Last year, Johnnie Moore invited to me write for 100 Bloggers. I in turn invited Cameron Riley, who invited Mick Stanic. The idea of 100 Bloggers was for 25 hand-picked bloggers to invite 1 person each to write up to 2 pages for 100 Bloggers. Each of the invitees would invite someone, who would invite someone. So you end up with 100 Bloggers.
Then publish the writing as a book. Simple!
Not quite. It doesn't look like there's enough of a market for the book, and the cost of publishing may prohibit the book being published. So it's now moved to a selection of writing from the 100 Bloggers.
I voted for publishing all submissions as an e-book, which I think keeps to the spirit of the original idea.
But what we have is some very very distant cousin of the original idea which is to publish the best of the writing. Now who decides what's best? And doesn't this defeat the whole idea of randomly letting 100 bloggers write, and see what happens. If I wanted to read a book of essays and short stories then I'd go to my local bookshop. The fact that they all happen to be bloggers is neither here nor there for me.
Johnnie (my inviter) writes often about over-defining things to the
point where they cease to be (I hope he agrees with that!), and he's
writing about that this week, with No Flip Chart Week.
I would like to propose an International No Flip Chart Week. During this period, no one will leap up in the middle of meetings and attempt to capture what's being discussed on a flip chart (or any high tech equivalent). This often feels like a form of premature conceptualisation. A way of focussing too much on the explicit and measurable at the expense of the subtle stuff that happens when we allow ourselves to explore ideas together. Whilst on one level it appears to be a way of acknowledging ideas, at a deeper level I think it's a way of containing them, boxing them and avoiding being influenced by people.
So what we now have is actually the opposite of what I think 100 Bloggers was meant to be. And just because it's democratically been voted for, doesn't make it right!!
I've now seen for myself how a good script or book can be turned into a crap movie.
I can guess that the quality of the 100 Bloggers' submissions were
variable, and the content in many cases might have been similar ("Why I
blog"), but that's the spirit of blogging. The whole point was to
let 100 cats loose and see what happens, but I don't think it was a
meant to be a "Pretty Cat" judging competition!!