Monday, February 28, 2011

All My Words Come Back To Me

I have various old bootleg recordings of live performances in my digital music collection. One of them is of Jimmy Buffet introducing a song at a concert saying something like, "I don't listen to a lot of my old records unless I'm on the boat, but there's some good shit back there..."

Blogging is like that. Anyone who has been blogging for a while knows that there are some far better posts buried in his or her archives than the drivel being churned out in today's post. So why not reprise some of that "good shit" from the old days? No reason at all.

A couple of my favorite bloggers decided that, after writing original posts for our February group writing project Navigation, they would also draw our attention to some excellent earlier posts they had written on the same topic.

O Docker took a while to get round to it, but at the end of Navigating Treacherous Waters there are links to three of his earlier stories about navigation.

And Bonnie decided that, as the subject is navigation, it was definitely worth revisiting "Paperless Charts".

Good for them.

You may have noticed I do this a lot on my blog. As much as anything it's a service to new readers who may have stumbled across my blog for the first time. Why not point them to some of my own favorite posts from the last six years? At least they can see if they like that stuff and decide whether it's worth sticking around for a while.

Is it OK to do this in a group writing project? Isn't it an implied rule that you are supposed to produce something original?

I think it's OK. These group writing projects are only for the entertainment of the writers and the readers after all. And O Docker and Bonnie did produce original writing, as well as pointing out good posts on the same subject in their archives. JP went the same route earlier in the week too.

But I do think I will only include original pieces in the short list of finalists to win the grand prize of Tristan Gooley's book The Natural Navigator.

Some of the submissions in this project covered aspects of navigation that one would expect on a sailing blog; others stretched the meaning of the word to cover more nontraditional meanings of the word. That's OK too. I like originality... especially if it takes us in crazy unexpected directions.

Baydog went original, but combined three completely different aspects of navigation in Driveways, menus and GPS. Who else could include Scott's lawn care products, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Moo Goo Gai Pan in the same post?

Today is the last day of our February group writing project. Full details of how to participate at Navigation.

Oh, sorry about yesterday's post. My blogroll maintenance android Arvin escaped from the closet and went berserk. Now you know why I never let him write blog posts. Isn't he the most boring android you've ever met?


bonnie said...

I was thinking along the same lines.

I had noticed that Arvin hadn't linked to my re-post, and I didn't say "Hey, what about my re-post?" because I wasn't all that attached to the idea of that actually being an entry. It was relevant, and I thought it would be of interest, but "Paddling Blind" was my entry - "Paperless Charts" was more a sidebar or footnote to the entry.

"Paddling Blind" could easily have been about three times as long if I'd gone into all the side tracks I was thinking about while I was writing it.

Tillerman said...

For an android who claims to have a brain the size of a planet, sometimes Arvin doesn't seem all that smart to me.

bonnie said...

It may just have been outside the algorithm all along - he just figured that out before you did.

BTW I do have an idea for another original post. If I don't have too rough a day at work (i.e., can leave by eight or so, with one or two brain cells remaining in a reasonably unfrazzled state), I'll see if I can turn it into something.

Buff Staysail said...

You know what Tillerman, I'll official withdraw my submission from the competition (and all of JPs too).

Strewth, who knew blogging was so competitive!!

JP said...

Ok, ignore what Buffs says and keep them in. But should the voting public fail to go for one of the other far better entries will be forced to donate the prize to one them

Though of course Cliff Claven would consider giving the US postal service additional work a good thing.

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