Sunday, October 14, 2007


When I first heard of TopBlogMag, I thought it would be an online magazine of the top blog posts out there. I pictured a sort of culling of the best of the best of contributing blogs. A virtual one-stop-shop for new blog finds.

In some sense, that is exactly what I found. However, rather than republished posts from blogger's archives, I found creative writing challenges. Daring bloggers to be writers. Daring writers to step out of the comfort zones of their usual content.

I immediately signed on.

My name is Megan Jordan, from Velveteen Mind, and I'm your new editor, as well as the new owner of TopBlogMag. I am endlessly grateful to Heather for handing me the reigns of her work. She will be missed as editor, but will be enthusiastically welcomed as a frequent contributor. An understatement, indeed.

This week's issue is more or less a pseudo-issue. An un-issue. Or, more precisely, a call for more issues. We are in transition and I am calling on you to speak up, step up, and tell me where you would like to see TopBlogMag go from here. Heather has done a fabulous job, so I'd hate to let her down. Let's make her proud. Even better, let's make her totally jealous of the amazing heights we can take TopBlogMag to in the days to come.

TopBlogMag is a magazine written by you.

Now is your opportunity to make it a magazine designed by you, as well.

What new features would you like to see? What are your favorite current features? Anything you'd like to see go? Content changes? Style changes? Rather see me leave it just as Heather has it now? Well, uh, good luck with that last one. I'm a tweaker.

In the feature boxes below, I'm going to launch a running poll offering up some of the top suggestions. Play along. Vote for what you would like to see added and what you would like to see discontinued. This is absolutely unofficial, but it will be fun and truly helpful to gather an idea of what direction you would like to take.

Don't see your idea listed? Leave a comment or send me an email and I'll add it to the "Brainstorming" feature.

I'll start. That's my job now, right?

The biggest content change I hope to make is that I would like to open up the submission process to allow you all to submit posts from your personal blogs' old archives. Have a solid post you were particularly proud of but that didn't garner the attention you felt it deserved? Now is the time to dust that baby off and give it new life at TopBlogMag.

Opening submissions to include republished content will be the boldest step toward my original impression of what an online magazine titled "TopBlogMag" must be.

At its most simple, I would love to see TopBlogMag as a magazine of the top blog posts available. Stumble across a powerful post in someone else's archive and think, "More people should read this!"? Encourage that blogger to send it our way. Building your own "favorite posts" page for your blog and want a more powerful way to highlight your true favorite? This is your platform.

At the core, I would like TopBlogMag to reward bloggers for
writing their best content on their own blogs.

So many of us spread our writing out among several different sites, frequently farming out our best work to what we perceive as more popular sites, all in a hope to find new readers. Unfortunately, that means that we occasionally neglect our current readers. We drag them all over the internet to read our brilliant musings, when all they want is to cozy up in a familiar place where they can count on the good stuff to be delivered.

If we can create a magazine that highlights both creative writing challenges and our own best work from our own best damn blogs, then we'll have something. Something collaborative. Something beneficial. Something dynamic.

So, tell me, what is TopBlogMag to you?


Misssy M said...

I completely welcome the archive idea. So many of us had months of writing blog posts with virtually no readers. Sometimes I feel it's a shame that a post I was proud of was only read by one or two people and I would love a chance to revive one or two.

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

that sounds like a great idea Megan!

I know you'll do a great job!

Sarah said...

I love your ideas, Megan. Especially the re-publishing idea. I have so many posts I loved that didn't get the readers I would have liked, and I look for more opportunity to contribute.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Great, Megan!! These are great ideas! I know you'll be succesful.

Mama Zen said...

I think the archive idea is great!

This Eclectic Life said...

I join the others in applauding using posts from our archives. I felt so long like I was just talking to myself (but I do that anyway). I also love the idea of encouraging other bloggers to submit. AND, I agree that readers want to "cozy up in a familiar place. Do you think it would work if you put occasional "teasers" on the mag, and sent folks to our home sites to read the full article? I like the theme challenges, though. It makes us stretch.
Good luck with it all. We are right here with you.

Liz said...

I couldn't agree more -- I love the challenge of writing a fresh piece, but sometimes there are posts that I'd like to revive, too. Especially since a lot of us are moms, sometimes time just runs out on deadline... moms have to grab inspiration when it hits, and sometimes that's not on schedule!

Mrs. Fussy Fussypants said...

So this is what you've been working so hard on! :)


My ideas?
Lots of crappy photos
grAmmAtical errOrz
Switch between first & third person

Oh, yeah, that's MY blog. :)

How about you just lose that yellow color?



nutmeg said...

I'm with Alli on the yellow!

Featured Post and Blog of the Week

You Are Here

by Amie from

You did well in school to get into college. You tried to get by well enough in college to be attractive to an employer or graduate program, and along the way you may have opened your heart a time or two. Maybe you even found true love.

With a foot in the door, the first years of work were the time to
prove your mettle once again. Promotions, raises all with the goal to secure your future will allow you to settle down, buy a house, travel, commit to a relationship, have kids or not. In what feels like a blink of an eye, your future is here.

And now what?

Read the full post...

Chance Favors Only Those Who Court Her

by Debbie from Missives from Suburbia

After a less-than-friendly divorce, I was on the market again. Seizing the opportunity, my friends scoured their address books and Palm Pilots for single men and set me up on blind date after blind date. My reaction to most of those dates was, "I call these people my FRIENDS?" One of my real friends suggested, and given how much I love the Internet, I gave it a go.

A couple months of e-dating passed by in a blink. It was fun, but so far nothing meaningful had hit my radar, and my match inventory was starting to run low. You see, "matches" you to people based on a list of your requirements, and I'd pretty much run through all my existing matches who didn't seem psycho or stoned, based on their profiles.

Then, one day, I got an email from a guy who was not a match by my standards...

Read the full post...

A Lost Opportunity

by John from Altjiranga Mitjina

Trying to break in as a writer in the comic book industry can be a bit like the one legged man in a butt kicking contest. Every step forward you make means you land on your butt after your kick forward. Comic books are a visual medium. An artist can bring a portfolio to an editor at a convention and said editor can sit there and look at it within minutes and decide if this artist is worthy of working on the newest issue of Stupendous Man or not. Trying being a hopeful writer handing over a script to this same editor at a busy comic convention. You’ll be lucky if the editor agrees to take the script and promise that they’ll look at it later. Most times the hopeful writer is told to send for their submission guidelines and mail in their proposal.

The best way for a writer is to find an aspiring artist and hook up...

Read the full post...

Jesus Toothpaste!

by Karen Rayne from Adolescent Sexuality Today with Karen Rayne, Ph.D.

This weekend I went out of town, leaving my family to fend for themselves. On Saturday, my darling husband took my two darling daughters – 6 and 3 years old – to what he heard was a fun new toy store in town. Great, right?

They walk in the door, and the 6-year-old pipes up with “Look, Daddy! Jesus toothpaste!” He takes one look, puts one hand on each girl’s shoulder, and does a 180 out of the store. It may be a fun new toy store, but it’s intended clientele does not include the under-13 set.

When I got home on Sunday, the first thing the 6-year-old says to me was, “Guess what! We saw Jesus toothpaste!” I blinked, figuring I hadn’t heard her correctly. Regrettably, I had...

Read the full post...

A biker, a green thumb, a cracked hand, and a Queen.

by Megan from Velveteen Mind, originally guest posted at Queen of Spain

A random biker on a Harley-Davidson took my picture last week. What I wanted to do was take his picture, but I hesitated. Now, instead of a photo of some random biker holding an i am bumper sticker, all I have is a lame photo of me holding the bumper sticker and the mental picture of him riding off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

Okay, it wasn’t as romantic or dramatic as that. It was nine in the morning and there was no sunset.

This is not the first time that I have hesitated to seize an opportunity. I don’t expect it will be the last. However, I hope with each lost chance for something intriguing, I will lose a shade of that hesitation for next time...

Read the full post...