Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

May 20, 2009

Boston.com Haiku

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 8:42 pm

A friend of mine sent me a link to the Wayback Machine’s scrape of the old Boston.com Haiku site, pointing out that I reached the Haiku Hall of Fame. That was a fun little site. The way it was set up is that one person would create a five(ish) syllable phrase as a “seed” and others could finish it with another seven(ish)-five(ish) phrase to create a complete Haiku. From any haiku you could the other haiku based on the same seed or other haiku from that particular author. People wishing to read could still vote on the haiku and there were pages for most popular haiku and most popular author.

It was fun in the way that there were many entry points into the all the haiku, (latest haiku, latest seed, by author, etc.) and each item was linked in many ways (others with this seed, others by this author) etc. so that you could end up wandering around the site for a while being amused by everything you saw. Compare this to all the content that I read from my RSS aggregator now and just slog through the list until I’m at the end and then leave the web for something else.

Unfortunately, the site took too much time to maintain and became unwieldy. Some work was put into alleviating it (the most popular list had become filled with such highly voted items that new items could never reach, so it was split into a “most popular this week” and “hall of fame” for the most popular of all the previous weeks. The developer of the site probably should have thought ahead of time to add pagination to everything.) I’d bet that the first time that some used “I didn’t have time to …” with something their editor cared about, if any time was spent on the Haiku site instead the whole thing got the ax.

1 Comment »

  1. I was always very proud of my haiku code — not necessarily from its technical aspects or how well-written it was, but because of how engaging and fun it was. It was one of the earliest things I wrote in Perl. I was pretty happy b.com let me install it there. I was often very surprised at how differently people would interpret and finish a common seed.

    Comment by ky — May 21, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

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