Tuesday, September 25, 2007

As time winds down to the 15th anniversary of the SCBWI-NC Conference and my debut as a speaker, I thought I might share a few articles I've written on the topic of web design. Sort of get me in the mood :) Here’s a recent article, written for the Pen & Palette titled: Join A Clog. Enjoy…



If I asked you to tell me what a blog is you might say it’s a personal diary, an online journal or a place to hang your hat on the web. And you might be right. Most blogs are singular. They are a great way for illustrators to display their art and for writers and editors to vent about the slush pile.

But a new type of blog is popping up across the web. This new blog replaces the singular with the plural and the personal with the community. I’m going to coin a phrase here, a Clog.

A clog, as I’ll define it, is a community blog. Clogs replace the blog’s one editor/owner with several editor/owners. They replace the personal thoughts and statements used to promote a singular entity with a joint effort to promote a group’s purposes.

My term ‘clog’ may never take hold, but the concept of community blogs is steadily growing. For example, the Picture-Bookies clog started as a group of 4 children's book illustrators/writers. The site was designed to promote each illustrator’s individual style.

“Working from home can make one feel isolated,” states Sherry Rogers, children’s book illustrator and one of the founding members of Picture-Bookies. “We formed the group because of the need to communicate with like minded individuals with a common goal.”

Picture-Bookies is designed to help motivate the members of the clog with monthly challenges and information from the illustration community. The clog also features interviews with each artist as well as links to their personal websites and blogs. Picture-Bookies is currently by invitation only.

The Class of 2k7 is a clog of first time children's and YA authors with debut books coming out in 2007. In all, there are 39 authors collectively blogging to help promote each other's books.

“I had the idea early last year that a group of authors with first books coming out in the same year would be able to do more and speak in a louder voice than any of us alone.” Stated Greg R, Fishbone, founder of Class of 2k7. “I put the word out through a few lists and message boards and it just snowballed from there.”

Features of this clog include an "Ask a Debut Author" section, author’s discussion forum, interviews, biographies and perhaps most importantly, information about their books.


Ian Sands is a writer, artist, and active member of his regional SCBWI, NC. He has worked as a computer graphic instructor, web designer, project manager, and graphical user interface designer.


Janelle said...

Aha, Ian! Who'd have thunk I was so high tech! I'm already a member of a clog started by a group of friends at my church.

Wow, I really must pat myself on the back for being so cutting edge!

But seriously, great article. Clogs are a wonderful marketing tool - as are groups of friends who help market each other's blogs! : ) - Janelle

Greg R. Fishbone said...

I never knew I was into clogging. Hmm... :D