Today’s blog will be a bit on the geeky side.
As I mentioned when the Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge got underway, one of my aims in setting it up was to replicate, in a different, less sleep-deprived form, the communal atmosphere of the 24-hour shows. These celebrated and unpleasant events worked by setting up an enormous number of challenges, games, running jokes and stupid activities, and then sustaining them over a day-long period until everyone’s resistance had been worn down. The number of people signing up to the Challenge has been heartening, and by Thursday, we should have collected in reports on their success (or otherwise) in taking first steps this week. But in the meantime, I’d like to explore some other ways in which this 10-year blog can keep alive the traditions of the long show. Here are a few.
Firstly, GAMES. I began one on Saturday, by offering to give a free iPod to the person who made the best appeal for it, in mitigation of my slightly controversial remarks about the death of music radio. There have been quite a few moving appeals already. If you haven’t already, and you want to win an iPod, you have until this coming Saturday to post a suitably beseeching comment on that blog. I’ll reveal the winner the Monday after. And then, in suitably 24-hour-fashion, we are going to try to convey the iPod from me to the winner, by means of a human chain involving other readers of the blog. Fun!
Every week there will be a similar game or competition.
Secondly, ADMIN. Pointless admin, keeping tabs on the audience members coming and going, was always an enjoyable feature of the 24-hour shows. So: first of all, has anyone read the blog every day so far? These people are the equivalent of the ‘lifers’ who stuck out the whole of the marathon shows. I’d like to determine how many, if any, there are. Then we can keep track of them over the next ten years and see how many stay the course, and again, build up a community between them. When the TYSIC branch of the Fans’ Forum is set up, this will be even easier, but for now, feel free to register in the Comments section if you’ve been here for the whole time so far.
Then, CREATIVE PROJECTS. During the long shows there were often large-scale collaborative projects, like making a quilt with a patch for each country in the world, making a tapestry of history, writing a song to attract a celebrity to our clutches, sending someone to Paris and back, and so on. With so many people’s TYSICs being concerned with writing, music or arts of other kinds, it feels like we ought to have some enormous collective hobby to go back to now and again over the next 10 years: some huge piece of work that involves as many of us as possible. I’ve not thought of anything yet, but I thought I’d ‘put it out there’.
There are other aspects of the 24-hour show which are harder to translate to a virtual community, such as phoning radio stations to persuade them to send us breakfast. But I’m open to any ideas. A lot of today’s entry has been me thinking out loud, as they say, about ways to keep this blog interesting and collaborative. If there’s anything you would like the TYSIC community to tackle, do suggest it. Tomorrow I’ll try to assess the results of my first week as an official optimist. It’s going to be one hell of a blog.