So y’all, let’s have a little talk. I started ROW80 back in 2010 (!!!) because I wanted a writing challenge that was more flexible than National Novel Writing Month. I felt like it was important to give writers a place where they could get that kind of support but set goals that work for their lives. From that standpoint, ROW80 has been, I think, a huge success. We’ve developed a great little community here–and that’s the thing. We are a COMMUNITY. Communities are (or should be) inherently SOCIAL.
The original incarnation of ROW80 was blog-based because that’s how the other non NaNo challenges I’d participated in were set up–and also because I was a super active blogger back then. But the world has changed. Where those first years, we averaged 40-50k visitors over the course of a year, we now are going to be hitting less than 20k. There’s been an enormous drop in traffic to the site because blogs just aren’t how people tend to do things these days. I’ve maintained the site and the linkies (not free) all these years and coordinated sponsors every round, and over the last couple of years it’s just gotten harder to do as I’ve had more and more on my professional plate. I didn’t even manage to recruit enough sponsors for Round 3, so some of these kind, awesome people have been pinch hitting and doing double duty.
ROW80 is not going away. But it is going to change. I have made the decision to put the blog in stasis. Well, it’s not going anywhere, because there are a lot of awesome inspirational posts here, but it’s not going to be the focal point of the challenge. Instead, we’re moving things TO OUR FACEBOOK GROUP. It’s just flat EASIER to post your updates there and get comments. And it makes for more of a community-oriented focus than the way we’ve done things up to now. There will be those who complain “Oh, but I’m not on Facebook!” just as there were those who argued “Oh, but I don’t have a blog!” I’ll say the same thing now as I said then: My challenge, my rules. This is a FREE support group maintained by me and it is your choice whether to participate or not. It costs you nothing to create a Facebook account, just as it cost you nothing to create a blog for the original version of the challenge.
I want to open the doors for everybody to post inspiring things there. Memes, articles, whatever. Not only because it relieves the burden of me needing to recruit sponsors, but also because it’s YOUR community and I think you have lots of valuable things to share.
Your fearless leader,