A few months ago I met with several folks from the online Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) community to discuss ways we might strengthen our community. I raised the idea of having a #RABlog week modeled after the highly successful #Dblog week. After asking Karen Graffeo if she would mind me ‘borrowing’ the idea and she was thrilled to allow me to spin it off into the RA community. Shortly thereafter the other RA bloggers and I launched our version of Blog week. I am pleased that it was determined that #RABlog week would be hosted on my web site www.RADiabetes.com and the catalog of all blogs, prompts and participants will be permanently housed there.
RABlog week commenced on September 21 and will last through September 27. Like #DBlog week, #RAblog week will be an annual event. Like #Dblog week we selected blog prompts for each day and we are asking bloggers to write and tweet about the about the prompts and the other bloggers.
We did adopt the #Dblog model in a few important ways. For instance, the #RAblog prompts, and logos were crowd sourced from likely bloggers and a few interested parties. This helped build recognition of the event as well generate topics of interest to the RA blogger community. Another big chance is that the prompts were announced at least one month before the event. This gave bloggers who may have a 50 / 50 chance of blogging on any given day, the opportunity to write their responses before the appointed week. Finally, because this is a new concept in the RA community, we sought and obtained the help of two major organizations CreakyJoints.org and WEGOHealth.org to help promote the event using twitter and information releases.
During 3 months over 5,000 tweets were made to support #RAblog week activities, 41 participants asked about the event from Denmark, Canada, Brazil, England, Australia and the US. To date we have had 52 blogs written to support the effort and we are generating about 800 page views per day.
In comparison the first #Dblog week had around 40 participants and produced about 75 blogs in the first two days. So this effort is smaller, than the first #DBlog effort back in 2010. But the RA community is a great deal smaller. In terms of real numbers approximately 1.5 million people in the US have RA verses approximately 28 million in the US for diabetes. Also the two online communities are very different.
While I realize RA is not the issue for this community, I want to let you know that we would welcome you to stop over to read some amazing blogs being written. You can catch all the #RABlog week action at http://bit.ly/1LVYbyl. The participant list can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1PSHNwi I hope you will join us to see how a much loved regular event in the Diabetes Online Community has been morphed into a new version for a different community.