Should the ADBC Go Bimonthly?

The first two Assistance Dog Blog Carnivals have been huge successes — accent on huge.

The first carnival, here at After Gadget, had a dozen contributing bloggers. The second one, recently at Dog’s Eye View, had more than twice that number!

I’ve also heard from people who wrote posts for one or the other blog, but weren’t able to get the links in on time. (Don’t despair, bloggers. Submit them to a future carnival. I’m sure themes will overlap.)

Now that I have an official ADBC page and have put out the call for future hosts, we have hosts scheduled through July 2012!

I have started to wonder, and others have asked, if we should hold the carnival more often.

I’d consider going bimonthly (six times a year). Please weigh in!

Having several chronic illnesses that cause pain, exhaustion, and unpredictable symptoms and limited function, I have learned that it is better to set attainable goals (my motto: “Aim Low!”)  than to try to overextend.

With this in mind, readers, bloggers, other interested parties — whomever you may be, I ask that you consider the following factors in helping me decide whether to change the ABDC schedule.

If the carnival were held every other month, how likely would you be to . . .

  • Read all or most of the posts? (Readers are the most important people! Without people reading the blogs, there’s little point in writing them.)
  • Submit/contribute a post that you’ve written?
  • Volunteer to host a carnival (including reading, collecting, and soliciting posts, as well as writing the carnival post with all the correct links, and ideally, whipping up publicity before and after it goes up)?
  • Encourage others to visit the carnival (by posting links to it on your blog, announcing it on Facebook, tweeting it on Twitter, etc.)?

I really value your feedback! This is an important decision.

The carnival is going so well, it seems like a good time to capitalize on the momentum. On the other hand, maybe it’s best not to mess with success?

You can post your comments publicly, below. If you want your comments to be private, and just go to me, please use the new contact form I’ve set up.

Lastly, in the spirit of making this a true community decision, please ask the question on your blogs or post (where appropriate) on assistance dog lists, etc. You can either post about it yourself and direct me to the comments you get, or you can ask readers to come here and comment on this post. (The latter is easier for me, but I’ll skip around the net, if needs be.)

Thanks so much!

-Sharon, the muse of Gadget, and Barnum (snow-ball-covered SDiT)

17 Responses to “Should the ADBC Go Bimonthly?”

  1. 1 Lisa Rickards January 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I thought it would be hard to write for and was kinda shy about jumping in, but I actually had fun and learned about a lot more blogs in the process! It was really cool, so I wouldn’t mind having them more often!

  2. 2 Cait January 29, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I’ve had stuff going on (Kaylee’s illness for this last one and personal drama during the first), but one of the benefits of a bimonthly one would be that there’d be more opportunities to submit stuff, more frequently- it’s easier to write for a one-month deadline rather than something that’s off in the distant future (and which I then don’t get around to)

  3. 3 Ro January 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Oh dear haha! I have to say it’s perfect like it is. When it was time for the second one I couldn’t believe it. For me, since L^2 was constantly giving reminders, I didn’t worry about the deadline, and it worked fine.

    Honestly I think if we had more of them so close together, it would kind of take the punch out. And if two hosts had similar topics, it would be even harder to think of what to write. I guess that’s from a writer’s perspective, though I can usually always think of something to write.

    Here is my perspective of a reader. I was really glad with this one that all comment forms were accessible, because I wanted to comment on every post and did. I use a screen reader so going to blogs I’m not familiar with can be tedious, especially with all the different comment forms. I’m not complaining; I was happy to do it. However reading this last carnival took me about four days or so, reading and commenting when I could.

    I can’t imagine going through another one soon and I actually like the waiting too, kinda like waiting for a book sequel.

    Just my two centes, but I think if we had more of them I wouldn’t have the energy to participate and read in all of them. I’m not only blind but have MS and when mental fatigue hits, all bets are off.

    Maybe there could be like, a bonus carnival, just one extra one, somewhere in there. I don’t know. Ok, I think I’m done. 😉

  4. 4 Ashley January 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I’m kind of divided. As a reader, i would absolutely read them every time they came out and having them more often would be great! Even if I don’t comment, I read every one.
    As a writer, I would like to think I could write bimonthly and not miss one, but like you, my pain, fatigue and memory/cognition issues might make that less than possible.
    Regardless of how often it is, I do hope to host after my surgery and after we get my meds egulated to a good point (which could take a while).
    I try to get the word out as much as I can via facebook, twitter and message boards. That wouldn’t change whether it stays as is or goes to bimonthly

  5. 5 Sharon Wachsler January 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks, Lisa. And I’m glad you had fun and sounds like you’ll feel more comfortable diving in next time.

  6. 6 Sharon Wachsler January 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Hmm, this is a good point. I had thought of it the other way, that when it’s difficult to get things in, it’s better to have more time, fewer, less pressure.

  7. 7 Sharon Wachsler January 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm


    This is a really excellent comment. I value this feedback so much.

    It’s true that L^2’s reminders, and all that she did to get interest and bloggers involved ahead of time, definitely made a big difference and is something I’ve learned from.

    It also took me a few days to read. I had thought, if it was more often, not everyone who contributed last time (or the first time) would contribute each time, so they would be smaller, but that there would be a big enough pool to sustain them. On the other hand, it is fun to have these big, extravagant events. It might make the carnival less special, and more watered down if it was more often.

    Believe me, I’m with you on the mental fatigue! And I really love what you say about waiting for a book sequel!

  8. 8 Sharon Wachsler January 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    Thank you so much for your comments. It’s good to have your feedback as a writer, a reader, a potential host, and a booster! LOL. Thank you for doing so much to spread the word! I really appreciate it!

    I very much hope that it will still be going strong, with lots of opportunities to host, after your surgery and meds are worked out. I am constantly adding or taking away or switching another med, and it does make life unpredictable! I can relate.

  9. 9 Brooke & Cessna January 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I’d be willing to read entries and post whenever life permitted, but as for hosting, I’d be willing, but I’m not overly techy so don’t even know how to post links (justURL s) to my blog lol! So if someone is willing to teach me to do these things and others with JAWS in a step-by-step e-mail then sure I’ll host sometime. So I guess my answer is that bi-monthly would work for me most times.

  10. 10 L^2 January 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Like Ashley, I’m torn. It could be fun to have it more often, but I like that it’s a big, special blogging event instead of something that happens all the time. No matter what the schedule is, I’ll do my best to promote, contribute, read, and comment. Honestly though, I think I’d be more likely to be able to fully participate each time if it stays on the quarterly schedule.

  11. 11 Sharon Wachsler January 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    This has been very helpful feedback from everyone. If I had gotten an avalanche of comments saying, “Yes, yes! More often, by all means! Quarterly is not enough!” Then I would have gone that way.

    But it seems like, while there is some interest in having the carnival more often, overall, the feelings are mixed or leaning toward leaving it as is. I really like that people feel it’s special and a big event the way it is now, and I don’t want it to become ho-hum.

    So, I do welcome more comments, but I’m pretty much decided to leave it as is.

    And, from a personal perspective, it’s hard enough for me to get a blog out once a week or two. I’ve been working on the same blog for the last five days, every day thinking I’ll finish it, and I haven’t yet, so. . . . For me, not only is it often “Less is more,” but “Less is already too much”! hahaha.

  12. 12 Carin January 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks. My first response was oh god I think it’s enough at quarterly. I mean I love it quarterly, but I think it would get too much if it was more often. I’m with Ro. I like waiting for the three months. Even this time, I felt like this one came in a hurry. I was seeing reminders in December and all I could think was “woe, didn’t we just have one of these?” I mean I love it, but 3 months moves fast.

  13. 13 torie January 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I think that if we kept it the way it is now, we might lose interest by the time July 2012 comes along! I don’t mind either way though-prob would be better by monthly though.

    Hope this helps. I’ve wrote a post on the blog but have asked everyone to come over here and tell you what they think.

    Take care, and sorry if i’m causing trouble! Xxx.

  14. 14 Karyn and Thane January 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I’m for sticking with it the way it is even though I managed to miss them both! LOL
    I didn’t see a lot this time around in posting about it- maybe one or two posts before hand, but that said- I still think having it more often I’d be less likely to involve myself in it- especially in the reading part.
    I’m still trying to get myself to write an article I promised someone over the summer WHOOPS so less time to work on a theme and write about it, I don’t see that as a good thing while dealing with multiple disabilities some of which have really caused a lot of issues lately with focus/ concentration and follow through issues
    YUP I’m for leaving it be. Smile

  15. 15 patti brehler January 31, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Sorry it took me so long to post a reply. I’m with leaving it quarterly, at least for the first year–let’s see what continues to happen!

    I’m more likely to write for the carnival than read through everything (yep, I admit it, shame on me!). And I’m more than happy to host it, and promote it on FaceBook and my Blog.

    Thanks for making it happen!

  16. 16 Sharon Wachsler February 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Carin, Torie, Karyn, and Patti,

    Thank you so much for your comments! I really appreciate the feedback.

    I understand concerns and desires about having it more often. Given the amount of support, though, for keeping it the way it is, I think that is best.

    As I said before, it was an overwhelming response of “Yes! More more more often!” I would have considered it. But, my tendency is that less is more, here.

    And I have really loved the comments about it being an ‘event” and something to look forward to when it is not as frequent. I also, like Karyn says, and others have said, have a lot of health issues that make any deadline difficult.

    So, I’ve decided to not mess with a good thing!

    And I send big hugs and kisses to all of you for responding, and for promoting the carnival with so much love, and for writing wonderful posts. And to L^2 for taking it to the next level!

    What a wonderful community of dog bloggers I have fallen amongst. I’m so grateful for your hard work and quirkiness and great writing and general fabulousness.

    European-styel two-cheek air kisses from Sharon, and “bonk-you-in-the-nose, smear-up-you-glasses, rapid-fire-lick kisses” from Barnum!

  17. 17 Sharon Wachsler February 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    P.S. Karyn, I have really been enjoying your blog. A wealth of information! And so many posts in such a short time! Do you want to post the URL here so others can visit it? (Or is it OK if I do?)

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