Friday, October 07, 2005

Blog-A-Thon



I wasn't going to reveal this until I had finished, but I was outed in comments this morning by "I-66" in his blog, Yeah, So I'm... Earlier this week, I decided to take on a little project of working through every Washington, D.C. blog mentioned in Patrick Thibodeau's blog, DC Blogs. Patrick, aka "KOB," is a well-known figure in the Washington blogging community and it's chief supporter in terms of highlighting the writings of close to 450 people. I told KOB of my plans on Sunday. At the time I made a rather grandiose proclamation that I would do all of the blogs in a 24-hour blogathon. Patrick said, "Are you sure you can manage that?" Well...he knew, didn't he? DC Blogs

I started at midnight on Tuesday night, and whenever I had a spare minute during Wednesday I was hitting the sites by groupings. I didn't stick to KOB's blog ordering as I had initially hoped, because I had to keep making breaks for other things going on in my life. By midnight Wednesday I had actually gotten to my last grou
p, and the biggest: DC Lives. Patrick has that broken down into alphabetical groups, and I started with A. Here it is Friday, and I'm only in the B's. However...I should be done within a day, and I have to say it's proved a fascinating glimpse into the D.C. blogging world.

What you might think the most difficult--dreaming up something to say on 450 blogs, isn't the hard part at all. What is difficult is working with everyone's security codes. There are only a few, luckily, where I was asked to register before I could even comment: the Mayor's blog being one of them. One I wasn't able to enter at
all without an owner-assigned password. For the ones who use Blogger.com's word verification-- "Curses," uttered in a Snidley Whiplash voice. On the system I use, every time I stumble on word verification, I have to go over to Firefox's server and enter your blog name, which often doesn't match your blog's given name, and take it from there. Many more steps for me, and it's really been slowing me down.

Initially I was just going to make my comment and depart, but a friend suggested I also leave "Washington Cube Was Here," followed by the num
ber I had worked up to, for example #220. Until I-66 mentioned it this morning, not one person has emailed me and said "Just what is that all about?" Equally appalling, in it's way, is that I've heard back from less than ten of you. Of that group, some kindly wanted to link and some had nice things to say about my blog. It left me wondering if people even watch their blogs, and if so, upon seeing a name not familiar to them, do they bother to go check on that person to see what they are about? Apparently not.




In the past several days I've written about knitting, dogs, insurance, politics, baseball, neighborhoods, cooking, photography, painting, movies,
architecture, hockey, football, and interior decorating, to name a few. I've written to Singapore, Moscow, Bangalore, and Manila. Oh yeah, and relationships, relationships, relationships. Some sadly query in their own blogs if anyone is even reading their words, or are they writing to the void. I've read about illnesses, deaths, accidents, and traumas. The quality of the blogs varies, of course, but they've all proven intriguing to realize how many people are compelled to share their thoughts with the world.

If I could say one thing to the blogging community it would be this: Go outside your blogging box. Check and see what other people are writing about
. You might be surprised. Don't see "knitting," and think "NEXT!" Any group bound by a category might surprise you. Since I've been there, I can tell you, the given subject is not all that they are writing about. Read the community blogs to get an intimate glimpse into a neighborhood you might not know. And leave comments. I've often wondered myself if I am reaching anyone when I write. I already know I will continue to write, regardless of the comments, but it is nice to hear back from people. I've seen blogs this past week that are slobbering in their slavish praise of the author. Do you people delete the negative? I have to wonder. I discovered one writer who wants to give up, because of the anonymous negative comments being left on her site. She isn't, by the way...just taking a breather.

During my blogathon I left town on my usual trip to Cape Cod in the fall. I'll be here until just before Thanksgiving. I don't really anticipate writing much about the Cape, this being my first blog year here, but we'll see. The picture that I found on Google which I use on my blog profile was chosen because it is very akin to the view I have when I'm here, and it captures the mindset I have of writing out into the void of other bloggers and the internet. I know you're out there people. Keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep
exploring...and I'll get back to my "B's." I know I can do this.



.....Washington Cube Was Here. #226

62 Comments:

Blogger Megarita said...

Good luck! Good gravy what a task you've set yourself. I've had friends who had to go cold turkey from blogging just to get some work done...enjoy the Cape. I love it in the fall...

1:26 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

A blogger! Heard from! Yikes!

1:27 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

I'm personally not a blogger (being self-imposed illiterate), but I read your work with curiosity and anticipation for each new entry.

Your writing has been consistently superb and even when I might not always find your subject matter enticing (you can't please everyone all the time), I love to be transported by the artful way you convey it.

No pressure, no expectations -- just please continue to share whenever you compose more wonderful blog-blurbs! Somehow it has snuck under my guarded radar to become one of the joys I don’t regret looking forward to.

3:32 PM  
Blogger wharman said...

I checked you out immediately, Washington Cube, and added you to my RSS feed. You do good work. Also, I commented back on my own site to you... You may have to do the whole extravaganza over again to see how many of us chose to respond to you in this way... Anyway - thanks for reading and I'm happy to have found another DC voice I enjoy checking in with.

4:09 PM  
Blogger KOB said...

Cube,

Your blog-a-thon really draws to light the life and sadness of blogging. So many writers, often pouring out stories with passion, hurt, love and everything else, wondering who reads them, if anyone, and who notices their stories. Does blogging lessen the pain or exacerbate it?

I've seen some blogs just disappear with sad notes that, in effect say, "nobody cares" or just evaporate. And then that's it. No real explanation, like finality itself. It's distressing in a way; it's as if a void has been created, a tear.

So I think you brighten this sometimes depressing landscape with your notes about what you've read. I've been deeply moved by some of this.

Thanks, too, for pointing out the value of exploring all blogs and not skipping over "knitting blogs," for instance.

Sometimes the category idea troubles beacause there's a risk of isolating a blog when the goal is to try to give people an idea of the breadth of subjects.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. It's realy gratifying that the listing helped you with your project.
kob

4:45 PM  
Blogger DCdramaGrrls said...

and, you still have time to write an extensive blog on your own post. This is all very impressive. Good luck. I'm glad you are making the rounds, after you came to our site, is when I made it to yours. Im thinkin I should try to be more outgoing as well vs. waiting for new visitors on our site as an excuse. Good Work!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Wrethcat said...

I'm always watching you Cubie :-) Our Cube has a lot of interesting tidbits to share for the worldly blog reader :-P

This webkitty loves to read, with anticipation, right through and up to the end of each piece that is carefully and thoughtfully crafted by both you, and your featured guests. Keep writing.

Although I am not a blogger, I am working on my novels and poetry. I applaud anyone who uses writing to express themselves from the melancholy to the majestic.

Wrethy wuz here!
>^,,^<

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. quite the undertaking. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

btw, YOUR blog makes me register to leave a comment, which is why I'm anonymous.

http://bluecoyotelaughing.typepad.com

6:04 PM  
Blogger Complacent Chase said...

Damn girl! Youare doing this voluntarily? WOW! I noticed the numbers as well, but I figured you were just being your quirky self! :-)
Maybe you can tell KOB be to update my blog address. I emailed him, but he has yet to do it. [clearing throat]

Have a wonderful trip, Cubie!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Scarns said...

I love the project. Happy browsing!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WC,

What a tremendous effort you're
expending, not only reading but
also commenting on that volume
of blogs. I love your writing, and
yet don't manage to comment
often at all; I'd have nothing
to add to someone whose blog I
may read, if I didn't know them.

Thanks again for your wonderfully
passionate and engaging writing,
and for spreading your cheer
through the web.

Much Love,
Lee

8:34 PM  
Blogger dc gal said...

Cube,

Just like i win victorious, I responded to your comment on my own site. I like your blog and will come back to it.

Here's a comment for all bloggers out there. If you want to know if anyone reading your blog, add a statcounter. Statcounter.com offers a free service. My blog gets few comments, however, statcounter shows the site's number of return visitors.

Good luck with your mission and the blog!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Who are these bloggers who don't do reconaissance on those who've left messages? I always see if I can find out more about who's stopped by my site. Just naturally curious.

And you can bet I'll be back to read more...

9:28 PM  
Blogger culocho said...

Awesome, and funny, and quite an undertaking!

Your 71st,
A

10:20 PM  
Blogger Asian Mistress said...

Awesome...you should get a reward.

I want a number! :)

11:57 PM  
Blogger The Absurdist said...

Cube,

Thanks for stopping by this morning.

I don't get many comments on my blog, and I frequently don't respond to the people who leave a comment. What can I say? I'm a loner. I'm not naturally sociable.

The Internet is full of people who are just lurking and not seeking to make a connection. If it weren't for Statcounter, I would think hardly anyone ever reads my blog, but in fact I have several regular readers.

By the way, I've been reading your blog occassionally for a while now. Thanks for illuminating Zippy the Pinhead for me.

I love Cape Cod in the fall. Enjoy.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Blogs t r e t c h said...

Yup, definitely checked out your blog soon as I saw the comment. Best of luck on your journey 'round the blogosphere. Don't forget to buckle up.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Christian M. said...

Thanks for making me #53. I didn't think much of the the "Washington Cube is Here" ... thought it was just your calling card. What if you start doing that in every comment you leave on every blog from now on? That way you'd know exactly how many tiny scraps of yourself you've left lying around the blogosphere.

(And I checked out your blog within 24 hours receiving your comment.)

3:17 PM  
Blogger the kitchenette said...

Cube,
Your undertaking is noble and your entry almost brought me to tears. Keep on keepin' on.

Your #72,
The Kitchenette

8:36 PM  
Blogger themarkpike said...

Wow. If only this was one of those chain letters, or pyramid schemes, you'd be super rich.
Best of luck.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Good luck, Cube! Do you need me to send in pizza? (and wine?)

9:56 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

So that's what you're up to. Good luck. I've often looked at KOB's list and been overwhelmed.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Another reader here. Found you on kris and angry pregnant lawyer's blogs. Great idea on reaching out. I like to get on blogspot and hit the next blog button until i find one to post on every now and then. Have found a few fun new friends that way! Try it out.

In the meantime, thank you for your hard work, and i'll try to check out some of the people who posted to your blog!

12:02 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Kris, yes please, and Mass...yes..and still plowing through KOB's list.

12:32 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

So hey, washington cube, yeah I saw you're comment, but it was not really on point, so I don't mean to quibble, but i did INDEED go to look at your site and saw some birds flying around and I read a bit. So there. AND that number thing threw me. It kinda LOOKEd like spam.

Then today I went back to your site, and a-ha! now I see, said the blind man. Very cool project.
Very interesting. So, thanks for visiting me, and thanks for the explanation!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

The Cape during the fall is really great...I'm tempted to drive up there right now. Anyway, good idea. I go through other's different blog rolls, when I'm having a slow day at work. I like to see what others have to say and I usually comment. I've found a lot of good ones over the past week. Anyway, good luck plugging through the list.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Castor OiL said...

Keep on keeping on, the daddy's appreciate your support!!!

Rock.

6:19 PM  
Blogger MKD said...

Cube,
Not only did I check your blog out, I became a regular reader, added your link, and encouraged others to read and comment on your blog as well. I'm not sure if that was part of the experiment, but I know a good blog when I see one.

Glad I found it.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I'm glad you left a comment -- most of my readers do the RSS feed thing (and I'm guilty of reading my regular faves the same way), so nobody really knows these days who's out there lurking. Thanks for delurking and saying hello -- I think it's great that you're getting to know our D.C. world and I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you through your writings. All my best to you! :)

6:32 PM  
Blogger Merujo said...

If someone comments on my blog and it's an unfamiliar name, I always go visit the commenter's blog. I usually check StatCounter, too - then, if that person comes back to read once in a while, without commenting, I will likely recognize their signature IP and appreciate that they're peeking in to visit.

It's nice to see return visitors. Sometimes that little validation can make your day when you're feeling lonely. It's nice, too, to know there are people who actually read your words and want to know what you have to say.

Good luck with your project!

- Merujo in (barely) Bethesda

6:46 PM  
Blogger Merujo said...

How very weirdly synchronistic - I was commenting on your blog just as you were commenting on mine. Cool!

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

What a daunting task. I think you're right that bloggers should try to move beyond their normal communities from time to time, but it's easy to become habituated into the communities you know.

In the best world, blogging can be like a ginat party where you move from conversation to conversation, and this is an intriguing way to do that. Good luck in moving through the rest of the DC blogworld.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Jamy said...

I didn't check you out via the comment (#8) you left for me because I've been to your blog before.

This is a great project--good luck!

10:08 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

You are ambitious and I salute you ... but ... in truth I don't always get back to everyone who comments, and I don't even get that many comments. I blog because I love doing it. Who reads my blog can't be the reason I write, that would be such a set up!

I think of the blogosphere as a big party. When I go to a big party I drift in and out of conversations, sometimes taking part, sometimes not. Who can ever listen to every single person at a big party? Only God, right?

Still, you are mighty. And I love your blog name!

xx,
Reya Mellicker aka Grace's Poppies

10:44 PM  
Blogger DC Food Blog said...

I thinka great gift you did was to help us find your blog. It's an absorbing read.

11:21 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

Hiya! I have a poetress friend in Cape Cod who is at a writing institute (post grad work)...I should put you two together for a beverage-she's a hoot.

(oh, and her first published work is "Sex and the Amputee")

Thanks for the comment~

11:54 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Wow, this is like so cool.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Crazy Girl City said...

I wondered what the number meant! Props to you for getting through them all!

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Holly said...

I visited your blog after seeing your comment, but the number thing threw me. Now I understand... :) (And yes, I am trying to embrace the zen-ness of the knitting. That definitely made me smile.)

Good luck with the huge task of getting through all the blogs! I have been an occasional visitor to your blog before now, but will definitely check in more often!

Your #116..

2:25 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

I had no idea! I did wonder what those numbers meant, but I was too lazy to ask.

Next you should rank them.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous #256 said...

Thanks for the comment!

I checked you out as soon as I saw your comment... I'm always interested in new traffic and seeing how people come across my site. I admire your determination... that's a heck of a lot of sites to check out. You can definitely expect a link-back as a reward for your creativity!

11:55 AM  
Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Wow! I'm so impressed. I've read your stuff before because you're such a fantastic respondent to Megarita. It's time to join your fanclub...

2:07 PM  
Blogger Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Thanks for checking out my blog. What a task you undertook with your blog-a-thon! You are very organized! I check out several new D.C. blogs a day and try to comment on at least one. Woo. Good stuff out there!
Take care,
Capt. Jack

3:30 PM  
Blogger Rhinestone Cowgirl said...

I noticed the numbers too, but like Phil, I was too lazy to ask what they were about. (And maybe I also thought it was an inside joke that I just didn't get.)

Anyway, I don't think you've gotten to my blog yet - mine's pretty far down KOB's blogroll - but I've been checking in now and again on yours for a while now. Cool project!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous DRFS said...

Washington Cube...you've been on my favorites list for awhile. Thanks for the comment and the look. I always look at people that comment on my site...but I don't always comment back. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say...but usually if I connect w/their blog by clicking through...I'll end up putting them on my PEOPLE list. I tend to be a lurker on blogs for the most part.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Crazy Miss J said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog. It is always appreciated.

7:49 PM  
Blogger aklsdjhfa said...

Happy blogging. Enjoy the Cape!

8:04 PM  
Blogger Blue Dog Art said...

#236 Checking in. Interesting project. Thanks for the comment.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Thank you all for commenting. I've been adding so many new blogs to my own personal "reading" list. I'm still on the project, only through the G's, but it's amazing and thrilling to see the good writing going on out there.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Smash said...

WC--I always check out the people that comment on my blog. It is common courtesy, I think.

11:46 AM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

I got comment Number 287. That is some amazing work you do there!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

what an undertaking! 450!

3:34 PM  
Blogger DCSportsChick said...

I was wondering what that was all about! Guess I could have asked, but it's more fun to make up mysterious scenarios in one's own mind ;-)

Cool idea!

8:42 PM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

i thought the number was some kind of clue to aid my Lost addiction. :)

great project!

11:24 PM  
Blogger Sophiagrrl said...

#333 here - I got a nice round number. And it makes me appreciate how many blogs you are sifting through.

Since I also never ger comments from folks I don't already know, I immediately went off to find you. Begs the question why I blog. If having strangers read it is kinda unnerving, do I have the stomach for it? I figure, there is so much out there, who really cares about my lil thing. It's for my close friends and family who are far away... And as more friends have taken up the odd blog posting, I admit that we talk about completely different things on the blog than we do in email or on the phone. It's rewarding to get a sidelong glimpse into a friend's life.

6:49 AM  
Blogger John said...

E Street Blog was here. :-)

12:24 PM  
Blogger StephenGregorySmith said...

Stephen Gregory Smith was here #1
:)
I checked out your site the second you commented on mine...
Guess I was rude by not commenting,...I'm so shy.
:)
Cool project!
I'll be tuning back in daily.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Spin_Doc1 said...

Oh my god! I was number 268! Are you sick of blogs yet?

6:12 PM  
Blogger Patrick J. Fitzgerald said...

I thought the number next to your comment on my blog and a few others that I saw it had something to do with an Obesessive Compulsive Disorder. :) I like your blog - #1

1:41 AM  
Blogger Chai said...

thanks for leaving me a comment. and your project is quite interesting.

i do read my comments and appreciate the fact that you read mine.

2:46 AM  
Blogger mattb79 said...

hey dc cube thanks for visiting my blog in your 'world tour' ! I was #387, seems like you are leaving no stone overturned, keep up the good work.

best,

mattb

11:29 AM  
Anonymous John said...

I'm a fan of your site, and was happy to have you visit (#430).

1:12 PM  

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