#DBlogCheck: Building Community.

It’s another D-Blog Check-In Day (for my previous thoughts on #DBlogCheck, see here and here).

Christopher Snider, who writes at A Consequence of Hypoglycemia, started this idea a while back. Basically, it’s a day where we’re less of a lurker and more of an active online participant in the Diabetes Online Community, by leaving a comment on every post we read on diabetes blogs, Tumblr, Instagram, and so on that we see.

If you read something today, leave a comment. Even if it’s just to say “check” or “I’m here”. Be sure to share and encourage others to do the same on Twitter and elsewhere by using the hashtag #dblogcheck.

It’s a way for us to support those bravely sharing their stories, a way to build community, and more than that, it’s a way to continue the dialogue among the vast hordes living with diabetes and helping those living with diabetes. That’s what I’d like to talk about today.

Writing this blog for nearly three years means that I’m not exactly a rookie anymore, but I’m not quite a seasoned veteran either. Even so, in the limited time I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen how the diabetes community has evolved. It’s true that the DOC is no longer a nascent community of random people shouting into the ether. Instead, it’s a vast interconnected network of people who know each other personally, know each other online only, or don’t know each other at all, but are nevertheless hanging on every word that is written.

Can you imagine what it must have been like in those early days? Writing out thoughts and posting them without knowing who was out there to see them? But someone did. And those initial readers responded. They connected, the same way you and I are connecting today. You know what? That kind of writing and that kind of response is still the basis of what grows the DOC, reaching more people, changing more lives.

Meanwhile, the community of it all has really grown in the last few years. Off the top of my head, I could probably list a dozen or more diabetes initiatives and organizations that have taken flight, including my own (notice the photo of the medals in the upper left corner of this page), through the sheer nature of someone raising their hand and saying I’m here, and someone else responding. How does that happen?

Through participation.

Through your participation.

Through your positive response.

It has all happened through your commitment to community.

As you comment today, think about what it means when you say “Yeah, me too”, and “Yeah, I think that’s a great idea”, and “Hey, what if you tried this”. Because while it still takes a great idea to start something, it also takes a great response to make a community successful.

So think about what your involvement means to this ever-growing community. What it means to someone who is finding their voice. What it means to someone advocating on your behalf before government officials. What it means to those raising money for an important diabetes cause. What it means to someone thinking about getting people together to encourage and support one another.

You, dear reader, are just as important as anyone else in our diabetes community. Let me take this moment to thank you for the insightful, inspirational, and encouraging comments you’ve left here so far. Let me also encourage you to continue to stay engaged with this wonderful community. You’ve made it the safe, empowering, and uplifting place it was long before I showed up. And you’ll make it the bigger, even better place it can be long after I’m gone.

Unless, of course, they find a cure first. Then you’ll have something even bigger to be proud of.

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  • Karen  On March 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for all you do and for always giving us something deeper to think about!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Laddie  On March 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Nice post, Stephen. And have a great #dblogcheck day.

    Liked by 1 person

  • KerryTP  On March 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Amen to that! And with that blog – BAM! – you nailed it. I’m a much later arrival than you and I am so grateful that there are so many people out there willing to connect, share and collaborate. Way to go on the blog and way to go #DOC and #dbblogcheck!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Melody  On March 10, 2015 at 9:47 am

    What a great idea! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mike Hoskins (@MHoskins2179)  On March 10, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Your involvement is huge, and you are awesome (I seriously try not to sound like the Lego song every time I say or type that, but…). Anyhow, I often reflect back on those “early” days of this contemporary DOC a decade ago, when there were only a handful and I could read all the D-blogs in short order on my lunch break at work. It’s weird how at first, I resisted the temptation to comment and then slowly came out of my commenting shell, before eventually doing my own blog. I so appreciate all those early DOC folk, as well as those who were around in the mid and late 90s who paved the way and were around on forums I used to participate in. I’m pretty sure that at one point during college, Scott Johnson or Scott Strumello and I were a part of the same forum chats… anyhow, thanks for sharing your story, doing all that you do in advocacy, and for everything in just being a part of this community. And with that, I’m back to my coffee. #dblogcheck

    Liked by 1 person

  • Alex C  On March 10, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  • fifteenwaitfifteen  On March 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Stephen – you ROCK!!! #dblogcheck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Probably Rachel  On March 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I love reading your blog! #dblogcheck

    Liked by 1 person

  • surfacefine  On March 10, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  • kelly2k  On March 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for always supporting our community – We are so flipping lucky to have you! #@dblogcheck

    Liked by 1 person

  • Joanne  On March 10, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    After Elise was diagnosed, it took me a few months to start my blog. And a few months more for others to find it. That’s when I discovered there were people “like me” out there. The DOC was very small at the time, but I am so thankful for those who first reached out to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Stacey  On March 10, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I haven’t met most of the DOC in person (who has?) but I’m amazed at how we all really do feel like a community. So lucky to be here. Well, not the diabetes part. But the finding great people with diabetes part. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • April  On March 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    New to your blog! #dblogcheck

    Liked by 1 person

  • shannon  On March 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    very nicely said!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mike Durbin (@mydiabeticheart)  On March 10, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Great post! #dblogcheck

    Liked by 1 person

  • Christopher  On March 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Thumbs Up. Thanks for encouraging the community.

    Liked by 1 person

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