I received an email from a very friendly person named Sarah at Wikio today. In part, it read:
"Wikio, an aggregator of online news and blogs, has recently kicked off our own blog ranking. Mashable has already positively acclaimed our new service (http://mashable.com/2007/12/11/wikio/) and blogs like The New York Times’ Freakonomics are rapidly adding badges featuring their Wikio ranking (http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/).Our Top Blogs ranking features a bunch of different categories; for instance, the "Health" category where your blog "One Dad's Opinion" stands at number 77."
Taken in and of itself, that's pretty cool. My little corner of the internet ranks somewhere, on something! Who'da thunk it? 12 months ago, I thought "HTML" was German for "internet", and here I am now showing up in someone's rankings!But that's not the half of it. You see, I have many reasons for writing this blog. Among them are the sense of community and 'connectedness', the (predominantly) positive interaction I have with members of the autism community, the daily feedback on important issues affecting autistic people and those who care for and about them, the outlet for emotional and intellectual energy, and the ongoing effort to create a "Captain's Log" that my family can look back on in the future and remember what a challenging, yet rewarding, time it was when my sons were 'wee beasties'.
But also among my reasons, perhaps foremost of all, is that I am confident that through the combined efforts of the amazing people who have voluntarily agreed to contribute to the Autism Hub, and who have sunk their heart and soul into those efforts (it is an effort!) over the past several months to years, that we communally have made and will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of autistic people (it goes without saying to anyone familiar with the Hub that a solid majority of our contributing members are autistic adults).
In case you are wondering how all this ties back into the email from Wikio I mentioned at the beginning of this post, observe the following list of rankings in the "Health" category's Top 100 of Wikio:
#5 Autism Hub All Hub Bloggers
#10 Autism Vox Kristina Chew, Ph.D
#37 Ballastexistenz Amanda Baggs
#38 Autism Street Dad of Cameron
#40 Andrea's Buzzing About... Andrea
#55 The Voyage Sharon
#77 One Dad's Opinion Me
#78 Autism News Beat Anonymous
#80 Joy of Autism Estee Klar-Wolfond
#89 The Rettdevil's Rants Kassiane
Call me crazy, but it seems to me that 10% of the entire "Health" category on Wikio is made up of Autism Hub bloggers!
When Kev Leitch created the Autism Hub, he was acting as a visionary for the autism community, whether he knew it or not. I recently was joined by Bev and Dad of Cameron for a multimedia presentation on the Autism Hub at the University of San Diego Autism Institute's Winter Conference. The gist of our presentation was threefold: That the Hub provides an entirely new context/medium for autistic self-advocacy (Bev), that the Hub provides a comprehensive and ongoing review of the current scientific issues relating to autism (Dad of Cameron), and that the Hub provides a powerful resource and point of reference for parents who are interested in focusing on their children's autistic strengths as well as learning to help them with their challenges (me).
Thank you to all Hub members, founders, contributors, readers, and commenters. It is through your efforts that autistic self-advocacy can flourish after taking root during the past several years.