Scoring Like A Playa

I’ve sent the invites and now I’m just waiting to hear “yes” or “no”…but more often hearing “maybe.” It’s like asking twelve girls to prom and then just staring at the phone willing it to ring (assuming, in this metaphor, that their parents let them call boys).

Ring, dang it!  RING!

Of course if I asked twelve girls to prom I’d be called a “playa” and not a “manager”, which happens to be my official title, by the way.  Blogger Relationship Manager, actually.  Fancy, huh?  Impressed? Remember though that the length of one’s title is often inversely proportionate to one’s actual importance. Humbling isn’t it?

I’m in the final stage of putting together the team of bloggers who will be traveling to El Salvador with me to see and blog about the ministry of Compassion International this November.

And the phone has finally rung!  Welcome to the El Salvador Compassion Bloggers team Dana and Kelly.


I’ve been asking Dana out – metaphorically, again – for a long long time.  The schedules and stars finally aligned and I’m ecstatic that she’s joining us in November.  What I loved first about Dana was her writing.  For instance, this one section of her “About” page in which she addresses two potentially touchy subjects (homeschooling and her Christian faith) with tremendous wit:

I also homeschool both of my kids which means that we spend our days sacrificing lambs and watching “Porky’s” on VHS. They’re both extremely unsocialized and communicate by drawing figures in the playground sand with sticks. I kid!

We are non-denominational Jesus-freaks. I think some people are scared of Christians because they think we’re all like Piper Laurie’s Carrie character, fuzzy-headed carnival barkers who make a circus out of worship. Those kind of people scare the crap out of me, too. I left the church for awhile because I allowed other people to represent their distorted views of Christianity to me instead of discovering for myself. I eventually came back. My entire world lit up in Technicolor when I gave birth to my first child.


In addition to her addictive writing style and disarming humor, Dana also brings a different audience to see and hear about Compassion’s
ministry.  We’ve taken lots of “mom bloggers” on these blogger trips but we’ve never taken a mom with Dana’s urban twenty-something vantage point and the diverse audience that comes with it.  Dana’s audience doesn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with Dana on everything.  And they say so.  She’s created an environment that encourages them to.  And that means readers won’t just be hearing what Dana thinks about Compassion’s ministry, but Compassion
will get to hear what her many readers think about Compassion too. It’ll be interesting and educational for everyone for sure.


Then there’s Kelly.  I’ve been reading Kelly’s blog for only a few weeks.  Usually I stalk bloggers for months before inviting them on a trip with us, but
Kelly’s blog grabbed me because, well, I didn’t get it.  And when I got it, I had to take her on a trip.

See, Kelly has a very large audience, yes, but more importantly, that audience is very engaged, leaving loads of comments.  But why?  She doesn’t give stuff away three times a week.  She hasn’t authored a book.  She’s not a recording artist or journalist or speaker.  She’s not stirring the pot with edgy commentary on politics, theology or elbow-throwing debates on breast feeding versus formula.  So I didn’t get why so many people were so enthralled. What gives?

Then I got it.  They’re there for Kelly.  Largely, I think, because she’s there for them.  I don’t think on-line relationships can be as deep and meaningful as
the off-line kind, but Kelly’s relationship with her readers comes closer than most.  At the center of that relationship is prayer.  She’s constantly gathering prayer requests and committing to pray for them.  Then there’s her own story of parenting a child who’s mere existence is said to be a miracle.  She’s shared the good and bad of that story unflinchingly and been supported through it by her readers.

People read Kelly‘s blog because they like her.  They feel like they know her and she knows them.  She’s the singer-songwriter of the blogosphere.  And singer-songwriters get more kids sponsored than rock stars because we believe them when they say they care about something, when they swear this or that is
legit and worth looking into. No one believes the guy in leather pants wearing sunglasses inside. We don’t know him well enough.  And we’re pretty sure he doesn’t care about us.

Stop by Kelly’s and Dana’s slices of cyberspace and say “howdy.” And if you’re on Twitter, follow Dana and Kelly there too.  More blogger announcements coming soon.

Ring, dang it!  Ring!