*The Haiku Foundation's app, an easy way to share haiku *
On Twitter I have 1,545 followers. There are a couple of popular methods that people use when they are looking to gain followers. The first is to follow everybody who follows them with the hope that mutual admiration will propel their numbers into the Twitter stratosphere, and the second is to be chatty, very chatty. By this I mean to tweet every day, throughout the day. This gives a Twitter stream higher visibility. I don't do either.
The reason that I have these followers is largely due to haiku. I share a lot of haiku in my Twitter feed and most of the poems are not mine. Where do I get these haiku? The Haiku Foundation app, THF Haiku. The following is an interview with The Haiku Foundation founder Jim Kacian on the Foundation's smartphone app.
*Q: What devices are compatible with the app?*
A: THF Haiku is designed for the Apple platform and has been updated for the iOS8 operating system (though you can still play it on your iOS7 models as well). It should perform well on iPads, iPhones and any other Apple-compatible devices.
*Q: Where does one find the app?*
A: You can download it for free from The Apple Store. Search for THF Haiku and it should come up instantly.
*Q: I read that the app gives readers access to 1,500 haiku. How do you determine which poems populate it?*
A: 1,500 and counting. The app has been around now for five years, and for its first year we selected all the haiku that had appeared anywhere at all on The Haiku Foundation websites, mainly from our various blog features, like Virals and Periplum. At the same time we began the Per Diem Daily Haiku feature, which offers a new haiku each day. For the past three years we have selected all the poems that appeared in Per Diem for our annual update. These poems were selected by guest editors on the basis of a theme that they chose. For our next update we will continue to use the Per Diem resource, but we have begun a new feature called World of Haiku, which explores haiku from different cultures around the world. So over the next three years we will add another thousand or so haiku, and they will be from every haiku culture that exists, a true melting pot.
*Q: There are many styles and different schools of thought when it comes to haiku. Did you give thought to giving a representative sample or was there a kind of guiding thought when it came to selection?*
A: As mentioned, we have strived for a variety of haiku to appear on THF Haiku, and I’d be willing to say it’s the most diverse resource for haiku anywhere to be found.
*Q: Sharing is one of my favorite features of the app. I am always using it to post tweets. Is there a feature that you particularly like?*
A: I like the share feature, for sure. I think it’s great that good haiku is making its way out of the haiku community and into the larger world, and that THF Haiku is one of the ways this is happening. I also confess to liking the shake-to-change-the-poem feature as well . . .
*Q: How often does the app get updated?*
A: We add new poems every year, in January. In January 2016 we will be adding 365 new poems from a dozen countries from around the world. It’s an exciting time for haiku.
Gene can be found on Twitter at @myersgene.
The Haiku Foundation can be found at @haikufound.
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