the weblog of Alan Knox

Chain Blog – A Proposal

Posted by on Apr 7, 2008 in chain blog, synchroblog | 13 comments

I enjoy participating in synchroblogs. I’ve learned alot by studying topics with which I’m unfamiliar and by reading about topics from other people’s perspectives.

I have an idea that is similar to synchroblogs, but hopefully will allow for even more discussion and interaction. I’m calling this idea a “chain blog”, although I don’t know if that term is already used for something else. Also, this idea may not be new. Perhaps someone else has already developed this, but I have not heard about it.

This is the idea: One person write a blog post on a certain, agreed upon topic. Only that one blogger posts about the topic. The idea would be for another blogger to pick up on the first blogger’s post, and post in response while interacting with the first post. The “response” post could either be a rebuttal, or further definition or explanation, or a different perspective, or even carrying the idea into a new topic by showing a connection. From there, a third blogger would write a post interacting with the first two posts, while adding their own perspective, etc. Of course, there would continue to be discussion in the comments of each of the blog posts.

The rules would be as follows: One blogger writes a post on a certain topic. If another blogger wants to “chain” off of that blog post, that blogger would leave a comment saying that they will publish the next blog post in the “chain”. The “chain” blogger would then have two to three days to post the next chain blog post. When the “chain” blogger publishes a post, he or she will leave a comment on the previous link letting everyone know that the next link is ready. Each post can be as long or as short as the author desires. From there, the chain continues with the first person who comments on each link saying that they want to post the next link in the chain. Each successively blog post will contain a list of the previous “links” at the end of the post. Hopefully, each successively blog post would also be able to quote from the previous “links” to show the connection in the chain. Similarly, it would be good if all previous “links” are updated with successive links, but that is not neccesary. Also, discussion on each blog post could continue within the comments of that post. Finally, if someone takes part in the chain blog, they should wait until at least three other people had posted “links” before jumping in to write another blog post in the same chain. However, given that stipulation, the “chain” could continue as long as there is interest.

Here’s an example:
Alan starts a “chain blog” with link 1
Bob comments saying that he would like to write the next link in the chain
Bob publishes link 2 on his blog, links back to link 1, and comments in link 1 that his is ready
Christy comments that she would like to write the next link
Christy publishes link 3 on her blog, etc.

If this sounds interesting, or if you think you would like to take part in something like this, or if you have a suggestion for a chain blog topic, please let me know. If I decide to start a chain blog, I probably would not start it until May. But, I would like to know that at least a few people would take part before I start it.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-7-2008

    That sounds more facilitating to my schedule and something I would be interested in. It reminds me a bit of some writings last year that went around – I think with John Frye and Grace and Jamie Arpin-Ricci and a few others.

  2. 4-7-2008

    This sounds like something I’d definitely enjoy participating in! 🙂

  3. 4-7-2008

    It sounds interesting, and maybe better than the synchroblogs in some ways. You could afford the time to read all the different blogs, which is something I virtually never have time for with the synchroblogs.

  4. 4-8-2008

    I would be interested and I have a question are you assuming that only one ‘chain’ of thought? So if Bob says he wants to write the next link everyone has to wait for Bob? Or could another person do another ‘chain’ of thought?

  5. 4-8-2008


    Yes, I think it would be similar to “the people formerly known as…” thing that went around last year. Perhaps this would be more intentional… maybe not.


    Thanks. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to start it. I was hoping that a few more people would be interested.


    Yes. There is the time issue. It would be easier to read and comment on one blog at a time, while someone else was preparing the next blog in the chain. Plus, I think the discussion would continue longer than a single blog post or a synchroblog.


    That would be an interesting option. My only concern would be the logistics of keeping up with all of the different “branches” of the chain. But, it might be fun to try.


  6. 4-8-2008

    Count me in, for sure! I’ve done some back-and-forth types of posts before (just one other blogger and I doing the posting), but the idea of a chain sounds even more interesting.

    I’d participate.

  7. 4-8-2008


    You would be a great participant. I’ve seen some bloggers post in response to one another’s posts – like you mentioned. I think these are often very helpful, and I’m simply trying to come up with a way to intentionally create a dialog between different bloggers.


  8. 4-9-2008

    Maybe you only have to keep track of your ‘chain’ and the which could lead people back to the OP and then down another chain? Although I don’t know if that is much different from what normally happens on the net.

    I would love to give it a try.

  9. 4-9-2008

    That sounds very interesting and I would be interested in being in the lop. Wether I would be one of the bloggers or just the reader.

    So, count me in and let me know if/when you get a topic started and who may be joinging in. It sounds very good.

    I would suggest to “flush” the chain out more (set an order) so you do not not have 2 or 3 people writting a “rebuttal” and placing in the comments; here is number 2.

  10. 4-9-2008


    I am not opposed to have multiple threads on the same chain. I was hoping that each link could link to all of the other links in the chain (much like most synchroblogs do now)so that people can go back to past links and even go forward to future links if they start in the middle. This would be more difficult if there were multiple threads, but it certainly is not impossible. Multiple threads would also add alot to the discussion.


    If we only do one blog response per “link” in the chain, then we will have to have a way to specify who writes the next post. I would prefer to not have a set list, because I would hope to be more flexible, and because I would want other people to be able to join. Please, I think it would be good for people to decide when they want to post a response.

    If we do multiple threads (that is, several people can post in response to each “link”) then we will not have to know who goes next necessarily.


  11. 4-9-2008


    I am following your logic and understand. I think that I misread your initial thought.

    Still interested.

  12. 4-9-2008


    Wow… I mistyped one word in my previous comment to you, and it changed the whole tone of the comment. It should have read, “Plus, I think it would be good for people to decide when they want to post a response.” instead of “Please, I think…”

    So, I’m definitely interested in other people’s input on this idea. I’m glad that you’re interested in taking part.


  13. 4-10-2008


    One word does make a difference. Thanks for letting me know because I now read that last sentence in a whole new light.