In the Good Old Days of Blogging™, back in the day, folk used to write regular posts about their lives and what they did and what they thought. Self-commentary, rather than relentlessly repeating what everyone else was saying and what was in the news and rebroadcasting marketing fluff. Writing about oneself was tough, long term, because often there was nothing more to say that hadn't been said umpteen times already. It's all so much easier today because tweets and Facebook updates require only 10 words or so, 20 at most, so even the laziest media socialite can appear zeitgeisty with minimal effort.
Back in the early 21st century, the "meme" came to our rescue. A simple idea, a snappy concept, which spread like wildfire across the net. List your five favourite sandwich fillings, what track's playing right now on your CD player, write a caption for a lolcat, that sort of thing. Pointless online space-fillers which nevertheless offered shallow insight into the lives of those who participated. Oh heady days on the digital frontier, before everything got too interconnected, too instant, too inbred.
So I've leapt with glee onto a new web 2.0 service called Formspring.me. Like all the very best memes it embodies a very simple concept - you ask me a question and I answer it. Any question you like, into the box on the website, and you don't even have to register or give your name. Then I look at the list of questions everybody's asked and I choose which ones to answer. I don't have to answer them all, especially if they're rude or dull or stupid or inappropriate, in which case nobody else ever sees the question let alone the answer. And then you can look at my published responses and discover a bit more about me, or despair that I'm batting away another probing request with some glib defensive attempt at humour.
I'll give Formspring a week before it implodes, because there's only so much unfocused questioning a community can endure before moving on to the new Next Best Thing. And my apologies if you're reading this blogpost in my archives from three years in the future, because the bubble probably burst yonks ago and you must be wondering why all the links are dead. But in the here and now - Early February 2010 - well, it's a bit of a giggle innit?
(And try to ask me something interesting. I've only answered about half of the queries that people have posed so far) (And don't expect an answer any time soon. I'm off to the office now, where I shall be doing something called "work" all day, which doesn't involve faffing around on social networking sites procrastinating the day away. You might get a response this evening, if you're lucky) (Which makes this a woefully non-interactive feature. You won't be able to read any of the submitted questions while they're in the queue, not even if there are hundreds of them, and you won't get any replies from me for hours and hours) (You might want to try asking a few otherFormspringers some questions while you wait, if they're still interested in replying) (Be patient, and I'll get back to some of you later) (See, I told you Formspring was a bit rubbish)
8pm update: OK, there are fifteen more answers now. Further questions welcomed, which I might get round to answering once I'm back from seeing Hitler's moustache.