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Friday, April 18, 2003

I made a couple of small adjustments to the tinywords site today.

The main changes have to do with how email addresses are displayed on the site, and were motivated by reading this recent article from the Center for Democracy and Technology: Why Am I Getting All This Spam? This report found that publishing an email address on a Web site resulted in that address receiving a lot of junk email, because spammers are using special programs to collect email addresses from Web pages automatically. The CDT found that you could effectively foil this harvesting process by "obscuring" addresses so that humans can understand them, but software can't easily parse them: name at domain dot com instead of name@domain.com.

Accordingly, I changed the comments system so that email addresses of commenters are now displayed in this obscured format. I also went through the author's database (which supplies the bio on every haiku) and obscured all the email addresses in there.

Other minor changes: Comments have always been sent to the haiku's author, where possible, but previously they were sent with "haiku@tinywords.com" as the return address. Comments now are being sent with the commentator's email address as the return address. This should facilitate conversations between commentators and authors (and should cut down on the number of email messages I have to forward.)

I've also added to the HTML tags you can use to format your comments, allowing strong, em, and blockquote in addition to those already permitted. Want me to allow other codes? Drop me a line and I'll consider it.

Finally, a last-minute reminder: the tinywords contest deadline is today -- 11:59pm Pacific time.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

The City of Palo Alto, California (not far from tinywords' Bay Area headquarters) held a haiku contest -- the winners of which will have their haiku emblazoned on the walls of a four-storey parking structure being built there. Sadly the deadline is already past, but watch this page for the winners.

On the Road to Basra is an anti-war renku composed over the past several weeks by about ten poets worldwide.

A renku, also called renga, is a collaboratively-written poem composed of successive "stanzas" of linked haiku. Bill Higginson, who organized this work, tells me that a "kasen renku" is a renku of 36 stanzas ("with certain other formal niceties" he adds).

Friday, April 11, 2003

Today's Foxtrot cartoon might entertain tinywords readers.

Another haiku contest: the 8th International "Kusumakura" Haiku Competition in Kumamoto, Japan, is accepting entries by mail or email from now until August 1, 2003. Grand prize is a trip to Kumamoto.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Smithsonian Magazine: Haiku History. "A look at our past, / seventeen syllables and / three lines at a time."

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

How to write haiku: Michael Dylan Welch explains it all in "Becoming a Haiku Poet" -- an eloquent, concise, humane introduction to the writing of what he calls "the most compressed poem in the world."

The most important characteristic of haiku is how it conveys, through implication and suggestion, a moment of keen perception and perhaps insight into nature or human nature. Haiku does not state this insight, however, but implies it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

I'm happy to announce the first-ever tinywords haiku contest, being held right now in honor of National Poetry Month. The deadline is April 18. The winners will receive some really cool haiku books and magazines donated by deep north press, bottle rockets press, and haijinx. And the winning haiku will be published on tinywords during the week of April 28 - May 2. Enter now!

The April issue of The Heron's Nest has just been posted. This is a longstanding online and print journal of haiku, edited by Christopher Herold and associate editors Ferris Gilli, Peggy Lyles, and Paul MacNeil. It's the real deal.

tinywords for iMode: tinywords author Norman Darlington of eirmode Mobile Internet Solutions in Ireland built this way-cool iMode version of tinywords. It delivers a randomly-selected haiku from the tinywords archive, with the option to view the current day's haiku -- and you can click to get author details on any of the haiku displayed. I think it's a great adaptation of tinywords to the cell phone medium: It's fun, lightweight, and easy to use. And there's something about getting haiku at random that I like a lot. The fact that you never know which one will appear, and the fact that it shows just one haiku at a time, really seems to focus the attention on the haiku in themselves.

If you've got an I-Mode cell phone, access tinywords at this URL: http://eirmode.com/tw/

And check out eirmode Mobile Internet Solutions for more iMode applications and to find out about eirmode's mobile internet design and implementation services. Norman was very kind to built this app for tinywords and worked closely with me to make sure it reflected tinywords' spirit and substance. Thank you, Norman!

March was the busiest month yet for tinywords.com, with 47255 hits, 25379 page views, and an estimated 6635 user visits, according to Webalizer. The biggest referrers continue to be Google, Yahoo search, and Radio Userland's RSS aggregator, in that order. The top search string leading to tinywords: "cell phone messages," with the query "haiku" in a close second place. We also got a passel of visitors from a generous haikuworld review. The tinywords mailing list now has more than 2060 daily subscribers.

Teachers @ Work, a New Zealand site by Mark Teadwell that reviews web sites for English teachers, gave tinywords this review: "If you are looking at introducing the poetry style of Haiku into your class then this is an excellent place to begin." Thanks, Mark!

editor / publisher: d. f. tweney (dft at tinywords dot com)
Copyright (c) 2000-2003 by Tweney Media.
Except as noted, all haiku are copyright (c) their respective authors.