Karen Graffeo is a talented knitter, devoted cat owner, and tireless advocate for diabetes, and I am so proud to call her a friend. Six years ago, she launched the first Diabetes Blog Week, an effort that serves to expand the diabetes online community and embrace the beauty of diversity of voices. Today, Karen is sharing some of the how’s and the why’s of Diabetes Blog Week here on SUM.
Kerri: Congratulations on the sixth annual Diabetes Blog Week!! For those who aren’t familiar with what it’s all about, can you shed some light?
Karen: Thank you, I’m so excited to be doing this a sixth time! Diabetes Blog Week was inspired by a similar event in the knitting blog community. There is a set topic each day of the week, and participating bloggers write about that topic on their blog. There is a list set up for each day and bloggers add the link to their post once they’ve published it. Then we can all hop around the DOC blogosphere and read the different perspectives on each topic. And, in the process, we can find some new blogs to read and make some new connections.
Kerri: Is it tough to come up with topics every year? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Karen: It does get tougher each year to think up fresh and enticing topics. Every year has seven topics (one for each day) and two “wildcards” that bloggers can use if a certain day’s topic doesn’t inspire them. So that’s nine topics a year, and we’re in the sixth year – yikes!! However, in the past few years I’ve been asking bloggers to submit topic ideas and that has been a huge help and inspiration. And since Diabetes Blog Week is for the community, putting out a call for topics seemed like a great way to get the community even more involved in DblogWeek.
Kerri: What is your favorite part of Diabetes Blog Week?
Karen: My favorite part is definitely all of the excitement and enthusiasm the DOC shows. I remember back in 2010 when I held the first Diabetes Blog Week I wasn’t even sure anyone would sign up. So I’ve always been very thankful for all of the support over the years and I’m so happy bloggers still are willing to join in.
Kerri: What is the hardest part of Diabetes Blog Week?
Karen: That first year, Diabetes Blog Week had 142 participants. Although it was no small task, I was able to read and comment on almost every post written. As of last year we had more than 200 participants and it gets harder to leave as many comments as I’d like. It’s a good problem to have, but I definitely feel disappointed that I can’t find the time to comment on every single Diabetes Blog Week post.
Kerri: And how can people participate this year?
Karen: I have put all of the information (I hope!!) and a sign up form in this year’s Diabetes Blog Week post. Also, the topics have been posted here so bloggers can check them out and start thinking about what they want to write. And if anyone has a question I haven’t addressed they can email me at DblogWeek@bittersweetdiabetes.com.
To sign up for Diabetes Blog Week, click on that snazzy little button there (designed by the endlessly talented Mike Lawson) and fill out the quick and easy form! Diabetes Blog Week is an amazing way to become reacquainted with diabetes blogs you’ve been reading for years and to discover new voices to add to your support team. Have fun! Make friends. Write bunches.
Thank you, Karen, for bringing us all together for a sixth year.