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Sunday, November 19, 2006

NaBloPoMo

November is nearly two-thirds of the way through. You may not realize it, but November is also NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month!

I first heard about NaBloPoMo from this post on Ashley's Ink On Paper. The goal of the project is simple: participants agree to post at least once each day every day in the month of November. Frankly, it sounded a bit gimmicky to me, and seemed like it was possibly a bad idea. If people who did not normally post that often started churning out daily posts, what would that look like?

I didn't join up. In part this is because I'm a chronic non-joiner, in part it's because I may be traveling around the holidays and may not be able to post then, and in part because the best way to get me to not do something I'm already doing is to tell me I have to do it. I've been posting at least once a day on my own for a while. I don't know when I last skipped a day. I don't need NaBloPoMo to get me to post every day.

Eventually, after the start of the month, I made my way over to the official NaBloPoMo site. I was stunned by the list of participants. Hundreds and hundreds of bloggers had registered their blogs, from 1ideal Life to Zucchinis in Bikinis, including both Ashley's Ink On Paper and Lauren's Please Make Rice, I Love You! This was big. All it needed, I thought, was a function to randomly access participants' blogs - and before long, someone had developed one.

So is it worth it? Well, by forcing people to set aside a little time each day to first think about and then write up blog entries, it may be helping to improve the writing habits of participants, and that's not a bad thing. There has also been another effect: Ashley's SiteMeter has indicated a sustained increase in the number of visitors to her site, many of them coming either through the official site or by way of the randomizer. (I check Ashley's SiteMeter regularly. I check everybody's SiteMeters regularly, including my own, at least those that are not blocked. I encourage you to click on my SiteMeter and see who is visiting my site, and why.) Perhaps some of these new visitors will become regular readers and will continue to visit even after the end of NaBloPoMo. And there may be a side effect to this: Ashley has been receiving more Google searches to her site lately. This may mean that her Google rank has increased as a consequence of being linked by the NaBloPoMo website, which itself is being linked to by hundreds of participants. So it's good news all around!

I haven't used the randomizer yet. I'm afraid of getting sucked in. But I am glad to know that both Lauren and Ashley will have a new post every day, at least until the end of the month, and maybe beyond, if the daily posting becomes a habit that takes root. That would be good for me, because then I will know that every day they will have something new for me to read. Let's make every month NaBloPoMo!

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