Let's Create a Community Through Discussion!

In the constant journey of finding this blog's purpose, while playing Bejeweled Blitz while I was supposed to be making Social Studies notes, I had an idea.

It was sprouted by the amount of response from the last two week's posts, along with the post on 9/11. This is the most response I got for my blog yet. It's not much, but I'm receiving quite a lot of opinions--and even an objection or two.

Now, the question remains: How can I use this buzz in a way that helps everyone involved? I don't want each post to be a hit-and-run incident, where someone leaves a comment and doesn't stick around. And I don't want people's words existing in isolation. I want actual discussion. I want to create a forum-like structure, without the rigidness.

Every post on Monday will end with a discussion question.

I will then encourage everyone to write their answer either directly in the comments, or on their own blog, or at a forum. If it's off-site, you can then either post a comment with the link, or tweet me with it.

On Wednesday, I'll post a round-up of all the answers--and then encourage open discussion.

This is an experiment.

Two days might not be long enough for some people to write proper responses.

It's quite possible that there won't be any follow-up discussion.

So I'm asking you guys to do one thing.

Saturday will be the first of these "Response Round-ups". Once it is up, make an attempt to either respond to someone else's comment, or comment on one of the blog posts

And then hold a conversation or debate. It can be a short one. 

Try two-by-two at first. And then jump into another conversation with three people.

Be civil. Be tolerant. Don't spit bile. Read one's arguments and opinions, respect them, but feel free to explore them, challenge it, see where you can go.

I will be watching this experiment.

If it works, if we can actually start a forum-like discussion, we might have something.

We might be able to forge a community. Together.

My number one goal with this blog to form a community. Until now, I struggled with how to do that. 

Maybe this is the solution. Maybe not.

Is it even possible to maintain a community across a string of blogs connected by one post and a comments thread?

Maybe it's a pipe dream.

But this is only a request. I'm only asking for thirty minutes of your week to come together with other readers and writers to talk about what we love. Even if it might involve ruffling some feathers.

But, all we need is five people.

Five people might lead to ten. And then twenty. And then thirty. And then more and more...

So, one thing. Go and write a response to one of these questions:

And Now...Boring Stuff

Also, I've decided that it might be better for my blog if I get rid of the Writer's Updates--at least in this form.

I have a few reasons why I should do this:

  1. I often end up scraping up the Writer's Update on Tuesday, resulting in lower quality.
  2. It feels strange to have it at the end of the week.
  3. I feel like the Writer's Updates aren't really useful or entertaining.
  4. I'm a little paranoid about whatever the weekly round-ups are ranking good on Google or not, considering they're originally posted on the TV Tropes forum.
  5. I want something else for Wednesday.

Solution? Merge the Writer's Updates and the Weekly Round-ups (and maybe even yMusic, which I originally planned to ditch) into one large blog post: The Dogtown Weekly.

What Will Be The Dogtown Weekly?

Basically, sort of like a newspaper, with each "feature" a mini-article within the whole post. I might create a graphic for this, but I currently have no plans for that. For now, I want to create something that is as successful as the Monday posts.

Hopefully, you guys will love this format.

Personal updates will be in the first Dogtown Weekly.

Oh, and Guest Posts

By the way, I'm planning for some guest posts to go up on other blogs, starting this Friday.

So far, only two are confirmed, three might be confirmed, one in limbo, and two pending. Yes, this was a last minute thing I should've planned for in advance.

(Fact: I wrote all the above during the last five minutes of lunch hour. Thank god for computer labs.)


If you want a guest post on writing or reading on your blog next week, please email me at chihuahuazero [at] gmail [dot] com. I'll be pleased to write one as long as I'm allowed to choose the topic (although you can give a suggestion), and link back to this blog.

The more, the merrier! Don't miss out on this chance!

One More Thing--I Swear

By the way, I've extended the Rafflecopter giveaway for Joe Bunting's "Let's Write a Short Story" e-book two more weeks. Be sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EDIT: I've posted my entry for the "Let's Write a Short Story!" contest! Jump over to read it.