In 2006 I read a review of Black Inc's The Best Australian Essays. As an enthusiast for the new medium of blogging, and thinking that the selection of the essays had been somehow unadventurous, I initiated a process whereby a few of us got together, advertised that we'd put together a collection of best blog posts for that year and, as is the way in this new world, within a few weeks Best Blog Posts 06 was done.
As we explained in 2006.
The process embodied the strengths of blogging and more generally of the new wave of "user-produced content" on the Internet - the most spectacular examples of which are open source software such as the Linux/GNU operating system and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Where it had taken Black Inc many months to produce its anthology of essays, BB06 was compiled in a little over two weeks. And you won't have to pay to read them. They're all already available right now on the Internet - if you know where to find them. And you'll know where to find each of them as they will be published again in On Line Opinion throughout January.
Of course there were the obvious arguments. We were being elitist, we were being partial, etc etc. The complaints were true of course, the collection came from a particular perspective and was thrown together by a bunch of people many of whom had never met (physically anyway). And all other anthologies suffer from the same problems to a greater or lesser extent.
Anyway, Best Blog Posts is now in its fourth edition! Yes, that's right folks, in January On Line Opinion will be hosting the fourth annual collection of best annual blog posts.
I already know a thread I'm going to nominate, not really for Martin Stewart-Weeks's post itself (though of course it's a fine post), but for the really extraordinarily high quality discussion it engendered.
What are the highlights in the blogosphere for you? Send in your nominations posted anywhere on the net this year and not published in the mainstream media using the submission form found here.
* Declaration of interest, the author is the Chairman of National Forum which is the non-profit that runs On Line Opinion.
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