Diabetes Blog week, known as DBlog week, begins May 15 in 2017. You might have seen bloggers in the diabetes space in the past noting the designation of DBlog week on their blogs, or maybe when using Twitter you have seen #DBlog as a hashtag. Or maybe it is the first time you have heard of it. Regardless, here is how you can be involved in the eighth annual DBlog week activities.
What is DBlog Week?
The first thing you need to know is that DBlog week is an annual celebration of the art of communication in the diabetes community. For five days each year, the diabetes community (regardless of type) gathers virtually with our words to express ideas on five common daily subjects. In the past, these themes have included the emotion of, the cost of, language about, life with, and all the other topics associated with living with diabetes. The daily prompts are chosen by the curator of the week, Karen Graffeo, and presented on her site Bitter~Sweet. Then for five days, each person writes about their interpretation of the daily prompt. Then (this is the best part) we link that writing on Bitter~Sweet. That way those who blog about diabetes can read each other.
Last year DBlog week included writings from 131 bloggers from across the world. The power of the event is expressed in its diversity. Each person who participates brings a different idea, or concept, to the conversation. All perspectives are valid and valuable. DBlog week is our community’s annual way to touch base. So all are invited and encouraged to participate.
Can you participate?
Here is the best part — even if you have never heard DBlog week before this article, you can still participate. And even if you have never considered yourself a blogger, you can join the community conversation. Four years ago, I had never blogged or heard of DBlog week. I started using a simple text editor on a free site to post my responses to the daily prompts. Despite being new and not knowing a single person, I learned that DBlog week is a great way to join the diabetes online community. I drew praise for some thoughts, and even when my thoughts did not exactly reflect the blogging community I found, I was well accepted.
But what if you just want to read along? That is encouraged as well. DBlog week is all about community connection. You can go to Bitter~Sweet and look at the daily writing prompts, and by clicking on each prompt, you will find a list of blogs that have been linked to the site. By clicking on the site, you will be directed to each participating blog. All participants who link their content for that day will appear on the individual page of the day. So even if you are used to reading one or two blogs, you can open yourself to the much bigger world of bloggers who are speaking about each prompt. There is never a cost for linking or reading content associated with DBlog week.
What if you don’t have a blog?
If you have an interest in starting a diabetes blog, you can check out various free sites that will get you started at no cost. Blogging (even if it is only for a week) can be a great way to express your thoughts about issues facing the diabetes community. Bloggers who have blogged for many years tend to have more elaborate sites, but all newcomers are welcomed and encouraged. Remember, the barriers to participation in the blog space are very small and if you have opinions you wish to express, blogging is a great way to join the conversation.
Building community with words
Whether you are reading blogs or you want to begin as a blogger, DBlog week is a great way to connect to the greater Diabetes Online Community. No matter how you wish to interact, you will be well received by established and novice bloggers alike. Participating in DBlog week is a one week celebration of the things that bring those of us with diabetes together. As a writer and blogger, I hope you will join us on the journey. Because if you care about diabetes issues, our community is stronger with your participation. So come join the fun.
Lawrence “Rick” Phillips is 59 years old and loves to laugh, have fun, and write his blog. Rick blogs at RADiabetes, and he is frequent contributor to TUDiabetes and CreakyJoints. Rick coordinates the annual RABlog Week activities, which will occur September 25 to October 1, 2017.