In the spring of 2014, Kate Cornell of Sweet Success: My Life with Type 2 Diabetes and I started talking about writing a series of collaborative blogposts in which a person with Type 1 diabetes and someone with Type 2 would talk about issues pertinent to everyone affected by diabetes. The purpose of the project was outlined in my Stay Tuned post:
The aim of these conversations is not to come to a consensus on a given topic or decide who is right and who is wrong. Our purpose is to communicate and talk about these issues. Both Kate and I believe that a strong diabetes community needs to reflect the voices of people with all types of diabetes and all experiences with diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, LADA, parents, and so on. We do not have to be the same in order to respect and support each other. In fact we are stronger because of our diversity. So let’s talk to each other and let’s learn from each other.
In July we published a series of four posts titled Type 1/Type 2 Conversations and addressed the topics of weight, outdoor adventures, privacy, and food. You’ll find links to these posts below.
One of our hopes for this project was that it would spread to others in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). If you’re reading this page, I hope that means that you are thinking of becoming involved by launching one or more conversations with someone else affected by diabetes. Below you will find suggestions for getting started.
How to Get Started:
- Pick a partner. Type 1/Type 2 partnerships are great, but don’t be limited by that combo. How about a LADA talking to Type 1 diagnosed as a child? How about a Type 2 working with the parent of a Type 1 child? Or maybe a pregnant Type 1 talking to a young T1 mother? Consider having a conversation with your spouse or child. The possibilities are endless. A familiar online friend, a new Twitter follower, a big-name blogger, an acquaintance from a TuDiabetes message board. Don’t be shy and send an invitation. The collaboration is just as important as the finished product.
- Make a plan. How many posts would you like to write? It’s okay to just have one conversation and call it a day. Do you want to discuss one issue or have a medley of back-and-forth questions? It’s a good idea to target a publication date so that you and your partner are working on the same timeline.
- Pick a topic or topics. This is not a kumbaya project, so don’t shy away from difficult subjects. At the same time it’s okay to pick a lighter subject and just have fun. Another option is to start writing and see where it goes.
- Format. Kate and I exchanged heartfelt (and wordy!) opinion pieces. You could do the same or publish back-and-forth emails. You could Storify a series of Tweets or work with Instagram photos. An exchange of vlogs would be fun to watch. You could write poetry or draw comic strips. The sky is the limit.
- Mechanics. Kate and I used Google Drive which allowed us to edit the same document without the confusion of emailing drafts. To start working, go to Google Drive, sign in with your gmail account (or create a new account), and start writing or upload a document.
- Graphics. Contact me if you would like to use the Conversations banner or square graphic. For more information, see the Graphics section below.
- Publish. It is your choice to publish your conversation on both blogs or just one. Please send me the link to your post if you’d like to see it listed below with other conversations from the DOC.
Hints about Google Drive:
For the most part, Google Drive is intuitive. If you can’t figure out how to do something, just Google your question and you’ll probably get an answer. I use Google Drive by writing on my computer and uploading a new document or copy/pasting into an established document. You can also work by typing directly into the cloud document. In order to allow others to edit and make comments, the document must be converted to Google Docs.
When you work with your first draft, convert it to Google Docs if it was not already converted in the upload process. “Share” it with your collaborator and allow that person to have editing privileges. Under File you will find the option to Email Collaborators to let your partner know that you are ready for their input. You are able to make comments within the document that will be visible to your partner. Revision History is helpful if you’d like to see changes that have been made by each collaborator. When your document is complete, download it to your computer or just copy/paste it into your blog.
Google Drive is a robust application and I have successfully worked on documents from my desktop PC, my iPad (Google Drive app), and my Macbook. You can also upload graphics and photos to share with your partner.
Here are some examples of available graphics. Contact me if you would like any of the files and I will email them to you. Customization is easy, so don’t be shy about letting me know what you’d like to use.
Your voice is important and I hope that you are inspired to chose a partner and start a conversation. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me or Kate through the contact form on her homepage. If you have suggestions for the project, please leave a comment or contact us directly. If you are excited by the project, please help spread the word to others in the diabetes community.
Published Type 1/Type 2 Conversations:
Laddie Lindahl and Kate Cornell: Type 1/Type 2 Conversations: Talking about Weight
Laddie Lindahl and Kate Cornell: Type 1/Type 2 Conversations: Diabetes in the Great Outdoors
Laddie Lindahl and Kate Cornell: Type 1/Type 2 Conversations: Friends and Family
Laddie Lindahl and Kate Cornell: Type 1/Type 2 Conversations: Food, Glorious Food
Other Published Conversations:
Sue from NY/Marc from PA: Conversations: Two Type 1 Diabetics have a Chat
Sue from PA/Steve from NY: Conversations: Two Spouses of Type 1 Diabetics
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