Monday, January 11, 2010

5 Things a Blog Network Can Do for You

sunrise together

"I would love to hear some thoughts on using a blog network . . . I always feel like I'm not quite sure what to do with, say, HighCallingBlogs."

Last week, someone left this comment. And I thought, why sure, I'd be happy to talk about a blog network. I can't speak for ALL blog networks, but I can definitely explain why someone might want to consider joining HighCallingBlogs.

So here are 5 things I think a blog network can do for you:

1. The blogosphere is huge. Joining a network is one way to find a community. At HighCallingBlogs, we share around themes of work, culture, family and faith. It's a thoughtful, friendly, funny, sometimes artistic place that inspires and encourages us in our daily work lives— from the nursery to the boardroom.

2. A blog network differs from following particular bloggers, because it provides a "third place" where everyone can show up and chat. Or not. If you're a small blogger, this has the advantage of helping you find audience. If you're a big blogger, it gives you a way to interact with people without having to be obliged to interact all the time, the way you might feel you need to at your personal blog.

3. A blog network might feature your writing or art. At HighCallingBlogs, we actively seek out excellence in writing and art from our members. When we find it, we might "feature" this work in a post on our site. Or we might just link out to it. We don't accept submissions, but rather we listen to the community— members can recommend a great post to us (not their OWN, btw,) and we'll give a hat-tip link if we feature the recommended post.

4. Unlike an on-line magazine, a blog network is outwardly focused. We facilitate book clubs (and link to your book club posts), we host a variety of writing projects that promise to link to you, we pay attention by visiting your blogs as much as possible, we cultivate a relationship with you through other avenues like Twitter and Facebook; in other words, we don't just expect you to show up and read our stuff. Think of us more like a community that promotes you than a magazine on a shelf (we also encourage our members to promote each other).

5. A blog network is a potential place to change the world. This past Christmas, for instance, one of our bloggers got an idea called the $10 Challenge. A friendly Managing Editor (aw, shucks :) saw his post and asked one of our Content Editors to write about it and challenge the whole community to join. What started as an idea on one blogger's smaller platform became an idea that, from our larger platform, spread even further to change lives (if only a little bit) this Christmas.

In the end, a blog network does more than help you. It can become a place of community and change. Would you like to join us? We'll be waiting with a hot cup of cyber-tea.

(Note: some of you sweetly display our badge but haven't had the chance to formally join, because we only reopened to new members last week. Feel free to stop in, click the "Join" tab and become an official part of our community!)

Children on the Beach photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger nAncY said...

a blog network can not work unless people actually choose to come there in a proactive way and get involved with what is being suggested. a network can make some steps in reaching out, however it ultimately needs others to respond and take part. that way there is communication and relationship, which is where the life and love takes place. without the love and life taking place there is nothing that a blog network can do.

1:26 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Cool, nAncY. Kind of like any community, yes? The network is the people.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I can vouch that since starting my blog last September I have found a great blog networking community. It's got a lot of life and love.

People do take the time to reach out - with encouragement, humor, sharing, support, and more.
Also, there are smaller communities within the bigger one that I especially enjoy.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Kelly Langner Sauer said...

very nicely expressed. I joined HCB this week, and I so appreciate this extra explanation! I'm looking forward to having a little more interaction time, instead of simply lurking around between baby feedings...

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Marcus Goodyear said...

As far as cyber tea goes, we're really byob. We provide the place, you provide the passion and topic--so long as it fits our overall gestalt.

Er, so long as it fits our overall vision of wholistic faith.

(I just wanted to say gestalt because it makes me nostalgic for grad school.)

3:23 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks LL!! I truly appreciate it. And maybe after this girlie comes, I'll get to take advantage of more of these opportunities!

3:33 PM  
Blogger Corinne said...

Thank you for this. I'm already inspired by your network, but your post might just be what I needed to get kicked into gear in terms of knowing how to participate!

8:00 PM  
Blogger SUNRISE SISTER said...

Thanks for the broader explanation of HCB expectations of its members.

11:13 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

for the network to work
the people must communicate in love.

the love in the communication is what makes it work.

the giving.
the relationship.

it can be any people on any given day that make up a network or community.

but love in communication must be there all of the time to make a network of a community work or be...thus being useful to anyone.

it is not just is more.

12:22 PM  
OpenID cindyhan111 said...

yes. connection. wholistic faith.
gestalt? really? lol... ; )

I love stopping in and discovering fresh bloggers. It seems we all go through creative leaps and exhaustive valleys... HCB connects to both, offering encouragement and lifting up 'success'.

I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE watching a blogger turn published author, and LOVE even more those like me that simply enjoy the act of expression.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

A community of network bloggers do, in some ways, if not many, share the same ideals. Correct?

Is Highcalling Blogs a christian-based community? Or is anyone welcomed?

Thank you.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

This helps a lot! I am in the stage of figuring out how to be a good network member. I've linked a little, read and commented. This gives me some direction. Thanks, LL!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

L.L., thanks for responding to my question. I appreciate your time.

God bless.

6:21 PM  
OpenID destrella said...

Interesting. I will have to think about this. Thanks for the info. :O)

7:42 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm in!!

8:39 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

L.L., you mentioned you were studying Hebrew for a while. Are you still? If so, what books have read?

I'm fascinated with the subject.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thank you.


9:49 AM  
Blogger Monica Sharman said...

My RAP is here . . .

. . . but I'll throw in this other quickie:

"Company Picnic"
Ant General assigned
this company to burger buns,
that one to cookies.
Ant Infantry did their duty,
marched under moving food
but grumbled,
What kinda party is this,

9:57 AM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, maybe. I'll have to check this out... Thanks for the post. Lots to consider. I don't really belong to a particular blog community but am looking for some ways to expand my horizons.


8:00 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

the network can rap!

rap rap rap rap ...



11:01 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

L.L., thank you for the publishing company. Very helpful. I visited their site, and found I could order a few items which will be great for the family.

Again, thank you for your time.

Many blessings to you and your family for the New Year.


9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

L.L., Please let me slide out of my seat at HCB. I read something recently that gave me the impression that there was limited seating. I joined without realizing that I had entered a class that I wasn't prepared for.
(My computer/technology skills are very basic.) I will continue to read. I will continue to write. I read,I learn, and I grow from many HCB contributors. Thank you.
I was so warmly welcomed. Thank you. Thank you for forwarding this to whoever needs this information. I didn't know the process to exit. Thank you.- emily at taking notes

7:49 AM  
Blogger Tea With Tiffany said...

I'm on high calling blogs list I believe, but I'm still not sure what to do. LOL. I learn best when someone shows or tells me.

Thank you for sharing the benefits.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Shaunie Friday @ Up the Sunbeam said...

I'm so glad you responded to that person's question because I had the same question. Your explanation was so helpful. I haven't been a member very long and have felt a little at a loss to know exactly what I was supposed to DO. Thanks for giving me some direction!

4:28 PM  
Blogger LittleMissScooter said...

I joined the network! Thank you so much. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Ann Kroeker, who is a big inspiration to me, has also mentioned The High Calling.

5:14 PM  

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