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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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.


  1. Yolanda Peralta

    You rock my world. That is all! Thank you gazillions for this.

    • whollyjeanne

      thank you, sugar.

    • Stephanie (@dancingwaves)

      Can I like this comment more than once? Pretty please?

  2. Gwen Bell

    Jeanne, this post is a slice of perfection. Thank you for being our Fairy Godmother. For sharing, loving, holding space and reverberating as only you know how. I especially appreciate what you’ve said about self-care. Wonderful reminders, all.

  3. Cali Harris

    Wow, Jeanne. You truly are the #reverb10 Fairy Godmother; not only do you support/comment/retweet, but you also teach and enable the reverb community to grow and expand and deepen.

    Thank you for being a fantastic part of this project, sugar. 😉

  4. kaileenelise

    You are a sparkling light and a delightfully brilliant fairy godmother. Thank you for pulling all this encouragement and insight into one easily digested snack. I truly appreciate all you’re doing for the #reverb10 community – and hope there’s some way I can return the favor someday.

  5. marjory

    Sucking the bone marrow is an art form. My grandparents did it beautifully and they lived life to the fullest. They say you discover a lot about a person by the way they eat. I agree. Loved your post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, so wholeheartedly Jeanne!

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you from me and all of your cyberCinderellas!

    And I did want to know when you felt tingly, sparkly, whollyJeanne, so I clicked, and was delighted to reread “how can I love you better?,” which is always a great question to remember to ask.


  7. Janet

    you have some great advice! i’m vegetarian but i’ll suck this marrow 😉

  8. Mark

    This is the third time I’ve read this today, and it has prompted me to participate more, to read more and to shill my posts more, which I am usually loathe to do.

    I love the passion behind Reverb10.

  9. Christie

    If I wasn’t already doing it, this post would be my battle cry to get started! Loved it!

  10. Heather Muse

    Dear fabulous Fairy Godmother,
    Wow! This post answers so many questions that had been floating through my mind. I was certain that I was missing many steps- I was right. Your words will help me be a better participant in #reverb10. Thank you for enlivening this already vibrant community!

  11. Tia Sparkles Singh

    Awesome!! I’m going to RT this for peeps who’ve been asking me about #reverb10. Thanks Jeanne!

  12. memydogsmylife

    This post is so helpful and so great – I plan to share this as much as possible!

  13. Stephanie (@dancingwaves)

    Thank you! This is wonderful and just what I needed to hear as I head out today for a week out of town (I’m taking my laptop, because I don’t want to lose track of this); I also want to give happy point toward tools like Google Reader if there *are* blogs that might be on different platforms (personal sites, blogspot, wordpress, etc.). I’m catching a lot of great writing that way, as well as surfing through Twitter!


  14. Danielle

    This is great advice/guidance! I especially like how you say to skip/sidestep certain prompts or pick back up if you miss any. This shouldn’t be stressful or feel like another obligation. This should be fun & each person needs to make it work for them in their own way.

  15. Creatively Sensitive

    Thank you so much for this. Helping me to swim And breathe 🙂 Love your metaphors!

  16. Deborah Tjong A Hung

    This is a great post! Thanks for sharing, I am a newbie this year and just hope I’ll be able to keep this going

  17. Emily

    Thank you for all the supportive info! You may have just convinced me to join twitter:)

    I still can’t access the contract page to sign up, though. Any thoughts? I can get to it, but there’s no option to scroll down and follow the steps. Same witht the 750 words website when I try to sign up there:(

  18. Laura

    I enjoyed your post! I found you from your reverb10 tweet. It’s my first year trying it and it’s showing me just how big blog world really is. Happy blogging :).

  19. Sally G.

    This is probably the kindest, most service-oriented post I’ve read in some time. How refreshing to be offered a gentle hand and guidance vs the Top 10 Things NOT to do.

    Beautiful. Like you …

  20. Juliarose

    I’m so resolute against joining twitter! Afraid adding one more sound to my voice with truly give me a bird brain. But reverb is making me sort of see the point. Can’t I connect with other reverbers tweetlessly?

  21. Bahieh

    WOW!! this was definitely a MUST read!! i got so much out of it… thx.

    and “you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of tenacious commitment.” DEFINITELY

    be well & keep reverbing!!!


  22. Julia

    My blog is relatively new. Can I still join this or is it too late?

  23. Abby

    I’ve been participating and getting the emailed prompts, is there something more to do? The button also confuses me. Help! 🙂

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