Celebrate the Decade with July's NaBloPoMo

3 years ago

So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?


10 years ago, if you wanted to find women bloggers online... well... it was hard. Sure, women were obviously writing, but the vast majority of people couldn't find them unless the writer won a Bloggie or got quoted in Glamour in a cutting-edge article on this newfangled thing called "blogging." Just to set the scene, in 2004, the most popular website was Yahoo, Facebook wasn't even on the map, and Merriam-Webster made "blog" the word of the year. By the next year, 32 million Americans would be reading blogs. Time magazine stated in a 2004 article,

Men may have taken the lead in the early (read: geeky) days of blogging, but that's not the case now. According to a survey of more than 4 million blogs by Perseus Development, 56% were created by women. More bad news for the boys: men are more likely than women to abandon their blog once it's created. Call blogging a 21st century room of one's own.

So... where were the women bloggers?

That was the question Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins asked 10 years ago when they created this site and threw the first BlogHer conference, bringing together about 300 bloggers and blog readers. Suddenly, we knew how to find Elise Bauer and her recipes, or Jenn Satterwhite and her never-ending need for coffee, or Erin Kotecki Vest and her political viewpoint. In other words, they found the women online, rounded them up into a centralized space, and opened the door for millions of other women to realize they had something to say and add their voice to the conversation.

That's what we're tackling this month with NaBloPoMo: a decade of conversation, a decade of ideas, a decade of change, a decade of words. In ten short years, many of us have developed computer skills we could have never imagined mastering. I, for one, am shocked beyond belief that I can self-host a site and don't need to use a cheatsheet anymore to write HTML tags. We've seen blogging open the door to opportunities we never imagined would be possible. We've made intense friendships, had our viewpoint blown wide open, and virtually traveled the globe through people's words.

So we're going to take a month to look back at the last ten years; as it applies to blogging and as it applies to other aspects of your personal life.

The theme and writing prompts, as always, are there as a guide if you want some structure to your month, though you can always sign up for NaBloPoMo and chart your own path.

If you've never joined NaBloPoMo, this is the time to do so. It starts July 1 and runs until July 31. Just make the commitment to (1) blog daily for the month (nothing more to it than that!) and (2) to support your fellow NaBloPoMo'ers by reading a handful of the other blogs on the blogroll. Cheer them along and they'll cheer you on too. You can sign up for July's NaBloPoMo until July 5th. You can grab the official badge here and upload a link to the badges you make.

It's as simple as that: post daily on your own blog. That's it. You can get fancy and cross-post your blog posts onto the NaBloPoMo site. If you need daily inspiration, bookmark the NaBloPoMo prompts page for July, which already has all the prompts for the month posted so you can plan ahead.

NaBloPoMo is what you make of it. At its core, all you need to do is post daily on your blog. The point of NaBloPoMo is not to be restricted by the theme, but instead to either take it or leave it. If you'll do better blogging every day based on what's happening in your world, throw aside the daily prompts.

Sign up for July's NaBloPoMo and let's look back on a decade.

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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