Updated: the List was posted on January 1st and can be read by clicking here. Please continue reading below to see how you can have your blog post added to the list.
I seriously can't believe it is already mid-November and time to kick off the Creme de la Creme list for 2008. Last year, I waited until the first week in December, but this project honestly needs about six weeks to get it off the ground. So, I hereby declare the Creme de la Creme list open. I know this is loooooong, but please read this whole post before submitting your entry.
If you've been reading my blog for more than a year, you're probably already familiar with the Creme de la Creme list. Even so, read below because I've instituted a few rules this year to make it run smoothly (at least on my end!). If you're not familiar with the Creme de la Creme, read below as well so you can see how to get your blog on the list.
If you didn't read or participate in this list in 2006 or in 2007, the impulse behind this list are the ubiquitous award ceremonies that crawl out of their hiding spaces usually around December or January. Awards are nice--it's good to honour someone and mark big accomplishments. But we all have a best post tucked into our archives. We all have words that have moved another person or ideas that have kicked off a series of musings. Bloggers are writers and all of us deserve to be celebrated.
And we're doing just that.
This is the way it works. If you want to participate, read through your archives and choose a favourite post. You can leave all sorts of comments below telling me how fantastic I am, but fill out the form to send in your submission (do not leave it in the comments section--the point of this list is also the surprise of seeing the choices revealed on a single day). If you post your link below, I will probably delete it. Again, feel free to leave love comments below--in fact, please do leave love comments below--just not your submission for the list. Let's keep it a surprise until the list is ready to go up.
You can only choose one entry. You cannot be modest. Everyone has a best post. There is no such thing as a boring blog. Even if you don't think you have any readers because you've never received a comment, you have a best post. The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish. The one that would be the post you'd put forward if an editor called you tomorrow and said, "I have this great writing job for you that will pay a million dollars an hour. You just need to submit one blog entry to get this job so we can check your writing style."
Even if you just found my blog because you read about the Creme de la Creme on another person's blog, you are not only welcome to submit; you are encouraged. It is the best posts of 2008 for the infertility/loss/adoption community and that community includes anyone who writes about infertility, adoption, pregnancy loss, neonatal and infant death, assisted reproduction, and every related topic--from living child-free after infertility to parenting after infertility. Everyone on my enormous blogroll is welcome to participate and everyone I haven't found yet too. Really, you don't need to be a regular reader of my blog to join in. It's open to everyone in the IF/loss/adoption blogosphere. I can't say this in more ways than that. Which means you don't need to write me a note asking if it's okay to participate. The answer is yes. Okay?
Actually, it's not only "yes" it's "please do."
The list will be posted January 1st and I promise that you will use up a good portion of the beginning of the year reading through the most stunning posts you've ever seen. We had about 160 posts last year and I'd really like to top that this year. My goal is all 1500+ blogs currently on the blogroll, but baring that, let's aim for over 200. Which means that not only do you have to participate if you're reading this, but you need to spread the word and get other bloggers to participate (more on that below). Link to this post, send out a note to other bloggers you like, and suggest favourite posts to bloggers from this past year.
Um...other FAQ-like things:
How many posts can I submit?
You can only submit one. Please don't submit two and ask me to choose. Submit one.
How will I know that you received my entry?
I will send out a mass email once a day to all of the people who submitted their entry. I use the "bcc" line on the email so that people don't see each other's email address. The only drawback is that these emails sometimes go into spam filters. Therefore, once you submit, check your email and spam filter for a day or two. If you don't hear from me, send me an email if you're concerned that it didn't go through. I hate being impersonal like that, but the list took a long time to put together last year hence why I'm starting even earlier this year.
I sent in a post last week but I just wrote one that I love more! Can I switch my submission?
The short answer is no. The reason is that I write up the blurbs that appear next to each entry. This takes a lot of time. When you change your post, I have to write another blurb. Therefore, think carefully. But get your post in early so it's high up on the list. But take your time picking it so you're positive it's the one you want on the list. But don't give this too much thought...
If you just submitted it an hour earlier and realized you sent the wrong link, email me quickly so I can change it. Once I write the blurb, it's set. I mean, you can pull your blog from the list, but you can't submit a different link.
How do I know which one is my best?
Think of this list in sort of the same vein as those "Best American Short Story"-type collections except that it's blog entries and everyone in the blogosphere should be represented with a link. The idea of the creme de la creme is not to put out there "the best" by someone else's definition of "best." It's to put out the entry that means the most to you. Everyone has a best entry from 2008. It's the one you would cry about if it was ever eaten by your computer. Even if it's only meaningful to you.
I'm having a lot of trouble choosing my best one.
Why don't you give a few choices to a friend and get their opinion? Don't get hung up on the word "best." It's more about presenting a small taste of your blog. A lot of people read the list each January and it's a chance for them to get to know your blog in one post. The goal, of course, is not only to honour every blog, but to also introduce everyone. Think of it like a cocktail party. You certainly think about what you wear, but everything doesn't hinge on this one outfit.
I want to submit a post about my dog/favourite recipe/vacation in Hawaii. So...er...it's not about adoption/infertility/loss. Can I? Or I want to submit a post but it has pictures of my baby in it. Do you think this is okay for an IF list?
Well, this list is sort of a pu-pu platter of the ALI community. Therefore, if your post is about your ski trip last winter, it doesn't really show any emotion, thought, or event flitting through the community. Still, people have submitted off-topic posts in the past. If you have any part of the post that if ALI-related, all the better though.
The second question is a sensitivity one. Personally, I think that babies are part of the community and territory. The reality is that we're all working towards parenthood or were once working towards parenthood. And children are included in that. I try to always mention in my blurb if it's about a baby or if there are photos so people are given a heads up before they click over. So, yes, send posts that have photos in it and I will make sure that people know the gist of the post before they click over if they're in a sensitive space.
I'm a man. Can I participate?
Are you part of the ALI community? Then didn't you read above? EVERYONE is invited to participate. Male, female, young, old, gay, straight, everyone everyone everyone.
I'm a dog. Can I participate?
Er...a dog with a blog? An infertile dog with a blog? I guess...I mean...I did say everyone...
I just started my blog in October. Can I participate?
As long as you've had one post in 2008, you can participate. Even if you didn't start your blog until October 2008. Just choose your best from the last two months.
My blog is password protected. Can I participate?
If your blog is password protected and you want to participate, choose your blog entry and create a free blog at Blogger or Wordpress and post that single entry. Then send me the link so I can place it on the list. I can't link to password protected blogs.
When is the deadline for getting in my submission?
To ensure that you're on the list on January 1st, please fill out the form by December 19th. If you submit after December 19, you will be on the list, but you will probably go up after people have started reading on January 1st.
The 2008 list doesn't technically close until December of 2009. Which means you can always submit to the list. There's no such thing as "too late." Of course, getting it in by the deadline would mean that it's definitely in when I put it up on January 1st and therefore seen by the most people, but you can submit it whenever you wish.
So, just to reiterate--if you submit before December 19th, you will be on the list on January 1st. If you submit between December 20th and 31st, you may be on the list January 1st, but more likely, you'll be on some point after January 1st.
Can you post another link to the form right now because I've decided to submit.
Sure, here's another link to the form. Just fill it out and hit send and it will go into the Creme de la Creme spreadsheet.
If you don't want to participate, do nothing. With the Creme de la Creme List, I never add a blog or highlight a post unless the author has sent it to me. Therefore, no hurt feelings. If your post isn't on the list, it's because you haven't sent one. If you see someone missing from the list after it is posted, go bug them and tell them to submit a post. But don't send me a note asking me to add them without their permission. I really would like this post to be what the author believes is their best post, but if you are feeling shy and can't choose, enlist a friend to help you narrow it down and choose your best work.
Lastly, there is another section of the list that needs your help: blogs that closed in 2008. These are blogs that closed entirely--the person stopped blogging and said specifically that they were not going to post any longer--not blogs that went password protected. If you read a blog that closed during 2008, please send me the title of the blog. It doesn't matter if it was read by one person or read by 5000 people, all blogs should be honoured and recognized. And all blogs stand on the same plateau here.
Spread the word with the following button on a post or your sidebar to encourage others to send a link:
The code for adding the link to your blog can be found here.
Everyone has a best post. It is your personal best. It is not best by any other standards. Stop comparing yourself. Stop feeling shy. Stop thinking it's immodest to toot your own horn when I've told you to toot your own horn. Start reading through your archives. Reflect on the year. And then send me a link for the list.
Wheew. Sorry about that last part. But everyone in the blogosphere should be represented and honoured.
Ooops--and if you're looking for more stuff to do, go read through the posts from the 2007 list and then visit each blog to see how much life can change in a year.
And credit where credit is due: the utensils that are featured in the icon this year come from this website. I love them even if they're $250. My goal is to feature new cool flatware each year and of course I have to kick it off the Queen and the King.