[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 Ã¢â¬â Chapter 1 ]
When We Left the . . . Studio
You might remember that at last look, our famed uncontrollable force and unpredictable influence, Lizzie and Amanda Congdon, leaving the studio of the International Blogging List Challenge! for parts unknown. The studio was in chaos after the Blogging 7th Heaven CanCan Dancers had roused the blogging audience into such a tizzy — blogging and applauding at the same time. (Which we have already established isn’t easy, if not completely impossible.)
Robert Scoble videoblogged the entire escapade.
The scoreboard read Arianna 600 Jeremy, Jeremy 200 Dave 200.
Rumor has it that the bloggers and the Blogging 7th Heaven People enjoyed a night of debauchery at 10 Rue Dante — an irony that I’d love to write about, but for once not a single blogger blogged the following 18 hours. They claimed a complete system failure — power, DS, and wireless — all out. Some spoke of eerie MySql errors written on the bathroom walls.
That lost 18 hours has gone down in blogging history as Blog Silence, Dead Feeds, and Dante’s New Level. Even Scoble’s video crew would only say, “We’re glad that MaryAm took you back to the hotel.”
Meanwhile Back at the Hotel . . .
The sun rose on a new day and gave hope to our contestants, the nationally syndicated columnist, author of ten books, international speaker and blogger, Arianna Huffington; the 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; and author, co-founder and president of b5 media, international blogger, traveler, speaker, and sometimes spy Jeremy, Jeremy Wright.
All three contestants were eating a quiet breakfast in the hotel dining room as they prepared for the show. Each was hoping not to embarrass his or her family, nation, planet, or galaxy — thereby causing an international incident of some sort. One was reading Ten Ways to Build Moats to Hold Back the Competition. Another was studying 5 Ways MyMoneyBlog Can Make You $100. The third trying to find the horoscope in the National Enquirer.
Our uncontrollable force and unpredictable influence were upstairs having their usual room service — a pizza with fresh tomato, a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries, and two bottles of Perrier-Jouet. This time they sat on the balcony discussing what to wear.
“I’ve done the black and white,” said Lizzie. “I think I might live dangerously and do deep, deep purple with a hint of pale pink.”
Finally the Show Was Back On
That one day seemed to take forever. Each group had reasons why it took so long, but finally the lights, the cameras, the music, the announcements had happened and again the International Blogging List Challenge! was on.
“Fast Fives is the name of this round,” Lizzie announced with ease. “Amanda will click a blog post. Any contestant can hit Publish, if you have an item to add. Each correct answer is worth 500 points. Here we go.”
Jeremy, Jeremy: The Ten Commandments. Score: 500
The scoreboard read Arianna 600 Jeremy, Jeremy 700 Dave 200.
“Jeremy, Jeremy makes a path to the lead as if he were Charlton Heston.”
“I can see a slight resemblance,” Arianna whispered to Dave Sifry.
“Pass. Pass. Which Matt is that?”
“Pass. Pass. Maybe he knows Matt.”
“I think he knows both Matt and Philippe. I’m with you. Oh Darlings, so do I.”
“Pass. Pass. Is that the Geoffrey I used to date?”
“Pass. Pass. Too easy — I wrote a book on that one.”
“Okay,” said Lizzie. “This is fun. Maybe for the next few items, we could try for some answers too. Before we do, let’s recap the score for motivation. It still stands at Arianna 600 Jeremy, Jeremy 700 Dave 200.”
Looking to Amanda, Lizzie then remarked, “I’ve always wanted to say this, “Hit it, Amanda.” And Amanda did just that.”
Jeremy, Jeremy: Lists are cool. Score: 500
“That was an easy 500. The new score is
Arianna 600 Jeremy, Jeremy 1200 Dave 200.”
“He used that answer in Chapter 8 about list love,” Dave Sifry whispered to Arianna.
David: No telling.
“Judges? The judges say ‘yes, that counts as personal reasons.’ “ Score: 500
“I think he knows the guy,” Jeremy, Jeremy whispered to Arianna.
Arianna 600 Jeremy, Jeremy 1200 Dave 700.
Dave: They’re a way off bad blogs. Score: 0
Jeremy, Jeremy said, “Eh, don’t feel bad, Dave, that was a trick list . . . I bet Google paid for product placement. I hear those PR folks are doing such things these days with blogs.”
Arianna: “Lizzie, May I phone a friend?”
“Sorry, Arianna, that’s another show.”
“Time’s up on our Fast Fives Round. The scores have changed and we go into our Final Round with Arianna at 600 Jeremy, Jeremy at 1200 Dave at 700.
The Final Round Finally
Amanda cleared the Big Blog Board so that only three post columns showed. Lizzie went on to explain how the Final Round would work.
“In the Final Round of The International Blogging List Challenge! each contestant can wager zero to all of his or her points. Here’s how the Final Round works. You will be shown three list posts. All will be on the same topic. Blog one item that could appear on all three lists. It is possible that no item does. If you blog a correct answer, you will triple your wager.”
“Everyone ready? Make your wagers.” The wagers were recorded secretly and locked in.
Amanda revealed the topic and the three posts.
The audience began humming an all too familiar Merv Griffin tune from an all too familiar TV show.
The three contestants looked at the posts, then at Lizzie, then at the audience, then at the posts again. None of them wrote for at least a minute.
The bloggers in the audience started swaying with their melody. Lizzie and Amanda looked at each other wondering where the CanCan folks were, hoping they were in another country . . .
All of the contestants wrote.
Lizzie walked with Arianna over to the Big Blog.
“Arianna, you have 600 points. Would you read your answer?”
Arianna smiled and read, “Oh, Lizzie, I let my daughters manage the traffic. My answer was, Post something that George Clooney didn’t write that his PR person signed his name to.”
Your wager was . . .” Amanda clicked to reveal 0.
“Your score remains 600.”
Dave came up. He read aloud his answer. “Always claim and index your blog at Technorati.”
“Sorry, Dave, that’s only on one list.” His wager was revealed as 100.
“Your adjusted score, Dave, is now 600 as well,” Lizzie reported.
As he passed Jeremy, Jeremy, Dave said, “I was going for the advertisement.”
Jeremy, Jeremy stood between Lizzie and Amanda. They asked him to read his answer.
Jeremy, Jeremy read, “b5 media doesn’t talk traffic. We think lists are cool.” Amanda revealed his wager as 0.
Congratulations, Jeremy, Jeremy. You won!
The International Blogging List Challenge! was over.
Jeremy, Jeremy Wright simply said, “We had one reason we didn’t talk traffic. Now, I can add this and we’ll have a LIST. Cool.”
The crowd went crazy. The studio was a cacophony — seemed like a great time to use that word — a swirling, sound tunnel of keyed up blogging noise and madness. All sane bloggers got out of there while they could. Those of us who knew Jeremy, Jeremy took him across the street for a few mojitos. We tried to get him to talk traffic. And after two, he did.
But I’m not telling what he said.
Lizzie and Amanda said their good-byes in the morning. Amanda went off to her video world. Lizzie found a plane to take her to her own pillow and in search of something else to do. She spent the flight reading Become a Consultant – Big List of Reasons and 10 Questions to Ask Before You Work At a Startup.
But she knew her true calling was to start a blog named She Lists a Bit off Center.
Because she had been hearing people tell her that since before she could write.
And so ends the drama of Lizzie and the link list — 299 are really there, 2 are missing because the blog posts could not be found. I didn’t count how many non-list links I added to move the plot along. thanks Darren for The Project that started everyone writing lists, to all of the bloggers who wrote the lists that made this story happen, to the readers who read this convoluted creation, to the folks who linked to it, and to anyone who spread the word that it exists.
I should tell you one other thing.
There is a moral to the story, in fact, I have a LIST of 10.
1. Bloggers are friendly people.
2. We help each other.
3. We have scads and loads and tons of ideas, thoughts, and information.
4. We’re unique, interesting, and curious folks too.
5. We hardly ever take the straightest road anywhere.
6. We can turn almost anything into a blog post and do.
7. Blogging brings together combinations of people who otherwise would never meet.
8. Hardly anyone is that strange once we talk for a while.
9. Beware of CanCan Dancers on Rue Dante and Texans from Kerrville named Hal.
10. Bloggers change the rules to fit their needs — even on International TV shows.
Please don’t try this at home. I must have been drinking mojitos when I thought of doing this. (What is a mojito anyway?)
Hope you enjoyed it. I’m going to give Lizzie a rest now. Thanks again if you made it this far. I can’t believe I did.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
A List Becomes 301 Links in Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 1
301 Links in Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 2 Lizzie Meets Fred
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 3 Lizzie Reaches the Paris Hilton
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 4 Lizzie, Jean, and Etch-a-Sketch
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 5 Lizzie, Americans, and French Bread
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 6 Intrigue and Romance
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 7 Lizzie, Rue Dante, and Who Hal Is
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 8 Lizzie, Amanda, Arianna, David, and Jeremy
301 Links in a Story Ã¢â¬â Chapter 9 The Lists of 10 and the CanCan