tinywords' purpose:
humanize technology,
spread haiku worldwide.

We thought our subscribers might like to know what the heck we're doing here with tinywords (TM). Accordingly, we're making our business plan public so you know where we're coming from. If you have any comments or questions, or just want to give us a big pile of money, email business at tinywords dot com.

tinywords ( http://tinywords.com ) delivers haiku fresh every day, for free, via e-mail, cell phone, pager, or any other Internet device, be it mobile or stationary.

Haiku are short poems with 17 syllables or fewer. As such, they are ideally suited to delivery on mobile devices, which often have severe constraints on message size and bandwidth. Haiku are also the ideal poetic form for the hectic modern world, where few people have the time for leisurely reading of poetry.

By sending one tiny but excellent poem to people every day, tinywords hopes to accomplish several things:

  • to humanize Internet and mobile technology
  • to increase the appreciation of haiku -- and of poetry in general
  • to encourage people to write and share haiku of their own
  • to bring people a moment of quiet reflection and insight in the midst of their busy days
  • to spread excellent haiku throughout the world.
Over time, we also hope to use tinywords to foster the appreciation and development of other short poetic forms, to encourage experimentation with the poetic possibilities of the wireless Internet, and to promulgate a sense of wonder and delight that encompasses the possibilities of technology as well as the richness of the natural world.

Why we're doing this

By using the Internet and mobile technology to distribute haiku, tinywords will increase appreciation for haiku and for poetry in general. We hope to create more readers of haiku, more writers of haiku, and to increase the overall market for haiku.

Sure, it may not be a big commercial market. But think of haiku as a "wedge" form of poetry. Small and unobtrusive, it can easily find its way into people's lives -- it's easy to share, doesn't take much time, and it's not even that difficult to learn how to write haiku. But once people have started to appreciate and to write haiku, their interest in other forms of poetry may grow.

From haiku, readers may branch out into senryu (humorous and/or risque haiku), tanka (6-line poems), limericks, sonnets, sestinas, ballads, or epics. Or they may try experimenting with other extremely short poems, perhaps even developing online poetic forms of their own.

Haiku also traditionally has a close link with the visual arts (Japanese ink paintings and calligraphy, in particular), and it may help stimulate an interest in these arts as well.

But most importantly, tinywords can help increase the number of poetry readers, and that in turn will help sustain a market for poetry books, poetry readings, and poetry classes in the schools.

How we hope to pay for it all

Because costs are so low, tinywords can continue in its present state on little or no revenues. However, the publisher's pockets are not bottomless, so we would like to generate revenue at some point. The goal is to make tinywords into a self-sustaining non-profit poetry organization.

In the earliest stages, we expect revenues (if any) to come primarily from grants or sponsorships.

We can generate some revenues through commissions on sales of books, through affiliation with an online bookseller such as Amazon.com or Powell's Books. (Hey! Help tinywords out and buy some haiku books!)

If traffic on the web site reaches sufficient levels, we will consider selling advertising or sponsorships on the Web site and on haiku discussion forums (including discussion-oriented mailing lists).

We will not deliver advertisements in the haiku messages. Since many subscribers are receiving messages on their mobile devices, this would be an unwelcome use of their scarce bandwidth. Besides, advertising is not compatible with the notion of creating a brief moment of reflection.

It may be possible to send commercial messages to subscribers who have indicated an interest in such messages. Such messages will only ever be sent to people who have explicitly indicated an interest in receiving commercial messages.

tinywords will never sell, rent, or share its list of subscribers.


Want to know more? Interested in sponsoring tinywords? Know of a grant we should apply for? Send email to business at tinywords dot com!


Copyright (c) 2000-2003 tinywords.com.
Except as noted, all haiku are copyright (c) their respective authors.

home | subscribe