Open Mike postscript: mopping up the questions which got away.

(Because I like to run a tidy ship.)

A while back, Em³ asked:

You receive an email which claims to be from yourself, ten years in the future (and there’s some proof of the sender’s identity in the email).

The email is a detailed list of instructions, telling you to avoid certain places on certain dates, to visit other places at other times and to giving you the lottery numbers for tonight’s Euro Draw.

Do you follow the instructions?

I’d start by experimenting with the lottery numbers. If they came up trumps, then it would be very tempting to obey the other instructions.

On the other hand, wouldn’t that take away some of the essential mystery of life? Remove that sense of an open-ended future, rich in possibilities, and what would you have left? Wouldn’t this kind of slavish obedience reduce me in some way?

Nah, bollocks to that. I’ve always veered towards the easy side of the street, and I often quite like it when choices are made for me. Provided I can trust the person making those choices, that is – and who better to trust than The Future Me?

The answer is a Yes, then.

Andre asked: If you were to run the bloggie awards – would you do it any different?

1. I would expand the “I want to be a judge” section of the voting form, adding check boxes for each of the categories, and asking would-be judges to tick the categories which they would feel happy to judge. (To a minimum of 10 categories.)

2. I would then issue bespoke long-lists to each volunteer judge, based on the categories which they had chosen. Each individual would only have to judge five categories, rather than the current ten. This would be harder to set up and administer, but I’d give myself more time to do the necessary work.

3. Before issuing the long-lists, I would check the nominees, removing duplicate URLs and any sites which didn’t match the categories. Again, this would take more time, which I would factor in.

4. I would remove the Podcast category, as a) podcasts are only tangentially related to weblog culture and b) they take too long to evaluate properly.

5. I would remove the “Best Tagline” category.

6. I would re-introduce the “Best Music Weblog” category.

7. I would introduce a “Most Original or Innovative Weblog” category, for blogs which have pushed the boundaries of the format in some way over the previous 12 months.

8. I would introduce a “Best Non-Profit Weblog” category, which would be restricted to ad-free blogs.

9. I would introduce a “Best Original Artwork” category. Photography would be excluded from this category.

10. I would introduce a “Weblog Post Of The Year” category, for the best individual posting.

11. In order to keep the number of categories to thirty, I would remove the “Best Group Weblog”, “Best Topical Weblog” and “Best Craft Weblog” categories.

12. I would sever the link between announcing the results and the SXSW Festival, thus bringing the announcement date forwards in time.

guyana-gyal asked: Do you feel that you have everything you want in life, or is there more, something else you’d like?

Although I suppose this comes with old age – indeed, I must have witnessed it many times over – I cannot yet imagine reaching a stage in life where I felt that I had everything I wanted. Isn’t this part of what keeps us going, during the active part of our lives? I’m not talking about a negative feeling of unfulfilment – of lack – but more of a positive desire for greater fulfilment.

On the other hand, if your question refers purely to material wants, then I’d say that I’m not so very far away from reaching that stage – and certainly much nearer than I was in my thirties, when my outlook was a good deal more materialistic. Simply put: shopping for pleasure no longer does it for me – unless it’s shopping for presents, which I still adore.

OK, let’s be more specific. Number One on the list would be a house with a south-facing aspect. In the whole time that we have been together, K and I have never lived anywhere which enjoys a decent amount of direct sunlight indoors. It has been our constant gripe for years.

That’s it, I’m done. No more questions!

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