Menu

Focus On: Collaborative Blogs

We discover bloggers on WordPress.com exploring different passions and interests, immersed in unique industries, fields, and worlds. At the Daily Post, we’ll…

We discover bloggers on WordPress.com exploring different passions and interests, immersed in unique industries, fields, and worlds. At the Daily Post, we’ll highlight these niche blogs and the various communities within WordPress.com. We hope these spotlights introduce you to new communities and ideas, and inspire you to find — and create — your own cozy corner in the blogging world.

________________________________________________________________________________

Many of you come to the Daily Post for the interaction within a community: a space to ask questions about WordPress.com features, to join in on discussions about the art of blogging and craft of writing, and to connect with those who share your interests.

Our “Focus On” roundups have zoomed in on niche communities on WordPress.com, from bloggers living the expat life to holiday DIY crafters. Today, let’s look at a sampling of collaborative blogs — multiple-contributor sites with a specific focus — and explore how like-minded writers and artists support one another.

Spilled Milk

Spilled Milk

Perfectly named and elegantly designed, Spilled Milk is a collaborative photography blog, featuring images from 19 mothers around the world. Each week, a theme prompts them to reflect on parenthood and “the complexity and beauty that comes with raising our kids.” A collection of images for a previous theme, “warmth,” shows a range of snapshots. Each photographer, then, is given the space to interpret the theme as she wishes.

We love the tiled galleries that display their photo collections, which dramatically transform the simple and classic Ari theme. The left sidebar is also minimal and includes the essentials: a Pages Widget that links to pages about the artists and weekly themes, as well as a Text Widget that provides a contact email for questions and suggestions.

Black Box Warnings

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 9.10.11 AM

Black Box Warnings offers a safe, supportive space for bloggers to share personal stories about mental and physical health, parenting, and those poignant moments in life, big and small. For a sampling of what you’ll discover and read, consider “The Last Goodbye,” one guest blogger’s account of seeing her father’s face one last time. Powerful.

Black Box Warnings LogoWe love the site’s simple yet provocative design; Black Box Warnings uses Suburbia, a minimal magazine-style theme that showcases this collective of bloggers quite well. Each post’s featured image clearly identifies the contributor, and the repetition of these black-and-white thumbnails across the site’s front page contributes to its overall design and mood. All the visual elements — from the featured images to the custom background — complement the site’s logo (shown at left).

This collaborative blog succeeds with its content and design — it showcases strong, bold voices and has a cohesive look that represents and unifies its tight community of writers. Each post, ultimately, is a slice of life — intimate and brave, and a reminder of what it means to be human. While the blogger, Le Clown, reaches out to bloggers to contribute, you’re also free to contact him via email at leclown@clownonfire.com.

Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog

Brevity

A small magazine with large ambitions, Brevity is a literary publication showcasing established and emerging writers specializing in the short essay form (750 words or less). Its blog on WordPress.com supplements the wide range of writing on the magazine itself, highlighting quick reads and news from the world of literary nonfiction. Think John D’Agata-inspired, fact-versus-fiction, genre-bending conversations. Or craft essays and book reviews from guest bloggers and professional nonfiction writers.

In addition to thoughtful comments and discussions from writers and readers serious about the craft of nonfiction and memoir, the blog also publishes announcements about writing conferences, contests, and calls for submissions — it’s a resourceful space for practicing and aspiring writers, as well as MFA students.

The Brevity blog uses Oulipo, an elegant theme that’s free of clutter. While the menu on the left stays put — and the site title and tagline are fixed in place — visitors can scroll through the latest content and posts by guest bloggers with ease.

Broken Light Collective

Broken Light Collective

You will see, and show others, that you are not alone, no matter how you feel.

Broken Light is a collective of photographers who live with or are affected by mental illness. Launched by a photographer and photo editor near New York City, the site is an accepting, encouraging space for photographers to share their images and support the work of others.

SubmissionsPoke around, and you’ll find evocative images. Jim, a blogger who struggles with depression, submitted an image of a full moon in “Melancholy,” while PJ Brez, a contributor living in the countryside of South Korea, captured isolation and loneliness in a snapshot in “The One That Got Away.”

This multi-contributor photoblog also uses Suburbia, taking advantage of its attractive front page format with featured image thumbnails. The “Submissions” link in the menu (shown on the right) leads to a page of submission instructions, making it easy to contribute images.

Peanut Butter on the Keyboard

Peanut Butter on the Keyboard

Finally, at Peanut Butter on the Keyboard, a group of mothers — who also happen to be romance authors — maintain a site where parenting and publishing collide. Contributors include historical romance novelists Robyn DeHart, Kieran Kramer, and more. Recently, they’ve written about grief and miscarriage, and create open, positive spaces to muse, discuss, and ask important questions.

Author GridUsing the versatile Forever theme, and a colorful custom background of flowers, Peanut Butter on the Keyboard creates a warm, welcoming place — and the blog’s name sets the mood, doesn’t it?

In the sidebar, under “Moms on deck,” you’ll see the Author Grid Widget in action, which displays the avatars of all the site’s contributors. It’s a nice touch, especially for a collaborative blog, and allows visitors to connect usernames to faces.

Interested in launching a group blog and being part of a collective dedicated to topics that matter to you? As you can see, there are different ways to approach a collaborative blog — you can accept submissions via email and post guest content yourself, or invite contributors to your blog. If you’re interested in starting something totally new, create another blog on your WordPress.com account in My Blogs, and click the link on the left to create a new one. 

Show Comments

48 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

      1. Soul Survivor,
        That means a great deal to me. Thank you. And thank you for also being a contributor.
        Le Clown

  1. Thank you so much for featuring Broken Light Collective! We always welcome new contributors! The other blogs look great as well. We’ll definitely check them out.

    Do you happen to know why the thumbnail for ours has a blank column on the right side? I’ve never seen that before. It looks so empty. I’m wondering if other people see it that way.

    1. In order to see more of the page, I zoomed out on the page using Chrome, so I could capture the second line of thumbnails. If you’d rather I zoom back in for a shot that displays just the first line, which does show four columns instead of three, I can do that.

  2. Black Box Warnings is one of the best collaborative blogs I’ve come across on WordPress. What I love about it the most is that it’s a digital imprint of the overall human experience. Definitely worth checking out!

  3. I’m a big fan of Black Box Warnings (read: contributor and married to Le Clown), but I am very impressed at how many brave and talented writers have found their way there. Also love the mission of Broken Light Collective. A chance to voice oneself without words. Looking forward to exploring Brevity…Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. I love this post – all these collaborative efforts to give different bloggers space in which to speak/write their thoughts is generous and encompasses the best of what the blog-world can offer to readers and showcases the beauty of the human condition in its most raw state.

  5. what does it take to build such things? a vision to see what lies over the horizon? an ear to listen to the voices around you – each unheard in their own right but hitting a note that needs to be aligned in harmony with other? does it take a caretaker’s touch, intending to mold various breaths into a gentle breeze and then a wind that could blow across a field? or does it take a composer’s ability to assemble the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion?

    some of us are the chefs, and some of us are the ingredients, blended by the chef. still others sit at the table and enjoy the feast. while some pieces are more important than others, each and every piece is vital, or the whole thing doesn’t happen.

  6. Black Box Warnings is a backbone, supporting a vast array of brave, honest, and courageous men and women who share their stories of struggle, strength, and survival. It provides a refreshingly honest insight into the kaleidescope of the human condition. I am honored to have contributed.

  7. Wonderful group to be a part of! Writing for BBW was a rewarding, supportive place that gave me much support and conversation and continues to to this day. Thanks Le Clown and lovely readers!!

  8. Brilliant collection of blogs. So happy to have contributed to Blackbox Warnings. Collaborative blogs are a great concept and I hope to see and be involved in more over time :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Rohan.

  9. Collaborative blogs are a powerful source for people reaching out to find their place, not just in the blog world but, in their world. Black Box Warnings has created a strong, supportive and safe place for people to share their stories and possibly begin to shift the stigma of mental-health. Thank you to BBW, what a pleasant surprise to see you on Daily Post!

  10. Thank you for highlighting these collaborative blogs. BBW is an amazing space, full of great bloggers sharing their thoughts, their experiences, and their hearts with readers on topics not often given voice. I’m honored to be a part of it!

  11. What a great group of collaborative blogs!
    Black Box Warnings not only offers a safe place to share personal stories but it is a supportive community within a community. It is a rare collection of quality writers that share their true selves and stand naked with their words.
    Thank you Cheri for showcasing these awsome blogs and thank you Le Clown for creating BBW.
    John

  12. Black Box Warnings has offered an avenue of expression, a place of safety, and a community of support. At this blog, contributors talk about their intimate challenges – in the understanding that they are respected and can reach out to those having the same personal battles.
    It’s a wonderful forum of collaboration. Well done Daily Post!

  13. Always love discovering new blogs and the fascinating people behind them!

    Great post and a wonderful Idea!

    =]

  14. Wonderful collection of collaborative blogs!

    Off the Merry-Go-Round is also a collaborative WordPress blog – written by six women including myself, all in various stages of motherhood, but we have all decided to shift focus off our careers and primarily to our families.

    http://offthemerry-go-round.com/ – would love for you to check us out! :-)

  15. What a wonderful collection of collaborative blogs. Thank you for highlighting them in this post. I’m honored to have guest posted for Black Box. The support and acceptance you receive there is tremendous. Thanks to Le Clown for the opportunity. I look forward to discovering the other blogs mentioned here.

    1. Purple Perceptions,
      Thank you for this. There’s an incredible pool of talented bloggers and wonderful human beings that have contributed on Black Box Warnings so far. I’m lucky that way.
      Le Clown

  16. Great! It’s amazing to know that there are such communities.
    A common goal and some motivation is one good way to maintain consistency in blogging.
    A community that perfectly utilizes this combination is definitely going to build strong ties and inspire effective posts consistently.
    It’s so good to know about this.
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Thanks in large part to the community that has grown up around Le Clown’s blog, I have learned to connect with other bloggers and was greatly honored to be invited to contribute to Black Box Warnings. Now, as I am growing as a writer, a blogger, and a human being, and with what I have learned from being around Le Clown’s influence, I am incorporating and inviting other bloggers to contribute and engage on my blog as well. Interactive blogging is, I think, essential to authentic community and relationship building in the 21st century.

  18. What an excellent selection of blogs to show case. As a contributor on Black Box Warnings I have to say that it is a brilliant blog. The concept is great and in its execution it realy comes in to its own. It shines a light on issues such an mental health in a way that is often overlooked. It gives voice to people who otherwise would not have a space to share such experiences, and as a collection of pieces it provides a source of comfort for people such as myself who have had experiences that most people in our day to day lives cannot relate to. I am very proud to be among this group of talented bloggers and grateful to Le Clown both for his brilliance on this blog and for including me.
    Steph.

  19. I too would like to thank you for highlighting BBW. I was honored when Le Clown ask me if I would like to contribute to this blog. It gave me an opportunity to express my heartbreak in a safe place. The feedback was compassionate and heartwarming.

  20. The best article I ever found to laugh at the idea of human difference and sensitivity as “mantal illness” I found on Black Box Warnings. The post was cool and incredible enough to send to my family and start a life changing World altering conversation. It’s epic. I still smile when I think of it. Sometimes I go back just to read it again, even though I instantly re-blogged it.
    It’s called Defining Crazy.
    Don’t tell LeClown I said so.

  21. What a great post this is! I’m excited to go exploring on these new-to-me blogs. I am honored to have contributed one of my bizarre personal-truth essays to BBW, which I read with excitement nearly every day. The blog, not my post. Le Clown has a gift. Another wonderful group blog, which was nominated for the 2013 WEGO Best Group Blog Award, is A Canvas Of The Minds http://acanvasoftheminds.com/, a diverse collective of people dealing with mental illness.

  22. Excellent group of blogs, and I’m so pleased you highlighted Black Box Warnings. The work being done there is really important, and I’m proud to have been asked to post there. The community Le Clown has gathered really is one of the greatest things about the internet; he’s refining what we’re all doing here, and it’s amazing for me to watch.

  23. One of my favourite blogs ever is the collaborative fantasy writers’ blog, Magical Words. Run by a group of authors including David B. Coe, Faith Hunter and Misty Massey, Magical Words provides aspiring authors with the opportunity to communicate with and learn from established writers. And they know their stuff, too. http://www.magicalwords.net

  24. I recently invited a poet-friend of mine from Egypt to do some guest writing on the blog. It’s been great fun, brings well-written poetry to a short fiction blog, and has expanded my ideas about how to utilize this platform.

    Kudos.

  25. Black Box Warnings is one of the most real blogs I visit. I am honored to have gotten to be a guest writer because the support…the perspective you gain…is invaluable in my opinion. :)