Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Whack on The Side of The Head: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss...

Yesterday, Treye wrote in his congratulatory post... "Let's hope next 5,000 doesn't take as long as the first." - 77 days.  Another friend of mine sent a celebratory email, signing it "Reaching for 10,000." Many others have inquired about what comes next.  All I have to say is... you all have some serious stamina!  I considered taking some time off before rolling out our next fun initiative, but seeing as how you all are all revved up... I figure I should give you someplace to go.  Or actually... 

Give ME someplace to go!  That is your teaser.  But first, some announcements!
  • Go ARKANSAS!  A month ago... not even registering as a state who viewed highlowaha. Monday... the fourth largest number of readers... out-read by only Texas, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Julie, I have a sneaking suspicion you had something to do with that.  THANK YOU!  With 17 people in one day, you helped me reach 5,000.
  • Did you know when you click on a picture from a post - other than the most current - that it blows it up to be bigger?  I mistakingly figured it out while looking at Dine By Design (pictures worth revisiting).
  • Julie Cole (I dropped the "A," since it seems to be in question).   Are you out there?  If so, we would love you to make a post so we could introduce ourselves.  You are a mini celebrity on our site.  For those of you with no idea what I am talking about, see April 7: On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! 
  • Helena... make a quick post about where Flat Stanley has been and our next most interested reader can claim Next Tour Guide.
  • Nan was nice enough to provide me with a comprehensive list of all the tables present at"Dine by Design."  I will post the table names on Saturday as an added "freebie."  Again, if you don't know what I am referencing.. check out April 14 :Dine By Design.  It's a GOOD one!
Today is Whack on The Side of the Head Wednesday.  This is the day we join forces with Roger von Oech's magical deck of cards to jar our thinking.  It has been responsible for refining many an idea here at highlowaha and I have no reason to believe that today will be any different. 

First, I must lay claim to the idea/challenge.  Then we'll apply the creative "whack."...

This is where my little clue comes into play... "Give me someplace to go."  That's right.  We are embarking on our next fun initiative and it involves me taking a trip.  Where?  I don't know. Only you, the readers can determine.  Now for the overview...

August 20 represents the half way point to the year of my blogging (the first post was February 18).  In order to assure the second half of the year is as much fun for me (... and YOU) as the first part, I need to meet with readers.  I want to host a fun, high-energy, and of course CREATIVE brainstorming session with representatives from highlowaha.com...IN PERSON! So, I am planning to take a trip at either the end of August or the beginning of September.

Where will I go?... That depends.  I will go to the state mustering up the greatest number of enthusiastic readers, between now and July 16 (Treye... exactly 77 days from today!).  For Helena, Debbie M. and all you other international readers... your day will come.  I just need to strike it rich first.

How will this work?  We will embark on a state-wide roll call of sorts.  Each week I will post the names of 4-5 states.  On the day that your state is "up," your challenge will be to have as many individuals read the blog and post something about your state (more about that later). At the end of the 12 week period I will determine the state with the greatest participation and then off I go. Once arriving at my destination, I will host a fun-filled two hour brainstorm... guaranteed to be a good time, complete with treats and giveaways.

Before we get started a couple of things... 
  • According to Google Analytics (a favorite site for anyone who loves information), there is a state participating, but listed as "not set," instead of your actual state's name.  The fact that your state name does not appear means I don't know where you are from.  There are five states whose names are not represented on my list.  They are: Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  "Not set" must represent one of these states.  If you are a reader from one of these states, make a post telling me the state in which you live.  That way I can give you credit.
  • I don't want to start "Roll Call" until all states show at least three readers per week.  The following states currently show only one reader per week and need two more: Michigan, Kansas, Alaska, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Mexico, Vermont, Utah, Nebraska, Florida, and Minnesota.  This won't be hard if you just share the site with one co-worker, friend, or neighbor. 
  • The states that are good to go - already showing four or more readers a week are: Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Iowa, Arkansas, Maryland, California, Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Kentucky.
Ok, so a goal for this next week - while continuing to explore and share creative ideas - is to (1) increase readership in the states currently showing three or fewer a week; (2) find readers from the four states holding out; and (3) determine who the person is titled, "Not Set." 

Now for the idea/challenge to be whacked...  What is it, that "state representatives" should post about their state on their designated date?  It seems a waste to simply have them post their name.  Maybe I should have them post a "must see" from their town or state.  Or should it be something fun and creative... a tag line or slogan?  Hmmmm...  Let's see what von Oech has to say... 

Combine Ideas.  "The time has come," the walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages - and kings."  Combining unusual ideas is at the heart of creative thinking.  The ancients mixed soft copper and even softer tin to create hard bronze. Gutenberg combined the wine press and the coin punch to create movable type and the printing press.  What different ideas can you combine?

So readers... check out items on your desk, in your kitchen, in today's paper, or from past blog postings.  What different ideas can we combine to come up with the the perfect criterion for posting during your state's Roll Call?
Signing off until tomorrow...

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