I'm just a soul whose intentions are good...
How would all of you like to take part in a marketing campaign?
Or, more specifically, a Grassroots Blogger Book Marketing Campaign, or GBBMC for short?
Well, this is your opportunity to get involved on the ground floor and it costs you nothing but a little time each day doing what you already do best... blogging.
This is an idea I came up with while going for a walk today during my lunch break and it involves a fellow blogger that many of you already know and love. If you don't, then you should really check out his site. It is Paul Davidson, the wit behind Words For My Enjoyment.
Paul is also a published writer and his second book, The Lost Blogs: From Jesus to Jim Morrison, is due to be released to the book-whoring public on May 8, 2006 (you can preorder it from Amazon.com, among other online booksellers now). The book covers how blogs by some of the most famous people in the world might read.
It really is an interesting concept and I look forward to reading it (yes, Pauly, I will place my preorder soon, I promise). And, in an attempt to help get word out about this book, I am proposing that we, as Pauly's fellow bloggers, readers, and fans, start our own pseudo-celebrity blogs.
Here are the rules I am establishing for this GBBMC...
- You must blog every day for one week straight from Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 14, 2006, as your historical figure of choice. I have chosen weekdays since there are a lot of bloggers out there who avoid blogging on weekends like the plague. I don't want to scare them off this campaign before it even starts by making them blog at a time when they typically prefer not to.
- Actually, widen that a little bit... you may blog either as the historical figure or as someone close to them. If you've ever read Giles Foden's The Last King of Scotland, you have an idea what I'm talking about. His entire book was a fictional memoir of a Scottish doctor who worked, against his will, as the personal physician to Idi Amin Dada. Really good book that I recommend highly. If you opt for the latter of the two options, the character you choose, much like in Foden's book, does not need to be real; but the person they are "close to" must be real.
- Do not directly reveal who the historical subject is in your blog entries. Let people guess who it is in the comments. At the end of the week, you can reveal it. Even if someone correctly guesses the ID on Tuesday, hold off on the reveal. Let's make this fun for everyone else. Just make sure you don't make it impossible. Dropping clues to your character's identity is fine. For example, I might sign off each entry with my character's initials, so long as they don't give away the person's ID (I haven't chosen who it's going to be yet). If you would like to give some kind of prize to the winner, that's your option. I'm not providing prizes for you to give away. And, since this is something being done outside of Warner Books' normal promotional circles, don't expect them to provide prizes either.
- You do not need to give up your regular blog posting during this week. You can either post these GBBMC posts as entirely separate entries, or post them together with your regular entry but using some means to set it off as different. Kinda like what Dave did when he posted his A Very Lego Holiday Tale this past December. How you choose to distinguish it is up to you, but you should make it clear to your readers so they don't think you have multiple personality disorder or are in the midst of an identity crisis.
- You can take whatever creative approach you want with your posts. If you opt to blog as though you are back in their time period, fine. If you prefer to defy the space-time continuum and pull a Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure by bringing the character to the modern day, so be it. But you must remain consistent in your setting throughout the week. Don't have the person skipping all over time and space, unless you are H.G. Wells in which case time travel might be appropriate.
- Each entry should end with some kind of line that links back to Paul's book (the preorder link near the top of this post). After all, this is a marketing campaign for his book, right? Only seems appropriate. Perhaps something along the lines of "Want to read what other people from history might blog, then pre-order Paul Davidson's The Lost Blogs now!"
- It might also behoove you to preface each post with a link to either this explanatory post or one of your own. You never know if someone might find your blog in the middle of the campaign and, again, think you have MPD. Just covering all bases here.
Yes, this sounds like an odd idea. Even I kinda laughed it off when I first thought about it. But as I kept walking on through my lunch break and contemplated who I could be and what I would say, the idea progressively sounded better and better. I'm actually looking forward to it despite the fact that I'm not sure who I will be.
So, before you laugh it off, take some time to think about it. There is plenty of time to decide if you want to take part in it. And if you do opt to participate, I will have a nifty little badge designed for you to place on your blog.
But I will take this a step further. I know I have friends who would dig this sort of thing but do not maintain a blog of their own. If a non-blogger friend of mine is interested, I will post their entries on my own blog. If you have friends in the same situation, maybe you can open up your blog to them as well. No, I don't mean give them username/password access, but just have them e-mail their entries to you and you post them.
If you are, in fact, interested, leave a comment on this post. I will have this post permalinked on my homepage so you can find it easily if you make your decision a little later down the road. I want to maintain a list at the end of this entry with the participants and links to their blogs so people can find them easily.
Oh, and until Pauly reads this post, he has no idea I'm doing this. He did not recruit me in any way whatsoever. All my idea; whether it's a good one remains to be seen. And, Pauly, if this violates some kind of promotional contract you have with Warner Books, let me know and I'll kill it.
Participants (updated Monday, April 10):
- Kapgar (Me)
- Blogography (Dave)
- Who Do I Have To F#$@ To Get Laid? (Mikey)
- Internal Monoblog (Sandra)
- Two Thoughts Before the Epiphany (Rabbit)
- Take Me As I Blog (Jacynth)
- I Found a Fatal Flaw in the Logic of Love (Alissa)
- In a Kingdom by the Sea (Annabel Lee)
- The Seinfeldian (H.F. Peterman)
- Whirled Peas (Ms. Q)
- Groove Bunny (Wabbit)
- Ninja Poodles (Belinda)
- Taste the World (C.M. Chase)
- Afraid of Diving (Nat H.)
- Divine Calm (Divine Calm)
- LA Brain Terrain (Adrienne)
- Hurty Elbow (Hubert Sorbet)
- My Euro-American Life (Claire)
- Ordinary Extraordinary (amandarin)
- So Anyway (Eden)
- Star Inside (Nicole)
- Ms Sisyphus (Ms. Sisyphus)
- American Twentysomething (Dariush)
- MattLandia (Matt)
- I Am What I Am (Elvina)
- (insert blog name here) (Nicole)
- All Things Jennifer (Jennifer)
- Where's My Lightbulb? (Kathleen)
- You Don't Know Jax (Jacquie)
- signifying nothing (Verbify)
- work in progress... (Suze)
- Life After Work (*lynne*)
- Secondhand Tryptophan (Karl)
- Chronic Listaholic (SJ)
- harmonyinline (harmonyinline)
- ilaxSTUDIO (Kim)
- Jill Writes (Jill)
- Down With Pants (Brandon)
- Der Auslander (Mike B)
- ~unsettled~ (Kathleen)
- jen's 14,221 thoughts (Jen)
Update - Friday, February 24:
There is now a caveat to the contest detailed in my 2/23 post in which we need to avoid posting about historical figures that Pauly already features in his book. If you are interested in participating and would like to know who is included in the book, contact me via e-mail or comment and I'll let you know.
However, to make up for it and to make this contest more enticing, Pauly is offering prizes. The top three bloggers throughout the course of the campaign will receive autographed, first-edition copies of the book. Entries will be judged by Pauly himself. So make them good!
Update - Monday, February 27:
With all the people that are now discovering this contest thanks to the plugs on Words for my Enjoyment, The Lost Blogs Google Group, and Mikey's site, I felt it would be a good idea to get all the information that is on both of my posts right here. Yes, it is a bit duplicitous (oooohhh, nice word!), but it keeps people from having to click all over the place.
So the final bit of information I would need to transfer over from my other post would be that I now have a badge that you can use on your blogs to promote the contest a bit. If you feel so inclined, please steal this badge and post on your own site. I only ask that you link it back to this post (permalink - http://kapgar.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/02/im_just_a_soul_.html)
Update - Thursday, March 16:
We have now broken 20 participants! I really like how this is shaping up!
Update - Sunday, March 19:
Thanks to Pauly's additional post about the contest, we have another four participants. There may even be more when people log into their RSS readers after the weekend.
Update - Sunday, March 19:
This is just the coolest damn thing. Jennifer of All Things Jen(nifer) has created a blogroll of all the participants in this contest. I will add it to my own blog come April 1. But if any of you would like to steal it now, feel free. Just copy and paste the following bit of code somewhere in your sidebar. As new people sign up for the contest, Jen will add them to the roll. The change will be automatic and you will not have to do a single thing to the blogroll as it exists on your blog.
Important Note: Replace all instances of [ and ] with < and > (if I don't sub out the [ and ] here in this post, it will show up as the actual blogroll and you'll never see the code you need to use). You should also leave the extra space after "/script", seems to work better that way.
Update - Friday, March 24:
And now we have 30. This is officially freaking me out that this idea has caught on so well.
Update - Sunday, April 9:
It looks like we'll be kicking off this shindig tomorrow with 40 participants!
Good luck to all involved!
Update - Monday, April 10:
Okay, I pray this is the last time I have to update this particular post (somehow I doubt that will actually be the case). But, some have come and some have gone and now we're sitting pretty at 41 participants. And the contest is already well under way. Some of you have posted some magnificent first entries. I stand in awe. Keep up the great work!
Update - Monday, May 22:
Now that it's all been over and done for quite some time and the book has been released to the mainstream public, it's time for my absolute final update to this post. The one for posterity's sake. Just in case someone does a search for this page and only finds this information, I figured I may as well give you some handy links to my entries for this contest. Here you go...
Oh you know I'll do it... assuming Pauly doesn't unleash an entire team of lawyers on your ass!
This sounds like a lot of work. Thanks a lot! :-)
Posted by: Dave2 | Tuesday, 21 February 2006 at 04:48 PM
I'll do it. Can I blog as --- -----?
name of character deleted to preserve contest
Posted by: Mikey | Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at 12:01 AM
I kind of think I might have to do homework for this...yet am intrigued...
Posted by: sandra | Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at 10:16 AM
Dave, knew I could count on you for this one. And, you're welcome. ;-)
Mikey, you can be whoever you want in this promotion. Hence the fun of it. However, I'm going to delete the name from your comment so as not to give it away to anyone else. That okay?
Sandra, doesn't it sound pretty interesting? Can I count you as "in"?
Pending Pauly's blessing, we have four who have expressed interest.
Posted by: Kevin | Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at 01:15 PM
You have my blessing.
There will be no severed horse heads in your bed, come morning.
Posted by: Pauly D | Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at 02:02 PM
I want to read that book, and I can't wait to read all these blogs!
Posted by: kilax | Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at 02:11 PM
Pauly, sweet! Thanks. My wife thanks you, too, as she's quite fond of our bedsheets and not so fond of any sort of severed head.
Kilax, does that mean you'll take part in the contest/promotion? It could be a blast. Give it an Italian tilt. One of the Caesars, perhaps? Give him a peaceful spin and talk about how he likes to roam through the streets of Rome and play with all the stray cats. That would be right up your alley. That's what I'm thinking about doing. Delving into some aspect of a character's persona that no one realized existed. At first, I considered opening with ... no wait, I still might use this idea.
Posted by: Kevin | Wednesday, 22 February 2006 at 07:23 PM
Sounds awesome. I'd love to participate.
Posted by: annabel lee | Monday, 27 February 2006 at 10:14 AM
I'm in. I'm in.
Posted by: H.F. Peterman | Monday, 27 February 2006 at 10:50 AM
I think I can, I think I can. Yes. Ok. Count me in. It has to be someone dead (or non-existent), does it?
Posted by: Ms. Q | Monday, 27 February 2006 at 07:31 PM
Someone dead would be good as we want it to be as unlikely as possible that they could ever have had their own real blog. However, it looks like Pauly's list does have one or two people that are still alive.
Non existent is no good. Well, not entirely so. There are two ways you can blog this... 1. as a real person who is writing about their own life, or 2. as an unreal person chronicling their life as it relates to a real person. The second one, though it may sound confusing, is not as weird as you think. This was where I used the example of the book The Last King of Scotland. It was a first-person tale written by a fictional doctor who was forced to become the personal physician to Idi Amin Dada. So the person writing (the doctor) was fake, but it was all about his life working for a real person (Idi Amin). Make sense? So I could write as a journalist following the clues about Jack the Ripper if I wanted and if Pauly wasn't already writing about him. So there has to be a real person figured in there somewhere.
Posted by: Kevin | Monday, 27 February 2006 at 08:39 PM
What a brilliant idea. Count moi in!
Posted by: groovebunny | Tuesday, 28 February 2006 at 08:51 AM
I'll try to TRY. And apprise you of early suckage, in the all-too-likely event it occurs. Send me the list of who not to "do."
Posted by: Belinda | Wednesday, 01 March 2006 at 12:25 AM
I found about the contest via the lovely Ninja Poodles. Count me in!
Posted by: C.M.Chase | Saturday, 04 March 2006 at 10:41 AM
Welcome aboard, C.M. Happy to have you in the contest. And I'll have to thank Belinda as well. I'll send the list of names in a separate e-mail. Make sure not to junk it. It will have "Lost Blogs" in the subject line.
Oh, and don't tell me who you want to be in the contest. I'd like to guess just like everyone else. So long as your character is real and is not already on the list of those featured in Pauly's book, you're golden. Doesn't matter if bloggers somehow wind up picking the same person or not.
Posted by: Kevin | Saturday, 04 March 2006 at 03:45 PM
(A stalker who can't help but click from Groove Bunny's blog.) What the heck... this may suck and may so totally obscure that no one gets it... or everyone will get it within nanoseconds... however I will try.
Can you send me the list of who not to do as well please.
Posted by: Nat H. | Saturday, 04 March 2006 at 05:02 PM
You're on. Welcome aboard. The list will be coming in another e-mail with the subject line "Lost Blogs."
--Kapgar.com: Stalkers Welcome!
Posted by: Kevin | Sunday, 05 March 2006 at 12:47 PM
Sounds like a ton of fun. I'll do it.
Posted by: divinecalm | Monday, 06 March 2006 at 02:42 PM
Out of curiosity, would this be the same blogger as the "Divine Clam" from C.M.'s comments?
The list will come in another e-mail with "Lost Blogs" in the subject, so don't delete it.
Posted by: Kevin | Monday, 06 March 2006 at 02:57 PM
I'd like to take part. I'll probably end up writing the same historical figure as someone else, get embarassed and crawl into a hole (then get bit by a hypothetical snake, which is ok, because the wound wouldn't be real).
Posted by: Hubert Sorbet | Tuesday, 07 March 2006 at 11:39 AM
This sounds great! I found it via Ninja Poodles (Belinda). I would like to participate. I am not sure who I "am" yet. Could you email me a list of the people from the book, so that I can think of something else? I am guessing from the cover that Lincoln is out.
Posted by: Claire | Wednesday, 08 March 2006 at 05:26 AM
Sounds fun, sign me up!
Posted by: amandarin | Wednesday, 08 March 2006 at 12:25 PM
Claire and aamandarin, welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is...
Oh wait, sorry. Welcome to Lost Blogs: The Game. The first rule of Lost Blogs is... don't pick someone already in Paul's book. That list will be coming in another e-mail with "Lost Blogs" in the subject.
Posted by: Kevin | Wednesday, 08 March 2006 at 01:53 PM
And yes, that Divine Calm is the same purty lady from my comments. :)
Posted by: C.M.Chase | Wednesday, 08 March 2006 at 08:00 PM
Yeah, she replied to me via e-mail. It's pretty cool to examine the six degrees of bloggers. That would be a fun new game. Six degrees via comments. Heh.
Posted by: Kevin | Thursday, 09 March 2006 at 08:30 AM
Provided no major crises pop up that week, I would totally do this. Great idea!
Posted by: eden | Wednesday, 15 March 2006 at 05:29 PM
You are a marketing genius! I'd love to participate. Now I just have to think of someone good to write for. Can you let me know who to avoid (i.e., who is already covered in Pauly D's book)?
Posted by: Nicole | Friday, 17 March 2006 at 11:02 AM
Eden sent me and I'm intrigued. Barring smiting from the gods, count me in.
(Are we allowed to go mythological, or does it *have* to be someone who has at least one valid historical documentation to prove existence?)
Posted by: Ms Sisyphus | Saturday, 18 March 2006 at 06:33 PM
I am most definitely up for this historic challenge. Get it? See what I just did what the word 'history' and applying to both the game of writing in a historic voice thus making history? ....damn. I just ran out of wit.
Posted by: Mattlandia Himself | Saturday, 18 March 2006 at 10:20 PM
Dariush here. Count me in. I'm totally in on this.
Posted by: Dariush | Sunday, 19 March 2006 at 12:37 AM
You're all in. The list of people that Pauly covered will be coming in another e-mail with the subject "Lost Blogs." Be on the lookout for it.
I haven't really decided on mythological figures. Are you talking Roman and Greek Gods here? I guess they would count as, to many, they are real since they are part of their religious beliefs, right? Just like Adam and Eve in the Christian Bible. I guess so long as it's not too obscure a reference, go for it.
Posted by: Kevin | Sunday, 19 March 2006 at 08:30 PM
This sounds like a lot of fun. I love grassroots campaigns and helping fellow bloggers, so count me in!
Posted by: Nicole | Sunday, 19 March 2006 at 10:16 PM
I am in too....oooh now which person to choose? ;)
Posted by: Jennifer | Monday, 20 March 2006 at 08:57 PM
I'm interested...is the contest still open?
Posted by: Robin | Thursday, 23 March 2006 at 06:51 AM
Darn. It's a shame someone else didn't sign up right before you did. Wouldn't it have been eerily a propos for "30 Days of Do" to be the 30th participant on the list. Alas, you are #29.
Posted by: Kevin | Thursday, 23 March 2006 at 08:38 AM