301 Links in a Story — Chapter 8 Lizzie, Amanda, Arianna, David, and Jeremy

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[For those of you just tuning in, this is based on the 301 Lists that Darren Rowse’s List Group Writing Project brought together. You’ll find Chapter 1 here –> A List Becomes 301 Links in Story — Chapter 1 ]

At the Studio

Lizzie followed. Jeremy. Jeremy Wright across Rue Dante into the creepy brownstone-like building up the stairs to the second floor. The door at the top of the stairs was on a landing with a desk.

“I don’t have keys,” said Jeremy, Jeremy Wright. “I’ll find Aaron Brazell to let us in.”

“I’ll hang here,” Lizzie said, settiing in at the desk.

The desk had a book for visitor sign ins, alongside it were several information pamphlets. They were lined up in a little stand as if this were a bed and breakfast. The header on the stand said, “Classic Pre-Show Reading.”

“Get your post listed on 25 sites in 10 Minutes” by Fence, Emily and Evening Post.

“They should know,” Lizzie thought, getting interested.

7 1/2 pieces of Blogging Software I have used by a kid with many siblings who’s had to share everything.

Essential Books for Bloggers How books can be used to raise your monitor to eye level and to do other cool stuff.

Should I Add Your blog? Alan Greenspan tries creative economics during retirement.

How I Set Up WordPress Ben Trott outlines the plan he never made to foil a competitor.

The Secret to Blogging for Baby Poop One Gentleman Blogger’s Way of Tracking Achievement Without Using Money as a Benchmark.

How to Keep Spam out of your Blog The latest kid craze since putting sandwiches in the VCR went out with DVD players.

“I wondered what kids were doing now,” Lizzie laughed.

Aaron came through the door with Jeremy, Jeremy Wright.

“Hey, Lizzie,” Aaron said. “Could you hand me that Sailing Magazine I left on the desk?

Our new TV host passed it to our sailor friend and followed our Jack Bauer/James Bond type into the studio. Then she gasped with some emotion she couldn’t quite name.

The seats were set up as if David Letterman would walk out any minute, but the stage was different, so different. It looked as if it were a gigantic . . .


Lizzie looked around a bit, but it made her dizzy.

“Please take me back to my hotel.”

Up All Night

Back at the Hilton, our intrepid problem solver did the math. It was still early in the U.S. She’d call in the cavalry. Lizzie shot an email to Amanda Congdon. They’d only passed a couple times at Blogher, but Amanda is real people, does cool video, and just might help her. Lizzie got answer 3.2 seconds later.

It read, “I’m one floor below you. I’ll be right up.”

By the time Lizzie read it. Amanda was at the door, wearing the Cake t-shirt that Britney tried buy from her.

“What’re you doing in Paris?” Lizzie asked her.

“They hired me for the TV Event as Chief Technical Advisor.”

“Great! Advise me!”

International TV was about to meet an uncontrollable force and an unpredictable influence. Later no one could say which was which.

“Okay,” said Amanda. “Here’s how it will work. Think Wheel of Fortune. You do Pat. I’ll do Vanna. Then you won’t be nervous. I’ve got some experience with clicking and turning.”

The two ladies spent the entire night working. Lizzie reading aloud lists to the mirror, while Amanda commented and gave notes.

List of Free Image Hosts — “Image is everything in video,” Amanda coached.

6 Reasons I’m Blog Breaking Until September — “Blogging’s low-cost industry. Don’t ’em fool ya’. You break it. You buy it. It’s the rule.”

Best Blogs for Web Publishers — “Recommended by Spiderman.”

So You Want to Host My Servers? 8 Requirements for a Data Center — “I’m not going there.”

“STOP,” Lizzie said. “Time for Room Service.” She asked Amanda what she was having and made the call. “Yep, that’s right the same as last night for both me and Ms. Congdon. Make the charge to Jeremy, Jeremy Wright. That’s right, Wright.”

The video show cohorts went back to work while they waited.

PC Doctor blog stats – how the visitor landscape is changing — “That’s one sick gardener.”

3 Problems Business Bloggers Face — “Netflix, naps, and noisy neighbors.”

Room service arrived. It was a pizza with fresh tomato, a dozen chocolate covered strawberries, and two bottles of Perrier-Jouet.

Aristotle’s Top 3 Tips for Effective Blogging — “That’s a Brian Clark headline, if I ever heard one. Just don’t SAY pathos to a TV audience.”

My Top 4 Mistakes as an Entrepreneur — “Neil, Rob, Nick and Basil. Never date or hire a guy whose name could be a verb or is something you put in a recipe.”

“That’s it,” Amanda said. “Time to get ready and go.” And they did.

Let the Games Begin

The lights were on, music was playing, and the cameras were rolling before Lizzie had a chance to even think. She was dressed to the nines in black satin and sequins, with a pale blue ribbon. Amanda looked perfect in pale pink. The blog set was decked out in Web 2.0 translucent and rounded corners.

“Bloggers everywhere, welcome to the first ever Blogging List Challenge!
Our first ever contestants are . . . ”

The announcer took over, ” . . . nationally syndicated columnist, author of ten books, international speaker and blogger, Arianna Huffington,

self-described serial entreprenuer, CEO and founder of Blog index Technorati, nationally known programmer, blogger, and blog sociologist, and friend of Janice Myint, David L. Sifry,


author, co-founder and president of b5 media, international blogger, traveler, speaker, and sometimes spy Jeremy, Jeremy Wright.

“Before we begin, let my introduce my celebrity coach, and our guest host, Amanda Congdon.”

Amanda hit a catagory that turned the entire 4-column blog into a video screen. “Welcome to the Blogging List Challenge! Thanks Darren Rowse and bloggers everywhere for inspriring it!” Amanda turned to the crowd. “I could get to like this game show,” she said.

“For our audience, let’s review how the game is played,” Lizzie said as if she said that every day. “Each contestant chooses a category from the blog before which Amanda stands. A list title will come up. The contestant must blog an item on that list. We’ll start with a warm-up.”

“Dave Sifry, you won the coin toss the warm-up category is . . . ah . . . Love.

“I’ll take Love for 300, Liz.” Dave said, turning a shade of red that went nicely with the color of Amanda’s Versace. Amanda clicked the post. The title came up.

Love to Learn from Blogging — “This is a list of blogs the blogger loves to learn from.

Dave blogged, “The Technorati Blog.”

“No, Dave, I’m sorry. . . . Jeremy, Jeremy Wright.”

“Love for 100.” JJW said. “I have a young son.”

6 Reasons I love Blogging

Jeremy, Jeremy sighed audibly. He blogged “It’s cool.” 100 points.


“Well, Lizzie. I think I’ve got some experience here. I’m glad to go for 500.”

Love in a Blog

“With a blog you can do anything, even meet your next husband.”

Lizzie said, “You need to blog that Arianna. She did.

Score 500 for Arianna.

Dave said, “How did she know that?”

“Arianna rocks!” was all that Jeremy, Jeremy Wright said after he thanked God he didn’t get that question.

As is usual for this kind of game show, time ran out after the warm-up round. That’s how they get everyone to tune in tomorrow.

The contestants shook hands and went across the street for mojitos. It was Jeremy, Jeremy Wright’s idea.

“Whew!” was all that Lizzie said.

“C’mon kid,” said Amanda, and she and Lizzie went out for a drink with Prince Campbell. The dancing was unplanned so was the rest of what they did.

What happens next? Who wins the game show?

That’s what you find out in ——————————-> Chapter 9

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Related Articles

A List Becomes 301 Links in Story — Chapter 1
301 Links in Story — Chapter 2 Lizzie Meets Fred
301 Links in a Story — Chapter 3 Lizzie Reaches the Paris Hilton
301 Links in a Story — Chapter 4 Lizzie, Jean, and Etch-a-Sketch
301 Links in a Story — Chapter 5 Lizzie, Americans, and French Bread
301 Links in a Story — Chapter 6 Intrigue and Romance
301 Links in a Story — Chapter 7 Lizzie, Rue Dante, and Who Hal Is


  1. says

    Lizzie … Chapter 8 and I still haven’t gotten my bit part of the action 😉

    tears, jeers and hissy tantrum to follow shortly … 😉

    But a write up later this week at The Blog Columnist v7 is in order for you for taking on the job of moulding the 301 links into a story. Very creative and I ike creative types.

  2. says

    Hey Martin,
    You know how stories like this work. The characters and the links decide when they show up in the plot. I don’t. You’ll note most of the blogging lists are only showing up now. Makes sense — eh?

    There is method . . .

  3. says

    you didn’t finish your last line, Liz.

    There is method … to this madness. 😉

    Makes total sense to me to let the “characters” write themselves – it’s called letting go and writing on the seat of your pants stuff with no idea where it may all end up. And isn’t that were true creative genius comes from!

    I’m looking forward to when you finish this thing so one weekend I can sit down with a bottle of red and just read it all through – start to finish.

    Keep on pushing the boundaries, Lizzie. Me like.

  4. says

    Hey Martin,
    Glad you’re enjoying it. I had no idea I was taking on a novella when I started this little trek. 301 seemed more like 103 to me I think. I must have been having a dyslexic moment.

    I figured a couple of hours and I would be done. HA here I am 9 days? later and still working on it. What was I thinking?

    I keep telling myself writers have a write to watch other writers do silly things. :)

  5. says

    Hi ah pek,
    I have about 20 or 30 links left to use, but I have to build a story around them. I’m hoping Chapter 9 will be the last and final chaper in the great story of Lizzie and the 301 List Links of the Great List Writing Project.

  6. says

    I’ll have to give that some thought. I’m not sure what that last chapter would be. It wouldn’t be packed with links that’s for certain. I’ve managed to get the bulk of them out the door and to add quite a few here above as I’m sure you see.

    Unless I invent a chorus line of the Technorati Top 100 blogs . . . :)

  7. says

    “Neil, Rob, Nick and Basil. Never date or hire a guy whose name could be a verb or is something you put in a recipe.”

    LOL, Liz!

  8. says

    Hi Sabine!
    That Amanda, she’s got a wit like a razor, doesn’t she? We had to take break I was laughing so hard when she said that. [grin — just kidding]

    Thank you. I’m delighted that I made you laugh.

    Jeremy was delighted to hear you had his book at Blogher.

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