About a week ago on this blog I asked for your help in starting flood-related blogs for our region. Nobody documents a flood better than the people who are living through it. That’s why I wanted to make sure you heard about our newest blog. It’s called: “The Adventures of Ole and Lena – a Stud and a Hot Dish.”
Okay, I know the flood is serious business. But that is the funniest subtitle I’ve seen in areavoices!
The blog is written by Lena, a woman living along the Buffalo River near Sabin, Minnesota with her husband Ole. In her blog, she’s included pictures from previous floods and addresses the fight so far this year. You can find it at http://oleandlena.areavoices.com.
If you’d like to document your flood experiences, just drop me an email: email@example.com or just comment to this post.
Back in college, my friends Janet and Jill and I competed in a lip sync contest as The Pointer Sisters. Why do I tell you this in my blog post about areavoices? It’s because of the song we sang, “I’m so excited!” That is how I’m feeling today upon the completion of our areavoices directory page. Maybe it’s a stretch to pull out an old song from the 80′s to communicate my feeling over this project or maybe I’m just a little loopy after going through all of the blogs featured on Forum Communications company websites over the past week or two. How many blogs is that, you ask. More than 400!!!! That is 400 different blogs with information ranging from opera to astronomy, from Minnesota Twins to Wisconsin wildlife, from knitting up north to knoephla in North Dakota. All that, plus news and information from schools, businesses, cities and counties in our region. Check out the areavoices directory either at www.areavoices.com or by clicking on Directory link right under the titles “Featured Staff Blogs” or “Featured Area Voices” on the newspaper home page.
The directory has been out for a couple of weeks now and in that time, I’ve fielded some questions which I’ll address here:
1. Why isn’t my areavoices blog on the list?
Remember this is a featured blog list. That means at least one Forum Communications newspaper or broadcast website has chosen to feature you. In all, there are more than 2,000 areavoices blogs. These are the 400 that have been pulled out to be featured. Of course, all areavoices blogs can still be found at www.areavoices.com.
2. How can I get my blog featured?
Your first step is to make sure we know about it. I’m amazed at the fantastic blogs I’ve just stumbled upon as I look through areavoices postings. It’s my job to recommend you to the newspaper and broadcast editors, publishers and news directors. I can’t make that recommendation unless I know about you. Once I do, I can forward your blog address to the editors. In the end, it’s their decision whether your blog is appropriate for their website.
3. I’m not sure if I’m a featured blogger. How can I find out?
First, look on the directory. If you’re in the directory, you’re featured by at least one property. If you’re not on the list, you can certainly email me and I can doublecheck whether you’re a featured blog or not. firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. I know I’m a featured blogger, but I’m still not in the directory. What’s going on?
A couple of possible things. First, I’m human. I might have messed up and for some reason not typed you into the directory. Of course, after I profusely apologize I’ll make things right. The other possible reason is more intentional. To keep our featured blog list as up to date as possible, we take blogs out of the directory if you have not made at least one post in that blog in the last 3 months. It was our decision to do this to make sure the directory was not bogged down with blogs that are no longer active. I am more than happy to put your blog back in the directory once you start posting in that blog again. Just let me know.
5. How can I get a next to my blog?
We put the next to the blog if it has been created in the last 2 weeks or so. If I missed a , please let me know.
So that’s it. And while I said earlier that I was excited by the completion of this project, the fact is it will never be completed. The directory is almost a living, breathing entity. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic. But the fact is, I’ll be monitoring and managing this directory from now on. It will evolve and change. If you have questions, problems or suggestions I’m ready to hear them. I have time now that I’m no longer a Pointer Sister.
Speaking of flood blogs (which I did in my last blog entry) I just wanted to let you know another one has popped up. The Cass County (ND) Emergency Management Department has started it’s blog. It’s already full of relevant flood related information. Just go to http://casscountyem.areavoices.com to see it.
If any other county/city/state departments want to join us on areavoices, just let me know!
Those of us who’ve lived through the flood of ’09 and ’97 (and seemingly countless others) can spend hours telling you our stories. We’ll tell you where we were when we heard our neighborhood was being evacuated or tell you how the water in our backyard rose 2 feet overnight. Maybe we tell these stories as therapy. It makes us feel better to share our hardships. It gives us a sense of community to know, as the kids in High School Musical sang, “We’re all in this together!”
This time around, for Flood 2011, we don’t just want to HEAR your stories, we want you to blog about them. Remember BLOG stands for WEB LOG. And while, in recent years, it’s come to mean so much more at its very core it still can be defined as “a frequently updated personal journal.” What a great way to chronicle your flood experiences by building an online diary. Tell us what it’s like in your neighborhood, add pictures and video. It’s a great way to document, day by day, how the flood is affecting you.
In addition to hearing your stories, areavoices blogs will be a great place to find important flood information, no matter what part of the region you call home. Just today, I added “FLOOD” as a category in our blog directory. You’ll be able to see all of the flood blogs that are being written about this flood. In the last couple of days, we have two new flood blogs. First Link, the agency which coordinates volunteers during times of community need, has started a nice blog. http://myfirstlink.areavoices.com. The Forum has also started it’s Community Flood blog, http://communityflood.areavoices.com.
My blog is full of information about how to start your blog. If you need further assistance, I’m just an email away. We’d love to hear from you this flood season and always!
Rural Reflections – http://rreflection.areavoices.com – Grant Nelson writes about rural life and farm projects. His column is featured weekly in the Northern Watch newspaper in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. His Radio program is also posted on his blog every Thursday by noon.
Did you see it? There, right above my blog, to the right? Right next to ”start a blog.” It’s the new areavoices “directory” link.
Over the past week or so, we’ve been refining and revising a list of the featured blogs on all Forum Communications websites. To make it easier to find the blogs, we’ve placed them in categories, so you’ll be able to read blogs that have the most interest to you. I’m still working on the list and it will be finalized soon. I’ll update you as I go.
In the meantime, there’s been a residual effect to all of this blog examination. By going through the blogs with a fine tooth comb, I’ve found more blogs that are worth a second look. They are all featured on at least one of our websites.
Grapes and Grains – http://grapes.areavoices.com I’m not sure I’ve seen a blog like this anywhere else on areavoices. Greg Rixen blogs about wines, spirits and food pairings. The blog is full of interesting content and great advice.
Courage in the Kitchen – http://kitchencourage.areavoices.com Chuck Rang blogs about “reminiscences and recipes.” He brings a down home quality to his food blog. He says:
“I have been cooking since I was old enough to hold a spoon. My teachers have been my mother, my wife, my sisters and friends who are still trying to make me into a real cook. I like to read recipes and experiment in the kitchen, and though the results have occasionally been disastrous (sherried squash and walnuts with maple syrup comes to mind), I think that I have learned from most of my mistakes.”
BBB Buzz - http://thefirstbbb.areavoices.com The Better Business Bureau of North Dakota and Minnesota blog contains helpful consumer tips, updates on the latest scams and reflections on trends in the marketplace. This blog is brand new!
Horse Shoes - http://horseshoes.areavoices.com – News, information, and insight from a horse racing enthusiast. I think this blog is well done. I’m not a horse person, but I think Wendy is a good writer and I was interested in what she had to say.
Isaac on Tech - http://isaacontech.areavoices.com – Isaac Grover shares technology news and related thoughts. It looks like Isaac is blogging frequently about some very buzz worthy tech topics.