Regular readers will know that a couple of times a year I open Blog on the Tracks up for a series of guest-posts. It's your chance, dear reader, to correct this blog; to right it. You get to write the blog-post you want to read; the one you're sure others want to read. You get to correct me, cover for my mistakes. You get to Right This Blog!
And because the blogs here at Stuff now have a thumbs up/thumbs down option for the comments I decided to let the readers decide the winners. Seemed even more in the spirit of community - the aim of this Right This Blog! caper - to allow readers to pick the guest-bloggers. So the suggestions with the most thumbs up were awarded the prize. The prize is a day running Blog on the Tracks. You write the piece, you right the content, choose the tone, dictate the flow, you stimulate the debate, you stoke the fires, you get the conversation going.
Every time I do this - take a week off, as it were (in reality it's not a week off, it's never a week off) - I notice the same things happening.
Someone - at least one person every time - never actually fronts up to deliver their post. Most often this is a person who has given me grief at some point. They start off by asking for more time. They then just never quite make it.
The guest-bloggers are actually given a week or two to put together one piece. And some can't do it.
I do this not for the week off as much as I do for the reminder that blog-posts arrive here for you to read every day. And, legitimately, sincerely, so that you have the chance - more fully - to have your say...
Someone tagged me in a Facebook discussion on Friday where a well-known Kiwi musician was having a whinge, saying "who reviews the reviewers?" He was not talking about me. But it seems a stupid question to ask. Apart from not really understanding the critical process - it's his job to release an album, it's a reviewer's job to comment on it - actually, in this day and age, reviewers are reviewed every time they write something. There's always been the option to write a letter, to moan at work alongside all the other Water Cooler Warriors, but now with everything arriving online (either directly, or via a Facebook or Twitter link) the world is able to comment. So I'd argue that the reviewers are reviewed by everyone. Or at least everyone has that right.
Part of writing for any audience is being able to take the abuse. People write passionately in support of their friends or family or favourite band. They call you out for being mean and resort to name-calling and abuse in the process. That's been magnified by the internet where people are sure the maxim of everyone being entitled to an opinion still means something. It doesn't. All opinions are not equal. Some opinions mean nothing. There is - I'm sorry to tell you - a difference between an informed opinion and an opinion. And that's not actually (just) my opinion. That's a fact.
The guest-bloggers might cop some abuse. They might take some knocks. Can you handle being reviewed as the reviewer; being blogged about as the blogger?
Have you got a great idea for a guest post? And can you handle having it ripped to shreds by someone so sure that "music is subjective, maaan!"; so sure that there's "no need for reviewers or bloggers, we all just get to like what we like, so there!"
Or will you run away and hide?
Now's your chance - the first time for 2013 - to jump up and have your say; the floor will be yours for a day. You will have 800-1200 words to have at it, to review your favourite band, to rave about your favourite gig, to mock your least-favourite music-writer, to introduce the world to some genre-hopping master you're sure not enough people have heard about; to right this blog! To write the correct way, they way you want Blog on the Tracks to run.
So, here's how it'll work: you post below in a comment your pitch, your suggestion for your guest-post. Then everyone gets to vote it up or down, comment on the ones they think should be selected.
By the end of this week I will pick five - plus one wild-card. And we'll then have a week of guest blog-posts; a week of Right This Blog!
What will you write about? What do you want to say in a guest-post? Why should we pick you?
You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.