Looking around the Japan blog world, I see that although we heavily link heavily to other sites, each site seems to have a few favourites sources that it concentrates on. There are also perhaps interesting bloggers that some of us are yet to discover, so in order to spread the link love around, I have set up a Japan Blog Matsuri. Some of you may be familiar with the Blog Carnival concept, so this will be our festival where we can share our best posts.
UPDATE: Nick at The Long Countdown has been kind enough to revive the Japan Blog Matsuri!
Feel free to add your comments to this thread or by private email.
The basic pattern will be as follows: first, a Japan Blog Matsuri host will be chosen, either by volunteering or by arm-twisting as necessary. The host then decides on a theme for the month, and posts a call for contributions to their web site, and updates the Japan Blog Matsuri home page as required. See this FAQ for details. After sitting back and waiting for contributions (and perhaps posting a reminder to the web site he or she manages), once the deadline is reached, the host reviews the entries, weeds out spam and other rubbish, then makes a blog post to their site summarising and linking to all the entries. To keep everything flowing smoothly, the host should try to collate and post all the entries within a week of the deadline passing. The initial Matsuri frequency I think we should aim at is once per month at the start of each month. If we get lots of volunteers to host, we can bump up the frequency.
The rules and guidelines
The host’s decision is final. There’s bound to be some complaints, but remember all this is being done for free so no-one is under any obligation (including, I suppose, an obligation to follow these rules…).
No blatant copyright violations, spam, splogs (spam blogs), pr0n, excessive swearing, or other dodgy content. We have a few family-friendly bloggers who might not want to link to bikini models and the like, and submissions of cut-and-pasted stories (or YouTube links) surrounded by AdSense and JList, etc, is just someone taking advantage of some extra traffic and links. However, depending on who is hosting for any given month, the spiciness level may be raised or lowered.
rel=”nofollow” may be used. If there’s a good article on a site you dislike, you may use rel=”nofollow” to avoid giving a search engine boost to them, but please be sparing in your use. The host’s discretion in this matter is final.
Use your common sense! If you’re a bad host you won’t be invited back, simple as that.
Everyone is welcome to contribute: native English foreign residents, Japanese nationals, and those from non-English countries. The only requirement is that the submitted post is primarily in English.
You don’t need to be resident in Japan to take part, and you don’t even need to be the author to submit a story. The submission must just be somehow related to the current theme, and the host need only occassionally blog on Japan matters.
Only one article per author per blog – group blogs can sumbit once per writer, of course, but if two people submit articles for the one author, the host should use his or her discretion to decide what to do.
All posts should be first posted during that month; posts that are maybe a couple of weeks older would be acceptable, but recycling four year old posts is not.
In addition to text entries, photo essays or even just a quality photo or two is also acceptable.
Note that if you want to contribute but the subject is outside the main theme of your own website, one option in WordPress is to post using the “Write Page” option so it doesn’t appear in your front page. Another option may be to ask the host (or someone else) if they could post the entry to their blog for you. Mutual co-operation should be fostered.
Hosts should choose a theme that is not too narrow; don’t worry about being too broad, but for instance instead of “Dokdo/Takeshima” choose “Border disputes” or “Japan and Korea”; instead of “Maid cafe” choose “Cosplay”, although that topic might get close to breaking our family-friendliness…
Linking to your own posts is OK, either on the same blog or elsewhere.
Use whatever style you want to write up the posts, from just the bare URL to selected quotes with comments, via single-line summaries.
Keep comments open on the post to encourage feedback.
Finally, one request – please tag all related posts, social bookmarks, etc, with the tag jbmatsuri so that they can be found easily.
Next Japan Blog Matsuri
Matsuri Number One – submissions by the end of January, please.
Topic: rather appropriately, “matsuri”.
Host: Yours truly!
[Your Name and Blog could be here!]
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