The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

2 February 2006

Top of the heap

The Carnivals, of course, come out weekly, and they are staggeringly popular. But inevitably, they have a short shelf life: the participants strut and fret their paragraphs on the page and are promptly forgotten in seven days.

"Or maybe not," reasoned Mister Snitch as he sought to assemble the Best Blog Posts of 2005, a megacompilation which is, I think, the closest equivalent in blogdom to the Academy Awards.

Seriously. The awards for Best Something-Or-Other Blog, while worthy in their own right, are more like Oscar's Lifetime Achievement Award: it's given for a body of work rather than for any specific individual performance. And the recipients thereof would be the last persons on earth to suggest that everything they did was on the same superlative plane.

Snitch's compilation, by contrast, looked for the best individual performances during the calendar year, the posts which, given the ephemeral nature of this medium, have managed to stand the test of time. Ultimately, he hopes to see the collection, perhaps abridged for space considerations, appear in book form.

Still, one aspect of the Carnivals carries over: I'm happy to point you to the results, and urge you to read as many of them as time permits. (I won't feel hurt if you skip this one.)

Posted at 8:18 AM to Blogorrhea

TrackBack: 9:04 AM, 2 February 2006
» BEST OF 2005 from Donnaville
In one of the 100 posts Charles will post today, he talks about picking one's best entry from last year. This got me thinking, what do I consider my best post of 2005? After about 3 seconds of consideration, I realized that this post, is not only my be......[read more]

There's no doubt the whole collection does not fit in a book, nor is it all even translatable (some posts are videos). Many of the posts require editing to "live" in a book (most blogs of course are not edited).

At this point I do at least have one well-established literary agent who is enthusiastic and understands that IF the concept works, it works year after year. (Probably better, in fact, after the shakedown year.) This is a better risk/reward ratio than many projects that may work exactly once, then nevermore.

There are a lot of issues, including gaining publishing rights, dealing with writers who need editing but won't hear of it, and blogs/posts that simply vanish into the nothingness from whence they came. Some bloggers have told me that all blogs and blogging are worthless and should be mercifully forgotten the moment posts are dashed off. (Such staggering self-loathing is beyond my ability to emulate.)

There are certainly upsides and downsides to chasing around after this sort of material. With all that, I think there is potential in culling the best from infinite monkeys (including me) pounding at their infinite typewriters. How will we know if anyone's tapped out Shakespeare until we look?

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 10:51 AM on 2 February 2006

I think it's a fascinating exercise. I've only skimmed the surface, but already I can't wait to dig in to some good, intelligent reads.

What an arduous and near astounding undertaking. That it was done well is nothing short of miraculous.

Posted by: Jennifer at 12:32 PM on 2 February 2006