commenting.

Also, what about IComLeavMo in place of IntlComLeavMo? It flows better pronunciation-wise and it kinda has a nice ring to it; of course it would stand for International Comment Leaving Month, but IComLeavMo kinda looks like "I Come Leave More Comments," which of course is the whole point. :)

Thanks for including one of my posts in the FBRU. :)

Laura said...

InComLeavMo- Is more in tune with the other names and sets the standard for others to get out of the old Na version. They've been more than national for a long time.

I vote for keeping it going each month too. I found it too late to start this time but would like to join up next time around, when ever it is.

Jendeis said...

I've been loving NaComLeavMo, but I don't think I could do it year round or for an extended period of time. Maybe the drop in/drop out sections would be good for me, then. Course, this is from an Iron Commenter, so maybe my stress level would dip a bit if I were only trying to return the 4/1.

Love the button though. I'll do anything for more buttons.

Momma Mary said...

I voted in the polls, but I think once or twice a year makes it more special. I feel like I want to read everyone's back-story, and I am having trouble keeping up. I have found some gems of blogs, but if it happened more often, I think I'd be less likely to participate, or I'd be less inclined to read the back-story. I wouldn't be able to invest as much. :)

loribeth said...

I agree... once or twice a year would keep it special & I'd be more likely to take part. I don't think I could sustain this year round!

And I like Kimberly's IComm suggestion for a name. ; )

Io said...

yeah, once or twice a year - it makes it special. I like Kym's name for it!

kate said...

I'm glad you put up the poll, 'cos after reading those questions and options, I just thought, "Wow! When did this all get so complicated???" I mean, I like to participate as much as the next person, but the rules and the timing and the 2 month list and scrambling and naming- that was a lot of information to take in!

But yeah, count me as someone who likes to keep it a once a year thing, even if I did already vote that way on the poll doo-dad.

VA Blondie said...

I love the NaComLeavMo. I like the idea of having it serval times a year.

One problem I did have was the number of comments you had to leave every day. It took a lot of time to get up to date on new blogs to comment on, and I have a life outside of the blog world. I found that three comments a day and one return is a lot easier for me to do than five comments.

Just a thought.

Mrs.X said...

I love the ticker with the puppy dog! I think that if NaComLeavMo was held all of the time, it might take away from some of its specialness. Just my thoughts.

Ashley said...


Lee said...

Mel, thanks for running with the whole NaComLeavMo thing. It's a tremendous amount of work you've taken on.

I've voted in the polls but am leaving the comment here anyway.

I like the idea of once or twice a year idea. (When you tally the polls I hope you group the both the twice a year values as one when you decide what the majority is!)

I like the idea of dropping the comments to 3/D + 1.

I don't live in your country, but don't feel excluded by the "Na"-ness of the name.

Have a terrific weekend!

Kymberli said...

Thanks for your support, Mel.

Joanna said...

I would love to join the NaComLeavMo. I missed the boat this time around. I think doing it one week a month is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reference to my blog. The funny thing is, it was one of those posts that I didn't care if a soul read it. It felt so good to just say exactly how I feel. Regardless, thank you for finding it as meaningful as I did.

chicklet said...

Hey, I won't be around tomorrow so am working on my show n tell to post tonight. Can't wait to see the group's this week.

Betty M said...

Asa I new blogger I am having fun with Na(but as a nonUS blogger I would prefer Int)ComLeavMo. It is taking me ages to return comments though to all the new people who have visited me which I feel bad about. What I have liked is where people who don't have long "about" pages have put a special NaComLeavMo "starter" post up to give new readers the potted history. I haven't done that yet as my blog is only 4 posts long!

Kami said...

Quarterly? I voted for the first week of each month . . .I am a bit of a commitment phobe.

I didn't do it this time because I expect to be either getting used to a new baby or horribly depressed if it doesn't work - so I couldn't commit to a full month. I thought it was great to see all the comments on some blogs though.

I like the idea of a slightly lower goal of number of comments too.

Samantha said...

I like having it once a year as you have now. It feels special and exciting and a way to reach out, but if it were more frequent, I fear it would lose its impact. We all should be commenting on the blogs we read anyway, NCLM is a way to reach out a little further, but it might be hard to stretch yourself that far every day of the year.

Kim said...

I like all the ideas and would definitely like it to continue more than once a year. Maybe b/c I hardly ever receive comments - even though I give out a lot. And now I am getting a ton - both new comments and those coming back to me! It is so great! What about keeping it for the June month all the time and then surprising us a few other times. It would be fun b/c we would not know when it was coming!?! But I love surprises! The list moving around would mess me up b/c that is how I keep track by going down the list. Thanks Mel!