Monday, July 28, 2008

Bridges

The spark for this site actually came from reading infertility blogs that became cancer blogs. Several bloggers who were building their families discovered cancer along the way and their trying-to-parent journals morphed into a chemo and radiation journey. As I continued reading their blog, I stepped over the information I intellectually knew about cancer into emotional territory: not just that you lose your hair from chemo, but how it feels to wake up and see those strands across your pillow. And I like to think that I now understand a little bit better.

There are a lot of sites that are built to both build community and share support and resources intercommunity. Yet I couldn't find any that were bridges for the outsider: those who knew someone affected and wanted to understand yet didn't know a way in or those who had gained empathy from their own experience and wanted to better understand someone else. Hence the birth of Bridges.

The tagline of the site is "taking the taunts off of the playground one post at a time" and that is what we hope to accomplish with this online magazine and support site. As parents become better educated, they will pass those lessons down to their children who in turn will foster more understanding with the next generation.

This site is about reading with an open heart. This site is about leaving black-and-white at the door and slipping into grey. This site is about listening and speaking. This site is about education and empathy. We are a consortium of compassionate bloggers who are looking to use writing to
educate, tell a story, bring awareness, and build community. We would like you to join along too.

In order to fully utilize this site, you'll need to keep your eyes in several places. In the center are blog posts that stand as glimpses into an experience. Our contributing editors cull the posts from their personal blogs as well as others in the community (and there is information about submitting posts on that page). There is no set posting schedule and we hope you approach reading this blog as you would produce from a CSA rather than a food store. When you purchase your produce at a food store, you get exactly what you want; which is certainly nice, but your world doesn't expand at all. With a CSA, you may end up with vegetables you'd never dream of using and discover you love. It is a palate-opening experience and we hope the tastes of community you receive from this site broaden your understanding of the world.

The other places are the two sidebars. We are still building this site and it will never stop growing. We are keeping our own blogroll of compassionate bloggers who write specifically on a topic so you can find the stories you're seeking. If you would like your site added, there is information about being added to the blogroll on the blogroll itself. It is opt-in, meaning; we will not place you on the blogroll without your explicit instruction. Being on the blogroll means that you may be contacted by the media when they are doing a story on a specific topic.

We also have external blogrolls that are kept intercommunity that you can access through the sidebars, links to helpful sites that serve as intercommunity consortiums on a topic, and community-based projects. As well, of course, as bridges that bring us together. We want to hear suggestions and requests. Please send them currently to Melissa. We are inclusive and if your community is not yet listed, please place it on the site.

We are stronger together rather than apart. Therefore, please lend your voice, get involved, and change the world.

16 comments:

luna said...

I think this is such a wonderful project. brilliant, really. many thanks for getting it off the ground. now, will you make us one of those cool microsoft paint icons we can add to our sidebars to click over? (you know, like a bridge?)

Kymberli said...

I am anxious to see all the different ways in which this community will expand. This is like being able to have your fingers on the emotional pulse of so many different experiences. I am looking forward to learning and listening.

kate said...

What a great idea. I'll be bookmarking this link for sure.

Kate said...

I think its a great idea!

Pamela Jeanne said...

Just added the new icon to my blog. Now I have to get busy with some content...thanks for spearheading, Mel!

Caba said...

Wow. This is so awesome. I'm a little at a loss for words right now. I feel so touched by all the things you do.

Keri said...

This is an excellent idea. My step-mother was recently diagnosed with Cancer, and whilst I could educate myself on what would physically happen, there' no preparing for the emotional toll it takes on all involved.

Ms Heathen said...

This is a wonderful idea, Mel. I am looking forward to learning from others, and in thinking about the ways in which I myself could potentially contribute to this fantastic initiative.

Kristin said...

What a fabulous idea!

calliope said...

wonderful idea!

Lori said...

What's so great about you, Mel, is that you not only HAVE all these great ideas, but that you also MAKE THEM HAPPEN.

You rock.

Care said...

Wonderful idea - I'm looking forward to expanding my horizons through this site.

excavator said...

Bookmarking this link into my reader, and I'll be on the look-out for stories.

I've often thought there was much potential for 'beaming' a positive healing into the world through the web of blogs, and it's wonderful that you're taking the next step.

Cecily said...

Awesome idea! Good for you. :)

SeaStar said...

This bridging site is just awesome - a wonderful way of enhancing empathy. I'm adding it to my favorite places.

Lil said...

i'm in...i'm so in, whether i contribute or not, i support this effort to create a community of truths rather than illusions or ingnorace.

one love,
lil