Sunday Salon: How not to start a new blog hop

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The Sunday Salon.com

I like to think of Easter as a celebration of new beginnings, spring being one of the ultimate new beginnings.  Here’s my funny story of an aborted (or delayed) new beginning.

Yesterday was another rainy day here in southern Indiana. A wet spring bodes well for planting crops, but not if it rains so much that you can’t actually get out to plant anything. So I spent most of the day on Saturday preparing for what was supposed to be today’s launch of a brand new blog hop. I write on here quite a bit about the importance of place, and if you’ve stopped by on a Monday, you may have seen my regular Madison Monday feature, where I discuss all the things I love about my little town. I love writing about my favorite places in Madison to hang out, the things you might do to entertain yourself in Madison, exciting news, our local art scene, going to the state park, and the warm fuzzy feeling you get sometimes being a part of a community.

Lately, as I’ve been writing Madison Monday I’ve thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to hear other people’s stories about where they live?” I love hearing people talk about places. The places they’re from, the places they’ve been, which places they claim and which they don’t, the places where they’ve felt they belonged and the places they haven’t. Just talking to folks in Madison, I know not everyone feels quite as boosterish as I do about our town. How do other people feel about their towns? “Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a blog hop about places?” I thought.

And so I’ve been cooking up this idea, and on Saturday, I spent the whole day writing the description, making the button, figuring out Mr. Linky. My new blog hop would be called My Town Monday; what a perfect title! At one point I had the whole post ready to go and actually deleted it. Just deleted it. Completely gone from blogger and any form of digital existence. And then finally, I got everything working, got the post up, advertised about my spanking new blog hop on a few places, and sat back and waited.

It didn’t take long. I hit the refresh button and there was my very first comment. It said, “Did you know there’s already a blog called My Town Monday?” and then supplied the link. For future reference, if you’re thinking about starting your own blog hop? First step. Google your title.

Now, My Town Monday is not a meme, but an actual blog where you can link your posts or provide links to your posts as comments. Obviously, it’s a great idea (great minds think alike) and I’ll certainly be linking my Madison Monday posts there. But after the initial letdown, I decided, hey, there’s room in the universe for a blog and a meme, isn’t there? Isn’t there?

So, my ever supportive husband helped me brainstorm some new names. At first they were kind of dopey. “Topos Tuesday,” because, you know, topos means place, so utopia is “no place.” Yeh, I know, it’s lame. My husband suggested “Ap-Praise Your Place,” which would be about “praising” your place, but also, sometimes, “appraising” your place. “Where You Are Wednesday,” “Tattle Town,” “Here Today,” and “Here We Are” were all possibilities. And then I thought of “Blogging in Place.” Perfect! But this time, I actually googled it first, and there is in fact a blog called Blogging InPlace, though it’s British, and not much at all like what I wanted to do. But lesson learned.

So, happy ending to my long story, be on the lookout next week for the debut of my new blog hop, now renamed “Blog in Place” (unless someone out there really likes Topos Tuesday or Ap-Praising Place). We live in a world where the internet allows us to be connected to people all across the world. But we all still blog from somewhere. Blog in Place will have a weekly prompt that asks some question about place…the place you live in, the places you’ve been, the places you feel like you belong…all the things I love to hear about places and all the prompt suggestions that will hopefully come from folks who want to hop along.

Coming soon:

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender

And of course, a new blog hop, Blog in Place

P.S. Between spending hour upon hour working on a blog hop that already kind of exists, I also found this really cool website, 750words. You sign up and write 750 words (about three pages) a day. The site saves what you write, which is completely private, and you get various badges for each streak of continuous days writing (so if you write 750 words for 3 days straight, I believe you get a Penguin). If you’re looking for some writing motivation, this might be worth a try. After you write your 750 words, the site does all these weird analyses of what you’ve written, with crazy pie charts and graphs and tables with the number of distractions. Very cool and fun way to get motivated to write.

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Comments

  1. I'll definitely look out for Blog in Place – and I'm so with you on the mayhem-behind-the-scenes of blog posting. All I can say is thanks goodness for a computer-savvy teenager on the house!

  2. What a great story! I guess that it's true that great minds think alike. Glad you finally came up with your own “brand,” and I'll be watching for the hop.

    Love memes that prompt us to share our thoughts and tidbits about life.

    And isn't Google wonderful?

    Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

  3. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to burst your bubble. 🙁 I just thought maybe the two of you could work in tandem. But Blog in Place will be fun!

  4. I'm kinda sad that my town Monday isn't gonna fly 'cause I like that name. but I'll be just as happy to support Blog in Place!

  5. What a shame – My Town Monday would have been a good title for a meme. Looking forward to reading it anyway. And it will be interesting to hear what you make of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. It has been recommended to me but I haven't read it yet.

  6. LOVING the Blog in Place idea. I am so up for that! Funny story about the 'this name already exists' thing. Glad it didn't put you off 🙂

  7. Thanks for the advice! I've been “talking” with a few fellow bloggers about creating a Sunday poetry blog hop, so you've convinced me to poke around the interwebs to make sure I'm not duplicating anybody else's efforts.
    And, like the others above, I'm still looking forward to Blogging In Place… Think I'll write about my town's astonishing plethora of used book stores first!

    Thanks, as ever, for the inspiration, R.

  8. Nice idea! It sounds like you will have fun with this new meme.

  9. I think this is a great idea. I really enjoyed reading your other post about it. It reminds me to appreciate the little things about where I'm at.

    Check out my Sunday Salon post here.

  10. Deborah, can I borrow your computer-savvy teenager sometime? I muddle through, but it's not always pretty.

    Laurel, blog hops are kind of like brands, aren't they? Wish I could hire a graphic designer for the button!

    Amy, no, thank you so much for giving me the heads up, and for pointing me to My Town Monday. Great blog.

    Emily, well, I can't resist the alliteration, you know. Did you know my middle name is Rae, so I'm RRR? You better bet I didn't take my husband's name when I got married.

    Helen Smith, I finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake last night and hope to get the review up tomorrow.

    Kathmeista, looking forward to having you hop along.

    Laurie, a poetry hop would be a great idea. One of the nice things about being in the blogging world is that it brings poetry to my attention in ways that wouldn't happen if I weren't on here, noodling around.

    Deb Nance, thanks! Yes, I think it will be fun to get it going.

    LBC, glad you liked the post that had a brief life before getting yanked. I'll be recycling some of it for Blog in Place.

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