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337th Friday Blog Roundup

So there was actually a reason to why I wanted to pull back from writing for a bit and just read through my Google Reader.  On Monday, I start a new position at BlogHer.  I am the section editor for the newly launched Blogging & Social Media section of the site.

So what does that mean?  It means that I am curating, syndicating, and assigning out any posts having to do with blogging, commenting, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  It also means that several times a week, I am highlighting a blogger or pointing you towards amusing tweets or celebrating someone else’s blog project.

In other words, I am essentially hired to read blogs.  And then to help cull out the amazing posts, spaces, tweets that I think other people should make sure they don’t miss.  My entire job is about directing people towards good posts and bloggers to read on the Internet.  Can you imagine a better job?

So, I wanted to just spend the week leading up to the kick off reading.  I’ve gotten behind in blog reading; it’s easy to do.  But now I’m back.


Cherry blossoms are the pigeons of the tree world.  If you live in the DC area, they are everywhere.  Tourists think they look pretty — and they sort of do — but the trees make the tourists stop and gawk on the sidewalk in the same way that the pigeons do.  The tiny petals blow into our house every time we open the door, which means that I need to vacuum three or four times a day.  People track them through the house on the bottoms of their shoes which makes me curse them.  I recently started calling the petals “rats with wings” as we do the pigeons which Josh said was confusing since the petals were neither an animal nor had wings.  But still — for something that lasts for a very short period of time (cherry blossom time is maybe three weeks long), they are a huge pain in my ass.


I would just like to write a tiny ode to technology.  I have no fashion sense, therefore, I need to ask people fashion advice before I leave the house so I don’t embarrass myself.  One day only Josh was around, which was no help at all.  So I went on Skype and called Calliope.  And I could stand in my living room and try on stuff and show it to her — all over the Internet!  How crazy is that?  And then walk out of the house with confidence?

I love video calls.


Remember how I’m offering one NaBloPoMo prompt in the Roundup to entice you to one day commit to doing NaBloPoMo?  It’s a chance to test in a comment if you have the brain power to do a full month of NaBloPoMo.

So try your hand at a single prompt each week and if you can think of an answer, perhaps consider doing the entire month at some point.

ComOnNaPro (Comment on NaBloPoMo Prompt): If you could have a tree in your yard that would sprout anything, what type of tree would you have?

You can either answer this in a comment, or if you’re moved to do so, answer it in a post on your blog and then come back here and let me know the permalink to the post.


And now, the blogs…

A Half Baked Life has a post about what fuels a blog.  She explains: “I think that our stories–regardless of what those stories are about, whether it’s food, or running, or pets, or children, or infertility, or meditation, or Capitol Hill–are advocacy, for a way of life, for an approach to the world.”  It’s really a fascinating post on redefining advocacy — broadening the definition.  And it may just make you a better blogger to read it, especially if you’ve been wondering about your blog’s direction. (And there’s a recipe to boot.)

Four of a Kind has a moving post about taking the statistical bullet and pairs it with a story about her father that will make you rethink the whole start of the post where she explains that she is that someone in the sentence, “it has to happen to someone.”  It is about re-examining suffering from two different angles.

Lastly, I’m a Smart One explains why it took her so long to return to blogging.  She writes, “The logic of mind reasoned rightfully that I had no cause to feel guilt. The affective capriciousness of heart told me that not only should I feel guilt, but that I also deserved guilt. The opposing sides canceled each other out at best and crusted into a stiff stalemate at worst.”  It is about not fighting the silence, but instead embracing that period of time and how she came through it to the other side.

The roundup to the Roundup: Starting a new job at BlogHer on Monday.  Not loving the cherry blossoms.  All hail Skype and giving fashion advice from afar.  Answer the ComOnNaPro.  And lots of great blogs to read.

That ComOnNaPro one more time: If you could have a tree in your yard that would sprout anything, what type of tree would you have?


1 HereWeGoAJen { 04.22.11 at 11:38 am }

How about a baby tree? I would be the most popular blogger in the world because I would share.

Best new job ever! Get BlogHer to hire me too.

2 BigP's Heather { 04.22.11 at 12:05 pm }

I have to say money tree even though that isn’t creative or fun. Because even though that wouldn’t guarantee that my family dream would ever be fulfilled, it would take a lot of stress out of trying. If BigP didn’t have to work so many hours, we could vacation (which according to some I know would guarantee a baby even without ART), and pay off our debt and pay for treatments. We could hire someone to potty train Katherine (a fantasy of mine!), we could support charities we care about more often than we can afford to now, etc. And with a money tree I could purchase most other kinds of trees…

3 Leigh { 04.22.11 at 12:11 pm }

Jen took my answer. 🙂 I would have a baby tree so that I could give babies to everyone who couldn’t have one.

4 It Is What It Is { 04.22.11 at 12:19 pm }

Congrats on the new job…I can’t think of anyone better qualified or more well suited.

Cubed on the baby tree…

5 Denver Laura { 04.22.11 at 12:20 pm }

I was going to saw money tree, but knowing my luck, it’d get struck by lightning or grow but not produce fruit. How about a tree that produces tons of assorted fresh fruit that doesn’t need water, and can grow in Zone 5 year-round.

6 a { 04.22.11 at 12:28 pm }

I would like a money tree too – the only crop that you could store forever and it would never go bad – but that would attract pests.

I would also like a technology tree that would deliver the latest and greatest electronics to me every year. But only if I could crush up old electronics as mulch and fertilizer to feed the tree. That would be a fun tree to have.

However, if you’re talking about a real tree, I’ll take a maple any day, because they only put out the helicopters. Those are mildly annoying rather than greatly annoying (like fruit that you will never eat, or acorns, or -worst of all- gumballs).

7 JJ { 04.22.11 at 12:59 pm }

Woohoo for the new position at BlogHer!

8 Katie { 04.22.11 at 1:47 pm }

Right now, I’d take a sanity tree. Or maybe happiness. It’s a toss up.

Congratulations on the new position, Mel. It’s absolutely perfect for you.

9 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 04.22.11 at 2:22 pm }


10 Lynn { 04.22.11 at 2:26 pm }

Congrats on the new job, Mel! Sounds perfect for you 😀

I’m also going to have to say a money tree. It would solve so many problems. Of course, it would also create new ones, but I think it would be worth it!

11 Rochelle { 04.22.11 at 2:33 pm }

Hmm….how about a tree that grows absolute for real baby dust! You go, shake the trunk, get covered in goop, go home, and walllah! you’re gonna have a baby! And then I could charge like $20 a go and it would be like a money tree as well!

12 PaleMother { 04.22.11 at 2:55 pm }

Congrats, Mel!! What a great job!! Go, Mel!!

13 Marissa { 04.22.11 at 2:58 pm }

A miracle tree. Pluck the fruit, get a miracle of your own picking.

I’d share.

14 Betsy { 04.22.11 at 4:02 pm }

Wow, what a perfect job for you! Congrats! You kind of already do that with the Friday Round-up! By the way, I just realized how much the ICLW dog looks like my own dog and I wrote about it. I hope that’s OK.

I was going to say money tree until I saw baby tree. Hmm…I think I’d only want to pick two from a baby tree, but then I could let my fellow infertiles come pick from it, too.

15 Shelli { 04.22.11 at 5:11 pm }

Woo hoo for you!! Now that my stress level should be coming down soon, I want to write much more, and READ much more, so I am very happy you’ll be calling out some awesome reads.

Since I am in the self-nurturing space right now, I want a Ben & Jerry’s tree that grows an assortment of all my favorite flavors. But with a catch, I want it calorie-free. Hey, it’s my tree.

16 luna { 04.22.11 at 6:06 pm }

sounds like they created the job just for you! congrats.
except, um, that means you’re going to have to hop back on twitter, right?

17 Jjiraffe { 04.22.11 at 7:51 pm }

Congrats on the new job! Curating is the big push in ad networks right now. You’re perfect for BlogHer’s tastemaker in chief 🙂

For purely selfish reasons, I would wish for an energy tree. I wish I had more of it so I could do all the things I want to for my family, writing, blogging, advocacy, etc.

18 ultimatejourney { 04.22.11 at 8:08 pm }

Congrats on the new job, Mel! What wonderful news!

19 Tireegal { 04.22.11 at 9:06 pm }

Great news about the job! Is this an in person job or working remotely? It’s a whole new world! I hope they give you mega bucks for it!
Tree? Hmmmmmmm…… Real tree – something tall strong and beautiful to climb on / hang a swing on.
Fantasy tree? Tree of health. Enough healing leaves and bark and roots to heal people:)

20 mrs spock { 04.22.11 at 9:25 pm }

Best. Job. Ever.

Would a money tree be too cliche?

21 Justine { 04.22.11 at 9:27 pm }

Congrats on the awesome new position, Mel! (And no, right now I can’t imagine a better job … I’ve always found myself happiest when I’m connecting people, and doing it while blogging sounds almost too good to be true!)

Thanks for your kind words about my post, too! I feel like I’ve learned so much about blogging AND advocacy by being a part of this amazing community.

I like the idea of a miracle tree. Maybe an idea tree, too, for when I feel like I’ve reached a dead end. Or a hope tree … so that when I lost hope, I could just go out and pluck some more, maybe chop it up finely and sprinkle it on my morning oatmeal or on a salad for lunch. 🙂

22 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.22.11 at 10:46 pm }

Blogher is very, very smart.

The tree would give me airline ticket to wherever I want to go. Learjet. Private pilot.

Guess where I would go.

23 Mali { 04.23.11 at 1:16 am }

Great job!!!

Most of my ideas for the tree have already gone. Nice to dream though, isn’t it?

24 Foxy { 04.23.11 at 1:21 pm }

Congrats on the new job Mel! Some jobs are just perfect, and this sounds like the perfect job for you. Let us know if you need any help, k! I am still a fan of adding an “amazing must read post” to the LFCA site. Something that will balance out all of the sadness that sometimes overwhelms that space.

Good Luck!

25 Kathy { 04.23.11 at 3:16 pm }

I agree w/ Lori about BlogHer being very smart and I do think this job is such a great fit for you! Wahoo!!! Congrats!!! I believe I will be spending more time on BlogHer in the near future…

Having only been to DC three times (all before I began blogging and met you) I found your snippet about the Cherry Blossoms so interesting. I am one of those tourists who think they are beautiful, but appreciate your perspective on what it is like to live there with them all around you and being tracked into your home. One of my favorite trees are Magnolias, but I am not sure if I would ever want one on my property/too close to my house, as though I think they look awesome, when the petals fall, especially after people start stepping on them, I am not a big fan of the smell.

That’s very cool about the Skype fashion advice! That is another thing I have yet to try, Skyping that is.

Good question about the tree. I enjoyed reading everyone else’s answers. The baby, money and miracle trees all sound pretty awesome! I like the idea of a tree that would give you the opportunity to have more time. You could get more time in a day when you have a lot to do and feel you don’t have enough time to get things done and/or you could choose to spend more time with loved ones who are sick or those who are healthy, but that you feel you don’t get to spend enough time with.

Thank you so much for featuring my post in your Round Up this week! I really like how you described it and am touched that you were moved by it. I have not won many awards in my life, however the three times you have chosen my posts for your Round Up has meant so much to me. As I have told you before I think you are such an amazing writer, so anytime I get positive feedback from you about something I have written I find it so validating and good for my self esteem.

Good luck with your new gig! I think I have said this before, but I think you lead such a wonderful and interesting life! I admire how you pursue your dreams. You are such a great example of making the most of those situations where opportunity meets preparation. I realize that you have worked very hard to get where you are today. I love that your vocation seems to be such an incredible mix of you using so many of your talents and getting to do things that you really enjoy, all while also managing to help so many people.

Way to go Mel!!! 🙂

26 TroyP { 04.24.11 at 2:11 am }

I’d want an innovation tree – it would always bring something new and unexpected.

Congratulations on the new job!

27 Tara { 04.25.11 at 6:12 pm }

Congrats on the new position!! I can’t think of anyone better than you for the job!

28 loribeth { 04.26.11 at 3:36 pm }

You’re PERFECT for the job — actually, it sounds a lot like what you’ve been doing here every Friday for the past few years. ; )

No thoughts on what kind of tree I’d want, but I’ve always wanted to visit Washington, & to be there during cherry blossom time would be the icing on the cake for me. But then I don’t have to live with it. ; )

29 Kymberli { 05.07.11 at 9:59 pm }

Now that I’ve finished two weeks’ worth of laundry in a single day, I finally get to sit and catch up on blogs and find that I was in the Round Up – thanks. :o) BlogHer picked the perfect person for the job – you’ve been doing it for years already in our little corner of the ‘sphere.

Definitely a money tree – beyond a shadow of a doubt.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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