Just a mere two hours ago I was very much like the woman you see here.
You know the type.
The tense, overworked, (still) forty-something, peri menopausal, blog addicted Grand Rounds host with PMS.
Whoops. Maybe that was a bit too much information.
But now my heart is free and my soul soars…to the mattress in my bedroom for a glorious day of sleeping with approximately 60 pounds of cats to keep me warm!
Why, what has set me free, you ask?
The posting of that weekly tradition known as: Grand Rounds!
Not only that, but I managed to get rid of all the italics that surprised me upon my arrival home this morning!
Tiny italic imps engaged in a wee bit o’ font changing this morning. I sent them back to Blogger, whence I am sure they came.
So, there you are, asking yourself…
“Should I offer to host Grand Rounds?”
Of course you should!
And, being a veteran of two of them, I thought I would share some of my hard-earned expertise for those who may host in the future!
Besides, I had coffee at 0700 and I’m wide awake at the moment, so might as well make this time productive.
1. Choose a week that is relatively stress-free.
- The week you are working seven straight days, or the week your child is getting married – those would be bad. Trust me on the first one. I learned that the hard way!
- You want to have the night before GR off, so that the post is ready to go by Tuesday morning, ideally posted late Monday night. This gives you lee-way to fix any broken links and to add any last-minute submissions, if you choose to do so.
2. Pick your style/theme ahead of time.
- Decide if you are going to take an “editorial” approach and pick a select number of posts that week, or if you will have an “all-inclusive” approach and include everyone.
- “All inclusive” leads to HUGE Grand Rounds, like you saw on Emergiblog this week (I believe it was 50 or so posts long). But…if you are like me, you think everything you read has some value and you want to include it!
- The “editorial” approach may sound easier, but you still must read every post submitted and decide on whether it belongs that week.
- Putting the links up is not the time consuming part.
- Reading the material so that you can make a concise presentation is the crux of the host’s job.
- Start putting your post together two weeks earlier than your host week.
- I had decided on my “Starbucks” theme the minute I told Nick I’d host – I was sitting in Starbucks so it came to me right away.
- Before I left the coffee shop I had the categories already in a “draft” post and was able to put the links in as they came in.
- Don’t wait until the last minute
- Your submissions will start arriving the very next Wednesday morning. For that week you are the “host” and can expect 8-10 posts daily after that. Read them each day, and put the links in your “draft”, along with any comments.
- By doing this, on the day before (or in my case the day of) Grand Rounds, you have a complete post ready to go and all you have to do is “publish”.
3. The very day the previous Grand Rounds is posted:
- Put a post on your blog that is designed to stay at the top giving:
- your email address and
- how you prefer to receive your submissions (via Blog Carnival or via email).
- Never assume your email address is known. Make it clear.
- My email address, while available, was not in an obvious place on the site and was in a post that quickly joined the ranks of the archived.
- Nick received many submissions that should have come to me and had to forward them. Luckily, one potential submitter let me know she was having trouble and I was able to get a post up.
4. Remember, YOU are the host.
- There are Grand Rounds guidelines but if you must deviate from them, as I did this week by posting at a later time, put up an updated post letting people know that Grand Rounds will be posted at “x” time.
- You are doing us a favor by (1) hosting and (2) linking to our submissions, so when it is your host week, you call the shots. Expect the natives (us) to be restless. Some of us live for Tuesday mornings, especially me!
5. Check every single link before going “live”.
- I did that this week and found three non-working links, and this is after checking each link as I added it! There are link-breaking gnomes who come around and do their thing so it is best to double-check them.
6. Expect “feedback”!
- If you make a mistake, you will know it immediately because the author of the post will email you faster than a speeding bullet! It helps to be available during this time if you can be. I was able to make rapid repairs because I saw the emails as they came in.
- If you leave a post out, you will be asked to explain why. So, explain why. Some people will be very unhappy so be prepared.
7. Watch out for commercial ventures.
- There are those who will attempt to use Grand Rounds as a promotion vehicle for selling whatever it is they are promoting.
- Use your discretion….if it looks like an ad, smells like an ad, reads like an ad or isn’t submitted by the author themselves, it is probably an ad disguised as a blog post. If you are not sure, check with Nick or get the opinion of another blogger. It’s really your call, but none of us want Grand Rounds to turn into a marketplace.
Now, you want to submit a post to Grand Rounds?
1. Check the website of the soon-to-be host. There may be a “theme” to the week.
2. Do submit as early as possible. I’m a big one to talk; I’m usually writing right up to the deadline.
3. If you are not the writer of the submitted post, be sure you have permission to submit.
4. This is a personal preference: If at all possible, use Blog Carnival. Everything comes in a neat little package for the host and you actually get an email “receipt” for your submission so you know it has been received.
5. Remember that the host is doing this in their spare time and that they have lives and work that they are also responsible for. If you have a suggestion, remember that voice tones are not audible in an email so phrase your request appropriately and in a polite, friendly manner.
6. Please don’t bother to submit if you are a commercial website and want to use Grand Rounds a publicity venue. Really. It makes it awkward for the host to have to tell you no and there are other venues for that purpose. It doesn’t mean the host thinks your “product” or opinions are wrong. Only inappropriate for Grand Rounds.
Well, the only disadvantage to hosting is that I’ve already read everything and so there is nothing to read with my coffee.
I will tell you this, tomorrow I will be ensconced in my cushy chair at Starbucks catching up on my blog reading.
But if you will excuse me, Change of Shift is due up on Thursday.
I guess after my nap, I’ve got some linkin’ to do!
What can I say? I love blogging!