Last April, when we took our first official blogging vacation in almost five years, Mrs. V. posted the following comment:
Yes, I agree well deserved! Enjoy the break. I was also thinking about what we could do as a community to help alleviate some of the extra time-commitment that the challenge ends up being for you since there are a lot of people in the community now who have sliced multiple years. As you two reflect on what took a lot of time, if there is anything that we can do to support you, let us know. A couple of thoughts that come to mind are:
1. I remember that Stacey mentioned she commented to every single person in the early days, wanting to make sure that everyone had a comment. Maybe we could do some type of a system where different slicers commit to commenting on a certain number range (although we can never completely anticipate the number of total slicers, we could estimate high).
2. It sounded like you both spent a significant amount of time answering emails about technical issues. At first I was thinking that there was not anything we could do about your inbox, but then I got to thinking about how we could have a system of volunteer SOLSC mentors. It could either be something formal where prior to the challenge new slicers are matched with those who have already been slicing for a while and who are willing to answer questions as they arise (and could also be committing to commenting every day on their posts to provide encouragement along the way) or it could be something where there is a post listing those who are willing to answer questions.
Those are just a couple of thoughts that come to mind. I know there could be many other ideas as well, so that could be something to consider.
This year we’ll be hosting two month-long Slice of Life Story Challenges in March. Ruth will be hosting the adult blogger challenge (which you’ve seen for the past five years) and I will be hosting a new classroom challenge for teachers whose students are participating in the SOLSC with their own blogs. (Ruth will blog about these two challenges soon.) Therefore, March is promising to be a bit more hectic than in years past. This is good stuff since it means teachers and kids will be writing a lot. However, it means Mrs. V.’s suggestions need to happen this year. Therefore, I’m coming to you with a request.
If you’ve participated in one or more of the March Slice of Life Story Challenges, then please leave a comment on this post letting me know if you’re willing to take on one of the following roles:
- We Need Tech Support! The first few days of the Challenge are tricky for newcomers who might leave their blog url in the website field rather than in the comment field. To that end, there might be someone who includes the url to their blog, but not the unique url to their post of the day. Since either one of these will disqualify someone from being in the running for prizes, we want to make sure we can support those people. Therefore, we’re looking for a couple of people who are available to troll the comments several times a day for the first week of the Challenge to help us contact people who linked incorrectly. Obviously, you cannot do the back-end updates to the comments like we can, but you can contact people who need help linking properly and can shoot us an e-mail a few times a day (depending on whether it’s the adult or classroom challenge), letting us know whose comments need to be fixed.
- We Need a Concierge (or two or three)! Just as a hotel concierge is a wealth of information, I’m looking for at least one person (or two or three) who is willing to help us field questions during the entire month. This “job” will start a week prior to the Challenge and will continue throughout the month. You’ll be a person who will help us field general questions. If there’s a question you cannot answer, then you can refer the person to one of us (depending on which Challenge it’s for — adult or classroom). People who volunteer for this job should have participated in at least TWO March-long Challenges.
- We’ll need to publish your e-mail address online if you volunteer for this job. It’ll look like this, stacey[at]staceyshubitz[dot]com, to reduce the risk of spam.
- We Need a Welcome Wagon! Those of you who’ve been slicing in March know it’s hard to jump in and feel comfortable leaving comments. Therefore, I’d like to find a few people who are committed to supporting newcomers during the entire month. Not only will you identify new slicers, but you’ll commit to commenting on at least three newcomers’ blogs every day for the entire month (barring any unforeseen circumstances).
Participating daily in the Slice of Life Story Challenge is a big commitment. Therefore, please do not volunteer for one of the jobs mentioned above if writing and linking for 31 days straight is a big enough commitment for you. If you are interested, please leave the words, “I want to be tech support,” “I want to be a concierge,” or “I want to be the welcome wagon” in your comment, along with the link to the slice you’re sharing, today. Ruth or I will contact you soon.
Thank you, in advance, for considering one of the above mentioned roles to help our Community this-coming March. When the SOLSC began in 2008 it was quite small. Now there are a lot of people, if you count all of the classrooms who blog in March, participating in this writing challenge. I’m amazed at how it has grown and appreciate any support you can lend to us as we prepare for our Sixth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.