friday five logoA long-standing and very popular tradition in the blogosphere — The Friday Five — in which you were invited to answer the week’s five questions on your blog and then link back to the home site, so participants can browse everyone’s answers — is no more. Heather, the woman who established and ran Friday Five single-handedly, has stopped asking the weekly questions so she can concentrate on her Globe of Blogs directory.

Every once in awhile when I needed something light for a Friday (or more often, a Saturday) post, I would turn to this site for inspiration. I participated about a dozen times. Once I had my five questions accepted as the questions of the week — and with 600-700 people participating each week it was great exposure for my then-fledgling blog. Heather wisely decided not to turn the reins over to anyone else, since such sites always take on the unique flavour and style of their owner. Many people found a lot of the questions inane, but hundreds also protested when the questions were “too hard”. So the questions stayed mostly lowbrow and the popularity (it’s one of the 25 most blogrolled sites, with 2500 inbound blogs) stayed high.

I, for one, liked the highbrow, “too hard” questions. Their answers provided an insight into the mind and heart of the blogger that often could not be gleaned from their daily, impersonal posts. So my proposal is to create a Friday Five type weekly question (or at most two — five is too many to allow time and space to elaborate on your answer), which we’d solicit, post, and aggregate answers to, through a Google Group (to save having to set up a separate place and buy bandwidth and server space for it). I’d further propose we run it Saturday (quietest day of the week on the blogosphere), and that it be called That’s Awfully Personal, to reflect the fact that the answers should be revealing, more than just an off-the-cuff opinion poll or survey.

thst'd awfully personalHere’s some examples of questions that might qualify:

  • Your home is aflame and burning out of control. All living creatures have been safely evacuated. You have time to go back in quickly and save one possession from the flames. What would it be, and why?
  • Your spouse/loved one has come down with an inexplicable and terminal illness. Their last request of you is to (re-)marry someone as soon as possible, and not unduly mourn their passing. Do you honour this request, and if so, who is the first person who comes to mind as a possible spouse?
  • You are one of five finalists in a winner-take-all $1 million lottery being decided by a reverse draw. A stranger offers you (and this is allowed) $160,000 now for your ticket, and says if you decline he will offer $200,000 if yours is one of the last 4 tickets, $267,000 if yours is one of the last 3 tickets, and $400,000 if yours is one of the last 2 tickets (each offer being 80% of the ‘expected value’ of the ticket at that point). One of the other finalists offers to split the million with you if yours and theirs are the last 2 tickets remaining, provided you agree to this irrevocably now with 5 tickets remaining. Which, if any, of the offers do you take, and why?

And here’s the simple instructions that we could use:

  1. This Google Group has four sections: One for the Question of the Week, as selected by our Awfully Personal Panel and posted each Friday evening, a second for your permalinks to where you’ve answered the Question of the Week, a third for your suggestions for future Questions of the Week, and a fourth for general discussion about That’s Awfully Personal.
  2. To participate, just look for this week’s Question of the Week, copy and paste it into your blog post, along with your answer (usually a paragraph or two), then return to this Google Group and post your permalink (the URL where you’ve posted your answers) in the second, My Answers Permalink section. And feel free to browse others’ answers and learn more about them — maybe even find like minds and hearts.
  3. If you have a suggestion for Question of the Week, post it in the third section and our Panel will review it and, if selected, they will acknowledge you as the author with a link to your blog. Questions should ideally be challenging, so that the answers will be revealing (when answered honestly). But this isn’t Truth or Dare — we want people to want to answer honestly and to have to think a bit before they do.
  4. If you have questions or comments, please post them in the fourth section — our Panel will read them and reply promptly.
  5. Thanks for playing!

What do you think of the idea?

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  1. Denny says:

    I think it’s a terrific idea! I’ll probably enjoy the questions that stimulate self-revelation!

  2. Fono says:

    Surely, it ought to be done.

  3. hetty says:

    good idea. the yahoo group can also e-mail members when there’s a new question up. (otherwise i don’t think people will remember.)

  4. Perfect i would love to participate, but i have a question Im still working on my blog, but is not working yet can we participate too even if we dont have a blog? how will it be?Miguel

  5. kara says:


  6. linda says:

    I think it is a great idea also. I have been missing the Friday Five or something like it, but am in total agreement that it was wise for Heather to end it rather than turn it over to someone else. The format you propose sounds good, and I all ready have an account at yahoogroups (doesn’t everyone?), so please let me know when you start (or send me an invite if you’ve all ready started.) Thanks

  7. Nobius Black says:

    I concur. Good idea. I’m in if you are.

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