Okay, here's my latest idea. This one goes a little beyond memes, but I think it could really be worthwhile if enough people choose to participate.
With all the phenomenal writing that has appeared on our various blogs over the past several months, wouldn't it be cool for us to get together and publish a physical anthology of our greatest posts? I checked out various self-publishing companies online. Surprisingly, CafePress turned out to be the best option, since it would allow us to publish the book for free.
The way I envision it is that several of us agree to participate and have a couple of their entries published in the anthology. Since most people (myself included) find it hard to evaluate their own work, we can make suggestions as to what the best entries of our fellow bloggers are and urge them to choose those. That should make for some interesting debates.
The final product would be a paperback, containing hopefully as many as fifty entries in no particular order. Each entry would identify the name (or pseudonym) of the author and the URL of her/his blog. We'd make a nice cover using combined artwork from various blogs, and there would be an introduction at the beginning explaining what the book was.
I don't really see this catching on and becoming profitable. Cafepress lets its merchants specify how much above the base price they want to charge as profit for themselves. My feeling is that there should be no added cost. This makes it cheaper for everyone and avoids the difficulties associated with distributing minute portions of already tiny profits among several people.
In the unlikely event that our œuvre actually becomes popular with the reading public, we can always up the price later or even issue a second revised edition with extra features. Heck, we could even republish it with iUniverse, so people could buy it on Amazon. But I'd just be happy for the book to exist, even if were only purchased by a handful of people. This is something we could do every year.
And it should go without saying that no one's material would ever be included or altered without their permission, and anyone can withdraw at any time (before publication).
So what say you? Is this a cool idea that should be pursued? The plan outlined above is just a rough idea of how we might do it, so if anyone has better ideas or thoughts on the process, we can certainly make changes. The core concept is that there is a lot of phenomenal writing out there in people's blogs that is more than good enough for print and that deserves to be recorded and recognized before it quickly fades away into the forgotten archives and then the ether at the end of the blog's life.
Participation in the book can be as simple or involved as you want. You can do as little as agreeing to let a couple of your entries be published to submitting suggestions for blogs entries and helping with the writing of the introduction and design of the cover, perhaps even administrating the CafePress account yourself.
Just to give you an idea, here is a handful of examples off the top of my head of posts that I think are truly bookworthy: