The Golden Haiku
Before we start, please read through this whole long post because there are some small details you need to follow in order to have this run smoothly.
Those in the adoption/loss/infertility community know that I’ve created the Creme de la Creme list for the past four years, a compilation of a single post from every participating blog. As I’ve said before, the impulse behind this list are the ubiquitous award ceremonies that crawl out of their hiding spaces usually around December or January. Awards are nice–it’s good to honour someone and mark big accomplishments. But we all have a best post tucked into our archives. We all have words that have moved another person or ideas that have kicked off a series of musings. Bloggers are writers and all of us deserve to be celebrated.
As I sat on a train recently, I thought about how cool it would be if this were a blogosphere-wide project where all could participate and become exposed to other corners of the blogosphere. Where book bloggers could meet political bloggers and cooking bloggers could meet deaf bloggers and we could also catch a small glimpse into each other’s worlds.
So the birth of the Golden Haiku, a blogosphere-wide project collecting a single, great post from each participating blog. This project is open to every single blogger in the world–from those who just started writing to those who have four years under their blogging belt. For every type of subject matter, for every type of person, from gay men living in Kansas to elderly women living in New York City to mothers in London and political activists in the Middle East. Literally everyone. Broken down into small, bite-sized categories for easy navigation.
Here is what you need to do if you want to participate.
- Read through your archives from 2009.
- Pick your favourite post–the one that you think gives people a taste of your blog. Don’t get hung up on the word “best.” It’s the one that you’d be really bummed if you ever lost. Think of it this way–it’s like picking out clothes for a party. You want to look your best, but we all know that life doesn’t hinge on one outfit. Just go with the one you like.
- Submit it by filling out this form. Please pay attention to the directions on the form. Pretty please. If you don’t follow the guidelines, I will delete your entry and then you just waste both our times.
- Part of filling out the form (which you’ll see when you click over) is that you need to describe your post in up to 17 words. If you put more than 17, I will delete from the end of the blurb to get to 17 words. So your blurb will look funny and everyone will know that you didn’t follow directions.
- Sit back and relax and wait for the list to be posted on January 15th. And then read to your heart’s content.
Other FAQ-like things:
Why is it named the Golden Haiku?
Because the key point is that the description of each blog post is seventeen words (or up to 17 words). Sort of like a haiku. And they’re the best post of the year from each blog–a gold medal sort of post. And because haikus are a brief look at a complex object or moment and blog posts are small gasps in the larger literary breath. And because I liked it, damn it. Can’t you just roll with the name?
What do you hope to accomplish with this?
There are so many possibilities for this project. For someone wishing to know more about a certain area of the blogosphere, this will serve as a doorway into that world and hopefully build understanding between communities. For someone new to blogging, it will be a chance to find other blogs writing about the same topic. And like a red wine reduction, it will be distilled into an intense taste of each blog–a great post rather than the wild-card-and-possibly-mundane post currently at the top of the blog when a person starts reading a new site. By providing blurbs, you will be able to scan the list quickly and possibly find that as much as you thought you had no interest in a certain area, that there actually are blog posts you want to read on a certain topic. Yes, I’m essentially creating an index to the blogopshere, but it’s also a snapshot of the year, a meal of great posts.
I’m having a hard time visualizing this. What will it look like?
There will be a main post that will serve as a portal to all other rooms. The room will contain a clickable map to the blogosphere, so people can jump straight to a certain category. Each category will be contained on a single page with links to all the posts and blogs within it. Each category may be organized into smaller subsections as well. Because there will be too many posts to contain on one page, this will make the list organized and readable. It will be easy to find the types of posts you’re looking to read. I also hope that people will jump over to read categories they never had considered reading before.
What is the deadline?
To ensure that your post is part of the list when it goes up on January 15th, please submit your link by December 30th 11 p.m. (EST). Anything that comes in after that will be added, but it will go up when I have a moment to add it. I will continue to update the list until March 1, 2010. After that The Golden Haiku will be closed for 2009 posts. I will hold this again next year for 2010 posts and it will open again in November.
How many posts can I submit?
One, just one, and only one. Do not submit two and put them in two different categories. I will be scanning the list for duplicates. If I see this, I will delete out all entries and you will be banned from the list. The exception is when you have two separate blogs. The project is one post per blog (so a blogger who writes in three spaces can actually have three posts–one from each space).
Can I switch my post?
Nope–once it is on the list, you can remove your post, but you can’t switch it out for another one. The reason is that a lot of work goes into compiling these lists and once I do the work, I don’t want to redo it. So you can drop out of the project altogether, but you can’t change.
I don’t fit in any category, what do I do?
Well, there’s a catch-all category, so you obviously could go there. I apologize that the list is somewhat limited. I went with large umbrella categories. I am not willing to add new categories this year, but there will be a call for categories for next year at the end of this project, so you can make sure they’re on the list then.
Tell me more about the blurb I have to write.
You can use your 17 words any way you wish. You can write out a sentence or two. You can write 17 key words. Essentially, this is a tiny taste to entice the person to click over to your post. You can’t use bolding or all-caps to get someone’s attention–you need to use your words to make the person interested in reading your whole post. You do have to write a blurb. Any submission without a blurb will not be added to the list. You do not have to use all 17 words, but you can’t go over that amount. Blurbs over 17 words (and therefore submissions) will not be added.
I just started my blog in October. Can I participate?
As long as you’ve had one post in 2009, you can participate. Even if you didn’t start your blog until October 2009. Just choose your best from the last two months.
My blog is password protected. Can I participate?
If your blog is password protected and you want to participate, choose your blog entry and create a free blog at Blogger or WordPress and post that single entry. Then submit that link to the list. I can’t link to password protected blogs.
I’m already participating in the Creme de la Creme, can I do this too? or Hey, what is this Creme de la Creme thing?
Yes, they are two separate projects, so you can do both. You can use the same post or you can submit two different posts to the two different lists. The two categories that probably best fit your situation are either “of body or mind” or “parenting and family.”
The Creme de la Creme list is solely for those in the infertility/adoption/loss community. If you don’t fit that description, you can’t submit to that list.
Hey, I’m not on The Golden Haiku! Why didn’t you add me?
Everyone needs to submit their own post. If you didn’t submit it, I didn’t add it. If you are not on the list and you submitted one, you didn’t follow directions or it didn’t fit the loose guidelines (see below), so I deleted it. If you have a blogger you love and you want to make sure they’re included on the list, go nudge them into submitting by suggesting a post you think they should add to the list.
What can’t be submitted?
Okay, so I say that the list is open to everyone, but there are a few types of things I won’t include in this project in order to make for comfortable reading for the largest amount of people. So I won’t include posts that are overtly commercial, essentially selling a product or service. I won’t include hate speech of any kind–whether it’s directed at a single person or a larger group. No porn. You must be over 18 to participate (high school blogs will not be included this year). Posts do need to be in English–apologies to those writing in another language. Cursing is fine, sexuality is fine–truly, almost anything goes. I’m just looking to not have readers squirming with discomfort or feel as if they’re being sold something.
I love this project! What can I do to help?
You can spread the word by Twittering about it, making it your Facebook status, blogging about it, emailing friends about it, or adding the badge (get the code here) to your sidebar to encourage others to join along.
My question wasn’t answered here.
Sorry about that. I’m pretty friendly and willing to answer more questions as long as they truly weren’t answered in this post. What I can’t do is take suggestions for this current Golden Haiku, though I will be sending out a call for suggestions at the end of this project so please hold your suggestions for that time. So if you have something to ask, send me an email.