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one thanksgiving, my usually mild-mannered, affable aunt rene voiced her grave disappointment when we put the turkey carcass out for the dog. as much as she loved the senator russell sweet potatoes and the dressing, aunt rene’s favorite thanksgiving delicacy was sucking the marrow from the turkey bones. which is, actually, a fine culinary metaphor for how she lived her life.

it’s no secret that last year’s involvement in last year’s reverb event changed my life, so i’ve put together a little smorgasbord of ways you can suck the marrow right out of these reverb10 bones. some are things i learned last year when i was a complete newbie, some are things i’m seeing as i do my fairy godmother dance from blog to blog, some are answers to questions i’ve been asked by reverb10 participants. you don’t have to do everything every day cause we all know you have to put food on the table, but if you’re willing to spend more time online during what is arguably the busiest month of the year, you will reap the benefits. i promise.

GET LEGAL
if you’re not officially signed up, it’s as easy at 1, 2, 3.
1. go here.
2. complete the pledge form.
3. click the “signed, me” button to submit.

FRESHEN UP YOUR NEST
4. grab a badge for your blog.
5. enable comments on your blog. you can always turn them back off in january (if you still want to).
6. make it as easy as possible for people to leave you comments. does the wording indicate where they leave comments? is it an easy process or does your blog platform make things cumbersome and unclear?
7. make sure your twitter name is visible so folks can reach out.
8. (added 12/6) if you want to be found, make it easy for people to find you. if you want conversation, make it easy for people to comment.

WRITING
9. write as succinctly as possible. i know you have a lot to say, but with over 2000 blogs to read, now is just not the time to wax on. next year when you have no idea what to write about, you can pick up a prompt and expand.
10. if at all possible, write every day. you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of tenacious commitment.
11. if you get behind, bundle prompts into one post to catch up. or just forget about it and start where we are when you get back. there are no extra points for perfect attendance.
12. don’t like a prompt? do the little sidestep. skip it. write about something else then creatively tie it to the prompt. or post it and let the readers practice their creativity.
13. (scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see that i addressed today’s prompt.)
14. (added 12/9) make every prompt a party and delight in who (or what) shows up on the page. if you’re delighted, chances are we’ll be delighted, too.

GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE
15. if you haven’t already, join twitter.
16. follow fellow reverbers.
17. when tweeting about reverb10, use the #reverb10 hashtag.
18. when alerting us to a new post you’ve penned, be sure to include the (shortened) url in your tweet.
19. shorten url’s before tweeting via one of the url shortening services.
20. the reverb population is international, so tweet your own posts at various times during the day to allow for different time zones.
21. if you’re on facebook, look me up (i’m InJeanneious/Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, but any links to my profile seem to always go wonky. sorry.)
22. consider using networked blogs to automatically post your blog as your facebook status.
23. it’s busy out there, so don’t hesitate to wave your arms a bit to get our attention about a blog post you’re especially proud of. how? tweet me (@whollyjeanne) or any of the crew members and invite us over.

MAKING NEW FRIENDS
24. read a post you especially like? tweet the shortened url, an adjective or two, and the author’s twitter name.
25. leave comments on blogs.
26. when somebody leaves a comment on your blog, email or tweet a thank you note.
27. don’t be afraid to say nice things publicly.
28. make other people look good: retweet their tweets. promote their posts. tell others about them – and do it right in front of god ‘n everybody. bonus: you can’t make somebody else look and feel good without making yourself look and feel good in the process. you just can’t.
29. take a minute to show your support by following blogs via friend connect and networked blogs.
30. search and follow #reverb10. check in and fill up.
31. (added 12/5) don’t take it personally when you are unfollowed or unfriended. they’re just jealous.
32. (added 12/8) reach out to at least 3 people every day and smack ‘em with a smile, sprinkle a compliment, dabble out a spot of encouragement. twitter brings out the nice in people, and let’s face it: nice breeds nice.

AFTER GLOW
33. troll sidebars to find other things you might be interested in being a part of post-reverb10.
34. set up twitter lists as you go so you’ll remember who you want to stay in touch with.
35. (added 12/4/10) sign up for email updates from those bloggers you really enjoy.
36. (added 12/4/10) google reader is another handy way to keep track of your favorites. (thanks, stephanie!)
37. (added 12/7) pick 10 different peeps daily. say hi & read & comment on their posts. You’ll be AMAZED at the community you create. (thanks, tia!)

SELF CARE
with over 3k people participating, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. it can feel like sipping from a fire hose, but don’t fret. you don’t have to read every single blog every single day. there may be blogs you want to visit every day. other days, trust that you’ll see the tweets and blogs you need to see that particular day. like twitter, reverb10 is a constantly moving stream of information. duck in and out as your schedule permits with no obligation to scroll back and see what you’ve missed. just duck in, swim a while, then get out when you need to, towel off, grab some snacks, tend to what needs tending, then jump back in again when you can. in and out, out and in. that’s how it’s done.

WRAPPING IT UP
it’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but i hope it helps. if you have questions or think of something i forgot, drop a comment cause i’m the fairy godmother, after all. it’s what i do: i flit, i float, i sprinkle my special-brew fairy dust to make sure you leave #reverb10 feeling mighty glad you came.