Hi all! I’ve been asked by the AML board to take over coordination of the AML blog. I’m posting to ask for suggestion and throw out some ideas for how we — that’s us here at AML, but also hopefully includes some of you reading — can help improve the blog so it will better serve the community of Mormon letters.
I want to start by saying that we’re not looking to cut anyone who’s been contributing so far. All of my ideas have to do with adding to what we’re currently doing.
The main idea I want to explore in this post is areas of focus for the AML blog spots. Up to now, most of those slots have been associated with individual posters, such as Scott Parkin, Eric Samuelsen, and Margaret Young. I’d like to add more rotating blog spots: i.e., slots that are allocated to a particular area of focus, potentially featuring different guest posts under the supervision of a coordinator for that particular slot.
For example (throwing out an example at random), one slot might be allocated to Mormon YA literature. Each month, there could be a post on some topic of importance, new developments in that area, an interview with a Mormon YA author, etc. — all under the direction of a designated YA slot coordinator. Other potential areas of focus might relate to specific communities (e.g., independent Mormon book publishers) or topics (e.g., Mormon perspectives on literary criticism). The main thing any given slot would need would be (a) a clearly defined area of focus, and (b) someone willing to act as the coordinator for that slot.
Part of my overall vision is that in addition to acting as a forum for members of the AML community, the AML blog could also be a place where people can come to get a good overview of interesting things that are happening in Mormon letters. It’s my perception that the Mormon literary world (taken at its broadest) is quite fractured right now, with many different groups pursuing their own interests, often with little knowledge or involvement from other groups. I’d like to see the AML blog as a place where people who haven’t traditionally been part of AML can toot their horn and describe their projects. In short, I’d like to see this not so much as AML’s space, but as a common space — a bazaar, if you will — sponsored by AML, with different corners expressing the rich diversity of interests, communities, and enterprises that are involved in some way with Mormon literature.
There are lots of other ideas we’ve had as well. Right now, though, I’m going to shut up and ask those of you who are reading to share your thoughts. What do you think would make the AML blog a better, more vibrant, more interesting and appealing place to come? (For now, please focus on content issues; I’m not responsible for the technical side of things.) What do you think of my rotating slots idea? What slots would you recommend? Would you be willing to help with one, or can you suggest someone else? All well-intended suggestions welcome!
P.S. A final note: Sometimes, people looking at AML-sponsored resources and events conceive of some vast “they” out there — the Minions of AML — whose job it is to Make Things Happen. I’m here to tell you that alas, the group is quite small and already more-than-fully tasked. If the kind of bazaar I’ve proposed here is to happen, it can only be if each different group or community is willing to man its own booth.