If you can forgive the awful pun, the sentiment is sincere. At the end of every year, I have offered up a buffet of blog highlights. In 2008, I chose them myself; in 2009 I invited you to pick your own best work and today I echo that call. What one post are you proudest of? What do you feel might have been overlooked? Or, conversely, what was your most popular piece, that you'd like to share with a wider audience? The exercise began as a way of paying tribute to my "fellow travelers" in the blogosphere, but it's also developed into a healthy corrective for tendencies which are still strong on the internet (particularly for yours truly): falling out of touch with certain bloggers, focusing your attention on a narrow range of sites, catching up only with someone's more recent work. A number of factors - from better archiving to sidebar links to tabs on the homepage - have helped make blogging (both on my site and on others) seem less ephemeral, which I think is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, this can contribute to that trend.
So I invite you, either through a comment (which, being moderated, I will delete after collecting the necessary information) or by e-mail (email@example.com), to contact me with the post you'd most like to share and your e-mail address (if you don't hear back from me, contact me again; I probably didn't receive your submission). It could be an essay you feel really addressed an important or overlooked topic. Or it could be what began as an ostensibly minor review or aside, during which you hit your stride and turned out work you're really proud of. It could eschew words altogether and be a picture or, even better, video post - foresaking the dance about architecture in order to jump right into the heart of the matter, the visuals that draw us in, in the first place. It could be a clever comical piece or a serious polemic or a diaristic personal piece you're proud of. If you can't pick one, pick several - I will browse them and choose the one that I think is your best work and/or best fills out the overall program. As I don't want things to get too crowded (leading to some blogs getting lost in the shuffle) I will only be linking one post per person (not necessarily per blog; if there are multiple authors, multiple posts will be eligible). But as with last year, the extra material will be linked collectively at the end of the round-up.
The bulk of the post, after a short introduction, will consist of all the links, preceded by quotes and images from the piece in question (this will be a lively, colorful directory). Last year, I got a lot of submissions, which was great, but it also tetered on the edge of being too much. To keep things reasonable this time, I ask that you not mention or link to this particular post (meaning the one you're reading right now) on your own blog until after all the links have been collected (Christmas Day, appropriately enough, will be the last day for submissions). To the extent possible, I'd like to keep this to readers of my blog, so that those who have been loyal readers/contributors (particularly since the beginning) don't get completely overwhelmed in any onrush. Of course I have no way of knowing who's been lurking (or who has just discovered the blog, but will be revisiting) so any submission will be accepted with good faith! But by keeping it on the downlow for the time being, I think it will make for an eclectic but still manageable collection of great reading.
In the mean time, if you want to revisit past years (and why not? that's the whole point of this exercise - no time limits) check out the previous entries in this ongoing exercise. "Blog 10" is scheduled to make its debut on either January 3 or January 10. Enjoy.