This blog by children's book author Melissa Wiley originally appeared at ClubMom.com. All posts and comments have been moved here, to this archive. Comments are still open, so feel free to chime in. For new posts, please visit www.melissawiley.com.
I read about nearcircle at Rebecca's beautiful Faerie School blog and couldn't resist popping over to check it out. It's pretty cool, I must say. Nearcircle takes the old webring concept and improves on it in a big way—it's like a webring, a blogroll, and a feed reader all in one. With chat thrown in!
A webring, as you know, is a group of topic-related blog all linked together with a bit of code. You can click your way from one link of the chain to the next, all the way through the ring; this has long been a good way to discover new blogs on topics that interest you.
When you join a circle, you can enter your blog's URL, and after that, every time you post on your blog, the people who visit that circle will see a link to your new post. You can put a circle's widget into your sidebar if you want (see down there on the right, under the list of ClubMom blogs?) and new posts in the circle will automatically appear as they come in.
What's the point? As with a webring, it's a way to encounter new blogs on topics that interest you. It's also a way to keep up with reading your favorite blogs (if they're in a circle)—a kind of topic-focused feed reader.
Both on the circle's individual pages and in the sidebar widgets, there's a chat box. You can disable this in your widget if you choose, but it's fun to be able to say a quick hello to your friends.
Nearcircle is very new, so there aren't many circles set up yet, and the ones that are there don't have many member blogs. I imagine that will change quickly. This technology is a HUGE improvement on webrings. I've maintained webrings in the past (and am still a member of many), and running one can be a pain in the neck: so much code to manage. What I'm seeing with nearcircle is that it's easy-peasy and has more functionality. Coolio, as my hubby would say.
Doesn't it make you feel warm and fuzzy to know you've posted something useful? What's your favorite "Ooh, I helped someone!" moment? From your own blog, or in real life, either one. I bet you have some good stories.
As promised, I'll be drawing the name for the winner of our Amo Amas Amat & More giveaway at 3pm my time (Pacific). Jane has already prepared the slips of paper for our drawing, but there's still time for us to add any last-minute entrants.
Have you heard about the latest brainstorm of Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer? It's the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. All over the blogosphere, people are holding drawings to give away things they just never got around to using themselves: a cookbook here, a notecard set there, and so on.
Shannon's got a Mr. Linky up so you can click through to all the participating sites. And count me in!
Somewhere along the line, I wound up with two copies of the amusing and useful book, Amo Amas Amat & More. It's a collection of commonly used Latin words and phrases—common, I say, yet not quite common enough that those of us who were not classically educated necessarily know what all of them mean. It's a good book to leave by the phone so you can flip through and con a phrase or two while the health insurance company has stranded you on hold again.
Leave a comment on this post anytime this week to be entered in a drawing for a free copy (my spare, never used!) of Amo Amas Amat & More. I'll draw a name on Friday (the 27th) at 6pm Eastern time. And scoot over to Rocks in My Dryer to see the ever-growing list of other giveaway items!
Coffeemama says I'm a rockin' girl blogger. Awesome!
Little-known fact: I do a fabulous Cyndi Lauper impersonation.
You never noticed the resemblance before, did you?
That's because I never wear more than eight bracelets at a time anymore.
Anyway, thanks for the compliment, Coffeemama.
I am now supposed to name five Rockin' Girl Bloggers of my own. What's hard about this is narrowing it down. I decided to tag only people I've never tagged before, but whose blogs I read regularly and who do, in fact, rock.
Sarah rocks, and this I know not just from her blog, which delights me, but from having been so fortunate as to live in her neighborhood for five years. She's got funny kid stories to rival Karen's Ramona. Mrs. MoneyDummy rocks very large. She is rockin' her way right out of debt, and that is totally tubular.
Beck. I wish I rocked the house like Beck. If I am Cyndi Lauper, she is Chrissie Hynde: smart, wry, oozing cool.
Patience. I utterly dig her gentle, thoughtful vibe.
Sister Mary Martha. I hope she will not think me disrespectful for saying that I think she is one of the rockingest bloggers out there. Her deadpan style will make you howl, and the truth she speaks just might rock your world.
I started this post two three weeks ago, honest I did. In that span of time, three six more people have tagged me for the Thinking Blogger meme. Meredith, Dawn, Kathryn, KC, Jane, and Alice C.: thank you for the compliment. Wow. Gosh.
I'm pretty sure the people I named Thinking Bloggers have already been recognized by someone else. I know Theresa* beat me to it with #5...I must commend her excellent taste! I'm sticking with my original picks anyway. These are the people who most often make make me think until the smoke starts coming out of my ears.
*And also KC! I swear, I'm even prouder of Scott's talents being recognized than of my own.
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. 2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme. 3. Optional: Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).
So it's my turn to name some bloggers who make me think. It's so hard to pick only five. But here goes:
1. Becky at Farm School. Becky writes smart, period. Her posts about children's literature dig deep. I like how she invariably looks beyond the surface to get at the meaty questions.
**Edited to fix broken link! Thanks, Jeanne.**
2. Seems like every day, Willa gives me something new to ponder. Take this post, one example of many.
3. What Willa does for education, Gail Gauthier does for children's literature. Original Content makes my daily short list.
4. Moreena probably makes me cry more than any other blogger, but she makes me think, too. She writes with brisk honesty about some pretty raw issues, and the thing that impresses me so much about her work is that while her posts about her daughter's illness are by definition emotionally charged, they are also smart and sane and insightful. I learn something from her every single day.
5. And last, but most certainly not least, is the
person who constantly, daily, on blog and off, challenges to me to
really think an issue through before weighing in on it. Readers of my
husband's blog will not be surprised to hear me name Scott
as a Thinking Blogger extraordinaire. Even if you don't agree with him
on every issue, you can't deny that the
guy makes you think. And having a window behind the scenes as I do, I can attest to how hard he works, doing his homework. He reads a staggering number of blogs, books, and periodicals. (In our old hometown, the librarians used to take turns passing around all the books on Scott's hold list, because they knew they could count on him for a good read.) He is a ponderer, is my husband, and even having the tremendous home court advantage of living with him, I STILL always come away from his blog with new ideas to chew on. I am still congratulating myself on having given the blog to him for a Valentine's Day present two years ago. Well done, me. Hee.
Okay!! I am posting this now! Finally! And thanks again to everyone who tagged me. It really does make my day to know you've gotten something out of this site.
I'm tickled that Lilting House was voted this year's "Best Unschooling or Eclectic Homeschooling Blog" in the Homeschool Blog Awards. The superb blogger Theresa of Lapaz Farm Home Learning ran me a close race, and I want to extend hearty congratulations to her and to all my fellow nominees. I have really enjoyed exploring your blogs. Some of you have been on my Bloglines list for a long time, and others were new to me during this competition. I want to make sure all my readers get a chance to visit these fabulous blogs! Here's the whole pool of nominees:
Congratulations to all of you, and thanks for all you bring to the home-educating community. We are all richer for your efforts.
I think it would be great if next year there is a distinct category for unschooling. The perspective of full-fledged unschoolers is unique and valuable, and I would very much like to see you folks spotlighted.
The posts on these pages originally appeared at The Lilting House, my ClubMom blog about home education, fun learning resources, and special needs children.
When I decided it was time to wrap up my work at ClubMom, I moved all the Lilting House posts and comments to this archive. Comments are still open, so feel free to chime in on any post that interests you. I love to hear what my readers have to say!
These days I am doing all my new posting (including on many Lilting House topics) at my primary blog, Here in the Bonny Glen. There you will find posts about my books, other people's books, my family, home education, and many other topics.