Featured On WordPress News

Originally Published on WordPress News:

WordPress.com is home to millions of individual blogs, but also to lots of collaborative blogs where like-minded bloggers coalesce. Long Awkward Pause, a self-styled “humor mag of sorts,” is an up-and-comer in the collaborative blog space.

Founders Chris and Chowderhead bring together great new voices like Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy.’s Aussa and funny favorites like Blurt’s Omawarisan to create an always entertaining, frequently sidesplitting mix. We sat down with the motley crew to learn more about how they came together, what it’s like blogging as a pack, and more. Long Awkward Pause (LAP) is:

They’re joined by blogger Mike Calahan, podcasters Jack and Joe, comic artist Wrong Hands, and an ever-changing cast of guests and new writers.

How do you decide who joins LAP?

Chris: Those that entertain us and make us laugh and can lend us gas money. I’ve followed most of our writers for a couple of years, and what really drew me to them was that they were all way funnier than I am.

Join the LAP cabal, and you tooc ould become a shadowy figure in its header image.

Join the LAP cabal, and you too could become a shadowy figure in its header image.

Katie: The WordPress.com humor writing community is a lot like the crowded dive bar you frequent on Friday nights: once you’ve been getting drunk there awhile, you start seeing familiar faces. Most of us were reading each other’s blogs before LAP was created.

Chowderhead: As far as the actual interviewing process goes, it’s complex. There’s a personality test, followed by an IQ test,  a psychological screening, a grammar aptitude test, a Rorschach test, and finally, a pregnancy test — guys included.  (We like to play it safe.)

With so many writers, how do you manage the editorial calendar?

BrainRants: I have no clue how Chris manages, but I think I speak for us all when I say I’m grateful.

Chowderhead: At the beginning of every month, Chris sends out these massive emails with the schedule and objectives, which usually turns into a chain of fart jokes and questions about when the monthly schedule is going to be sent out.

LAP widgets

Stacked image widgets are a colorful but clean way to highlight the blog’s many featured categories.

Chris: Ultimately, we publish four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays. We write about anything and everything — coffeeFlappy Bird, the worst Valentine’s datesAustralia, the Oscars. The list of taboo subjects is easy to stay on top of:

  1. David Hasselhoff
  2. M&Ms
  3. David Hasselhoff’s brother, Daniel Hasselhoff

Pretty much everything else is fair game.

How do you balance your own blogs, LAP, and being a productive human?

Singlegirlie: Frantically. Manically. Not very well. I used to hate coffee. I love it now.

Chowderhead: Luckily, Chowderhead posts require minimal time due to their lack of substance or maturity. And LAP is collaborative, so each of us only contributes one article per month.

Ned:  Thanks to my support staff, dozens of ghost writers, and an English nanny, I telecommute from the Bahamas and… What? Sorry!

On my own blog, I post regular weekly features and leave the other days open for spontaneous posts. Having those “open” days gives me some wiggle room for LAP and guest posts. To strike a balance with my home life, I’m generally off the grid after 7p.m. and on weekends. 

Omawarisan: I considered LAP, my blog, and life, then asked myself what I was best at. That made it easy; the rest of life had to take a back seat.

Katie: It’s definitely a balancing act. But lending your words to something collaborative tests the strength of your voice and honing your skills with writers you respect is invaluable, so the under-eye circles and household neglect don’t seem so bad.

How do you decide what to publish on your own blog, and what to put on LAP?

Chowderhead: LAP is a family blog, so we try to cap it around the PG-16 rating. On Chowderhead, the material is generally more risqué and juvenile.

Ned: I keep the really good stuff for myself, and put the rest on LAP.

In all seriousness,  it’s the opposite for me — one of the things I enjoy about contributing at LAP is writing things that are a little edgier than I would for my own blog.

Singlegirlie: My personal blog is focused on a single girl dating in Los Angeles, so the non-dating stuff goes on LAP. It allows me to spread my wings and write posts out of my standard genre.

Aussa: I also use my blog for my stories — foolish things I’ve done and ridiculous moments the universe thrusts upon me.  I reserve more relatable things for LAP.

BrainRants: I like to coordinate my efforts. I comment on every LAP post, avoid posting on my blog and LAP on the same day, and make myself available to pinch-post.

Are there WordPress.com features you find especially useful for collaborative blogging?

Chowderhead: The post scheduling feature!  It also helps having electronic dividers like post-locking and different user roles when 12 people are involved in an ongoing collaborative effort.

With these features, we can edit each other’s work and stay aware of our inventory. Which is usually low, which is when Chris has to send another one of those panicky emails about scheduling and objectives and stuff.  

David: Definitely the scheduling post option. I can write my post whenever I want and let it sit there until it’s due to go live. I live in the steaming hot jungles of central Australia, so the time zones never line up!

LAP content

The masonry layout of the TheStyle theme shows off (and gives equal weight to) all LAP‘s contributors.

Chris: There are great themes that showcase the fact that we are a team working together. And the Like button and comments sections are the greatest tools we have to connect to the people behind the posts.

BrainRants: The ability to allow people contributor/administrator permissions is a very powerful.  I’d hate to imagine Chris or Chowderhead having to sort, format, and schedule every single post.

Singlegirlie: The ability to have multiple authors comment as the post author is also immensely helpful.

Chris: Oh, I also like that you can make your blog snow during wintertime.

What are your big goals for LAP?

Katie: We’d all love to see Long Awkward Pause have name recognition. “Long Awkward Pause? Of course I’ve heard of it, it’s hilarious. And the writers are all so talented and attractive!”

Chris: On the radar next is developing our YouTube channel. Then the Long Awkward Pause Biography, the Long Awkward Pause Movie , the Long Awkward Pause soda, the Long Awkward Pause Resort and Casino, and the Long Awkward Pause TV channel.

Chowderhead: We do have other actual plans — we’re still hashing out details in a (very passive-aggressive) group debate as to whether LAP will remain electronic, or eventually be available in print.

Any parting words?

Omawarisan: If you’re asked to be a part of a group blog, don’t be intimidated. You wouldn’t have been asked if the group didn’t like your style. Take it from a guy who writes with some of the sharpest wits on the net.

Of course, it helps that I’m an enfant terrible.

Thanks, everyone!

Head to Long Awkward Pause to keep reading, and find even more awkwardness on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.