So I started a blog then ...

The Great Blogosphere has beaten me at last. After years of plodding along perfectly happily without feeling the need to splurge my thoughts into the cybersphere for all to see, I've finally cracked. Strange how technology makes you think and act differently. After all, I've had pens, paper and blu-tack ever since I was a kid but I've never felt the urge to pin my thoughts up on a library door for every passer-by to read.

But a blog makes sense for this project, because anyone can write a blog. Even if you can't string a sentence together, you can put your half-formed, barely-supported opinions up on t'internet for All Thee Greate Worlde to see. There are no barriers to entry, no qualifications to acquire, no permissions to seek. Blogs are the ultimate antidote to an age of meritocracy, an age of skills, an age of "professionalism". Blogs are democratic, because they're a bit crap.

You see, I've felt more and more recently that the only way we can be truly inclusive as a society is to let people be crap at things. It's great to have experts, people who advance their crafts and reach new heights of science and artistry. We need doctors, and Murray Perahia, and people to build our blogs for us. But as Will Hay said, "We can't all be heroes: some of us have to sit by the side of the road and clap as they go by." If you have professionals, by definition you also have exclusion, and all the problems that brings. And more than that, some of the greatest challenges facing our civilisation - climate change, financial instability, global "terrorism", youth alienation, an aging population - will be solved not by a small clique of "professionals", but by everyone mucking in and doing whatever they can.

So I propose another -ism, to sit alongside capitalism,
professionalism, terrorism and all those other big words invented by experts. We need a space to play, to explore, to invent new skills to master and do things just for the sheer joy of doing them. A place where we can be active in our lives and our communities rather than just sitting and clapping while the "experts" create our culture for us. A place where we can do the 80% of what needs doing, even if the other 20% is beyond us. A place where we can be a bit crap.

And I hereby name this -ism...
(drum roll...)

the new "sociablism"

(waits for applause, none cometh...)

"Sociablism" is life in praise of doing things badly. There are lots of stupid, badly-written, pointless blogs out there, and this is mine.
Here I shall celebrate my rubbishness and do stuff badly, because doing stuff badly is better than doing nothing at all. Here I shall attempt to make sense of the jumble of thoughts in my head that make up this new "sociablism", to collect stories about sociablism in practice, and generally flail around in this delicate space like a drunk pig in a china shop. Because as a wise Scotsman once said:

if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing badly