As we all know, hosting a meme can sometimes involve quite a bit of work by the host in putting together summaries. Sam wrote about this previously in "Hosting a meme - be careful what you wish for!" For the Eat Local Challenge month, I came up with a way to track what was going on via an excel spreadsheet. It's pretty geeky, and I wouldn't recommend it if you are not an excel junkie. But it is possible to enter the information for your participants and then have excel build the code for you.
By making a formula in excel using an ampersand, you can make excel combine text. In the example below, the formula =A1&" "&B1 is used to create "tom jones".
this formula can be copied into every cell of the C column, and the result will change in each row.
Things get a little more complicated when you try to do entire sentences, but it is possible. In the participant list that I created, you will notice that there is a pattern to every single blog listed. It's something like NAME from BLOGNAME (LOCATION). < reference =" '"> BLURB < / a >
The images below give you a clue as to how I built this in Excel.
Now, most people don't do their posts quite as uniform as I do. Different people like to have the post links within paragraphs and stories. You could still use Excel to do the main work, you would just have to be a little more creative. In the end, I was able to take all of the data from the "code" column and paste that straight into a blog post and it worked fairly seamlessly. I also cut and pasted all the urls from the "trackback ping" column to ping everyone I needed to.
For me personally, building the data in Excel and tracking it this way was much easier than trying to proof all of my code in html and typepad.
Other benefits to doing the meme post in this manner include:
* Easy ability to sort the blogs however you want them sorted
* You can see where there are blanks that need to be filled in and deal with that.
* You know that if the code is correct for one entry, it will be correct for all entries.
I have posted the actual excel sheet here if anyone would like to play around with it. Document password = "geekcode". If you'd like to try this method and need help, feel free to email me at fogcityblogATyahooDOTcom.
This is probably one of those things that only works for A-R freaks like me, but thought I'd put it out there in case it can help anyone else in the future.