Friday, 2 December 2011

Top 5 Ideas I might try to keep this blog going next year

I've not been exceptionally busy these last few weeks but for one reason or another I've not found much time to get ahead with my top fives. It might have something to do with our new TiVo box. The arrival of this box of wonders has reminded me of when we got our first VCR. I seem to be recording hours of TV on the off chance I might want to watch it. Every time I take a look at my available shows there's so much choice it takes me 5 minutes to decide what to view. I've also found myself, possibly not entirely unrelated to the TiVo, falling asleep on the sofa quite regularly and then having to drag myself up to bed in the small hours.

This is a long winded way of saying I've not got a decent top five this week. It has, however, started me thinking about how I can keep the blog going next year. I like writing top fives and I like my current weekly schedule but I'm pretty sure I'll struggle even more next year to meet it. With that in mind, and knowing I have a few things planned for the new year, here are my "top" five ideas for keeping the blog alive. I'll still do regular top fives as often as I can (and I'll be all the keener for guest submissions) but one or two of these might help me fill the gaps when I've not had time to do one justice.

1. Anyone Can Play Guitar - I cannot play guitar. I've owned a guitar of some sort for most of the last 30 years of my life. I have been completely incapable of getting beyond strumming three chords, with painfully slow and awkward moments as I change between each one. I keep promising myself that one day I'm going to sit down and learn properly. I am now 43 and my chances of becoming a global rock star are getting slimmer every year. On a recent train journey with my pal Mark, we got into a discussion about how I'd be happy if I could just play five fairly simple tunes and sing along. Mark reckons I could do it if I really wanted and challenged me to do so by June 2013. It's clearly an achievable target and I thought I could blog about my progress, or lack of it, as I go.

2. 100 Great Films - I love films but I haven't seen enough of them. Whenever I get into a discussion about films it quickly becomes apparent how many pretty significant movies I've not seen. I've been inspired recently by @dotmund's brilliant Film 2012 series and of course @5olly's always amusing attempts to watch Channel 4s Top 100 War Movies. I'd like to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge, I just need to find a suitable list of great movies to tick off.

3. Chop's Book Club - My recent choice of reading material has been largely dictated by price or what's available in the library. A large part of my wardrobe is devoted to books I've bought from charity shops or because they've been particularly cheap from Amazon. This has actually worked out surprisingly well but I think next year I'd like to read a few more contemporary novels. I'm reading one of this year's Booker Prize shortlisted books right now and I've half an eye on reading the rest and picking out some more, well received, recent publications. Maybe if I pick a book a month you could read along with me and, if you feel like it, contribute to a discussion post about the book?

4. Gig Reviews - I track all my gigs through Songkick but I'd quite like to keep my own online record of all the bands I've seen. I may not go to quite as many gigs next year (major recession and all that) but if I do I may blog about each show I attend. This might expand into a separate blog to provide archive posts of all the shows I've ever seen ... then again maybe I should just make do with the Songkick record and stop making work for myself.

5. Interactive Top Fives - This would be awesome if I thought there were enough people interested. I'd pick a topic, everyone would send me their top fives and I could produce a combined post from the results. I used to contribute to a PRS run "focus" group that selected a top five on a different musical subject every week. It was brilliant - if a little distracting - and undoubtedly sowed the seeds for this blog. It's hard to maintain enough participants on a weekly basis but, like the book club idea, this could work on a monthly basis if enough of you are interested.

Feedback welcome. Let me know if you think any of these are good ideas. I'll take silence as being approval to do all five.


Dan Whaley said...

You know I'd be up for interactive Top 5s. Or if you're running on empty one week, I'd be happy to contribute a guest Top 5 again.

Chopper said...

Thanks Dan. Another guest top 5 would be welcome any time you fancy.

I may trial a few interactive top 5s next year - see how many readers I actually have!!

Meena said...

I like reading the majority of your Top 5's Dave, as long as you have a link to them on your FB! ;-)

I also like the sound of the interactive element.

Learn the Guitar- it's brilliant. I played classical when i was at primary and secondary school, even got to Grade 4!. I really miss it now- my guitar is broken. :-(