All together now: In the jungle, the blogosphere jungle, the lion's not sleeping tonight!!
I feel like a proud father who's just received a postcard from his first-born, to say that his adventures out in the jungle are going far better than expected.
It's been a month now since I launched A Roar For Powerful Words, an award that sets out to recognize good and powerful writing in the blogosphere. As you can imagine, I've been trying to assess the impact of these pink, blue and purple lions, to find out whether the objective is being achieved - the aim is to celebrate the high quality of the writing that can be found on the Internet, despite what many in the mainstream media would have us believe.
Is it true that this award has been featured or mentioned on more than 14,000 blogs after just four weeks? What? Don't you mean 140? 1,400? My computer friend Stuart has just got back to me after doing some research using fancy search methods that leave me confused. He has left me speechless with this figure, and I'm still wondering whether his machines are telling the truth (nothing personal, Stuart, but it's always good to be sceptical of science, just as you once told me). Does anyone else have a reliable, mathematical way of checking, to be doubly certain? I've been limited to simple search engines, which apparently are not very representative, whereas Stuart has used super-duper university machines that trace and match with long, skinny fingers! Yes, he assures me, he has found traces of the award on more than 14,000 sites, ranging from a simple mention by text to a full post with photo and link. I must say I am very surprised. I am also very humbled.
I do know that my own Google alerts went bananas from the start, and they definitely weren't sending me all of the links. I quickly realised that with such exponential growth in the number of awards being passed on (every recipient hands it on to five others) I had no chance of keeping up with where the award has gone. Someone in the writing circle suggested that we keep a list of all the recipients, so we could all check out the sites being honoured, but I'm so glad now that I didn't promise to do that. I wouldn't have time to sleep!
But statistics aside, it's absolutely wonderful that this award has been able to honour blogs that are providing people with enormous reading pleasure. It is still spreading as we speak, giving a big thumbs-up to people who produce blogs that others can't live without. There is absolutely no doubt that good and powerful writing is not the exception in the blogosphere. The biggest problem for me, and for many others, is finding the time to read all of the wonderful, exciting material that is out there.
It's been a real pleasure in these past few weeks to randomly visit blogs I've never been to/never heard mentioned before, only to see a big pink, purple or blue lion staring out at me! I've seen the award on many different sites: general blogs, writing blogs and news-related blogs. I even got an email out of the blue from a guy I used to work with years ago, who saw my name mentioned along with the award on someone's site. That is what makes blogging so amazing.
So, to everyone who's taken part in this, a big thank you! The roar has definitely been heard, loud and clear, and it's still spreading along wires and microchips right around the globe! (Gosh, that's a scary thought, when it's put like that!). Let's hope it will encourage people to keep on down this new, exciting communications highway. Now, Stuart, are you sure of those figures?