Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Create Post

Announcing: The Word-A-Day Writing Challenge 2017

Level 18

Last year, we kicked off a new THWACK tradition: the December Word-a-Day Writing Challenge, which fostered a new kind of interaction in the THWACK community: By sharing personal essays, images, and thoughts, we started personal conversations and created human connections. In just one month, last year’s challenge generated nearly 20,000 views and over 1,500 comments. You can see the amazing writing and thoughtful responses here: Word-A-Day Challenge 2016

Much of this can be attributed to the amazing, engaging, thriving THWACK community itself. Whether the topic is the best starship captain, what IT lessons we can learn from blockbuster movies, or the best way to deal with nodes that have multiple IP addresses, we THWACKsters love to chat, debate, and most of all, help. But I also believe that some of last years' success can be attributed to the time of year. With December in sight, and some of us already working on budgets and project plans for the coming year, many of us find our thoughts taking an introspective turn. How did the last 12 months stack up to my expectations? What does the coming year hold? How can I best prepare to meet challenges head-on? By providing a simple prompt of a single, relatively innocuous word, the Word-a-Day Challenge gave many of us a much-needed blank canvas on which to paint our hopes, concerns, dreams, and experiences.

Which takes me to this years' challenge. Once again, each day will feature a single word. Once again, one brave volunteer will serve as the "lead" writer for the day, with his or her thoughts on the word of the day featured at the top of the post. Once again, you--the THWACK community--are invited to share your thoughts on the word of the day in the comments area below the lead post. And once again, we will be rewarding your contribution with sweet, sweet THWACK points.

What is different this year is that the word list has a decidedly more tech angle to it. Also, our lead writers represent a wider range of voices than last year, with contributors coming from SolarWinds product, marketing, and sales teams. The lead writers also include contributions from our MVP community, which gives you a chance to hear from some of our most experienced customer voices.

For those who are more fact-oriented, here are the challenge details:

  • The words will appear in the Word-a-Day challenge area, located here: Word-A-Day Challenge 2017
  • The challenge runs from December 1 to December 31
  • One word will be posted per day, at midnight, US CST (GMT -6)
  • The community has until the following midnight, US CST, to post a meaningful comment on that days' word
    • Comments will earn you 150 THWACK points
    • One comment per THWACK ID per day will be awarded points
    • Points will appear throughout the challenge, BUT NOT INSTANTLY. Chill.
    • A "Meaningful" comment doesn't necessarily mean "long-winded." We're simply looking for something more than a "Me, too!" or "Nice job!" sort of response
    • Words WILL post on the weekends, BUT...

    • ...For posts on Saturday and Sunday, the community will have until midnight CST on Monday (meaning the end of Monday, start of Tuesday) to share comments about those posts. For those folks who really REALLY don't work on the weekend (who ARE you people?!?)

  • Only comments posted in the comments area below the word for that day will be awarded THWACK points (which means words will noot count if posted on Geek Speak, product forums, your own blog, or on the psychic friend's network.)

Once again, the Word-a-Day 2017 challenge area can be found here: Word-A-Day Challenge 2017. While nothing will appear in this new forum until December 1, I encourage everyone to follow the page now to receive notifications about new posts as they appear.

If you would like to get to know our 28 contributors before the challenge starts, you can find their THWACK pages here:

And finally, I present the Word-a-Day list for 2017! I hope that posting them here and now will give you a chance to gather your thoughts and prepare your ideas prior to the Challenge. That way you can fully participate in the conversations that will undoubtedly arise each day.

  • December 01 - Identity
  • December 02 - Access
  • December 03 - Insecure
  • December 04 - Imposter
  • December 05 - Code
  • December 06 - FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)
  • December 07 - Pattern
  • December 08 - Virtual
  • December 09 - Binary
  • December 10 - Footprint
  • December 11 - Loop
  • December 12 - Obfuscate
  • December 13 - Bootstrap
  • December 14 - Cookie
  • December 15 - Argument
  • December 16 - Backbone
  • December 17 - Character
  • December 18 - Fragment
  • December 19 - Gateway
  • December 20 - Inheritance
  • December 21 - Noise
  • December 22 - Object
  • December 23 - Parity
  • December 24 - Peripheral
  • December 25 - Platform
  • December 26 - Utility
  • December 27 - Initial
  • December 28 - Recovery
  • December 29 - Segment
  • December 30 - Density
  • December 31 - Postscript

I'm really looking forward to this. I felt like last year, a lot of deep thinking was encouraged from word-a-day!

Last year's sessions were interested and varied.  Sometimes different directions were taken than the ones I assumed, and that made reading them and participating all the more enjoyable.

GAH! I'm third up! Pressure's on to deliver......


Looking forward to seeing the creative juices flow

Level 20

It nice that some members are helping this year too.


Level 21

This was a lot of fun last year so I look forward to it this year.  I also think it's great to see so many new people contributing as writers this year!

Loved it last year, missed out on a contributor spot this year.

Level 18

I hope that pressure doesn't make you feel insecure.

Wait... maybe I do?

Level 13

Bring it on.  I'm ready.  Last year was fun.

Level 18

Just to clarify: EVERYONE can contribute, and will get credit for it. So find the word(s) that inspire you and start writing now, and post as soon as the word appears each day.

Yes, there's one person who will be the lead writer. But their thoughts are not more important than yours.

I'm looking forward to enjoying what EVERYONE brings to the table each day.

DING! DING! Inspiration!

     I think I'm on to something here...

Level 12

I missed out on this last year - my head must have been somewhere else. This looks to be a great way to take a few meditative moments away from the stress that the season seems to add.

Level 9

Leon, I really enjoyed this last year and I am really looking forward to doing again this year.

Thank you!

Level 14

Thank you for doing this again.  It really brought out the inner poet in me last year.  Now to create a theme to write to.

Level 13

I too am looking to add my IDENTITY to ACCESS the word a day challenge. I will INSPECT each word carefully and ensure there are no IMPOSTERs. I will CODE my FUDs in a semi-circle PATTERN, VIRTUALly. My BINARY FOOTPRINT will LOOP in an OBFUSCATE BOOTSTRAP COOKIE ARGUMENT, but my BACKBONE and CHARACTER will not FRAGMENT into a black GATEWAY. I will spend my INHERITANCE NOISEily, and will not OBJECT to earning PARITY with my dollar. My PERIPHERAL vision will be my PLATFORM for creating UTILITY, and my INITIAL RECOVERY will be used to investigate the SEGMENT DENSITY distribution in my life and will be published using POSTSCRIPT.

Ok, not the best, but I had fun...

Can't wait!

Level 18

I'm awarding full marks for this one. 😉

Level 8

this looks fun!

Level 11

Yay!!! I cannot wait for this to start. It was quite an interesting challenge last year and I got to learn from everyone.

Level 15

Nice adatole​ Let's go play.

Nice, haven't heard of it last year. Looking forward to participate.


Hot Diggity !!


I'm always trying to polish my writing skills, I'm always itching for more Thwack Points - what a great combination.

Like Peanut Butter Jelly

Galantis - Peanut Butter Jelly (Official Video) - YouTube

My identity

Is who I am, what I do

Only me, not you

I have access now

It means I can do my job

My permissions rock


Stay out, imposter

Please leave my network alone

Forbid ransomware


If you know the code

Then you may learn the message

Ignorance is bliss


When FUD rules your life

Sorrow is your lot, until

Confidence returns


When something repeats

Learn its pattern well, and then

You may conquer it


If it is not real

Then it must be virtual

Maybe it costs less?


Either one or none

Means that "ten" is really "two"

See it's binary


Leaving prints in sand

Tides and winds blow them away

The footprints have left


Round and round and round

Repeating until it's done

You can use a loop


I will fool you now

I will try to obfuscate

Ineffient times


Help yourself improve

Bootstrap as you need to grow

Elevate yourself


Cookies should be sweet

Instead they steal my surfing

Cookie stealers bite


I've no argument

Not with logic, nor with you

Just get along, please?


Get a backbone

Be strong and professional

Transfer bits so fast!


Be reliable

Have great character; stand proud

Else you are not good


Be contiguous

Do not fragment needlessly

Get it together


Gateways lead you out

Be careful where they take you

You may not be safe


My inheritance

Came from my progenitors

Not from Novell masks


Noise is rarely good

It distracts you from good work

Sends you down wrong paths


Objects in a net

Maybe are built, or are caught

ASA's have both


Parity is good

Verifies that things are well

Lack it and all fails


Some peripherals

Are compatible; some aren't

Drivers must be found


Stand by your platform

And support your users well

Standardizing helps


Solarwinds makes some

Very nice utilities

Use them and succeed


First and foremost comes

Your initial tasks, and then

Follow-ups in turn


Back up and you may

Achieve your recovery

Count on NCM


That's not from a worm

The segment has your data

Phish another way


Be alert and smart

Maximize your density

Now you're efficient


Pick your font with care

Lest you end up looking back

Then can come postscripts

Level 9

Do we weekenders get another day extension for the Christmas holiday as well?

Can't believe we are nearing the end of this inspiring exercise. (Sidenote: It has caused me to completely me rewrite the blog I am currently working on) Honestly, my brain hurts a wee bit from all of this contemplating. But maybe that has this to do with the cruise control mode I am in being between Christmas and New Year.

Level 18

Yes. We built in an extra 24 hours for last weekend (Christmas) and this weekend (New Years).


I've enjoyed the monthly challenge although admittedly I was struggling towards the end. Holiday mode activated!