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Blog Improvement Project Week #20: Random Acts of Kindness

2009bip-150x210One of my favorite weeks of the entire year is Random Acts of Kindness Week. While the one for 2009 already passed, and 2010 isn’t until February 15-21, I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot lately and felt like I could make it part of the Blog Improvement Project.

This weeks BIP task is to commit a random act of kindness. While I think this is a good idea just because it’s a nice thing to do, there are blogging benefits to being kind online.

This first article — Don’t Be a Greedy Blogger — is about building good blogging karma by doing things like providing useful comments, interviewing and promoting other bloggers, or asking another blogger for help when you don’t know the answers.

The second, What Have I Done For You Lately, talks about how blogging is about building relationships and you can’t expect people to help you out unless you’ve made an effort to be interactive with them. It’s a little more self-interested than random acts of kindness, but brings up some good points.

This last one, 10 Simple Ways to Show Kindness Online is a little obvious, but has some good reminders about how simply saying thanks or acknowledging someone else being nice is a good act of kindness.

The task this week is pretty broad, but that’s because I think kindness can come in lots of forms and I don’t want to limit anyone by saying what counts as an act of kindness or not. The most important part is to be genuine with what you do and make sure that it’s above and beyond what you’d normally do (since we’re specifically focusing on being kind).

These are just some ideas about what might work – implementing, as always, is up to you.

  • Leave suggestions in the comments on this post of specific ways to be kind to other bloggers — I have certainly not thought of an exhaustive list.
  • Send an e-mail to a fellow blogger. Be genuine with your compliments or thanks or whatever.
  • Write a post thanking specific bloggers who have been kind to you recently. Write a post highlighting some blogs or posts you’ve found inspirational or interesting lately.
  • Be sure to thank everyone who mentions or links to you (as best you can).
  • Share your random acts of kindness with me — they can stay anonymous, but if there are enough of them I’d like to do a wrap up post (for real this time!)

So, go forth and do good work. I hope the blogosphere will be filled with kindness over the next couple of weeks. Questions, comments, or concerns? Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kathy October 19, 2009, 4:30 pm

    I love this idea! I definitely want to do this but will think on it a little bit first.

    • Kim October 20, 2009, 5:27 pm

      Kathy: Yes, think on it. I think there are tons of ways to do random acts of kindness — I’m hoping people will come up with creative ideas 🙂

  • diane October 19, 2009, 5:57 pm

    This sounds like such a great idea. I am guilty of forgetting to link back to those who have mentioned a book, review etc.

    • Kim October 20, 2009, 5:28 pm

      diane: Me too — I try, but sometimes it gets lost in my e-mail or open browser tabs or whatever. But I think it’s important, so hopefully getting in the habit for a couple weeks will help!

  • Anastasia October 19, 2009, 6:22 pm

    Aw, what a good idea! I’m totally doing it, and as a bonus it fits in with my reach-out-and-meet-people goal. 😀

    I haven’t read the articles yet, but I have a suggestion! If someone links to one of your reviews, you should edit your post to link to their review in return. It seems kinda obvious, but I think it’s a nice gesture.

    • Care October 20, 2009, 6:12 am

      you are right! and it’s NOT obvious. DOH! hand slap to forehead. great idea.

    • Kim October 20, 2009, 5:28 pm

      Anastasia and Care: Yes, not obvious, and a great idea. Easy but also kind. I’d also add that it’s nice to go back and comment on that person’s review if you can — I forget to do that.

  • Jackie (Farm Lane Books) October 20, 2009, 5:38 am

    This is a great idea! I will make a special effort to be kind to people this week! They may not be so random though – I will try to recognise thouse who have done special posts.

    • Kim October 20, 2009, 5:29 pm

      Jackie: Sometimes it’s hard to be random — any kindness is ok with me 😉 I just love the phrase “random acts of kindness”!

  • Louise October 20, 2009, 11:09 am

    Wonderful idea and one I will work on (one thing is I need to be better leaving comments on the blogs I love and telling the blog owners that I love their blogs!)

    • Kim October 20, 2009, 5:29 pm

      Louise: Agreed! It’s so easy to get caught up with our own blog work we forget to acknowledge others — I am just as guilty as anyone else.

  • Jodie October 20, 2009, 12:38 pm

    Yay I love that this is the task for this week! I’m in the process of expanding my book blog link list in my sidebar to include everyone I follow and love. I also just made an authors sidebar that lists the few author blogs I follow regularly. Off to donate a few prizes to read-a-thon now to put some lurve out into the wider blogging world. I think I’ll try this follow Friday thing if I remember on the day, great idea someone had there 🙂

    • Kim October 20, 2009, 5:30 pm

      Jodie: That’s awesome! I gave up on a blogroll, but sometimes I feel like I should bring it back. Thanks for donating Read-a-Thon prizes, that’s a great thing to do 🙂

  • Jeanne October 20, 2009, 6:17 pm

    Other ways to spread kindness, hmm.

    What about leaving a comment on as many blogs as you can read during the week just telling the blogger that you’re there? Everyone loves de-lurkers.

    And what about leaving your favorite bloggers a comment telling them what you like best about their blog and hope they’ll continue doing?

    Kim, what I like best about your blog is that sometimes you take a step back and make me see a bigger picture. You look at blog improvement, of course, but also ideas outside of books (differing tastes in the sister posts, for instance), and you’re always dragging us out of fiction land into the bigger world of ideas!

    • Kim October 26, 2009, 4:54 pm

      Jeanne: I think delurking is a really good idea. I lurk a lot, but really shouldn’t!

      And thank you, that’s a really nice thing to say. I like thinking about reading and community and how they go together, which seems to work for a books blog 🙂 And I love finding recommendations for new fiction, since that’s almost totally off my radar!

  • Marie October 20, 2009, 8:09 pm

    These are great articles, and timely reminders to give as well as take on the blogosphere. You have a great blog and I really enjoy seeing what you’re doing with it! 🙂

    • Kim October 26, 2009, 4:55 pm

      Marie: Thank you! I think it’s good to be reminded once in awhile that it’s important to reach out when we can.

  • Tracie Yule October 21, 2009, 2:19 pm

    I read problogger’s article that you have linked here and I think that it is a wonderful reminder to be and do what you would like other blogger to do and say to you 🙂 Make sense?

    I admit I’m horrible about asking for help, but I did make a concerted effort to ask a blogger their opinions on some things and I got a nice response from them.

    • Kim October 26, 2009, 4:56 pm

      Tracie: Yes, definitely makes sense. I have always subscribed to the “do unto others” rule, which works for things you wouldn’t want other people to do and the things that you would like them to do.

  • Kathy October 25, 2009, 10:57 am

    These are some of the things I try to do:

    Stumble posts that I think are particularly good.
    Leave comments, especially on new blogs.
    Link to other blogs when appropriate.
    Pass on books to other bloggers.
    Purchase through other bloggers links when I do buy on line (which isn’t very often).

    I know there are a lot of other great ideas out there and I hope you’ll do a wrap-up post and include them.

    • Kim October 26, 2009, 4:56 pm

      Kathy: Such good ideas. You’re one of the best blogging community members I can think of — always leaving comments and the like. It’s awesome.

  • Louise November 5, 2009, 2:26 pm

    I know that this “assignment” is probably over, but as a part of NaBloPoMo I am going to post over the next few days about other bloggers and their blogs – because they have great blogs and because I want to show kindness. And because I want to do a bit more BIP before its all over 🙂

    • Kim November 5, 2009, 6:26 pm

      Louise: Not to late at all — I’m behind with the next post, so this one is “open” until then. But really, random acts of kindness are good all the time 🙂 I’m looking forward to your posts!