April 13 11

Blog like it’s 2004.

I had an AHA MOMENT a few weeks ago when this lovely lady said those very words. Back in 2004, this giant world of blogging was a much smaller place. Back in 2004, we wrote because we loved to write. We wrote because we were pregnant and uncomfortable. We wrote because we had small babies who were not sleeping, teething, feverish, potty training. We wrote because we were crying. We wrote because we were laughing. We wrote TO WRITE. We wrote some of our deepest, most personal thoughts and we let the world in.

And slowly, slowly people started reading. My audience of, well, my husband, turned into two readers, then four readers, then five hundred readers, then a thousand. And slowly, slowly people started commenting. They let you know that they were reading. They agreed. They disagreed. They commiserated. I didn’t think about big words like SEO and monetization and ad networks and pr pitches and twitter parties and brand ambassadors. I wrote in my little space almost every single day, and I visited others in their little spaces.

But then this small little world started growing and growing and growing.

There were more sites I wanted to read. Each site I clicked over to was written by someone smart, someone funny, someone interesting. There were moms. There were dads. There were fellow lovers of Anthropologie and snark. I was connecting with more and more writers and my wee blogroll was growing into something out of control. I was making friends for life.

But I was also doing other things, like using Facebook and twitter and working and writing for several sites and going to conferences and hanging out with bloggers in real life and not just on our screens. I was introduced to a FEED READER and learned how to read some of my favorite blogs on my smartphone. I was spreading the love through stumbleupon, even though I STILL have no idea how it works. I was getting PR PITCHES. I was learning how people monetize their sites. I was hearing about enthusiasts.

I was reading more, but commenting less.

But I really want to go back to 2004.

I want to go back to the days when I was reading to read. And writing to write. I want these amazing writers to know that I have been there, to know that I’m reading, to know that I’m loving.

So, here it is.

Project 20.

Twenty blogs.

Twenty comments.

Every day.

Who is with me? Who is up for a little love spreading?

  1. After re-tweeting your comment about this yesterday, I did just this. So I’m definitely on board!

    Comment by Zoot on April 13, 2011
  2. I’m on board, my friend. Shall I write about it on my site and link back to this post? :)

    Comment by Jana A on April 13, 2011
  3. Great idea, Ali. I’ve often thought I want to make a better effort to read and comment on blogs. I adore comments myself! It seems like good karma. But most importantly, good reading! How long are we keeping up the 20 blogs and comments thing? A week? A month? Forever?

    Comment by Brandie Weikle on April 13, 2011
  4. I *think* I am going to try to do it forever. What can I say…I am high!

    Comment by ali on April 13, 2011
  5. I adore this Ali. Absolutely adore it. I’ll join you in a week. I can’t do it now, because well I work for a CPA and then I leave on vacation for a few days. But when I get back I promise to join in. I used to comment on so many blogs and while I still read tons, my commenting has dwindled down to nothing.

    Comment by Issa on April 13, 2011
  6. Great idea!

    I try to comment often as it is, and return comments when people comment on my site, but I may not hit twenty a day during April. (Blasted tax season!)

    I’ll try!

    Comment by Angella on April 13, 2011
  7. I’ve read all of your posts for well over a year… love what you write, but never commented. Great job!

    Comment by Nicole on April 13, 2011
  8. I’ll join ya! Also, there is a thing you can add to your toolbar for google reader – you press it and it takes you to the next blog in your reader = the actual blog so you can comment without clicking all over the place. Makes it easy!

    Comment by pgoodness on April 13, 2011
  9. Oooh! I need that for my reader! Does it work for Chrome too? Do you know?

    Comment by Alimartell on April 13, 2011
  10. I miss that time of blogging. So much. I’m so in!! I want to write to write and hope that it resonates with people.

    And Dawn you must tell us what that “thing” is. I NEED that.

    Comment by Amie aka MammaLoves on April 13, 2011
  11. i was reader number TWO :)

    Comment by obabe on April 13, 2011
  12. I rarely comment on the “big” blogs because I always assumed it just didn’t matter to them. I guess I always assumed it didn’t matter to the people who cared about SEO and monetization and blah blah blah. I still comment on my little blog roll of smaller blogs, the ones who are “behind the time” and are written because the author has something to say, because he/she loves to write, etc. :)

    That being said, I love this idea. And shall participate. :)


    Comment by heidikins on April 13, 2011
  13. I would imagine it works in Chrome – it’s under “Goodies” in your reader settings. Called “Put Reader in Bookmark”


    Comment by pgoodness on April 13, 2011
  14. I’ll definitely try, Ali. I know (as one of the tiny blogs out there) that I love it whenever anyone lets me know that someone other than my sister has read something I wrote :)

    Comment by Skwishee on April 13, 2011
  15. Does it count if I post here for today? There is definitely a lot of use in reaching out to the blogger community and sharing the love. I’m just dipping my toes in the water, but this post has inspired me on how I can start building my own incentive to keep up my blog! Thanks for spurring the movement!

    Comment by Frances Olimpo on April 13, 2011
  16. I am with you! Great idea. :)

    Comment by Shannon on April 13, 2011
  17. Yay! (Man I wish I had more time lately. Soon! Soon! Exams are around the corner and I’m DONE school for the summer!)
    I shared this on Google Reader though so hopefully you get more people to join you! xoxo

    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on April 13, 2011
  18. Love it. I’ve been trying to keep from getting overwhelmed by my reader by picking 15 favorites to read every day.

    Comment by anymommy on April 13, 2011
  19. Thanks for this idea, and inspiration, Ali.

    I think we’ve kind of lost sight of the “community” part of the web and more specifically, blogging.

    I’m also going to expand your idea and read 20 blogs I don’t normally read (like yours!). Who knows, I might find something really cool that I never even knew existed!

    Thanks again!

    Comment by Sarah on April 13, 2011
  20. What a great idea!!

    Comment by Mishi on April 13, 2011
  21. I love this idea. Especially the part about SPREADING THE LOVE and SAYING HELLO and telling people when they’re fantastic instead of just assuming they know.

    YOU, dear friend, are fantastic. And I don’t tell you enough.

    Comment by Kerri Anne on April 13, 2011
  22. That’s why I started blogging, that’s why I continue to blog. :) I’m game for sharing the love again! Lets do this!

    Comment by twistedxtian on April 13, 2011
  23. I am with you. This is a larger expansion of what I do already. I comment on a few blogs daily. But then once a week I go to the BlogHer Blog Directory and select 10 new blogs I have never visited and comment on them.

    Comment by Julie on April 13, 2011
  24. This is a great idea! I was not blogging back in 2004. But I would love to connect with more people! I will try to start this tomorrow!

    Comment by Jodee on April 13, 2011
  25. I love this idea. I totally agree with how the world has grown…. I am with you.

    Comment by Christy Laverty on April 13, 2011
  26. It’s a fab idea.. I will try!!

    Comment by Grumble Girl on April 13, 2011
  27. This is an amazing idea…I hope I can find the time!

    I know I have at least 500 visitors a day (not sure how many are spambots) and many, many fewer comments, which makes me sad. Blogging is semi-lonely most of the time…I spend such a long time crafting posts and I’m narcissistic enough to want to know whether they’re appreciated.

    Just wish everyone who visited would say something, however stupid, instead of just opening in their reader and then slipping away. :( I say this while at the same time realizing what a hypocritical thing it is for me to say…So yeah, damn it, I’m in.

    Comment by Pieces of My Life on April 13, 2011
  28. Yes, it’s a great idea. I’ve been trying to work with the SITS Girls suggestion of commenting on the commenter directly in front of yours. I cheat sometimes, though, by looking for a previous commenter who says something I can relate to.

    Comment by feefifoto on April 13, 2011
  29. I love this idea as I was just lamenting that I missed the good ole blogging days which, for me, was 2007.

    I’m in!

    Comment by Nenette on April 13, 2011
  30. LOVE this idea Ali!

    Comment by OHmommy on April 13, 2011
  31. I love the idea. Lately I’ve been re-thinking the way I think about my blog because I haven’t been getting as many comments as I used to. I had to remind myself that it’s not about the comments, it’s about writing. I didn’t start blogging for comments, I started blogging because I love to write. And really, THAT’s what it’s all about.

    I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to do 20 everyday, (hell, I can barely keep up with my e-mail,) but how about I join you in recommitting myself to staying active in the community? Deal.

    Comment by MonsteRawr on April 13, 2011
  32. This is a great idea. I’m in.

    Comment by Shan on April 13, 2011
  33. Since you are my bloggy inspiration I am IN! I also must find a way to discover new blogs and not just read the same 20.

    Comment by Jen on April 14, 2011
  34. I’m going to do my best with this, too. It’s an awesome idea… and it should be easy, since I basically only read your blog and two others. Heh. ;-) EXPECT A LOT MORE OF ME, LADY.

    Comment by becca on April 14, 2011
  35. What a great concept. When our blogs start to grow, we forget about the ones who got us there in the first place. I wish more “big bloggers” would take on this idea.

    Comment by Courtney K. on April 14, 2011
  36. wow, thats a MAJOR GOAL. My goal is more like, two blogs a day! two comments! Way to be ten times more badass than me!!!

    Comment by Melissa on April 14, 2011
  37. This would be #2. I don’t even read 20 blogs a day!

    Comment by Heather on April 14, 2011
  38. I think since you were one of my first “blog friends”, I’m obligated to do this right? ;) Love the idea! I read 20 blogs a day but I just click next and don’t comment. Time to stop being a sucky reader!

    Comment by Miss on April 14, 2011
  39. I’m totally in. I read a lot of posts every day and I always always always leave a comment. Always. Last year this time I was getting so many more comments than this year… it actually depresses me!

    Comment by Loukia on April 14, 2011
  40. I’m in! I haven’t been reading OR commenting and I really miss you guys!

    Comment by sam {temptingmama} on April 14, 2011
  41. Excellent idea! I think I need to find new blogs to read!

    Comment by Kristabella on April 14, 2011
  42. Except when I was battling depression, I try to comment on at least 10-15 posts a day, minimum. It’s my interest in the community that drives me to blog and interact!

    Comment by Avitable on April 14, 2011
  43. I’m in!

    Comment by Nanette on April 14, 2011
  44. What a great blog you have! Rada told me about you as I’ve just dipped my first toe into blogging and can barely write a grocery list I’m so out of practice. Thank you for giving me hope that my brain cells will grow back one day.

    Comment by Marianne on April 14, 2011
  45. [...] media, Twitter, Facebook, etc. have taken away blogging connections. My super Awesome Pixie Pal, alimartell, wrote about this yesterday. She’s making a conscious effort to connect more with bloggers by [...]

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  46. I will try my hardest to do this! I agree with you in that I am reading just as much as before if not more, but the commenting just isn’t happening. I blame google reader. haha

    Comment by Sensibly Sassy on April 14, 2011
  47. I like it! I try to comment, as much as I can. I will do it more. :)

    Comment by Chantal on April 14, 2011
  48. This is a great idea. My only problem is that I usually don’t know what to say. I get really self-conscious and think everyone will think I’m a big nerd (which I can be but, I don’t want people to think it). ;) So I guess this will be an opportunity for me to try not to think about that and just comment on how the post made me feel.

    Comment by mommabird2345 on April 14, 2011
  49. This is really awesome. I get frustrated because my site stats say THEY’RE THERE. Lurking. Just VERY QUIETLY.

    I think I’ll do this too!

    Comment by Liz on April 14, 2011
  50. I lurk. Lots. In lots of places where I find humor, inspiration, beauty and snark (must not forget the snark — because I enjoy that tons) I comment occasionally. Sometimes Google, or whatever, won’t let me comment which really ticks me off). I love your site and check it daily. Keep up the good work (and the snark).

    Comment by Michele on April 14, 2011
  51. [...] friend Ali Martell posted yesterday about how she wanted to get back to the roots of blogging. Get back to how things were in the [...]

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  52. I wrote about it!

    Comment by Jana A on April 15, 2011
  53. I’m in. I love all the writing and stories. They shine.

    Comment by Pam @writewrds on April 15, 2011
  54. I love this idea and glad I saw Jana share it on her site.

    Count me in to get my tail reading and link up to your fab idea too!

    Comment by Karen Hartzell on April 15, 2011
  55. i love you. i miss the old blogging days- they seem like SO long ago and it’s all changed So much

    Comment by jennster on April 15, 2011
  56. I, too, read Karen’s post a while back, and I’ve since been trying to be more consistent about clicking over from my feed reader to comment on posts. But, I haven’t been doing it even in the realm of 20 COMMENTS A DAY! You are awesome, Ali.

    I’ll take the challenge and kick it up to a 20, in honor of your awesomeness.

    Comment by Jenny on April 15, 2011
  57. I never ever ever ever comment on blogs ever.

    Comment by Backpacking Dad on April 16, 2011
  58. I’m *SO* bad about blog-reading, not to mention commenting.

    I sometimes think my outlook RSS feed is just to remind me how many people I’m disappointing and how often.

    I’ll try and be better, I may not be able to keep up with the 20/20/daily (unless you can get the day extended to 36 hours) but I’ll sure as hell try.

    Comment by ShredderFeeder on April 17, 2011
  59. I love this idea and I’ve been trying to do better. It’s hard with so many distractions and so many…people.

    But I want to do this.

    Comment by jennifer on April 18, 2011
  60. [...] Last month, my friend Ali posted about Project 20. The challenge? Comment on 20 posts a day. I was in the throes of tax season and said that [...]

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  61. Fab post…I can’t read 20…but I have made a new rule for myself to comment on every 1 that I do read…Blogging Old School style…like it…maybe I will wear my leg warmers and jelly bracelets while I read them…CHEERS!

    Comment by Dee Brun on June 2, 2011
  62. Oh my gosh, I am in!
    Fabulous idea, my first visit to your lovely site and I am in love!!
    Happy Reading, enjoy the rest of your day!!

    Comment by Nerina on June 2, 2011
  63. Perfect post! I’d like to go back to that simpler time too and enjoy again.

    Comment by BeachMama on June 2, 2011
  64. [...] still continue to write 5 or 6 times a week. I still read other sites and I try to comment on them (I am committed to leaving 20 comments a day). I don’t do much advertising on my site and I have never been a brand ambassador for [...]

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  65. ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ runs through all the scary-movie genre’s cliches with a wink and a nudge. The satire displaces much of the thrills and chills, although there is lots of blood.

    Comment by air jordan 7 on April 12, 2012
  66. I, too, read Karen’s post a while back, and I’ve since been trying to be more consistent about clicking over from my feed reader to comment on posts. But, I haven’t been doing it even in the realm of 20 COMMENTS A DAY! You are awesome, Ali.

    Comment by air jordan 7 on April 12, 2012

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