What is the meaning of eHow Dolly?
Dolly is a little stuffed doll -- similar to a raggedy Ann doll, altho in the beginning she was sort of a voodoo doll, but she never put any bad spells on people. She was always on the side of good; after all she is the special creation of a special and good creative person, veryirie. OK, at times Dolly was on the side of good fun: she did love her some Fat Bastard, and was occasionally seen sprawled and inebriated on the eHow Chatter Forums. She has cleaned up her act now, and is making her way around the country, visiting various eHow members, as a sort of combination good will ambassador and pen pal project.
Dolly represents many things to many people. All good. I don't recall ever hearing a negative meaning for Dolly. To me she is a testament to the human spirit, and particularly to the kind of people that seem to be drawn to write at eHow.
Consider her story.
First, Dolly was a big time party girl. She was usually only heard from when she was drinking Fat Bastard, or occasionally when she wanted to show off her eHow jewelry which her mom, veryirie, made for her. Her jewelry revealed her huge crush on Rich, the Community Manager at eHow (more on that later). Since she was a big party girl, she lifted the spirits of the eHow community if they were down about the sweeps, low earnings, or the occasional squabbling on the forums. She was always on the spot with her silly antics, bringing laughs and good cheer in her wake.

Over time, Dolly began to change. Maybe it was her crush on the squeaky clean cut Rich, or maybe the gentle prodding of the eHow members and Pam, but for whatever reason, Dolly decided to clean up and dry out. She is now sober and lady-like, but still full of fun and good cheer.
Somehow, through all her antics and good times and changes -- no one is sure just how it happened  -- but it became clear that Dolly wanted to meet more of her good eHow friends,Amy K played a big role in planting this idea in Dolly's and everyone else's head. She made the suggestion. Of course, Chriss J demanded that Dolly be permitted to visit her since she lives near veryirie's hometown and felt Dolly should see it -- so she played a role, as well, in getting this tour off the ground. In the end it was quite a group effort, with Shirley and Diane heading the organization staff and others contributing as well. Mom veryirie was a little concerned about such a small Dolly being on her own in the vast countryside across the Pacific (Dolly lives in Hawaii.). Finally, after considering how well Dolly had cleaned up and turned into such a lady, and many promises from eHow members to take good care of her, Pam agreed to let Dolly travel alone, and the eHow Dolly Good Will Tour was born. and see the world. Well, the USA, anyway. We do know that

Dolly is slowly making her way around the country to the homes of various eHow members. She is currently in Washington, DC, with David. While out seeing the many historical sites in DC, Dolly and David were accosted several times by security guards and police who wondered what he was doing pulling that um, doll out of his coat. Don't get the wrong idea. It can be perfectly ladylike for a small girl like Dolly to ride inside a gentleman's breastpocket, in freezing weather!
At one point, a guard demanded to know "What is the meaning of that doll?" Hmmm. Good question. And so another forum thread was born. And from there, I realized I couldn't summarize my feelings about Dolly and the eHow community in just one forum post, thus this blog. (OK, and I need a Dolly blog anyway for when Dolly arrives at my house.)

What is the meaning of that doll?
Dolly is a picture of the amazing ability of the human spirit to prevail.
Look at her path from a drunken party girl, to a lady of stature and an ambassador. She could have followed a downward spiral, til she hit rock bottom. But Dolly pulled herself up by her sandal straps (don't think they wear boots much in Hawaii). With the help of her Mom and friends, she became a smart, sober, well behaved lady.

Now Dolly is an ambassador of good will on a pen pal mission. But she is much more.
Dolly is a picture of many, many people of different ages and different backgrounds who met online, yes, in cyberspace where nothing is real. But here at eHow, we are real. Real people who have learned we can safely share ourselves and our lives online and in the real world, too. As Dolly visits each eHow member, and as many other members follow her trip on blogs, Squidoo lenses, and the eHow forums, a piece of each of us goes along with her. We all are able to connect in a real way, and get to know a little more about our individual lives, and learn more about different parts of the country. And even more, there has been much trouble at eHow this past year, and even more now in the new year. We're not always on the same side. We disagree, argue, even flat out fight. We have had our trust broken. We don't know for sure what the whole truth is still, but we know a few things. And Dolly is the illustration of such.
1. We will get through this, too. We'll come out stronger on the other side, as we've learned over and over from each other in the last year or two, and
2. We are real, and we are really friends. We can disagree, fight, call each other out like any family, but in the end we are friends, will remain so. We know how to forgive, forget, push forward, and LIVE, and
3. Dolly's desire to travel so far and learn about all the different places and people she is visiting represents the community of eHow and all that we are constantly learning from each other. The first place I go when I need information is eHow -- not quite. More accurately, it's the eHow forums, although the articles library is second.

And I think those are the meanings of Dolly. She represents all those things in each of us that is best, and that is why eHow loves her so much and why so many have opened their arms and their homes to this little doll. That is why a busy husband and father who works full time at an office and seemingly full time again at home was out in the cold showing the sights to Dolly, instead of the many other things he could have been doing and maybe should have been doing. That's why many of us spend time to take Dolly out and take her picture at the sights around our homes and even the sights within our homes. Dolly's meaning is our meaning. The eHow community is not a physical building, and it's not even a location in cyberspace. The eHow community is all of us. We are what makes eHow wonderful, even in the bad times. The people I've met at eHow are like none I've met anywhere else on the internet. Such a mix of intelligence, talent, creativity, cooperation, love, as well as smart alecks, egos, and some hot tempers. But still we are that good part. There are many bad things right now, but we are that good part, and Dolly represents that good part in us -- the part that will remain no matter what else happens at the actual eHow building.

Oh, I promised more on Dolly's crush on Rich. Well, yep, it was reported that they hooked up for dancing during Dolly's US tour. Take a look.

Dolly has her own PRODUCT LINE for the tour, designed by the talented Diane Cass! The proceeds go to a fantastic children's charity. That picture of her at the top of the page is one of her bumper stickers.

Here are Dolly's travels so far:
People who have hosted Dolly speak
Dolly goes to New York
Dolly visits Allegheny College in PA
Dolly in Philly!
Dolly visiting New Jersey
Dolly at the Jersey Shore
Dolly at AJ's


  1. WELL said and I look forward to you sharing about Dolly's visit with you ! :-)

  2. Great job AJ! I love the header with your cat pics and how you hightlighted other's names. You have a real flair for writing. God bless!

  3. Very nicely done! So true and so well written! Looking forward to seeing your visit with Dolly too! a.k.a.Survivoryea

  4. You are so right AJ. We can forgive and move on. The people are what makes eHow great. They are very special.