For everyone who donated photos, thank you! I have finished the background and it is now up. Please note that if you cannot currently see your photo, as we add more story entries and the page grows, your picture will reveal itself.
If you want to see as many photos as you can now, here is a trick you can do to shrink the printed/theme area and widen the photo edges. Hold down your Cntrl key and while you are holding it down, repeatedly hit the minus (-) key until it shrinks the page down enough so you can see more of the photos!
To return the screen back to where it was, just do the opposite. While holding down the Cntrl button, repeatedly hit the plus (+) key and enlarge the screen until it is the size you want! Voila!
“To take a peek at the background, you can view it here . Also, anyone who has ME/CFS and has not contributed a photo but would like to, or anyone that has more photos they would like to contribute, feel free to do that at anytime via my wishlist link which contians my email address for forwading the photos.
I recently got my hands on a free program that enables me to design the background pretty easily, thus, I can update it as needed. Maybe we can even make Valentines, Thanksgiving or Christmas backgrounds…or maybe even one with our favorite jammies!
In addition to photos where we look “normal/good” I would like to add photos of how we look on bad days. So any of you who are gutsy enough to do that, I will take those photos as well. I already added a bad day photo of my own so I could lead by example!
I have had much time to think about how we will be getting the word out every month about the story that we will be showcasing so I have made some changes which I will explain here and then as soon as I update the page I will add it back to the website.
I have decided that the point is to make these stories go viral. Thus, we should use as much of, or better yet, all of the social networking sites available to us. So, whatever you already have will be fine. If you are on Facebook, they you can put the story on Facebook. If you have Twitter, than you can Tweet it. If you have StumbleUpon, by all means, stumble it. If you have more than one of these social networks, then use as many of them as you can to send the story viral. The goal is simple. Spread the story everywhere you can.
Think of social networks – as far as the monthly stories go – as YOUR voice of ACTIVISM. Every time you tweet, share via Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg, Buzz, Yahoo, etc, YOU are using YOUR voice to become involved and to let people know what living with ME/CFS is like! And…you don’t have to leave your house, your bed, your wheelchair, or your couch to do it!
I need one favor from you, however, to make this really work. I need you to leave comments here on 4Walls and AView with the Social Networks you are connected to so I can add those to the share buttons on Invisible Awareness dot org . So if you would kindly do that, I would be most grateful!
Another things we all need to do to help Invisible Awareness dot org become more viable is to link to it on our blogs. This will help it rise in the Google Ranks and other ranking sites.
There is one more thing to know about helping the monthly stories go viral. You can take two paragraphs of each, monthly story from Invisible Awareness dot org and copy and paste it to your blog. You will also need to add a link on your blog back to Invisible Awareness dot org .
In addition, to sending the original story on Invisible Awareness dot org viral via the share buttons, we will all need to visit as many of each other’s blogs that day as we physically are able to and repeat the sharing process on those blogs as well. That way we have the main site sending the story viral as well as sending the story viral repeatedly throughout the day via each of our own personal blogs.
It is my hope that people will see the same story over and over and it will stick with them. In addition, after we have done this for six months or so, my hope is that people start associating the 12th with ME/CFS!
The next thing I need to cover is future stories. I am currently looking for a story to showcase on March 12th and April 12th. Anyone with ME/CFS can contribute. For those of you who do not go by your real name, that is not a problem. Just create a ‘pen-name’ (something I actually have already done) and we can put it up under that name.
The first story that we all will be working together to help go viral will be Laurel’s story. It is already on the website, I just have it hidden until launch day. I thought Laurel’s incredible story was a great way to launch the site!
May 12th will be a huge day as it is the International ME/CFS Awareness Day so not only will we have the May 12th story, but we will have an interview of an ME/CFS author, some give aways, etc. Anyone who can help me with door prizes, either by donating them or, in getting other organizations to donate them, that would be really appreciated. (I would love to somehow have Kindles donated, mp3 players, neck wraps, heating pads, laptop trays, pillows, wooly blankets, or things that ME/CFS sufferers could really use).
I’m also in the process of trying to have the story for May to be about someone who is well-known. I have someone in mind and am in the process of trying to figure out how to get in touch with them. I will let you know if and when that happens. However, if you have an idea for someone you think would be great (that is famous/well-known) and can help me connect with them that would be awesome!
In addition, I would like to get suggestions of organizations that might be inerested in what we are doing at Invisible Awareness dot org such as the CFIDS Association of America, Pandora, etc. Any organization you think might be interested in our site, please let me know. I will be happy to add a link back to their organization in trade for thier helping us get the word out, as wel as, thier adding a link on their site to Invisible Awareness dot org .
Furthermore, any one who has ME/CFS and has written a book (genre doesn’t matter) please contact me via my contact form . I would like to start doing interviews of people with ME/CFS and adding those to the site as well.
Also, for those who have ME/CFS and create videos about ME/CFS, I would love to add those to Invisible Awareness dot org as well. Please send me links to your videos and I will check them out and then add a link to the site as well.
One last thing. I have created a website/blog graphic for Invisible Awareness dot org, however, I don’t not know how to turn it into a badge that people can transfer to their websites and blogs. Anyone who has the experience to do that and could help me out, that would be great.
The graphic I have created is the butterfly at the beginning of the post. It symbolizes the invisible life we all live that, hopefully, through this organization will be transformed and no longer hidden from society’s awareness and understanding.
I have a few other ideas that will be integrated with the site over time and I’m sure it will naturally grow on its own. Basically, however, this organization is a vehicle for those suffering with ME/CFS to have their voices heard in relation to what it is like to live with this illness. In addition, the organization is also a vehicle to help ME/CFS sufferers to come out of the dark and no longer be ‘invisible’ to the world around them.